Finland is famous for it’s substandard cuisine, having been ridiculed by leaders from across Europe. And, let’s face it, it’s not all that hard to poke fun at an upscale restaurant named “Grotesk.” The country is trying to repair its culinary image, though, which is no easy task for the land of herring and reindeer. Of course, the Times pitches restaurants like Juuri and Loft, not exactly bargain destinations. Don’t worry, I’m here to fix that.
If you’re going to drop a little extra cash anywhere, make it your hotel. I stayed at Klaus K Hotel and don’t regret it for a second. Sure, it was a cool spot, and as expected, the Finns there made design and style a priority. I was impressed that they spent three hours helping me try to find a wireless internet connection when I had a minor meltdown at the front desk (thanks again, guys!). Blitzen makes a wonderful breakfast. Reindeer meat is included in Klaus K’s free spread, which is both tasty and filling. A few doors down was an excellent Indian restaurant (can’t remember the name … seven months ago, sorry). It’s definitely worth a stop, especially if you want a break from seafood.
But, if you want the best dining experience in Helsinki, you have to head down to the harbor. Snellman’s doughnuts will make you forget all about Dunkins. Neither circular nor with a hole in the middle, the delights at Snellman’s are rectangular and contain an apple pie-type filling. I mean, seriously, who wants to spend 250 Euros on a dinner that includes goat cheese ice cream at Nokka when you can down almost pure sugar for a couple of bucks?