By Lauren Jade Hill
With the dining scene flourishing throughout Finland as a whole, the nation’s capital Helsinki is becoming increasingly known for its food. Exhibiting both its international influences and Nordic roots, while showcasing the seasonal local produce from both land and sea, a number of outstanding restaurants provide the very best of this city’s culinary offering. We take a look at the best restaurants in Helsinki to seek out on a trip to the city.
The concept of this restaurant in downtown Helsinki was to create a restaurant where people could meet, spend time together and laugh, with exceptionally good food. Then in 2007, the bistro-style eatery became the first of its kind to receive a Michelin star. Retaining this accolade to this day, Demo puts out four, five, six or seven-course set meals that focus on Scandinavian cuisine, with wine pairing from the well-stocked wine cellar.
Also holding a Michelin star, Olo is considered to be one of Helsinki’s best restaurants for its modern Scandinavian cuisine, such as wild reindeer entrecote with cep mushrooms. Six and nine-course menus named Shorter Way and Journey encompass creatively prepared ingredients, altering the way they’re perceived. These dishes along with wines from small producers around the world are served up in a 19th-century house on the seafront.
This intimate Michelin-starred restaurant focuses on the best local produce the season has to offer by creating daily set menus using the ingredients provided by local organic farmers and producers, along with game, wild fish and foraged ingredients. Wines, too, are organic or biodynamic, and from small family-run wineries. Ultimately, Ask celebrates the local environment and people who live there.
Chef & Sommelier
Situated in the Ullanlinna district of Helsinki, Chef & Sommelier is the fourth restaurant in the city to boast a coveted Michelin star. Here, the chefs create modern Finnish plates, which are made up of locally sourced organic and wild ingredients. Diners can choose the five or seven-course menu to taste this refined cuisine with wines selected to match each plate.
This restaurant on the banks of Katajanokka aims to tell a story through its cuisine. By taking ingredients that have been hand-picked by the chef Ari Ruoho and produce from local farmers, the kitchen puts out modern Finnish cuisine, within its converted, harbor-side warehouse space.
Having opened in 1937, with both a grand dining space and views across the city, Restaurant Savoy is now one of Helsinki’s most famous fine dining spots. A menu of both classic and modern plates offers a tightly curated offering of local cuisine, such as Anjou pigeon with cabbage stewed in truffle cream, apple froth and Port wine sauce.
For more inspiration on where to eat on your travels, take a look at our reader-voted Top 100 Restaurants.