As a visitor to Helsinki, it is all too easy to head to the eatery nearest to you when you need a meal. But such eateries may be yet another tourist trap, especially if you are in a vicinity populated with tourists. Many of us crave authentic dining experiences when we travel so when you are in Helsinki, why not dine like the locals do?
Here are some eateries frequented by the locals!
1. Karl Fazer Cafe
Karl Fazer is a brand of Finnish chocolate and in this self-service cafe, you can certainly expect to find plenty of chocolate and other sweet treats such as cakes and pastries. But that is not all this cafe has to offer – open sandwiches, salads and coffee are also served here. This cafe is a favourite brunch spot with locals and the crowds you see is proof of the high quality of food it serves. You just need to have the patience to queue.
2. Cafe Bar 9
With a cosy and laidback atmosphere as well as delectable salads and pasta dishes, it is perhaps no surprise that Cafe Bar 9 is a favourite with the locals. Some of the cafe’s signature dishes include its Pollo Limonello and Classic Coriander. Food served at this cafe is affordable for Helsinki standards so if you wish to keep your spending in check, be sure to drop by for a meal!
3. Gottland Deli and Cafe
Situated in a tranquil area of Helsinki, this small cafe is a favourite with locals looking to spend a leisurely afternoon sipping coffee and nibbling on a slice of cake. Apart from cake, this cafe also serves fresh sandwiches and cinnamon rolls and all the food served here is prepared with organic ingredients. Seating may be limited to two tables but the takeaway option is always available. Whether you need a sugar rush or a quick meal on the go, this cafe has something to offer you.
Like what the name suggests, this cafe is owned by the universities in Helsinki and is catered to students but non-students are welcomed too! While non-students like most of us will have to pay a little more, it is still far less than what is charged at most other eateries. For the comparatively small amount paid, you can get a hot main dish, salad and bread. There are also vegetarian and vegan dining options offered so anyone on a budget can dine here. The food here may not be Michelin-standard, but it is of decent quality for the price you pay
5. BLINit Russian Restaurant
BLINIt Russian Restaurant is a favourite among pancake-loving locals. In case you are wondering, a blini is a thin Russian pancake and can come with sweet or savoury fillings. Apart from pancakes, other dishes such as dumplings and soups are served at this small Russian eatery. The dishes served at BLINIt are not only tasty, but also affordably priced, which keeps locals coming back for more.
6. Home-dining Experience
The locals do not dine out all the time and there will always be a group that prefers dining in. So why not dine with a local during your visit to Helsinki? Chris, our BonAppetour host in Helsinki, is a passionate cook and will prepare three-course meal for you! Should you have any dietary needs or preferences, feel free to bring them up and the meal can be customised just for you!