Choosing restaurant in Helsinki: a little selection

Imagine that you just landed at the Helsinki Airport (Vantaa), you got into town and suddenly… hunger. What restaurant should I choose? is the question that pops into mind. Well, let me show you.

Restaurants and food in Finland

We mentioned food here a couple of times before. We named the restaurants in Finland (all of them in Helsinki) that have a Michelin Star in the article where we showed Gordon Ramsay tasting traditional Finnish food.

Dish from a restaurant in Helsinki
A dish from the restaurant Gaijin. Source (CC: by-sa).

If you want to taste Finnish food without leaving home, we have a category on the blog where we sometimes include recipes of different dishes, for instance desserts, Christmas dishes, and traditional main courses. It is the Finnish Food category. Also, interesting food habits, like the Finn’s passion for salty liquorice (salmiakki) can be found on the blog.

Choosing a restaurant in Helsinki

Besides the list of restaurants in the Michelin Guide for Finland, there is a secondary, lesser known list from this company.

It is the “Bib Gourmand” list, and a mention there means that the restaurant offers great value for money, even if the food hasn’t been awarded any Michelin Star. These restaurants have affordable prices – not cheap ones, though – and are therefore a must-try if you want to eat great without spending a fortune.

Below, I have listed the restaurants in Finland that entered the “Bib Gourmand” list, all of them in Helsinki. If you click on the name, you will be redirected to their website, where you can find their address and phone number, as well as the menu and prices. If you go for individual dishes, naturally they’ll be more expensive than in menu form. Some of these websites are pure delight.

A dish from Grotesk restaurant
A dish from the restaurant “Grotesk”. Source.

  • The first restaurant in Helsinki that appears on the Bib Gourmand list is Farang. Their menu features modern Asian cuisine – Thai – and is very well situated, in the historic Kunsthalle Helsinki. The price of the menu is 28€.
  • The second is the Gaijin, which also features Asian food, but in this case from North Asia: Japan, Korea and North of China. Its menu costs – if you choose one or another – between 29€ and 59€.
  • The restaurant Grotesk is specialized in meat. The menu costs 26€, and the style of food it offers is Finnish food. It has a cozy bar that opens in the afternoon, which creates a nice environment.
  • The last featured restaurant in Helsinki on the list is Solna. It offers regional food from Helsinki, and the menu price is between 37€ and 44€. It is somewhat farther from the center than the others, but if it is on the Bib Gourmand list it has to be worth it.

An exotic choice for a restaurant in Helsinki

There is another restaurant in Helsinki that we couldn’t help but feature as well. We placed its photo on our Facebook page some time ago and it generated a lot of interest: it is the only restaurant in Helsinki that features Viking themes.

Its name is the Ravintola Harald, and if you go with a group of people you can have a Viking Dinner or a Buffet. It has subsidiaries in other cities too, so if you want to go Viking, you can do it in many places in Finland.

Restaurant in Helsinki, the viking way
Dinner: Viking Style. Source (CC: by-sa)

You can also go to G.W. Sundermanns restaurant in Helsinki. It was awarded the “Best of Award of Excellence” prize from the US based Wine Spectator magazine in 2012. In other words, this is the restaurant with the best wine in the capital of Finland, since the awards of this magazine are the Michelin Stars of wine.

Have you tried any of those restaurants in Helsinki? Have you tried another one that you want to recommend?