The Best Cafés in Helsinki – Guide to Coffee Culture in The Capital

Many people visiting Finland are somewhat surprised by the nation’s addiction to coffee, and the preponderance of cafés in every small town and village. The fact is that Finns consume more coffee per person than every other country in the world, with other Nordic countries not too far behind.

Phoro: Café Engel

However, where our northern neighbours have been developing a more European style in their café culture for many years, Finland has only recently begun to catch up. Since the first cafés opened, those considered best were the ones with the biggest cinnamon rolls (considered an essential addition when having a coffee away from home), and the biggest mugs. During the late ’90s the American craze for espressos and lattes reached Finland, in part powered by the popularity of TV shows like Friends, and Finns suddenly had a wider selection to choose from among the types of coffee sold.

Not only in the types of coffee, but also in how the coffee beans were prepared. Traditionally, the most common coffee was made from light-roasted beans and was slightly acidic. Even today the most popular household coffee sold in the supermarkets is a light-roasted blend. For visitors to Finland, this meant that the usual fare was strong and bitter, and a considerable shock especially to those who had traveled from countries like France, Spain and Italy where a strong coffee culture had been established far earlier.

Fortunately, all that has changed, and today there are a number of excellent cafés where you can sample some of the finest coffees available. This blog aims to introduce the best of them.

Kahvila Rakastan

Kahvila Rakastan is a cosy vegan café located on the English-style courtyard of Hakasalmi Villa, next to Finlandia Hall.. The café serves home made vegan delicacies, plant based special coffees, high-quality tea as well as as vegan wines, changing mocktails, cocktails and other refreshments. The cafe also offers occasionally brunches.

Kahvila Rakastan, Mannerheimintie 13B, Helsinki

La Torrefazione

Situated on Helsinki’s main shopping street, Aleksanterinkatu, La Torrefazione could hardly be more centrally located. It was one of the first cafés in the capital to take the art of coffee serving seriously, and today has a deserved reputation for great coffee. It also serves excellent salads and is renowned for its double chocolate chip cookies. You can find its sister café, Fratello Torrefazione, in the modern Kluuvi shopping centre on the same street; it specialises in siphon filtered coffee. The third La Torrefazione opened in Kampin Kortteli, is spacious and urban, where you are now able to enjoy a great cup of coffee made by the most passionate baristas in town, high above the roof tops right in the city center. Other La Torrefazione cafés are located in Lasipalatsi and Hakaniemi.

La Torrefazione, Aleksanterinkatu 50 B & Kamppi Shopping Centre | Fratello Torrefazione, Yliopistonkatu 6

Johan & Nyström

Overlooking Pohjoissatama (the North Harbour), and just behind Uspenski Cathedral in Katajanokka, you’ll find the Johan & Nyström store. Already firmly established in Sweden as leading baristas, this is the company’s first store in Finland. Originally a warehouse space, the company has retained the original red brick walls and high ceilings, adding comfortable couches and cozy small tables with subtle lighting in hidden nooks and crannies. Outside, views of Kruununhaka, with the many three-masted sailing ships and modern yachts and power-boats sharing harbour space.

Johan & Nyström, Kanavaranta 7C


Relove Second Hand & Café

In Relove Second hand & Café stores you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and hand-baked pastries surrounded by hundreds of second hand treasures.  Relove’s cozy cafés offer a plant-based lunch and breakfast, as well as handmade cakes, pastries, and other treats. The selection also includes plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Relove’s three locations in Helsinki: Töölö: Sandelsinkatu 6, Punavuori: Fredrikinkatu 25, Stockmann Helsinki: Aleksanterinkatu 52

Kaffa Roastery

In the heart of the Helsinki Design District you’ll find the Kaffa Roastery, a shop and café that has foregone tables and instead provides bars. It’s tucked away at the back of a building that sells designer and vintage household items, with an extensive range of coffee-making products.

The Kaffa Roastery, Pursimiehenkatu 29

Moko Market & Café

Just down the street from Kaffa Roastery is the Moko Market & Café, an unusual interior design boutique which also sells nibbles and bites and some pretty decent coffee. Founded in 1991, Moko is a family run business which has  a second concept store in the considerably more bohemian Kallio district.

Moko Market & Café, Perämiehenkatu 10 and Vilhonvuorenkatu 11

Kahvila Sävy

Although it’s a little off the beaten track, situated in the Kinapori neighbourhood next to Kallio, Kahvila Sävy is a true gem. A family run business, this café is only open in the daytime, and yet still has managed to garner a dedicated faithful among the city’s coffee connoisseurs who savour the excellent brews in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. They source most of their coffee from Turun Kahvipaahtimo, a small roastery in western Finland. Try any of their fresh pastries, all baked locally.

Kahvila Sävy, Aleksis Kiven katu 12


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Café Engel

Cafe Engel, located by the Senate Square, is an idyllic café with a view of the Cathedral. The café serves breakfast and warm dishes.


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Ekberg is Finland’s oldest bakery, patisserie and café, located in the city centre on the atmospheric Bulevardi. In the beautiful, newly renovated café you can let time sit still and enjoy delicious delicacies as well as a leisurely ambience.

Bulevardi 9, 00120 Helsinki


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Le Paris

The French café Le Paris is located opposite Tove Jansson park in Katajanokka. The selection includes traditional French delicacies such as pastries, croissants, sandwiches, french refreshments as well as fresh coffee and tea.

Le Paris, Satamakatu 5, Helsinki


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The main Discovering Finland site has a more complete list of Helsinki’s restaurant and cafés.