Green Cap Hints: Outdoor Cafes
When in need of that dark elixir of life, consult this list of cafes. These places have good terraces for outdoor seating but most of them have indoor spaces as well. List of the best indoor places will be posted a bit later.
All the places mentioned here can be found on our famous hintmap << click Outdoor cafes are marked with light brown and indoor cafes with dark brown colour.
Café Regatta, Merikannontie 8, Töölö. Opening hours, mostly 9.00-21.00 (check fb or call +358 40 414
A must-go café in Sibelius park. You can visit the Sibelius monument and the outdoor museum of
Seurasaari on your trip, but the café is well worth the trip just for its own sake: it is seriously that special.
Exceptional atmosphere with a beautiful sea-view, most heartfelt service, great Finnish delicacies… You
can grill sausages on a fire and will get reimbursed for a refill of coffee. It’s like you were at the summer
cottage in the heart of town . Pay in cash please.
Sinisen Huvilan kahvila, Linnunlauluntie 11H. Opening hours (contact via fb or +358 50 4080816)
Another must-go I should say. Exquisite view of the beautiful Töölönlahti bay (which you should walk
around to catch the Opera house, the Olympic Stadium and perhaps also get a glimpse of Finlandia
Concert hall, and the National Museum, if you start from Kansalaistori, even the Parliament and the
museum of Contemporary art Kiasma) lovely delicacies, cordial atmosphere… a lot like Café Regatta
above. If the place is full, there is an equally lovely joint next door: looking at Töölönlahti, walk to the
right along Linnunlaulu (the “street” going around Töölönlahti at that poin) and after 50 meters you’ll
see a sign to a café on your left on a terrace of the blue mansion.
Ihana kahvila, Nihtikuja, Sompasaari. Monday to Sunday 10-19, if not raining. Check fb for events and details on daily opening hours or call +358 45 846 7822. Open from 1.6.2016 onwards.
A place one will definitely not bump into by chance – not even as a local – so guaranteed to be “off the
beaten track”, this café is a third must go for those of you who don’t mind the walk or the cycle ride one
has to take to get to the end of Sompasaari cape. If you want to pick just one of these three, this is for the
most adventurous and young at heart. The hippiest place in town that I possibly cannot do justice to by
words, so just check the pics at https://ihanakahvila.fi/ and I’m sure you’re sold. The area surrounding
the café is unique altogether: descriptive of the place is the near-by Sompasauna
(https://www.sompasauna.fi/?page_id=263), maintained by youngsters in Helsinki, who wanted to have
a place to go to Sauna and to swim from, a “summer cottage” of a sort in the heart of town, so they build
their own. (check the recommendations for saunas)
Kahvila Tyyni, Helsinginkatu 56. For opening hours, check fb (Kahvila Tyyni) or call +358 40 569
Another idyllic summer coffee joint at the beautiful Töölönlahti, next to the Opera house. Stand-up
paddling available near-by.
Birgitta, Hernesaarenranta 2. Opening hours 9-22. +358 40 547 4966
A bit unfair to be categorized as a café, since this magnificent place offers everything from a la carte to
brunch and drinks. Easily one of the best places in town. Some indoor seats available as well. Nearby at
the tip of Hernesaari you can find a restaurant/café/bar area (although that is nice as well, Birgitta has
much more character to it, in my opinion), where you can also find a sauna.
Café Ursula, Ehrenströmintie 3. Opening hours 9-20,21. 09 652 817.
One of the more classic cafes in Kaivopuisto, with many indoor places available as well. One can enjoy a
beautiful view and also perhaps get a glimpse of people bungee-jumping next-door.
Café Compass, Ehrenströmintie 1. Open every day from 8 until late. 040 516 6600.
A favorite among bikers, this small café is worth a stop if you happen to walk by. Can get cold on a breezy
day, since the chairs and tables are out in the open with no wind-cover.
Kahvisiskot, Hakaniemen tori. 6.30-15.00. +358 50 041 5519. Check fb for more details.
Perhaps my favorite place to have Saturday morning breakfast (pancakes, rice porridge or salmon
sandwich) at, Kahvisiskot is an endearing classic in the center of Hakaniementori in Kallio district, a
place where you can really get a feel of the local atmosphere. During the summer, one can often catch a
duet comprising of a harmonica and a bass player playing mostly Finnish folk classics (and international
songs like “speak softly love”) next to the café in the morning / early afternoon. The outdoor market of
Hakaniemi is a “local” counterpart of the more touristic market you will find at the Market square.
Hakaniemen halli on the corner of the square, in my opinion, also has a slight upper hand over the old
Bear park café, Karhupuisto. Depending on the weather, usually open (check homepage).
This café is actually two cafes (hence two mentions in this list of pointers as well): one situated indoors at
the corner of Karhupuisto (“bear park”), one outdoors in the park. One of the most heartfelt cafeterias in
Helsinki, with a welcoming, liberal atmosphere, found in the heart of Kallio, depicting in a perfect way
the vibe of the district in general. Good moustache wax sold.
Kahvila Piper, Suomenlinna
A classic one cannot bypass in any list of recommendations. On top of a small hill on the island of
Suomenlinna: beautiful view of sea and the island.
Käpylän Kiska, Pohjolankatu 45. Check fb for opening hours.
A place where people go get their coffees and hang-out in the park in hammocks. Also the center of the
social life of the hippy district Käpylä with happenings of all sorts such as puppet shows and poetry
recitals. A telling example of the love the locals have for the small cafeteria is the fact that the enterprise
was about to go bankrupt due to the rising rents and low prices, but the business was salvaged last year
by a crowdsourcing campaign that allowed the people who had been running the café on rental-basis to
purchase the premises.
Written by Leo Aarnio
Introduction and minor edits for blog by Jouko Väärälä