A couple years back Tyler Brûlé wrote in Monocle, that if you eat only one meal in Helsinki, go eat the beef steak in Sea Horse. Their beef steak I’ve never had, but still I'd likewise recommend Sea Horse to all Helsinki-goers.

Every city has it’s classics and Sea Horse is one of Helsinki’s. Founded in 1930s and still located on the same corner of a south Helsinkian art nouveau castle. Portions are hearty and generous and with the interior the whole atmosphere makes you feel like stepping back in time. The clientele is broad and diversified, but everyone gets the same treatment. The service is always laid-back and straightforward, kind of old school too.

To be called a classic, a restaurant needs a classic menu with dishes that never ever leave the menu. Whether it’s the grilled liver for my husband, the pike-perch à la Mannerheim for me, or the beef steak with fried onion, sour cream, pickled cucumber and fried potatoes for Tyler Brûlé, you can count on the fact that they are on the menu for future visits as well.

Like the crispy Baltic herrings which are on the menu since the 50s already. Though the portion size has changed during the years: It was reputedly increased to sixteen Baltic herrings after Dizzy Gillespie had visited Sea Horse. According to legend, the trumpeter went to the kitchen to ask for more after having finished his plate.

 For a piece of traditional Finnish restaurant culture, I'd suggest to book a table.

Kapteeninkatu 11


  1. Thanks for the tip! I'd love to go to Helsinki so I'll keep this one in mind!