Helsinki

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Traditional Finnish cuisine includes hearty breads, soups, fish (especially salmon), elk, reindeer, and other meats that sound like they came from a national park. Eschewing traditional methods of preparation, many Helsinki restaurants are embracing international ingredients and styles.

Top Restaurants in Helsinki

Café Ekberg

Starbucks hasn’t made it here, but this longstanding Swedish-style café (established 1852) lets you enjoy your brew along with pastries or quietly noble sandwiches of smoked salmon, ham, egg or more. It’s a classic way to do brunch.

Bulevardi 9, 011-358-9-6811-860, www.cafeekberg.fi
Tags: budget | historic | cafe | brunch

Demo

For the sort who wishes upon a Michelin star, this one-starred joint in the design district has a youthful, downtown feel and an ever-changing four-course menu (think open-faced artichoke ravioli, or pork knuckle with foie gras and jasmine tea reduction).

Uudenmaankatu 11, 011-358-9-2289-0840, www.restaurantdemo.fi
Tags: expensive | smart splurge | eclectic

Dong Bei Hu (aka China Tiger)

This small, family-style Chinese restaurant offers a break from Nordic cuisine with authentic, well-prepared dishes like shredded chicken, fried pork with Szechuan peppers, and braised eggplant.

Museokatu 29, 011-358-9-495-098, www.dongbeihu.fi
Tags: moderate | chinese

Kauppahalli

The 19th-century Old Market Hall (Kauppahalli) is a homey, old-world place to for quick take-out (or “eat-in” at tables). Look for salmon served every which way (gravlax, baked, poached, in sandwiches, topped with dill and red peppercorns, etc.) alongside glorious Finnish breads and pastries.

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Tags: family | budget | seafood | history | market | bakery

Lasipalatsi

The “Glass Palace,” a touchstone of mid-century Finnish design, is a sumptuous showplace for the “Helsinki menu,” served by formally dressed staff who wear gloves to serve hot plates: think Jerusalem artichoke soup, grilled elk, pike perch with creamed morels or, for dessert, a pancake of Lappish cheese.

Mannerheimintie 22-24, 011-358-9-742-4290, www.ravintola.lasipalatsi.fi
Tags: expensive

Salve

This seafood restaurant across from a shipping channel is a deliberate anachronism, serving hearty fare at reasonable prices in a series of nautically themed rooms. Expect traditional salmon cream soup, fried Baltic herring, steaks, and a salad bar.

Heitalahdenranta 11, 011-358-9-603-455
Tags: family | moderate

Savoy

Art Deco elevators take you to Savoy’s glass-walled penthouse with furniture by design demigod Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino. You’ll get views across the city center while dining on Baltic herring and a seasonal menu of Finnish main courses.

Eteläesplanadi 14, 011-358-9-684-4020, www.royalravintolat.com/savoy
Tags: expensive

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