A couple of years ago I overheard that you can find the best coffee in Helsinki at an Italian cafe in Katajanokka. Of course I had to find out what this place was about, since I didn’t remember seeing many cafeterias there. We used to play basketball nearby, and I went to that neighbourhood almost once a week. But there it was, right next to my route, under a big sign. And the cappuccino was really good.
But it’s not only the coffee that makes the experience. The whole place simply exudes Italy. At least to an ordinary Finn. Shelves are filled with take away treats from Italy, like pastas, crostinis, cookies, honey, drinks, jelly and coffee of course. And I just learned I’ve been missing some really good sandwiches that, contrary to my belief, are also served on the spot.
And friendly service is delivered from behind an old wooden desk that probably served in a pharmacy or grocery a hundred years ago adding a notch to the nostalgia. Katajanokka is a nice area, dominated by the Uspenski Cathedral, cruise ferries and apartment houses and is located relatively close to the city center. It’s a nice walk to Signora for example through Kauppatori market square. So allora, andiamo.