As a hardcore coffee-drinker, I believe that the only proper coffee dessert is a spectacular view. And in this case, summerish Helsinki is the best pastry-chef. Here is the list of the most scenic terraces where you can charge inner solar batteries and enjoy your sunrise espressos and sunset lattes. Coffee time is on.
Tyyni means “calm” and the location completely justifies the name: according to Google maps, you are ten minutes away from the Central Railway and, yet, you sit at the small tipping table, sipping black coffee in a jungle of tall reed and with a soundtrack of bumblebees. Tyyni buys beans from Helsinki Roastery (Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo) and grinds them right before the opening but, in addition to that, it offers trendy cold brew coffee, makes homemade mint tea and serves vegan brownies. On a sunny day, café staff puts a few deck chairs on a wooden pier and, voilà, you get a light version of Saint Tropez, served with a view of Helsinki swans, Linnanmäki Ferris Wheel and the silhouettes of trains afar.
Operates from May to late September, 9-20. Weather permitting.
Café Sininen Huvila
Just another coffee gem. Sininen Huvila (“Blue Villa”) is a charming wooden house on the top of the hill and everything about it is beyond idyllic, even the street address is translated as a “road of a bird’s song”. City getaway in the center of the city: isn’t it exactly why people fall for Helsinki?
Sininen Huvila serves ice cream, lemonade, soup of the day and famous selection of homemade traditional Finnish buns and pastries. As the fresh air triples appetite, it might happen that by the end of the day tiny café runs out of delicious pear and spinach pies but the view of the crisp white National Opera and iceberg-like Finlandia Hall is always on the menu. As well as light and dark roasted coffee. Bring a book and turn off the phone.
Usually operates from 10 to 22 but it can vary
My tip: Schedule your coffee time wisely: Tyyni and Sininen Huvila are literally in front of each other, separated by the Töölön bay. So, Tyyni gets all the warmth of the morning sun and Sininen Huvila becomes particularly picturesque when the evening light pours over the hill and the garden.
Here I have to give you a heads up: it takes one coffee and a bite of “korvapuusti” (Finnish cinnamon roll) to fall in love with Regatta forever. This tiny red log house is more than a café – it is an encyclopedic entry about Finland that you “read through” while sitting outside, wrapped in red lap blankets, watching the open fire and kayaks on the bay. To top up your peace of mind buy sausages for grilling and let the smiley girls at the counter pour you another cup of coffee free of charge (actually, they will even pay you 5 cents back). Maybe, it is something that The Moomins would have, if they happened to open a café in their valley: homey, welcoming and with a hiss of an old radio.
Open 365 day from morning until late evening. Cash only.
Merikannontie 8 (a walking distance from Jean Sibelius monument)
And one more atmospheric place to drink coffee, as a bonus:
The restaurant’s name – Mattolaituri – means a “pier for washing carpets”. This is a direct reference to the good old-fashioned tradition of washing rags with a tar soap in public places – one of such “city laundries” can be spotted right next to the terrace. It is probably the priciest place of all mentioned but the seascape with the outlines of Suomenlinna fortress is too much of a landmark to be missed. Besides, the opening hours of Mattolaituri are unbeatable – seven days a week until 2am, so you can stay in a deck chair with a Baltic breeze on your face until coffee in the cup accidently turns into Moët & Chandon in champagne glass.
Ksenia Kosheleva for Visit Helsinki
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