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Home » Restaurant News’s Best Helsinki Restaurants – Part II

Submitted by on August 5, 2018 – 8:08 amNo Comment

Grön Restaurant, Helsinki, Finland Special to Road Trips for Foodies

Helsinki, like the Finns themselves, was long seen as the shy introvert among its Nordic neighbors. But that’s changed.

Today there is a dynamic new energy pumping through the streets of the capital of Finland, and it’s evidenced in the city’s thriving food scene, old and new.

Here is the second half of the list of restaurants, bars, and dishes that define the cozy Finnish capital. (The first half ran yesterday.)

10. Naughty BRGR, Lönnrotinkatu 13, Helsinki
Top Chef Suomi (Finland) winner and hardcore burger aficionado Akseli Herlevi stumbled upon Helsinki’s growing appetite for good-quality burgers. With its purple neon lights, industrial vibe, and impressive hot sauce collection, Naughty BRGR is the ideal spot to devour a burger — or two. The crew at Naughty BRGR are not trying to reinvent the wheel, nor do they have to. It turns out that well-made burgers with premium ingredients are all you need to keep burger lovers from near and far coming back again and again.

11. Muru, Fredrikinkatu 41, Helsinki
This cozy bistro in the heart of Helsinki is ideal for a relaxed dinner. Muru’s impressive wine list is kept in check by sommeliers Samuil Angelov and Taneli Lehtonen — known as two of the best sommeliers in Finland. On the daily-changing menu (52 euros) you might find classic dishes like salmon tartar, charcuterie, or bouillabaisse. Muru’s risotto of the day is widely hailed as the best in town.

12. Grön (pictured, above), Albertsgatan 36, Helsingfors
For a full picture of what Finns can achieve with seasonal and organic Nordic ingredients, visit Grön. Since opening its doors in 2015, owners Lauri Kähkönen and Toni Kostian have cooked their way to Michelin stardom with dishes like barley pate brisee, filled with dry-aged beef and smoked pike roe with spring vegetables. Their haute vegan menu has been widely praised, and is reason enough to book a table.

13. Vinkkeli, Lilla Robertsgatan 8, Helsingfors
Located in a beautiful historic building in Kaartinkaupunki that dates back to 1889, Vinkkeli delivers a classic, uncomplicated culinary experience for diners yearning for the golden days of haute cuisine. Meticulously prepared dishes with a distinct Nordic feel are the core of a meal that begins with Champagne and herring or oxtail terrine, and continues with something timeless, like roasted trout with beurre blanc. Wine is a focus, too, thanks to the capable hands of sommelier and co-owner Antti Uusitalo.

14. Sapas at Juuri, Högbergsgatan 27, 00130 Helsingfors
Restaurant Juuri is on the forefront of Helsinki’s growing organic, locavore movement. The specialty of the house is sapas, small tapas-like dishes with a Finnish twist, such as herring with golden beet and apple and Finncattle beef with black salsify and mustard. Located near the Helsinki Design Museum, Juuri is the ideal complement to a day of sensory stimulation.

15. Šašlik, Neitsytpolku 12, Helsinki
Šašlik might not be the oldest Russian restaurant in Helsinki, but its reputation as a vodka-soaked, meat-skewering, balalaika-playing restaurant is second to none. Tourist trappings aside, Šašlik has highlighted traditional Russian food since 1972. A typical meal here begins with some zakuska appetizers or a blini with sour cream and fish roe, and vodka, of course. Then it’s time for theatrically skewered meats via the legendary Ivan’s Sword dish — cuts of beef and lamb are impaled with a sword and served on a hot griddle with all the fixings. Or perhaps you’re brave enough to try another house specialty: ground bear meat.

16. Baskeri & Basso Bistro, Tehtaankatu 27-29 (sisäpiha), Helsinki
Baskeri & Basso Bistro opened in 2015, and it quickly became a hit with locals starved for a casual dining experience that felt special without pretense. Open only Tuesday to Friday, this neighborhood favorite serves simple bistro food, like codfish with broccolini and sturgeon with spinach and watercress salad, topped with pine-nut sauce, all paired with organic and natural wines. The lively atmosphere in the dimly lit restaurant, with its tiny bar and walk-in wine closet, is prized as much as the menu.

17. Skiffer Liuskaluoto, Liuskaluoto, Helsinki
In recent years, local mini-chain Skiffer has become the city’s go-to pizza spot, known for its staple thin and crispy pie, liuska. Skiffer Liuskaluoto is located on a small island just a two-minute ferry ride from Merisatama pier near the Kaivopuisto park and is ideal for a leisurely summer lunch outdoors. In inclement weather — or just the long winter — head to Skiffer Erottaja, a 15-minute walk toward downtown from the Merisatama pier. At any location, try the surf and turf liuska, made with fresh chorizo and local crayfish.

18. Jasper’s Salmon Soup at Löyly, Hernesaarenranta 4, Helsinki
Finns are obsessed with sauna, and visitors would be remiss to not take advantage of this beloved local tradition. Enjoy a relaxing visit to the public sauna Löyly, where you can wander down and take a dip in the Baltic Sea if things get too hot. After a good, long sweat, Finns fuel up with a warm, creamy bowl of Jasper’s salmon soup. Made with cold-smoked salmon, this is Finnish comfort food at its best. Who’s Jasper? In addition to being one of the guys behind Löyly, he’s also a Finnish actor who plays the sword-swinging Halfdan the Black on the History Channel show Vikings.

(Photo courtesy of Grön)

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