In Helsinki, you have the chance to experience the traditional Finnish filter coffee, the brewings of the local roasteries, the latest specialties, and the Finnish coffee trends.
From the classic continental vibes to eclectic flea market style to romantic boho chic, Helsinki cafes aim to please your taste buds and aesthetics. Do you have your coffee mug ready for this city?!
When traveling, I’ve certainly planned a walking tour or two based on irresistible coffee spots. Somehow exploring a new neighborhood is even more fun when you have your delicious coffee destination waiting for you along the way.
Some do bar hopping, I do cafe hopping. In this capital, spending a full day in cafes is especially easy because, besides great coffee, most cafes offer tasty breakfast plates and a mouthwatering lunch buffet.
In this guide, I have collected lesser-known caffeine-filled gems and iconic classic cafes in Helsinki.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Finnish Coffee Culture
So what you should know about Finns and coffee?
- First of all, Finns love, love, love coffee. Coffee is offered everywhere: when you have a 15-minute work meeting, when you visit a Finnish home and even when you go to a Finnish gym.
- Finnish filter coffee is mild, light and soft. Some would say watery… I wouldn’t! You should definitely taste it and form your own opinion. Share it in the comments too!
- Most coffee places have lactose-free milk as suffering from lactose intolerance is common in Finland. Most cafes also have oat milk.
- Usually, you place your order at the counter.
- Absolutely no need to tip in Finland.
- I can’t remember any place where the use of laptop, mobiles or prams is restricted (I’ve seen restrictions abroad. By the way, please let me know, if they are a prank. As a Finn, I take them literally.)
That being said, let’s now focus on Helsinki coffee scene. This Helsinki coffee guide doubles as a tiny neighborhood guide, highlighting thirteen cafes in different Helsinki districts.
Cafes to Visit in the Helsinki City Centre
If you are in Helsinki, I assume you’ll visit the city center!
Cafe Engel (address: Aleksanterinkatu 26)
Cafe Engel is an oldie but goldie! Although in a ‘touristy’ area, it’s a peaceful venue before the lunch on weekdays. Engel is a charming place to admire Helsinki Cathedral while enjoying one of the delicious breakfast sets. Coffee refills are free.
Situated in the middle of the Old Market Hall, the interior of this place is Scandi gorgeous and food equally great. Old Market Hall is a must for many Helsinki visitors so there’s an international atmosphere. If you want more of a local feel and a stunning view over the city center, head to Story on the fifth floor of Kamppi mall.
Sis. Deli+Cafe (address: Kalevankatu 4)
When I’m near Stockmann (the famous department store in Helsinki) and need a coffee, this tiny cafe is my regular. I love the Nordic, a bit worn-out feel of this place, their Marimekko dishes, and houndstooth-pattern inspired takeaway cups. Sis.Deli+Cafe is chain by owned by two sisters.
El Fant Coffee & Wine Bar (address: Katariinankatu 3)
Their coffee making skills and attention to detail make this cute cafe & bar a wonderful place to visit. El Fant is connected to Helsinki City Museum, which is my favorite place to have a rest or play with kids. In the summer, you’ll find a lovely terrace in the inner courtyard.
Cafes to Visit in Töölö Neighborhood
You might venture in Töölö district to admire the magnificent Finlandia Hall by Alvar Aalto, the visit the National Museum or to see the Sibelius Monument.
Relove (address: Sandelsinkatu 6)
Relove is a sweet mix of a cafe, boutique, and second-hand store. The food is super yummy, the service is attentive and the feel of this cafe is oh-so-homey!
Regatta (address: Merikannontie 8)
This little red hut on the seashore is mentioned by all bloggers who ever visited Helsinki. And why not, it’s truly a special cafe – like a summer cottage of your Finnish grandma, baking you Finnish buns and blueberry pie. Regatta is open fantastically 8 am to 11 pm, every day.
Cafes to Visit in Kallio and Sörnäinen Neighborhood
You might be here to have a sauna experience in Kotiharjun sauna or explore this boho neighborhood in general. Check my other Helsinki-post for a self-guided walking tour in this area!
Rupla (address: Helsinginkatu 16)
This urban art cafe has street cred many others don’t. Coffee is from their own roastery. Nearby, there are vintage stores to visit, for example, the cool Fargo. If you see people queuing on the other side of the street, you are looking at the Helsinki breadline.
Roots (address: Vaasankatu 14)
This vegan cafe is also a yoga studio. They serve delicious specialty coffees like turmeric and red beet lattes and have delicious homemade chia pudding. The atmosphere is cozy and trendy.
Next to the headquarters of Finnish banks and retailers, there’s a hiding place from the corporate world, called Coffee Bar Sävy. This place is a coffee nerd’s dream. The coffee flavors are from their own roastery and your mocca is prepared by lovely, award-winning baristas.
This area is filled with beautiful streets, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. You might be here to get cute pictures for your Instagram or to check the Helsinki Design District. Check my other Helsinki-post for a self-guided walking tour in this area!
Succes (address: Korkeavuorenkatu 2)
There are so many things I love about this place: the fresh, changing cinnamon bun collection, the 50’s feel of the interior, the old grandpas there with their newspapers. Perfection.
Gran Delicato (address: Fredrikinkatu 27)
This cafe is situated in the middle of Helsinki Design District. It’s my go-to place when I’m craving for a mouth-watering filled ciabatta with my cappuccino.
Cafes to Visit in Hietalahti Neighborhood
You might be here to walk the lovely Bulevardi street all the way to the seashore, visit the Hietalahden Market Hall, check the scenery from the Clarion Rooftop bar or on your way to the Tallinn ferry, leaving from West Harbor.
Cargo Coffee + Vegetarian Food (address: Ruoholahdenranta 8)
This container cafe and lunch spot is a favorite of locals with laptops. The urban architecture is modern and homey. The coffee is by Lehmus Roastery and their cinnamon spice latte is to die for (no syrup!). Take a stroll by the lovely Ruoholahti canal near the cafe and see how Helsinkians dash to their daily activities.
Ekberg is the oldest cafe in Finland, dating back to 1852. The location on the Bulevardi street is beautiful and close to the city center. A Helsinki classic with table service, of course!
Are you going to visit one of these cafes in Helsinki? Do you already have a favorite cafe in the city? I’d love to know what it is!
If you are looking for more information about Helsinki, check out some of my other posts: