The restaurant and cafe culture in Helsinki has absolutely flourished in the last few years and the central suburbs are developing a gastronomical scene to rival the trendiest of international cities. Helsinki is gaining its fair share of Michelin star restaurants but its the wonderful, community-minded and ethically oriented cafes, lunch places and internationally themed (and run) restaurants that are popping up like mushrooms in the rain. The Finns’ love for simplicity, quality and organic ingredients leads to excellent cuisine, without the pomp and self-congratulation of the more renowned southern European kitchen. Meanwhile, American, Latin, African and Asian kitchens are becoming established here, bringing fabulous new influences and ideas. Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi infamously slammed Finnish food a few years back and since then Finland has made it its mission to prove him wrong.