When in Kallio, go on a date
My absolutely favorite cafés and restaurants are situated in the Kallio area. The area is similar to the hipsters and artists’ playgrounds that you find in Neukölln, Södermalm or Brooklyn (if Brooklyn is still cool. I truly can't keep up, I'm getting old).
A bit edgy, not very touristic. But the real deal.
Kallio is perfect for a slow day, a Sunday kind of life. I often find myself sitting in a café, working a bit, bumping into friends, going to another café, and soon I notice my day has turned into 3 cups of coffee, dinner and loads of drinks.
So here's a recipe for the perfect date. With a lover or a friend, just take your pick. It's the kind of a date you wouldn't go to with just anyone. But choose carefully, it’s gonna a be long day.
Obviously I chose my trusted barista V as my companion. With her a 6 hour-long food fest is luxurious routine.
1. Start your morning with a cup of coffee in café Sävy (Aleksis Kiven katu 12)
We drank our first cup at 2 pm, since it was our day off. But early birds, no worries, place is open from 7.30 am onwards.
Besides excellent coffee you can get some fine croissants, sandwiches and pies. And this coffee is the real thing then –don't go suggesting syrups and talking about any god damn Espresso House to these folks.
2. Lunch (or dinner) at Kallio's Skiffer (Fleminginkatu 8)
Skiffer had their first restaurant in Liuskaluoto, an island outside of Helsinki. Now, with the final wave of gentrification, the restaurant has opened a new spot in Kallio. We just had to be there to celebrate its arrival. Cozy and cool, and the pizzas cause small orgasms on your tongue.
Special recommendation to the Perry Light pizza, which combines brie cheese and pear. Delicious. I could almost hear angels.
3. A fine glass of wine in Wino (Fleminginkatu 11)
If you still aren't tired of looking at each others eyes with a blushed smile, your next step is walking downhill to Wino.
If your stomach is too full, just roll down the hill, you're basically two meters from Wino's door already. Wino may seem a bit too fancy for the average Kallio hipster, but looks can be deceiving. The atmosphere is kind and the staff is more than happy to share some wine wisdom even to newbies. Getting a taste of different wines is possible, too.
Oh, and you can also bring your dog friend! (Maybe not a very big one though, as the place is tiny.)
4. Art! Culture! Entertainment!
Enough of chichatting, it's time for some culture.
How about a first date in Riviera (Harjukatu 2), the cutest cinema ever? You can drink wine and have small tapas style meals while watching a movie from the softest armchairs.
Could there be anything better? Well, sure, you can also go listen to a concert in Tenho (Helsinginkatu 15), or some underground performing arts in Vapaan Taiteen Tila (Vilhovuorenkuja 15). Kolo café (Pengerkatu 9) is also one of the many venues in the area to host free concerts.
5. Last round of beers in Panema (kiss her)
Panema is a new bar in Helsinginkatu 11, specialised in craft beers from all over the world. If your date has enjoyed your company this far, why not another round of beers? And maybe a kiss?
If they're not up for it, you've truly tried your best. Plenty of fish in Panema.