Helsinki is still not known for being a good destination for vegans and vegetarians, and I really don’t understand why. Rarely have I seen a place with such a varied offer in veggie food and options in most restaurants. The selection of dairy-free products and sources of protein in the supermarkets is huge and developing strongly. There are new amazing creations every week (it seems) and it’s really rewarding and fun to go out to eat.
Disclaimer: I am neither vegetarian nor vegan myself, but eager to try and taste all the things, super interested and excited about plant-based food. My partner is vegetarian which has been really educative for me over the years and has encouraged me to consider my own consumption and choices more carefully. So: this post is vouched for and approved by him and other dear friends who are veg* 🙂
Restaurants in a nutshell
7 years ago, finding good vegetarian meals in Helsinki was still a bit of a challenge. Most restaurants would probably offer something, but it was along the lines of the lame mushroom risotto and goat cheese salad, so not particularly enticing or especially good; or you’d have to specifically ask for it.
Nowadays, the majority of restaurants does cater to plant-based diets easily, with options in the regular menu on their own or available as a veggie/vegan version, and they will be happy to advise you as well. So you will most likely not have an issue finding some good food in Helsinki. Many even have signs out on the street or the doors, or of course the well-known Happy Cow sticker is a safe indicator. If you fancy a nice dinner date night out, also fine-dining restaurants happily cater to vegetarians – for vegans, it’s best to add a note to your reservation to be sure. But it’s really never a problem. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re not sure – it’s very common.
Some all-around favourites by myself and friends, that are either all veggie or particularly well-known for their offer:
- Yes Yes Yes for an all-veggie and vegan menu, that will sweep you off your feet – book a table and enjoy! My favourites are the flat breads and the halloumi fries are to die for
- Sandro’s for a middle eastern menu, great lunch buffet and lovely service. Several locations around town
- Roots kitchen in the Hakaniemi market hall for their great Friday burgers
- Töölön Sävel for a great brunch offer and tasty options all around the menu
- Daddy Green’s pizza bar has a bunch of super tasty vegetarian and vegan pizzas, absolutely recommended by everyone who ever went there
- Nolla (reopening late July 2019!) not only has a stunning vegan tasting menu but is also the first and only restaurant that operates fully zero-waste
- Cargo is a fully veggie restaurant, has great coffee and a wonderful lunch offer. Also loving the roof-top terrace for drinks in the sun
- Petiscaria is a Portuguese restaurant that arguably has the best seitan dishes in town (according to all vege friends I took there ever), and they just extended their menu by a whole vegan section. So much love here!
- Bun2Bun is an amazing burger place that famously changed their entire menu to all-vegan. Also the first place that brought Beyond Meat to Finland
Others that are all fully catered to veg*:
- Just Vege has, as the name tells, just veggie things – well-known for their falafel and salads
- Oh my Goodness is a lovely café with a great vege offer and healthy foods
- OmNam is an all-vegan restaurant with a nice selection of internationally inspired dishes
- Silvoplee is a classic choice for vegetarians and vegans, you pick what you want from the menu and pay by weight
- Sen Chay for an all veg* offer of Vietnamese food
- Soi Soi for plant-based burgers and goodness
Helsinki Vegetarian & Vegan – Map
Add to your Google maps or bookmark for easy access when you’re around the city!