Traditional Finnish restaurants

A close up of a spoon holding a piece of salmon above a bowl of salmon soup in a restaurant.
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Discover the roots of Finnish food culture!

Kosmos

Kosmos is one of those restaurants that too many people are intimidated by – perhaps because it has been around for nearly a hundred years. In fact, Kosmos is one of the most down-to-earth and friendly restaurants in Helsinki. Even more than being Finnish, the food reflects the local Helsinki culinary philosophy. Perhaps this is why Kosmos has always been – and remains to this day – popular among journalists, artists and other culturally minded people. 
Kalevankatu 3

Lappi

As its name suggests, Lappi serves food inspired by the flavours of Lapland. The log interior will make you feel a long way from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Despite its obvious appeal to tourists, Lappi really is a decent restaurant that serves a wide range of reindeer dishes. Even celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has eaten there!
Annankatu 22

Elite

The moment you step into Elite, one of the true classic restaurants in Helsinki, you can sense what the atmosphere must have been like back in the 1940s, for example. The menu features iconic Finnish dishes, including one named after a famous actor (the Tauno Palo steak and onions), without overlooking the younger generation – the salmon soup is described as “Jare’s favourite”! 
Eteläinen Hesperiankatu 22

Ateljé Finne

Named after the Finnish sculptor Gunnar Finne, this refined local restaurant is a lovely architectural gem in the Etu-Töölö district. The people behind Finne know that simple is beautiful, Finnish food is delicious, and great service is essential!
Arkadiankatu 14

Saaga

This Lapland-inspired restaurant near Sinebrychoff Park is particularly popular among tourists. Although the reindeer furs and antlers may not be to everyone’s taste, no one has anything against such friendly service! For the full Finnish experience try the traditional sautéed reindeer. You can even pre-order your own special wooden mug called a “kuksa” as part of a theme package that includes a fascinating initiation ceremony!
Bulevardi 34

Sea Horse

The Sea Horse is a legendary local restaurant that stays open late every day of the week. The atmosphere is straight out of a Kaurismäki film, and the service is excellent in a very unpretentious way. Try the house specialties: crispy fried Baltic herrings, steak with onions, or sweetbread!
Kapteeninkatu 11

Savoy

Savoy is a traditional restaurant that has also managed to keep up with the times for the past 80 years. This is very much a Finnish restaurant: the interior was designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, and one of the tables used to be reserved for Mannerheim. You don’t get much more Finnish than that! To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence, the restaurant is serving highlights from its menus over the years.
Eteläesplanadi 14

Kuu

Kuu is a local restaurant in the Töölö district that has remained popular for the past 50 years. The menu is based on Finnish ingredients and local food, without forgetting classic Finnish dishes. Try the smoked salmon soup, for example!
Töölönkatu 27

Konstan Möljä

This traditional Finnish restaurant draws in tourists constantly. Konstan Möljä honours old Finnish traditions, especially from the Karelian archipelago, and serves delicious dishes from its buffet. The milieu reminds you of visiting your grandparents in the countryside. And if you’re wondering what the word “Möljä” means in English, it is simply a dock!
Hietalahdenkatu 14

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Discover the roots of Finnish food culture!