Bartender’s 5 hour guide to cocktail and food spots in Helsinki
Cruising to Helsinki? You arrive to the Port of Helsinki around 10am. All the ads have told you that you have a full day to explore the city! But what does a cocktail lover do, when all the bars seem to open at 5pm and you should be back in the ship by then?
Don’t worry! This is your ultimate 5 hour guide to cocktail and food spots in Helsinki during the daytime.
Start your day with an early lunch in Teurastamo area. This old Abattoir of Helsinki has been transformed into a haven of restaurants, bars and culture. Metro is the most convenient way to get there, and it is easy to use since there is only one line going from east to west and back.
Kellohalli restaurant serves buffet style lunch made by hand from quality ingredients. Especially Carver Market lunch on Thursdays and Street Food Fridays are worth checking out. Enjoy a Teurastamo G&T with gin from the distillery across the courtyard, Helsinki Distilling Company.
And for dessert, grab a scoopful of authentic gelato from Jädelino next door.
Continue your day with a cocktail in Huutokonttori Kanttiini which opens already at noon. This bar was built in the old harbour office where dockworkers signed up for work. Hence the name of the bar which means ”The yelling office” in Finnish. Their cocktail menu is inspired by Finland and the decor of the bar is an eclectic mix of references to harbour and grandma’s house. You’ll get there from Teurastamo with tram 7 – Länsiterminaali from stop ”Lautatarhankatu” to stop ”Huutokonttori”.
Hietalahti Market Hall
Close by is the Hietalahti Market Hall. Designed by architect Selim A. Lindqvist and built in 1903, it was one of the central trading places in Helsinki until the 1970’s. There are plenty of food vendors and during the summer a flea market on the yard.
Take the tram 6 – Arabianranta to stop ”Ylioppilastalo” and walk down Aleksanterinkatu towards the harbour. You’ll find many shopping opportunities here. If you are looking for Finnish handicrafts, make your way to the Tori Quarters. This historical centre of Helsinki has been restored and turned into home of design shops, cafes and restaurants.
CHAPTER Bar & Restaurant
One of the newest additions to the area is CHAPTER Bar & Restaurant. The name refers to opening the restaurant in different stages and perfecting them before going to the next. CHAPTER I is the bar side hosted in the newly built glass house in the courtyard, and CHAPTER II is the restaurant side in the front of house. This area was finished in 1775 and is protected by Finland’s National Board of Antiquities.
Before the actual restaurant opens this autumn, the bar area serves cheese, home made bread or other nordic treats with cocktails from a creative menu with Finnish flavours like birch, beetroot and lingonberry.