Helsinki hosts many new cafés that would excite a die-hard coffee enthusiast. Check out our tips for the best roasts in town!
The upcoming Kallio district boasts with new and exciting coffee culture. Here you’ll find the most original and cool cafés – not forgetting street credibility in their expertise.
Sävy is a relatively new family-owned café, founded to promote good coffee in Helsinki. And this they are doing with great success: people from afar find their way to this café in Harju, just outside of Kallio. It’s always pretty full although it is open only during day time and a bit outside of the beaten path. The atmosphere is super-friendly and inviting – bohemian vibe with a dash of retro and art. Most of the coffee is from Turun Kahvipaahtimo, a small roastery in Western Finland. Try the cakes, croissants and viennoiseries! This is where you will want to spend the whole day.
Aleksis Kiven katu 12, www.kahvilasavy.fi. Closed on Sundays.
Good Life Coffee
In the heart of Kallio lies Good Life Coffee, serving busy by-passers and slow idlers great coffee in a hip environment. On a sunny day, the tiny terrace provides the perfect spot for people-watching the laid-back Kallio inhabitants. The coffee is from small roasters around Finland and Europe. There are also coffee beans and equipment to buy home. One of the baristas and owner of the joint, Lauri Sipilä, won the Brewers Cup in 2014 and was Barista of the year in 2011. GLC knows what’s up.
Kolmas Linja 17 and Vilhovuorenkatu 7-9, www.goodlifecoffee.fi
We love Gallery Keidas for its interior, atmosphere and small nibbles (and Saturday brunch!). A weekly changing lunch is available as well. The coffee is pretty great too. Galleria Keidas is a part of a Helsinki-based bakery, Good Pie Bakery. They serve the freshest bakery products and have one of the most “Helsinkiest” atmospheres we know. Simple flavours, organic products, big windows and the coolest hard-wood tables and interesting details make this café. It is right in the heart of the best vintage shops in Kallio, so don’t miss them during your visit!
Fleminginkatu 7. www.goodpiebakery.com/kahvila/
This cozy café has a definite home-away-from-home atmosphere for those looking for something soft and welcoming. The coffee is from Kaffa Roastery and tea is from Thé-huone. Café Cardemumma boasts with great baked goods and lunch salads. Open only on weekdays.
Kaarlenkatu 15. www.cafecardemumma.fi
Katajannokka has found some new buzz from a few great quality cafés, drawing in coffee-lovers from afar. Might this slightly sleepy residential district become a new culinary center? Well for now, coffee will do just fine.
Johan & Nyström
Artisan coffees prepared by experienced baristas. Johan & Nyström also specialize in raw cakes, which makes it extra attractive to make a trip up to Katajannokka. The interior is very stylish in an old redbrick, industrial environment. There’s a small shop for you to buy coffee beans for home.
Kanavaranta 7C. www.johanochnystrom.se/fi
Coffee, tea room and smoothie & juice bar. One of the newest cafés in Helsinki serves great quality coffee from local small roasters – AND raw cakes!
Kanavaranta 7B, 2nd floor.
This tiny café/store for delicacies greets you with shelves full of Italian treats: organic olive oils, Gentile pasta, antipasti, Caffarel chocolates, jams, biscuits and espresso pans. Get a morning take away latte and walk by the shore, watching the boats come and leave.
Satamakatu 5. www.facebook.com/signoradeliziaoy/
La Torrefazione & Fratello
These two cafés are in the immediate center and brought a boost to Helsinki’s coffee scene a few years ago. They focus on different roasts as well as different types of coffee and tea. Fratello serves special siphon coffees. Ask them for their specialties! La Torrefazione serves great breakfasts every morning and Fratello has good lunches. Cakes, ciabattas, smoothies, ice creams.. Definitely worth a stop!
La Torrefazione: Aleksanterinkatu 50, www.latorre.fi. Fratello: Yliopistonkatu 6, www.fratello.fi.
Punavuori & Eira
These prestigious districts have traditionally had the best cafés. Although the focus is more in eastern Helsinki at the moment, these beloved classics and constantly sprouting new cafés still attract the coffee folk.
