Whether you’re searching for a place to lunch or a break from busy everyday life, or just a place for a cozy dinner, Ruoka & Mat restaurant area in the renewed Fennia block offers a comfortable setting for your needs.

Yang Yunkai is one of the owners of the Freshman, a restaurant focused on delicious poke bowls created by customers’ hand-picked choices. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

Spritzers are buried in a bowl of ice. People sit around the tables, mingle, laugh and drink. It’s the grand opening of Ruoka & Mat restaurant area in the Fennia building, which was originally built to serve as a hotel in 1898 at Mikonkatu in Helsinki just across the Railway square.

Today, a cluster of mostly Asian restaurants stir odors of tofu, dumplings, rice, French fries and exotic spices across the floor.


The restaurants include the Burger Dojo, which serves fluffy Asian French fries and burgers, the Monte pizza bar that unfortunately wasn’t open at the opening ceremony, but reportedly serves artisan pizza, the Sizzle Station with its vegetable-filled dumplings and the Freshman, which serves a poke bowl so fresh and fulfilling there’s hardly room for much else in the next hours. Who said a salad can’t do that?

An example of what Burger Dojo’s French fries look like. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

The whole floor — where one can enter from Mikonkatu, Vuorikatu or from the University of Helsinki metro station — has been renovated with privacy in mind. It’s a total facelift compared to the previously open space, where diners from all walks of life sat shoulder-to-shoulder while eating greasy chicken wings or Malai Kofta. Now, room dividers of ceramic tile keep passers-by at bay and other diners at a pleasant distance.

The decoration of ‘Ruoka & Mat’ is cozy, trendy and colorful. Photograph: FINLAND TODAY

Ruoka & Mat restaurant area is a welcome addition to the heart of Helsinki, which offers quality street food in one cluster following the in-thing of modern shopping centers around the city.

At the Fennia building, the visitor can enjoy historical architecture and indulge in a new culinary experience while exploring the downtown area.

The Fennia building is located at Mikonkatu 17.