Just finishing a 3-day trip to Helsinki. I noticed very few posts on the food scene there so here's mine - hopefully it could help others.
We arrived on Sunday evening to learn that none of the good restaurants are open. We went to the bar at the Camp Hotel, waited for 45 minutes for our salads and left after our server admitted the kitchen has not begun to work on our order. They compt us for our drinks, which was nice. Jet lagged and hungry we continued our search - through several cafes that were closing and burger joints which we didn’t care for - and wound up in Mt Everest, a nice enough Nepalese by the main train station. We had two vegetarian dishes that were quite good, but at this stage it was more about nutrition than anything else.
After a good breakfast at Hotel GLO and a smoked salmon sandwich in one of the cafes on the Esplanade (all seem to be pretty comporable) we were invited by local business partners to Restaurant KUU, which had a very competent Finish menu - Reindeer steak, fish, the works. Service was professional, prices were ok for a nice place in Finland (low to mid 20s in euros for mains), and an overall pleasant experience.
Same breakfast, this time I grabbed lunch at Zucchini - a nice vegeterian café by the Esplanade. They have a daily special (this time it was an Asian noodle dish), which I got with a soup and a salad for 10.5 euros - very nice overall. We ended the day with dinner at Juuri - a foodie destination by - where else - the esplanade. This place has a spectacular kitchen, but dinner was very slow for some reason. We planned on getting a few rounds of their sapas (Finish tapas) and stopped at our third round because it was really late. The sapas we enjoyed most were a smoked pike, a cabbage stuffed with crayfish, and a beet and nuts stew. Prices are very reasonable for this quality - each tapas 4.7 euros (the mains - which we didn't get are in the mid 20s), and with a couple of drinks we ended our dinner for two for about 50 euros. I would definitely go back hoping for quicker service.
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