Restaurants in Helsinki

With a love of simple organic ingredients, Helsinki restaurants are a cut above. While Helsinki does have its share of Michelin star restaurants, it is the smaller community restaurants that thrive. One such restaurant in Helsinki is Bar Sandro. With its African influences, there are many amazing vegetarian dishes, as well as meat and seafood dishes. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and cozy, not stuffy at all. Conveniently located in south Helsinki and offering live African music some Sundays during brunch, this is a restaurant to try.

For an authentic Finnish treat, try Juuri restaurant in Helsinki. Known for its tapas, also known as sapas, and organic and locally grown food, Juuri is a true treat for the taste buds. There is a large selection of fillings that include meats, vegetables and seafood. Booking in advance is a good idea; Juuri is very popular and known as one of the best restaurants in Helsinki. Restaurants in Helsinki also serve European fare from France, Germany, and Italy.

Businessmen and -women flock to this 80-year-old institution near the landmark Stockmann's department store for lunches of smoked eel with scrambled eggs, or flaky, freshwater pike perch with lobster sauce.

This former sculptor's studio has contemporary local dishes (elk sausage; stuffed Baltic herring) and lots of character.

A small, nondescript basement door leads to this new seafood temple, with slip-covered chairs and bright-white walls. Order one of the seafood platters, piled high with smoked Norwegian prawns, razor clams, oysters, and sweet crab.

Beneath the green-and-black sea horse mural that dominates this 73-year-old establishment near the harbor, dine on classics: creamy, dill-flecked salmon soup and crisply fried Baltic herring with pickled beets. End your meal with a Koskenkorva, a slightly sweet vodka.

At this opulent tribute to the czars, the blini and caviar are a reminder of the influence of Finland's larger neighbor to the east.

For Finnish specialties like pike cake with a pickled-cucumber sauce.