The restaurant scene in Helsinki is more alive than in a long time. New interesting restaurants keep popping up and spreading from the city centre towards other residential areas in Helsinki. The people of the city are conscious of quality and ingredients, and they love to try out new things. We have compiled a list of new and extremely interesting restaurants that are definitely worth a visit.
Sofia Bistro, Sofia Gastro & Sofia Wine + Tea Salon
An urban centre of good life, Sofia Future Farm recently opened its doors in the amazing Torikorttelit. That’s in the Kiseleff building opposite the Senate Square. It offers working and meeting facilities for those who need them, cultural events, exercise opportunities and excellent food. Sofia Bistro is located in the Empire style milieu of the Kiseleff building’s first floor. The menu consists of locally sourced food, ecological fish and sometimes game. The thread running through the menu is the principle of From field to plate.
In the evenings, the second floor is the stage of Sofia Gastro, an intimate top-notch dining restaurant. A stunning view of Helsinki Cathedral and a menu that remains a secret until you enjoy it will charm any diner. Sofia Wine at the street level also serves wine lovers. The carefully selected wines and small, melt-in-your mouth delicacies kick off or finish a night in a spectacular manner. And don’t forget the amazing Tea Salon of the building where you can enjoy breakfast or afternoon tea in a stunning Empire style hall.
Unioninkatu 27, Sofiankatu 4, www.sofiafuturefarm.fi
The spectacular St. George Hotel by the Old Church Park houses a restaurant that only few Helsinki residents have visited. It is called Andrea. Unlike the fabulous and fancy St. George, Andrea is a casual and pleasant restaurant where the food is supposed to be ridiculously good. Andrea serves Turkish cuisine with a Nordic twist. And it’s not just overall Turkish, but Anatolian cuisine from the southern peninsula of Turkey. The man behind the restaurant is Turkish Mehmet Gürs who has in all 14 restaurants, the most famous one probably being Miklan in Istanbul. Andrea’s menu features dishes to be shared with the table, finger food, slow-cooked meat, fresh vegetables and spicy flat breads. The menu includes all kinds of exciting flavours, for instance sumac, horseradish, tahini, roe, eggplant, blueberry, smoked salmon and lahmacun.
Lönnrotinkatu 4, www.andreahelsinki.com
Last year, the successful chef and restaurateur duo Tomi Björck and Matti Wikberg opened Ventuno, a restaurant specialising in Italian cuisine. Located in a spectacular premium property, the heart of Ventuno is a humongous wood-fired oven where the pizzettas, or “house bread” as they’re called, are cooked. Even though Ventuno’s offering is based on classic Italian cooking, it still has a unique and modern touch. Just like all Björck and Wikberg’s restaurants. The menu features antipasti, pasta, risotto, Italian main courses. And, of course, cheese, charcuterie and sweet desserts. There is also a diverse tasting menu available. In connection with Ventuno Osteria is Ventuno Caffè that offers Italian sandwiches and other delicacies to go with high-quality coffee. Enjoying a quick espresso with a biscotto along the bar of the Caffè is as Italian as you can get in Helsinki.
Korkeavuorenkatu 21, www.ventuno.fi
If nothing else can get you in a tram heading to the neighbourhood of Vallila, Brokadi will. Brokadi is a Chinese restaurant offering genuine Sichuan cuisine that has been nothing but praised. The Sichuan aspect can be seen as strong use of Sichuan pepper, for instance. Brokadi specialty is trying out different organ meats, frog legs and a dish in which thinly sliced yak beef is served with scallops and wood ear mushroom.
Mäkelänkatu 45, www.brokadi.com
The respected Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi seems to succeed in creating restaurants that the people of Helsinki love, one after the other. Opened last year, Pontus has attracted both old regulars and new guests. Pontus is run by Melasniemi and Heikki Purhonen and located in the neighbourhood of Ullanlinna, adjacent to KOM theatre. In addition to being a theatre restaurant, it is also an uncomplicated and charming bistro. The menu includes pizzas, salads, lasagne and many rich flavours. For instance, the lamb leg is a hearty stew cooked in the oven. The menu also includes small delicacies on display by the bar. Try the whole globe artichoke with lemon and butter oil or octopus salad.
Kapteeninkatu 26, www.ravintolapontus.fi