Restaurants in Helsinki

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.

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.