Helsinki can be an expensive place to visit. While you can plan the cost of your trip, sometimes we don’t always think about the cost of food. Meals can easily account for $30 or more a day, even if you are frugal.
So, where are cheap places to eat in Helsinki? The best place to get cheap and delicious traditional food in the local areas is to follow the locals. They will often eat at places that have good food, but without the inflated prices that usually come with being a tourist.
Additionally, the food is usually much more traditional than you would get anywhere else, as it doesn’t cater to people who haven’t grown up in the local area.
How Much Does an Average Meal Cost in Helsinki?
In Helsinki, the average cost of food is considered to be around $27 a day. However, this is based upon people shopping for and making their own meals for the most part.
If you are a tourist and will likely be eating out most of the time, this price will be a little higher. For an average meal without fancy drinks or appetizers, you are looking at around $11 a meal per person.
It is important to note that this price is for lower-end restaurants. Fast food is often cheaper by a couple of dollars, while a mid-range restaurant can cost $86 for two people.
Famous Cheap Places in Helsinki
Looking online can help you find a lot of cheap places to eat in Helsinki. Another good idea is to look where natives are congregating. Usually, tourist areas cost more. This is often because tourists have more money to spend, and so restaurants and stores charge more.
Finding where the locals eat casually will help you save some money, as these areas often aren’t expensive and still offer good food. In fact, the food may be more authentic than you would get in a tourist area.
Some places to check out are:
- Cafe Rouge
- Cafe Regatta
- Moomin cafe
- Naughty Brgr
- Vanha Kauppahalli
Which Neighborhoods Have the Cheapest Options
Helsinki isn’t a very cheap place to go or live. It is considered to have a high cost of living, and visiting is just as costly. Because of this, there aren’t any neighborhoods in Helsinki that are cheap.
If you don’t mind traveling outside of Helsinki a little bit, you can check out Espoo and Vantaa municipalities. They are just outside the municipality of Helsinki. While it is expensive, it still tends to be cheaper for food and accommodations.
With multiple ways to get from those municipalities to Helsinki, such as by bus, train, or metro, it is a way to save a little bit of money and still visit Finland’s capital.
Cheap Local Food You Can Try
The best way to save money is to eat foods local to the area in Helsinki. This helps you save money and get a taste of the local culture and an authentic experience. For example, if you are an American, you should note that eating is American.
Some local foods well-worth trying that are cheaper are:
- Lihapiirakka (meat pie)
- Lohikeitto (salmon soup)
- Korvapuusti (cinnamon buns)
- Kalakukko (fish pie)
- Puuro (oat porridge)
- Salmiakki (licorice)
- Karjalanpiirakka (Finnish rice pie)
- Pickled herring on rye bread
- Poronkäristys (reindeer meat)
- Lihapullat (Finnish meatballs)
- Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie)
While some of these items may be outside your traditional comfort zone, like fish pie, things like oat porridge, cinnamon buns, and even meat pies are close enough to something you normally eat that they shouldn’t bother you too much, even if you are a picky eater.
Popular Cheap Breakfast Spots
Breakfast is the best meal of the day, so finding the perfect breakfast spot is important. Here is a list of breakfast places in Helsinki that will make your whole day that much better and brighter.
- Way – Way is often considered a bright and cheerful place to eat breakfast. The breakfasts are simple but delicious. Plus, they have sourdough bread to die for.
- Levain – This breakfast place has some more upscale food options. You can get a savory meal, some break, or a waffle to get your day started.
- Gastro Cafe Kallio – Not only does this place have amazing breakfasts, but they are available all day long! Want breakfast for dinner? You won’t be disappointed with their rhubarb chutney and filling meals.
- Relove – Relove is a place you can spend all day in. Not only is there a delicious breakfast cafe with things like smoothie bowls, but there is a flea market and a lifestyle store on the premises.
Final Thoughts on Where To Eat In Helsinki Cheap
Helsinki isn’t a cheap place to visit. Unfortunately, it is considered an expensive place to live and to travel to. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to save money.
You can save a lot of money by staying a little outside Helsinki and eating at cheaper restaurants and cafes. This allows you to extend your trip and get the most out of your vacation!
The biggest trick is to eat what and where the locals are eating. These places usually don’t have inflated prices and are cheaper as local cuisine doesn’t have to be imported as much.