I BAREN with Niko Koskimies – Where to dine in Helsinki, Finland

I BAREN med Niko Koskimies nordefors.com Karoline Nordefors

A few months back I wrote a post about my favourite spots in Helsinki to go for a cocktail. This time I decided to write about some of my favourite restaurants. Instead of the Guide Michelin star restaurants I wanted to pick up the places where you can have dinner and have great cocktails as well.

pastor-restaurant

Pastor

Pastor opened it´s doors in the late august last year.  This restaurant mixes a peruvian kitchen with a japanese touch. You can either choose between a few menus or if you feel like it, just have a few randomly picked courses between ceviche, small portions, big portions and sides. Some people go to Pastor just to have a dessert. Other than food Pastor has a long list of wines selected by the very first Finnish sommelier and it also has small book for special house cocktails. Recently a special pisco based cocktail list was added to the menu. This joint has a DJ playing every friday and saturday night and many guests stay there after dinner to relax and enjoy the night with their friends. If you don’t feel like eating, you can just drop by the bar and have a drink.

Personal recommendation: Reserve a table, start your dinner with a Shiratori Sour, have menu with the wine package and finish with a cocktail called Mezcal De La Passion.

A21 Dining

This is the place in Finland where to go if you happen to be a fan of food pairing. Behind A21 Dining is the same group who are also responsible for the A21 cocktail bar. A21 Dining builds it´s menus relying on the finnish nature and ingredients. Instead of wines, here the recommendation is to have a cocktail menu with the food. Every course has a special cocktail designed to complete all the flavours in a great way.  Every menu has a story behind it and one of the key ideas is that the guest can identify with the story and have a wonderful experience. You can choose between five or seven course menu and for those of you who don’t fancy cocktails so much, they also serve wine packages.

My recommendation is to have a full menu and cocktail package.

Gaijin

Gaijin is a restaurant that takes it´s influence from Northern Asia. In the last couple of years it has become one of the go to-restaurants in Helsinki and it´s modern way of serving delicious food has won the heart of many of us. Gaijin sells mostly menus which are designed with “sharing is caring”-thinking so a group of guests can enjoy a dinner in a very social way. For me this is something that I like very much. The atmosphere is relaxed and easy going but the food is awesome. Gaijin also has a long list of cocktails and some of them have become well known among the people in Helsinki. Like the food also the cocktails has an asian touch in them and you can find drinks with lemongrass, ginger, tea and many other asian ingredients from the cocktail menu.

I personally recommend to go there with a nice group and rely on the house recommendations with everything. You won’t be disappointed.

100 Dogs

Special Pick: 100 Dogs

Unlike the earlier places 100 Dogs isn’t a your typical restaurant. 100 Dogs is owned by Son of a Punch, which is the company behind cocktail bars Liberty Or Death and Trillby & Chadwick. This is a place for the people who feel like having a little something to eat and enjoy the night with nice cocktails. On the menu you have a set of hot dogs and a selection of house cocktails. For me this is a place where I love to go hang out on sunday evenings to grab a nice hot dog, have a few beers and a couple of cocktails. 100 Dogs has a slogan “SHITTY DRINKS, BAD SERVICE, AVERAGE FOOD”, but you shouldn’t let this fool you. Actually the hot dogs are quite awesome, the people behind the bar know their stuff and the service is also pretty good. So if you feel for a night snack or thinking where to start your evening with easy mood, go to 100 Dogs!

These are my picks at the moment!

Other places I recommend to check out:

Bronda

Ragu

Demo

Grotesk

Farang

Cheers!

Niko Koskimies I BAREN nordefors.com dinvinguide.se Karoline Nordefors

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