Everyone in Helsinki knows that Kaffa Roastery’s coffee “is the best”. At least they know the yellow brand that has been spreading into numerous chain cafés as a symbol for quality. “We serve Kaffa’s coffee”. Their main café and roastery (all of the coffee is roasted in Punavuori!) is in a stylish setting of an old industrial building, only worthy for this blend. Buy a bag to take back home.
Pursimiehenkatu 29, www.kaffaroastery.fi
Ursula & Carusel
Cafés Ursula and Carusel are mentioned because of their great locations right by the sea in the most southernmost tip of Helsinki, right behind Kaivopuisto Park. People meet and greet here while taking their pooches out for a Saturday walk. They serve good lunches, breakfast and A-products for those sunny late-afternoon moments.
Ursula: Ehrenströmintie 3, www.ursula.fi. Carusel: Merisatamanranta 10, www.carusel.fi
Succés & Ekberg
We could mention dozens of traditional cafés, but these two made our list this time. Succés is located in the heart of Eira and is known for their massive and tasty cinnamon buns. Here, time stands still and you’ll get a good look at the type that lives around these prestigious corners. Ekberg has been a Helsinki favourite since 1852 serving baked goods from their own bakery. They have a very popular breakfast and brunch. The nice terrace is where you should find yourself on any afternoon!
Succés: Korkeavuorenkatu 2. Café Ekberg: Bulevardi 9. www.ekberg.fi/en/
Töölö’s own friendly and big-sisterly atmosphere attracts those who want to come out of the center a bit and do some walking by the sea and enjoy some greenery and beautiful architecture. Cafés here mostly sit the locals, which make them great finds if you happen to be here at the right time of the day. Here, everything closes up pretty early. Spot the multiple canopy kiosks and see the beach and harbour area!
Finally we have Café Regatta. There shouldn’t be an article on Helsinki cafés without Regatta. The coffee itself isn’t all that gourmet, but the atmosphere is. This special cottage café is next to the Sibelius Park and once you arrive you can’t miss it standing right by the water in all of its red-wood summercabinish glory! They have an open bonfire outside where you can grill your own sausages as well as rent a kayak and take a little sea detour (past the nudist beach on Seurasaari, for example!). The kitsch/Alpish decorations inside are worth some social media coverage and the cinnamon buns are very much worth trying and sharing. And what’s cool is, for every coffee refill you get 5 cents back. With a quick calculation, with 40 refills you’ll have paid for your coffee (don’t try though…)!
The twist of this café is the location, which is said to be the best in all of Helsinki. It very well might be, as it overlooks the Töölö Bay and is a fresh walk from the center (past the Music Centre and Finlandia Hall, through the Töölö Bay Park). The café is in a blue wooden villa, dating back to 1896. The home-made cakes are super as well. On a sunny day, this is one of the best spots, hands down.
Linnunlauluntie 11 H & G. http://sininenhuvila.weebly.com/
Markets & Kiosks
To have the true and original Helsinki coffee experience, you must enjoy a steaming cup of (albeit average quality) coffee at a market square or kiosk. You know those small, usually yellow kiosks with a sort of built-in canopy at the front? They are a humble monument of Helsinki – the center and suburbs are full of them! They were all built in the 1940’s and 50’s and are now being renovated into lively meeting spots and snack shop-cafés for people to enjoy. Many of them serve fresh coffee to be enjoyed on the possible chair groups outside. These cheerful kiosks are there due to the grace of entrepreneurs wishing to promote the conservation of these cultural-architectonically important sights – don’t bypass them, have a cup and a chocolate to support their cause! Equally, a coffee at the market is a living concept fully understood by Finns. The coffee is probably not the trendiest roast, but the atmosphere is something that doesn’t change with the trends and decades. Your coffee moment is not complete without a deep-fried sugar bun, guaranteed to be the best in the world. Small pleasures.
Markets: The main Market Square at the end of Esplanade Park, Hietalahti Market: Lönnrotinkatu 34, Hakaniemi Market: Hämeentie 1a. Canopy kiosks: All around the center, for example the Esplanade Park, by the St. John’s Church in Ullanlinna, at Kasarmitori, a salmiakki kiosk in Töölö at Runeberginkatu 43…
Sitting idly by the square or a kiosk and talking of non-important issues really winds you into that vacation state of mind. This is what Helsinki does best: winds you into something you can’t find if you’re looking, but once you have it, you’ll never forget that feeling.