May 11, 2018
Built back in 1886, Helsinki’s Svenka Teatern (Swedish Theatre) is a neoclassical masterpiece or was, before a 1935 renovation saw its richly decorated facade given a functionalist makeover. Located at the western end of pretty Esplanadi Park, the enormous, snow-white structure is still a grand building nonetheless, and Ravintola Teatteri, housed inside the working theatre, follows suit. A sprawling dining and entertainment complex, Ravintola Teatteri is effectively six venues in one, boasting a smart casual deli and wine bar (the perfect spot for a restorative glass of champagne), a modern grill restaurant, a terrace lounge (called the aurinkoterassi), an all-day bar (teatteribarri), an after-dark lounge (kellobaari lounge) and a late-night club with a modern, masculine edge (simply known as klubi). Unless you’re coming here for a meal or to really let your hair down after dark, the all-day bar is our top pick for a drink. Opening at 11am, the airy space is designed in earthy cream and beige tones. There’s plenty of comfy, couch-style seating and low tables give the venue a casual, lounge-room vibe. Dominating one end of the room, you’ll find a long white bar, with friendly bartenders on hand to mix up whatever kind of drink takes your fancy. Given its location, the bar is frequented by arty types as well as a healthy dose of tourists taking a relaxing break from their schedule. Despite so much going on under one roof, service is generally slick and efficient throughout Ravintola Teatteri, with the different areas clearly delineated.