Helsinki is a wonderful city for foodies and dog lovers alike. As a long-time foodie and a new dog mum I have been so pleased to find so many of my favourite cafes and restaurants warmly welcome my four-legged best friend to the table. Here we wanted to share some of our favourite spots – whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between.
Our dog-friendly breakfasts spot of choice is Flät no 14 in Kallio. This place offers up a menu of small plates that you can combine to create your ultimate breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). All dishes pair well with their quality coffee and limited but well curated wine and beer selection too.
I went for the breakfast of 3 plates (€12) opting for the creamy scrambled eggs, minty fresh pea hummus, and a portion of rich shrimp Skagen, all served with some fresh chunky bread. Meanwhile Maisie was happily perched on the bench next to me and my friend, occasionally trying to sneak a sip of my latte and keen to volunteer her services to the wait staff in case they needed any help ‘cleaning up’.
As another option on the other side of town a classic breakfast hotspot for dog owners and brunch aficionados is Green Hippo which has a similar small plates breakfast menu Monday- Saturday and a brunch offering for Sundays. Across the road from there is also Brooklyn Cafe, famous for their authentic homemade bagels and American style brownies.
For a mid morning coffee break with a side of conscious clothes shopping I can warmly recommend Relove (in Töölö and Punavuori). They occasionally even have dog brunches with special dishes for the pooches but are also dog friendly every day. And there’s the constantly changing selection of recycled clothes, shoes and accessories to peruse after you have had your coffee or lunch.
It’s worth mentioning that as far as getting your caffeine fix, Roberts Coffee is also welcoming to dogs, so no matter where that coffee craving kicks in (or if starts to rain and your dog is pathetic and whimpers until you pick her up) you can almost always find a comfy dog-friendly cafe nearby.
For lunch we took a walk in a different direction to check out Be My Guest, a Vietnamese kitchen on Jatkasaari. The restaurant is small but vibrant with bright colours and an open kitchen to add some hustle and bustle.
I went for the Oh-So-Fresh Salad combo (€10.70) which featured a couple of large rice paper rolls with marinated tofu and some crunchy veg with delicious peanut dressing. It was indeed fresh, and the herbs and dipping sauce made my taste buds sing! During the week lunch also includes tea and coffee.
Now if buffets are more your style you could also pop around the corner to Banu Café. This small Persian fusion vegetarian café offers a lovely lunch buffet from Tuesday to Friday and a vegan brunch spread on the weekends.
On afternoon walks Maisie has quickly picked up on a favourite habit of mine – stopping at Kakkugalleria (several locations across the city) to admire the cake selection while I enjoy a latte. Dogs are welcome, the coffee is lovely, and there is always a cake that will hit the spot (including a decent vegan selection) – what more could you want when the 3pm slump hits? And not at all overpriced either, with most slices under €5 and a takeaway latte for €2.90… all day!
We decided to try a new(ish) kid on the block in Punavuori for family dinner, and we were made to feel very welcome indeed. Asking at the door of SameSame if we could bring our dog inside we had two wait staff enthusiastically inviting us in and regularly stopping by during the night for a pat. The menu at SameSame demands several visits, and my only regret was not coming hungrier… everything coming from the kitchen smelt incredible and the tasting menu is something I’ll certainly be back for!
On this occasion though I ordered the summer rolls (€19.50), chunky and overflowing, crunchy and fresh, served with homemade sweet chili sauce and contrasted with a creamy slaw. Meanwhile on the other side of the table, and of much more interest to Maisie, my partner had the SameSame burger (€18.50, vegetarian option available). The black brioche made it look like a burger in a tuxedo, and those Asian fusion condiments take it next level!
Another restaurant you might like to try for a nice dinner out with the dog is Trattoria Sogno in Töölö. While I haven’t made it there myself yet, I have heard great things about both their reception to dogs and the menu!
This is just a small selection of the many wonderful and welcoming places around Helsinki for doggie dates. Do you have a favourite that didn’t make this list? Leave a comment below!