Café Bar 9
May 11, 2018
Based in Punavuori, the city’s design district, Café Bar 9 is something of an institution in Helsinki. With a bar running along its back wall and red Formica tables lining the adjoining space beside its large, street-facing windows, this casual hangout is a light, airy space, brightened by the quirky artworks that form part of a monthly, rotating exhibition. Known to regulars simply as ‘9’, the café/restaurant is open from breakfast time until late, and attracts students, artists and media types in abundance. It’s easy to see why. The food, which ranges from hearty cooked breakfasts to large portions of pasta, stir fries and salads, is excellent and good value, especially by Finnish standards. As for drinks, Café Bar 9’s casual setting makes it the perfect sport for an afternoon beer, cider or glass of wine. It’s not really a cocktail bar, but the staff can knock a decent mixed drink together for you if you wish. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a Kossukola, a strong Finnish spirit mixed with Coke. Come evening, it’s usually difficult to snag a table shoot for one of the bar stools if you miss out. Young and friendly, the staff are a goldmine of information if you need some advice on what to do in Helsinki, and are only too happy to help you with directions. Café Bar 9 also has good free wifi if that’s what you’re after, and a stash of newspapers and magazines (though you’ll be lucky to find much in English). By the door, you’ll find event posters handy if you’re keen to scope out a local gig.