Fun Lunch Places in the City Centre
Planning a quick one-day visit to Helsinki but have no idea where the locals like to grab lunch? Helsinki offers lots to choose from, and you can easily find complete lunches for less than ten euros. Here’s a list of my favourites that I would recommend to friends – new and old!
At Rulla you can enjoy fresh Vietnamese spring roles, salads and soups prepared on the spot. At the same address you will find the Nudge boutique, which sells ethical clothing, jewellery and natural cosmetics.
If you want to enjoy a 1950s feel while eating a tasty lunch, head to the former Voluntary Fire Brigade building on Albertinkatu. Pompier (French for fireman) serves homemade lunches, including a big salad bar, warm dishes and coffee.
Albertinkatu 29 (courtyard)
This cozy establishment serves the best pizza in town and has an excellent salad bar (with slices of fruit as a bonus). It also has some really cool art on its walls!
What do you get if you combine a Mexican burrito with Japanese sushi? A new fusion hit: the sushiburrito! Each roll weighs over half a kilo, and you can choose fish, meat or vegetables for the filling. The names of the dishes – including Tokyo Bitch and Drunken Sake Cowboy – are also entertaining, and the packaging design is really innovative.
Shanghai Cowboy serves a generous lunch buffet featuring Mexican street food. The restaurant is situated right in the heart of the city centre next to Michel and König and the legendary “Granny tunnel” (“mummotunneli” – ask a local to explain!). Here you can easily extend your lunch into dinner and an evening of partying!
You need to taste the Oba Special Pitanini: grilled pita bread with spicy Turkish sausage and mozzarella cheese. It comes with an ample portion of salad with pomegranate seeds. The friendly staff also serve delicious meze dishes, including baba ganouch, hummus, tzatziki, domades…
KUPPI & MUFFINI
Try the ridiculously good salmon-avocado sandwich with a fresh smoothie, but you can also buy salads and soups. As the name suggests, their specialty is their heavenly muffins, which are just about impossible to resist.
Fafa’s needs no introduction, but let’s try. This chain of pita restaurants serves quality fast food at six locations in Helsinki. The food is made from organic ingredients, and the fillings include falafel or kebab meat plus tzatziki, coriander, tahini or pickled cabbage.
City centre locations:
Iso Roobertinkatu 2
Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu 21
Kamppi Shopping Centre
Sometimes you just have to have soup, and when you get that feeling it’s best to head to the “Soup Kitchen” at one of Helsinki’s market halls. The menu is updated daily but always features the popular bouillabaisse. You can eat as much fresh bread and butter with your soup as you can manage.
Old Market Hall Hakaniemi
Market Hall Hietaniemi
Tip: Jump on a city bike – Hakaniemi and Hietaniemi are just a short ride from the centre!
Löyly is not only a sauna complex but also a place to eat. The huge terraces afford a spectacular view out to sea, the salmon soup is delicious, and there’s lots more to choose from on the menu too. It’s worth even ordering just a coffee to enjoy the scenery!
This unique restaurant complex on the southern tip of the peninsula is a great place for enjoying street food beneath the palm trees. Everyone can order from their own favourite restaurant and eat together on the sunny terrace. In addition to pizza and sushi, this summer’s hits are sure to be Super Bowl and Riipinen, which serves wild game.
And don’t forget! Download the award-winning FOOD HELSINKI - HEL YEAH! Illustrated map here!