My big love in Helsinki is Punavuori. This is the home of The Helsinki Design District, several ad agencies and graphic designers hot shops, countless cafees and restaurants and a lot of interesting small shops, the best second hand shops for clothes, records and books in town, a popular park etc.
The best spot to start exploring Punavuori is a little square in the corner of Fredrikinkatu and Punavuorenkatu called Fredan tori, where you can sip coffee and enjoy newly baked pastries in Cafe Suksii and have a chat with the owner, Roope and other Punavuorians. Check the Sunday Flea Market!
Here you can buy fresh flowers either from the florist Terhi at Punakukka (Punavuorenkatu 2) or from the ‘flower girls’ Eeva and Riitta and vegetables from Janne from his vegetable stall. Or just sit on a bench and watch the passers by.
If you get hungry or need your daily espresso then the right place at Fredan tori is a cafe called Tori. Their meatballs are legendary, served with mashed potatoes and a sauce made with a local brandy. Tori also serves a nice selection of salads and sandwiches, and here you can order breakfast any time of the day. Among the clientele are young Finnish musicians, advertising people, painters, writers etc…..
In case you’re after something stronger than just coffee, take two steps from Fredan Tori to Iso Roobertinkatu with its bars and restaurants catering to every taste: gay, straight, hard rock, karaoke, pizza, kebab, Italian, Thai, gourmet, you name it!