Finns eat early, or so I thought! No longer. This city has picked up to the paces of any international metropolis and nowadays you don’t need to seek out the greasy spoon “nakkikioskit” aka sausage kiosks to feed your face when hunger pangs hit after a few.
Sports Bar Casino Helsinki – kitchen closes at 3 am and feeds your dreams of fries and mayo, spicy chicken wings and crispy cheddar cheese jalapeños. Small portions at €7, large at €13. They’ve hit a homerun on this one.
Sports Academy – tangy pork ribs priced from €5,90 to €40 for a hunger that’ll feed two is what’s up for grub at this bar where internationals and nationals are shown on a daily basis. Plenty more where this came from including pulled brisket with roast garlic and toasted buns. Kitchen closes at 2.30am.
Los Cojones – a ‘pintxoteria’ in the heart of Helsinki. This Spanish spot has atmosphere galore with its brightly coloured pictures and rough wooden features. Difference between pintxos and tapas? The former’s on bread and a decent slice is what you get here for a mere pittance by Helsinki standards. Opening hours 18.00 – 1.00 on Tuesdays, till 3.00 from Wednesdays till Saturdays.
Juttutupa – located across the bridge in the hip Kallio/Hakaniemi district, this watering hole and gastrobar has a reputation for great pizza and food in general. With oodles of old world charm, they serve pizza until last drinks order 30 minutes before closing. Kitchen serves Mon-Thu until 23.30 and Fri & Sat until 24.00, Sun until 22.00.
Ahjo Bar – in design hotel Klaus K, snuggle into big chairs and comfy sofas while you munch away at your antipasto plate which is available all night until the bar closes for a mere €10.
Manala – pizzas the size of your dining room table, amongst other reasonably priced dishes are served up until 2am. Just a little nibble? Try their own brand of ‘mapas’ (=Manala’s tapas) including lamb roast with horseradish sour cream or chilli-yoghurt chicken.
Storyville – arguably the best jazz club in the world! And it feeds its punters till late, late with a menu of Cajun-style food including a spicy, baked vegetarian melanzane hot from the oven or jambalaya of course, with a decent dollop of chilli in this mixture of chicken, ham, sausage and vegetables. Service stops at 3.00 am and your wallet will not suffer badly.
Kuu-Kuu – so this is gonna be an early night, right? Have to be in bed by the witching hour? Kitchen closes at 11 pm every night except Sundays when last orders are at 9 pm. Good, traditional Finnish food is what’s up here like creamy salmon soup or homemade meatballs but their toast skagen with shrimps and mayo is perfect if you don’t want to roll home.
Stone’s – organic burgers on artisan buns is the speciality of this drinking joint which stays open and keeps the customers happy until midnight on Sundays and Mondays, 2 am on Tuesdays till Thursdays and 3 am Fridays/Saturdays. How about a Black ‘n Blue with Cajun spiced organic burger, Roquefort cheese and whisky onions? Prices range between €14,50 and €17.
Iguana – if Fajitas is your thing, you’ve come to the right place cause whether it be beef, chicken, shrimp or veggie, they’ve got it all for under €20. Other stuff too of course including a range of pasta dishes and some smalls for the not so hungry. Kitchen is open until closing time Fri & Sat until 02.00 and during the week until 24.00 or 01.00. Three different locations – Kaisaniemenkatu 3, Mannerheimintie 12, Keskuskatu 4.
Vivo’s – located on Iso-Roba and Malminrinne, Kamppi, it’s the döner kebabs and the homemade stuffed vine leaves that’ll get you. This is Lebanese food made with heart and soul with plenty of yoghurt, mint and garlic to satisfy any beer hunger. Open till midnight. Iso-Roobertinkatu 27 & Malminrinne 2.
Fafa’s – Generally acknowledged as the best falafel in town! The portions are big and tasty with their homemade pita bread and excellent dressings and toppings. Try a choice of falafel with goat’s cheese & pesto, eggplant & feta, halloumi or a sabitch. Notice that they have three spots around town: Iso Roobertinkatu 2 (Mon-Thu 11-22, Fri 11-05, Sat 12-05), Vilhonvuorenkatu 10 (Mon-Thu 11-22, Fri-Sat 12-22), Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu (Mon-Thu 11-22, Fri 11-05 Sat 12-05)