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SKIP the beaten chaincafé track and luxury street premises in Helsinki and try these cafés: great atmosphere, the smell and taste of home made buns as well as good coffee guaranteed. Ask for the specialties of each place. And what better time to explore than the hereby proclaimed Month of Pastry, February?

 

Starting with Pastry of Runeberg - a delicious creation of almond and a dollop of jelly to celebrate the national poet and his favourite cake. Come the end of February, indulge in Laskiaispulla (Buns of Lent); a bun with the top cut off and filled with whipped cream and marzipan or strawberry jam. And many of the cafés will also commemorate Valentine´s Day in their own sweet way. Enjoy!

The Hakaniemi Kauppahalli indoors bazaar in itself, as well as the outside market square, are both absolute musts in Helsinki. Needing a rest from all the marvelling and craving a real coffee treat, you’ll find one of the most sympathetic coffee places Helsinki has to offer on the second floor of the bazaar. Sit at the regular table of President Tarja Halonen and watch the world go by.

Café Regatta is a tiny little café with enormous atmosphere situated near the Sibelius monument, by the sea front. The staff are friendly and it’s always busy. The little house is over 100 years old and served earlier as a shed for fishermen. Nowadays it’s warm, cosy and crowded with decorations such as music instruments, antique café equipment, pictures and photos. For every refill of coffee you get five cents back. The outside area is also open during the wintertime, so wrap yourself in a warm blanket and sip your coffee, or grill a sausage over an open wood fire. You’ll need cash though – cards are not accepted.

Café Senaatti is an openspaced, cosy café on the second floor of Kiseleff House by Senate Square, opposite the Cathedral. The building dates back to the 18th century and today houses a small shopping centre for Finnish souvenirs. Lunch soups are served weekdays from 11 to 14. Wlan is available, and in a corner the café provides access to an internet point for a small fee.

Hakaniemen Kauppahalli,
2nd floor
Open weekdays 08:00 - 17:30,
Saturdays 08:00 -15:30.
Sundays closed.

Café Regatta,
Merikannontie 10
Open daily from around 10:00
till late in the evening.

Café Senaatti
Open weekdays 10:00 -18:00
Saturdays 10:00 – 16:00

Runeberg’s Day 5 February
Valentine’s Day 14 February
Laskiainen 22 & 24 February