Helsinki 2012: Helsinki food & drink

by | Oct 2, 2012 | Food & Drink, International Travel, Travel

We visited Teerenpeli for a light lunch on our first day in town. Conveniently they also brew several beers and ciders! We arrived right at their noon opening so we were able to talk to the bartender and get some help deciphering the beer list. Eric tried the lingonberry cider (lempi puolukka) and Leandra tried the smoked lager (sauhusanttu), and we split a chicken and roasted tomato Sulami sandwich (well advised given the size). Everything was quite good and we were happy we stopped in.

lingonberry cider and a smoked lager -- both very tasty

Kauppahalli Indoor Market
The indoor market has a number of permanent stalls with different specialties including seafood, cheese, meats, vegetables, pastries, and more. Leandra couldn’t pass up trying some salmon and and a bit of smoked reindeer.

mmm, fresh smoked salmon!
Leandra enjoying her cognac soaked salmon

Juuri Keittio & Baari
Leandra had read about the small plates at this restaurant and made a reservation a week before we arrived. That was a good idea– this restaurant was quite popular. After being seated we were served an amuse bouche of smoked salmon, of which Leandra happily ate both servings, and some wonderful fresh bread and butter. Though the waitress recommended 5-6 small plates per person for a main course we decided to start with three small plates each: Eric choose the smoked duck, fresh cheese and potato pancake while Leandra went the meat-only route with the farmhouse pate, sausage (with vodka mustard!) and steak tartare.

sapas @ Juuri
Finnish small plates, also known as sapas.

For us, three plates apiece was enough; thankfully, we still had some room left for dessert, as the gooseberry tart we ordered was simply delicious.

gooseberry tart @ Juuri
beautifully presented and yum

Villi Waino
We stopped into this bar on Friday night after dinner and it was quite busy. Outdoor tables were packed and smoky, but after a few moments of scouting inside we found two stools on the second level facing the door that turned out to be a great people watching spot. Leandra braved the bar and came back with two Finnish beers, a porter and a schwarz. As we enjoyed our beer Leandra noticed that an inordinate number of people were drinking sparkling wine. A few minutes later we spotted a sign hanging near the door was advertising a summer special on cava – 15 euros a bottle, and this was the last night! Considering two beers cost about that much it was no wonder people were buying bottles like crazy.

After a bit of nearby window-shopping, we stopped into this pub to sample some more Finnish beer. Eric tried the house-made beer, Brown Velvet, and while good, it was also the priciest of the trip at nearly 10 Euros for a pint! Thankfully, the porter I wanted to try was on special. Overall we weren’t too impressed with this pub on the price or selection front.

house beers @ Bruuveri

St Urho’s Pub
St. Urho’s is near the Rock Church and was our intended lunch location on our first day. However, it was closed that early Friday afternoon, so we made a return trip on Sunday afternoon. It’s a small pub with a comfortable, old-fashioned feel to it. Leandra was interested in trying their Sahti, a non-carbonated Finnish style beer, and their house porter Huvila. The sahti was ok, Leandra liked it better than Eric, but the porter was quite tasty. As we were leaving we saw several tables had ordered pizza so that may be the food to order here.

beers @ St Urho's Pub

Ristorante Gastone
On the recommendation of our hotel staff we tried this Italian restaurant on our last night in Helsinki. The food was delicious and the wine reasonably priced (for Helsinki, anyway). Eric even joined the clean-plate club! Our waitress was chatty and we enjoyed hearing about her escapes from the dark winters and shared some suggestions for her next trip to Thailand. Highly recommended.

fresh pasta with sausage polenta with boar ragu
pasta with sausage on the left, wild boar polenta on the right

Oluthuone Kaisla
Our last pub the trip, Oluthuone Kaisla had a relaxed atmosphere on Sunday night. When we first walked it looked like most of the tables were full until we realized there were additional tables and seating around the side and back. With a number of European beers on draft, and more in bottles, it takes a while to make your choice!

draught menu @ Oluthuone Kaisla

beer on tap- a good selection

Tagged with: beer! | Helsinki | restaurants

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