Where to have lunch in Helsinki?

There are many in­vit­ing res­taur­ants and cafés in Helsinki that serve lunch. Here are some sug­ges­tions to con­sider. In ad­di­tion, Uni­Cafe, the University cafet­eria, has sev­eral loc­a­tions within the cent­ral cam­pus.

*NB: UniCafe lunch hour is from 10:30am. Breakfast is served at Porthania from 8:00 to 10:00 and at Metsätalo from 8:30 to 10:00.

Ateneum Bistro

Kaivokatu 2

Disabled access from Ateneuminkuja

Tue 10:00–18:00, Wed–Thu 10:00–20:00, Fri 10:00–18:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–17:00

Here one may enjoy a pleasant lunch, dinner, cup, or glass in the ground floor of the Neo-Renaissance museum building, beneath the gaze of Empress Theodora and her retinue who observe the visitor from an impressive copy of one of the mosaics of Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna. Afternoon tea Tue & Fri 14–17, Wed–Thu 14–19, Sat–Sun 11–16.



Café Aalto

Pohjoisesplanadi 39

Mon–Fri 9:00–21:00, Sat 9:00–19:00, Sun 11:00–18:00

Decorated by architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), pioneer of Scandinavian modernism, this elegant café is located in the 2nd floor of The Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen kirjakauppa). Table service. Breakfast 9–12 on weekdays, Sat 9–13, Sun 12–14. Lunch hour from 11am.



Café Engel

Aleksanterinkatu 26

Mon–Fri 8:00–21:00, Sat 9:00–21:00, Sun 10:00–19:00

A beautiful café on the edge of Senate Square in one of the oldest stone houses of Helsinki. The ground floor was built in place of a pipe factory in 1765. In the 1830s, when two floors were added, architect Carl Ludvig Engel (1778–1840) gave the building an attractive, Empire-style facade. Breakfast on weekdays 8–17, Sat 9–17, Sun 10–17. Lunch hour from 11am on weekdays.



Frans & Amélie

Kluuvikatu 8

Mon–Thu 12:00–23:00, Fri–Sat 12:00–24:00, Sun 13:00–21:00

A cosy and affordable French restaurant within a five-minute walk from the National Library. Lunch hour from 12–15 on weekdays.




Eteläesplanadi 1

Mon–Sun 9:00–24:00

Café, bar, and restaurant with terrace in a beautiful setting in the east end of the Esplanadi park. Designed by the Renaissance-revivalist architect Axel Hampus Dalström (1829–1882) and opened in 1867, Kappeli was formerly known as a popular hangout of poets, writers, and artists.



Pizzeria Via Tribunali

Sofiankatu 4

Mon–Thu 11:00–22:00, Fri 11:00–0:00, Sat 12:00–0:00, Sun 12:00–20:00

The first place in Helsinki to serve certified pizza napoletana, Via Tribunali has received praise from Graecists and Latinists alike (and from many more).


Think Corner Café / Tiedekulma Café

Yliopistonkatu 4

Disabled access from Yliopistonkatu and Fabianinkatu

Mon–Fri 8:00–19:00, Sat 11:00–17:00

All-day breakfast. Soup lunch 11–15 on weekdays, salad bar 11–18 on weekdays.



UniCafe Metsätalo

Fiabianinkatu 39

Disabled access: entry from the courtyard (elevator; small threshold at the bottom)

Mon–Fri 8:30–15:00



UniCafe Päärakennus

Fabianinkatu 33 (Main Building)

Disabled access: yes

Mon–Thu 8:30–17:00, Fri 8:30–16:00, Thu 23.8. 8:30–19:00



UniCafe Porthania

Yliopistonkatu 3

Disabled access: elevator to 2nd floor

Mon–Thu 8:00–16:30, Fri 8:00–16:00



UniCafe Rotunda

Unioninkatu 36 (National Library)

Disabled access: yes (elevator)

Mon–Fri 9:30–15:00, Thu 23.8. 18:00–20:30



UniCafe Ylioppilasaukio

Mannerheimintie 3 B

Disabled access: entry from Kaivopiha 10 C (elevator)

Mon–Fri 10:30–19:00, Sat 11:30–17:00



Well Kaisa-talo

Vuorikatu 7

Disabled access: entry from Vuorikatu

Mon–Fri 10:00–18:00 (summer opening hours); 27.8.–: Mon–Fri 8:00–20:00, Sat 11:00–17:00




Fabianinkatu 4

Mon–Fri 11:00–16:00

A much-applauded, economical vegan and vegetarian restaurant near the crossing of the Esplanadi Park and the Market Square – trendy meets traditional in both setting and serving. The food is delicious.