Already for a very long time I have wanted to explore the small designer shops of Helsinki Design District but simply have not had the time for it. I had heard cool and new manly design shops opening lately so me and my friend decided to explore the masculine side of shopping instead of our regular shopping day out on the town with the girls. So a couple of days back we spent a whole day strolling in Helsinki Design District discovering unique man cave treasures and admiring the beautiful National Romantic architectural style of the area.
Helsinki Design District is a group of creative businesses that comprises more or less 200 design, antique and jewellery shops, fashion stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, museums, art galleries and showrooms across 25 streets in the heart of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, stretching into the areas of Kamppi, Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki and Ullanlinna. In Helsinki Design District you can find totally unique creations by young local designers, as well as products by well-known Finnish design brands.
We started the man cave exploration at Cafe Kokko taking in the industrial atmosphere while having tea on a vintage sofa. Cafe Kokko specialises in raw food and gluten free and vegan treats but here you can also get smoothies, juices, porridge, coffee etc.
Location: Kalevankatu 31 A 6, 00100 Helsinki
Roomage Vintage Interiors
In the same space with Cafe Kokko you get to do shopping at Roomage Vintage Interiors. They have an interesting range of a vintage furniture from industrial lamps and rugs to wall maps. Lots and lots of fascinating industrial vintage and traditional American stuff!
These two places, Cafe Kokko and Roomage Vintage Interiors, are a bit tricky to find, as they are located on the second floor of a residential building and not that well signposted at all. However, just be brave and enter the inner courtyard, take the first door on the right and walk up to the second floor.
Location: Kalevankatu 31 A 6, 00100 Helsinki
This charming little renovation and home decoration shop, Rakennusapteekki, sells newly produced ecological products with traditional and old style.
Location: Korkeavuorenkatu 8, 00120 Helsinki
Empire Design Store
This shop, Empire Design Store, is for street fashion, hats, handmade uniques and fresh vintage accessories.
Location: Pursimiehenkatu 3, 00150 Helsinki
We took a break at BrewDog, just a stone throw away from Empire Design Store. BrewDog is not the cheapest pub in town but a great add to the pub scene of Helsinki. They have a wide selection of beers and it does get crowded here on the weekends.
Location: Tarkk’ampujankatu 20, 00150 Helsinki
Plootu Furniture and Cafe
Plootu store with large windows and interesting decor comprises two furniture shops and a coffee shop: Sasu’s Playhouse, A&A Design and Cafe Rupla Rööperi. At Plootu you can enjoy your coffee while shopping around or sit down at just any table in the store and take a break.
Location: Iso Roobertinkatu 32, 00120 Helsinki
This basement shop is a true man cave! Pinkomo is a combination of a manly garage and a closet of a lumberjack. Here you can feel motorbikes, leather and danger in a cosy setting. Made in USA spirit is strong. So is quality with old school influences. Here you can find quality shoes, bags, blankets, jeans, shirts just to name a few. Pinkomo’s shopkeeper, also a shoemaker, is a very friendly guy and invites to pop in for a cup of coffee even if you do not necessarily buy anything. I absolutely loved this place, it is quite an experience!
Location: Albertinkatu 17, 00120 Helsinki
This new popular burger place, Naughty BRGR, owned by a winner of Top Chef Finland, is always packed. They do not take any reservations at this diner, so you just have to arrive and see if there are tables available. I have walked pass Naughty BRGR several times but it has always been full with a long queue all the way to the front door. However when we arrived, to our surprise we managed to place our order straight away and luckily also found free seating. I went for their classic Naughty burger with sweet potato chips. I am not sure if I had set expectations a bit too high or something, but I was fairly disappointed with the burger.
Location: Lönnrotinkatu 13, 00120 Helsinki
We finished our man cave exploration at Il Birrificio, a cosy little craft brewery with a good selection of beers. This place is fairly new and a great addition to Helsinki’s micro-brewery and bistro scene.
Location: Fredrikinkatu 22, 00120 HelsinkiWhat an amazing day we had! From time to time it is a great idea to explore the city from a totally new angle for a change! There are still plenty more to discover in Helsinki Design District, so more design discoveries coming up later!
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