Finding falafels, mezes, shawarma and other Middle Eastern dishes is not a curiosity in Helsinki or any big city in Europe. But getting them truly well-prepared, as in the tiny cozy restaurant of Frantoio on Helsinginkatu (near Sörnäinen metro station) in Kallio, is always a delightful pleasure for me!
Run by an Iraqi-Finnish owner, his Tunisian-born wife and the staff with a Lebanese and Syrian background, Frantoio serves very enjoyable fusion Mediterranean food and particularly a strong Middle Eastern and Northern African twist. What makes it really stand out is the use of fresh herbs and other ingredients, as well as the fact that it’s all handmade, no matter if it’s falafels, pita bread or dips we’re talking about. Their baba ganoush has already been named by many as the very best you can find in Helsinki. The quality of especially the mezes is impressive, considering this is a casual and not a classy fine-dining restaurant like the highly praised Andrea in the city center.
Frantoio doesn’t just settle for the basic classics either — they also bravely enhance the portions with lovely influences and keep on updating their short menu to keep it interesting and versatile.
Since the beginning, Frantoio has been praised by food critics. If they can keep it up with the quality, this will soon be an unquestionable classic. Prices are very fair & casual customer service always heartfelt, so whenever in need of something zesty in Kallio, I will go & let them delight me and my belly!