Earlier this year I stayed in Helsinki for a couple days en route to a conference in Tallinn (it’s easier and cheaper to take a ferry from Helsinki than finding a flight from NYC). It was my first time returning to the region since grad school, so I was excited to hop on a bike to explore the city, stopping at great cafes along the way. While I didn’t get to try every well regarded cafe in the city, below are a few spots I did visit that I think are worth recommending if you’re lucky enough to spend some time in Helsinki.
Mood Coffee Roasters
Mood Coffee is a subdued, stylish space that looks more like a minimalist boutique than a coffee shop. Their coffee doesn’t disappoint, I had a really clean cup brewed via Aeropress. It looks like they also sometimes serve eclectic food – from pho to teriyaki salmon (see more on their Facebook page).
Johan & Nyström Concept Shop
This outpost of the big Swedish specialty coffee roaster Johan & Nyström is located right on the water next to the Uspenski cathedral, near the presidential palace, and other tourist attractions like the Kauppatori market square and Helsinki cathedral. The big, two-story red brick space offers a range of coffees and treats in a cozy, warm atmosphere with friendly staff – including a few expat Americans when I visited.
These big icebreakers are moored nearby.
Mad Possum was just 6 weeks old when I visited, and it looks like they’re off to a great start! Friendly people, welcoming vibes, owners channeling Australian cafe culture, with serious coffee from roasters like Square Mile and Toby’s Estate. Highly recommended!
A quirky, beautiful space full of curiosities and greenery. There’s a florist in the front, and a room in the back that reminds me of hanging out in my high school studio art classroom. They serve a wide range of coffees from a who’s who of global specialty coffee roasters. Service is friendly and meticulous, if a bit slow; if you’re in the mood to kick back, you’ve found the right place.
Good Life Coffee
Good Life is serious coffee with an attitude. In their own words: “In all honesty, excellent coffee comes down to some nerdy shit. We won’t bother you with the chemistry, but rather just put it in a cup and serve it.” I dig the swagger and enjoyed hanging out for a couple hours reading a book at this hip but unpretentious cafe. Nice coffee, good sandwiches, cool vibes. Worth visiting!
If you make it to any of these cafes, please let me know how you like it over on Twitter! I didn’t have much time for photography, but below are a few more shots taken in Helsinki: