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andi's blog
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2009-06-12 08:32:00

    Andreea's fav restaurants in Helsinki

    Anyone who wants good food in Helsinki should use Eat.fi - it's a great service offering comprehensive reviews of all restaurants in the city. But what if you're new in town or just visiting for a few days? Eat.fi is a little hard to scan. I have been asked many times to email a list of places to go to, and after having emailed it for more than 20 times, here it is online where I can update it easily.

    Finnish food:

    Nokka

    Very nice and light Finnish food, good selection of wines, great location overlooking the harbor. A little posh. Definitely not serving super traditional Finnish food.

    Average bill with alcohol: 50 euros

    Kuurna

    Delicious Finnish food, again not traditional. It's a very small place so try to book in advance. Also, they only offer a fix menu which, if i remember correctly, is not vegetarian although the staff is really friendly and they would probably improvise something on the spot

    Average bill with alcohol: 50 euros

    Juuri

    Juuri is famous for its finnish tapas - also called sapas (suomi + tapas). It's great to go there and order 7 or 10 small sapas about 4 euros a pop - there's a lot of variety and different tastes. I would not recommend getting the main courses - they're just a  bigger sized portion of one of the sapas.

    Average bill with alcohol: 40 euros

    Seahorse

    Hard core Finnish food. Go there for the salmon soup, hash and meatballs - huge portions, should fill you up for the rest of the day. Don't expect fancy wines or deserts.

    Average bill with alcohol: 25 euros

    Tori

    Not a Finnish food restaurant per se. However, they serve the best meatballs with mashed potatoes and jam in Helsinki. The atmosphere is very unpretentious and the rest of the food is fantastic, boasting more flavors and tastes.

    Average bill with alcohol: 25 euros

    Eeron Keitti

    Amazing lunch place, extremely delicious and extremely  cheap. Huge portions of homemade food at amazingly low prices.

    Average bill: 12 euros

    European food

    La petit maison - Fine dining, French cuisine

    Run by a French guy, the restaurant is the size of a living room *read make reservations.* There are a few menus to choose from. The menus change all the time as the guy adapts them based on the season of certain ingredients in France. When I went, it was cider season in france so we drank a wonderful homemade cider and a lot of the dishes were prepared with cider as well. Also - not cheap. At all.

    Average bill with alcohol: 100 euros

    Postres - Fine dining, European

    Famous for their desert menu - do you think you can take a dinner of 6 or 7 desert dishes? If yes, that's the place for you. It's great to go just for the experience. If you don;t have a sweet tooth, you can get a normal menu, equally delicious. I would recommend getting the wine menu as well, the wines are handpicked to go with the dishes. It's great.

    Average bill with alcohol: 100 euros

    Demo - Fine dining, european

    Fancy expensive food. It was good but overpriced for what you get. If you want to burn 100 euros on a meal, I would recommend any of the other fancy restaurants above. But it has a michelin star so i thought it should be in the list.

    Average bill with alcohol: 100 euros

    Ateljé Finne

    Same owner as Kuurna, wonderful interior and delicious food. People online are lately complaining that the prices went up disproportionately with the quality of the food. I have not been there in a while but at the time, I did not think it was overpriced for what you get

    Average bill with alcohol: 50 euros

    Bistro 15 - Italian

    The *only* excellent Italian food in Helsinki, especially when it comes to pasta dishes and risottos but not only. Lovely wine, great atmosphere and not very crowded. Every time I have been I did not need a reservation. All my Italian colleagues swear by it, which means a lot because they refuse to have Italian food anywhere else.

    Average bill with alcohol: 50 euros

    Serata - Italian

    Good Italian food - a bit on the expensive side. One of the few decent Italian restaurants in Helsinki. Some of their tables are in the restaurant windows, so everyone on the street gets to stare at your food.

    Average bill with alcohol: 50 euros

    Wellamo - European

    Great food and nice location - close to the water. The restaurant is a little dark, not sure if there's a terrace during the summer.

    Average bill with alcohol: 40-50 euros

    Rivoletto - Italian

    Inexpensive pizza + pasta place. I would not have pizza anywhere else in Helsinki.

    Average bill with alcohol: 30 euros

    Bar 9 andBali hai - European cuisine

    Located in the hip part of helsinki, these three bar/ restaurants are my absolute favorite *together with Tori.* They're great places to have dinner and drinks with friends. The food is amazing, decently priced and in big portions. I recommend the hamburger and the goat cheese sandwich at Bali Hai.

    Average bill with alcohol: 25 euros

    Cafe Trocadero - Frech-ish

    Lovely lunch place run by a French Morrocan dude. There are only a couple of dishes on the menu at one time, but it's a good selection for vegetarians and otherwise.

    Average bill: 15 euros

    Asian food

    Ata bar - Turkish cuisine

    Don;t expect your meal in time, but expect a great meal. I have no idea where that guy gets his ingredients. Hummus is great and so are these turkish cheese pastries called bureks. Maybe the only place in Helsinki where the staff does not speak fluent english and there are not enough menus in English. On  the upside, there's bellydancing.

    Average bill with alcohol: 35 euros

    Farouge - Lebanese

    Really tasty lebanese food, friendly staff, serves dinner until late. Not cheap but not really expensive either.

    Average bill with alcohol: 55 euros

    Kabuki - Japanese

    The only decent place in Helsinki to get good sushi as well as other warm japanese food. The owner is obsessed with Canadian hockey, star wars and Miyazaki movies, which accounts for a very strange decorum. Book way in advance, the place is crazy popular.

    Average bill with alcohol: 40 euros

    Dong Bei Hu - Chinese

    Absolutely gorgeous chinese food, my favorite eating place in helsinki. Go for the spicy lamb, the beef on an iron plate or their tofu dishes. The cheaper fried rice/ noodle dishes are not that special. Needless to say, don't order wine in a chinese place :)

    Average price with beer: 30 euros

    In terms of coffee shops, I would recommend:

    Delicato - awesome sandwiches

    Tasty Deli - good coffee and sandwiches. only open 10-16 during weekdays. Small place, not a lot of options.

    Kaffe Centralen- the absolute best coffee in Helsinki.

    Cafe Engel - nice cakes in the tourist downtown, nice atmosphere

    Espresso Edge - soup and sandwich place, interestingly decorated, close to the city center but still a place for the locals

    Regatta - tiny coffee shop next to the water. go there for the view.

    Cafe Carusel - touristy but great view to the water

    Cafe Java - good coffee and smoothies in the city center

    For a quick take-away coffee, the chain Wayne's sells decent stuff. All the other places tend to suck.

    Lastly, I recommend cocktails atAmerican bar (ask for Lost in the Woods, a wonderful berry cocktail) and the bar in Hotel Kmp. The American bar is at the bottom of a building called Torni. You can take the elevator up to the last floor and enjoy a wonderful view of the city. Don't stay in the bar at the top though - the drinks are average in quality and over the top in price.

    Work visas for the US run out for 2007

    Immigration opened for applications April 3rd, the quota was filled within the day. More than double the quota applied so there will have to be a lottery draw . Seriously, how ridiculous is this?

     I can't stop thinking that i started way late - but even if I had started in time, there would have been no guarantee. I hate it when there's no choice. 

     All the bad for the better. Gr.