Food and drink

From this restaurant guide you will find food and drink recommendations near the con (uptown) and close to the centre (downtown). Authors: Virpi Flyktman (VF), Niilo Paasivirta (NP) and Enni Kuusela (EK).


Cafe Belvedere (University Main Building, Building C)
Open Sat 9.30-18, Sun 10-17.

Cafe Tiede (University Library, Building B)
Self-service cafe Sat 11-16, Sun 11-16.

Food near Finncon

Restaurant Taide (Seminaarinkatu 15, University Library, Building B)
Student restaurant. Student prices for people studying in Finnish higher education institutions. Visitor prices for visitors. They always have a vegan option. Open Fri 11-16, Sat 11-16, Sun 11-14.30.

Restaurant Villa Rana (Seminaarinkatu 13)
This atmospheric little cafe and restaurant serves lunch. Salads are on the menu throughout the day. Tue-Sun 12-20, lunch daily 12-15 (Finncon week opening hours).

Grilli 21 (Lounaispuisto, Seminaarinkatu 34)
Very traditional local Finnish grilli in Jyväskylä. Menu includes many different burgers, local specialty “Taksari” – pieces of sausage and french fries, fried chicken, meat pies, etc. Your closest immediate thirst quencher. Another grilli from the same company is located in Seppälänkangas – way farther away.

Taksari i.e. Jyväskylä’s traditional sausage and fries “grilli” dish
I have researched the origin of Jyväskylä’s traditional taksari i.e. sausage and fries dish served by different grilli. The owner of Grilli 21, Grandma Margit was probably not the first to have taksari in her à la carte menu. In the 1960s a grilli in Suolahti (a municipality located north of Jyväskylä) sold a dish called taxsar, which was similar to the contemporary taksari served today. The invention of taksari has also been attributed to Grandma Mäkinen’s Pikagrilli (eng. “Fast Grill”) and to the first stone-footed grill, Ilkka’s grilli. All of these grilli were in operation before Grandma Margit’s Mini-Grilli, which was the predecessor of Grilli 21. In any case, Grilli 21 makes Jyväskylä’s traditional taksari the way it should be done! (Niilo Paasivirta)

Restaurant Sohwi (Vaasankatu 21)
A legendary and familiar bar to many Finncon-goers from the past. A good place to quench hunger and especially thirst. Sohwi’s chicken toast is a local classic! The menu includes, for example, local fish, stakes, chicken, liver, “poronkäristys” (, tacos, burgers, etc. They have a big selection of beer, wines and other drinks. You can also sit outside on the patio, enjoying the Finnish summer. Open on Fri 14-02, Sat 12-02, Sun 14-22 (kitchen Fri 14-21.30, Sat 12-21.30, Sun 14-20).

Kauppakadun Kebab Pizzeria (Seminaarinkatu 19)
The closest kebab-pizzeria grub from the convention (One of many in Jyväskylä). Kauppakadun Kebab Pizzeria is part of the Kebabkeisari (eng. “Kebab Emperor”) chain. They have restaurants also in Puistokatu 15 and the furthest located all the way in Seppälänkangas at Ahjokatu 14.

They are all quite similar. When you see the words “kebab“ and “pizzeria”, they are all basically similar

Jyväskylän Kebab ja Pizzeria (Kauppakatu 7)
The kebab is excellent. The pizza isn’t bad either.

Pizzeria Maria (Kauppakatu 8)
This is more like a pizza restaurant with kebab, than a kebab restaurant with pizza. They also have falafels and vöner. Many times voted the best pizzeria in town, also the oldest surviving pizzeria in the town.

Ravintola Fujia (Kauppakatu 10)
A promising relatively new Chinese restaurant. They advertise themselves as serving authentic Cantonese food. Lunch buffet is every day until 20.00 (?) They also have an à la carte menu. Tue-Fri 11.00-20.00.

Katriinan kasvisravintola (Kauppakatu 11)
A rare sight in Jyväskylä: A full vegan restaurant, lunch only. Student prices for students of Finnish higher education institutions. Open on Friday and Saturday (12-15:30) but closed on Sunday.

Kebab House (Kauppakatu 14)
Kebab House supplements Kebab and Pizza needs closer to Kirkkopuisto (engl. “Church Park”) and the town center. Closed on Sundays.

Drinks near Finncon

Ruthin Ravintola l. “Ylä-Ruth” (Seminaarinkatu 19)
Also characterized as “the branch library” to the university library right next to it. A bar favored by academic people. Get your chasers and snacks here. A joke from from Jyväskylä Grand Rally years back: “I was seconds away from morning after, luckily I made it to Ylä-Ruth in time.”

Vakiopaine (Kauppakatu 6)
A bar favored by multicultural, alternative, anarchist and LBTQIA+ people. The interior is as queer as the customers. Live music and theater performances.

Lucky Irish Pub (Gummerruksenkatu 7)

This should be a traditional Irish Pub. Dunno how much it’s like those actually in Ireland… Some ways away from the con site near Kirkkopuisto (engl. “Church Park). Closed on Sundays

Editor’s choice, food in downtown

JokoThai (Asemakatu 11) (NP)
A very, very good Thai restaurant! Highly recommended. Voted as the best in town several times. The go-to-place for the writing group La Ciska. “We have gone to eat and discuss our writing in JokoThai’s cabinet many times.” (NP)

ALL IN Ravintola (Yliopistonkatu 21) (NP)
I decided unanimously that this is the best new restaurant of 2023. The buffet has everything, even good sushi – an aspect of buffets that usually are not good.

Japanese-ish buffet restaurant, with teppanyaki included in the price. So, you can choose a pile of ingredients, sauces and the chefs will prepare it for you. The taste is akin to wok. Taking into account the selection of ingredients, the price is very inexpensive. I even recommended in my Google review that they raise their prices for the buffet at least by a few euros. There is a substantial risk of eating until the risk of bursting before it is time to order teppanyaki (and to remind my readers, there’s still dessert…).

Maku Wok (Kauppakatu 31a) (NP)

Located in the shopping mall Forum. By the way, Jyväskylä’s Fantasiapelit (eng. Fantasy Games), a shop for reading material, board games as well as TTARPG goods. Anyway, back to Maku Wok: It is a place where you choose your noodles or rice, protein, veggies, sauce, and then they make the wok for you.

The wok is really good! I almost always choose the following set: pork, egg noodles, the house spicy sauce, chili bell pepper, bamboo shoot, onion and as an extra garlic. Only the quality of the veggies varies a bit. As an exception, I recommend ordering from the online instead of going there to the location, as the wok has time to rest on the way and will be even better for the wait!

Sakuragawa (Väinönkeskus, Väinönkatu 26) (NP)
An inexpensive Chinese restaurant offers a lunch buffet even on Saturdays and Sundays (11-18). Besides the basic set of dishes, they also have sushi.

All Chinese food there is really good! (woks, spring rolls, soups, fried chicken, etc.). (NP)

Viikinkiravintola Harald (Kauppakatu 33) (NP)
Viking-themed fantasy restaurant. Fortunately the food is not what Vikings actually ate, because that’s not something modern people could stomach.The elevator is a bit strangely in the other entrance than the main entrance.

Not very cheap. Nice atmosphere and interior. Desserts are excellent! I’d almost recommend eating three desserts instead of entrée, main, and one dessert. 😀 (NP)

Figaro (NP)
A good fine dining restaurant. Even better if you can afford a bottle of chilled champagne to eat throughout the meal. (At the moment they don’t have the affordable and excellent Charles Heidsieck Réserve. Just Veuve Clicqout, and VC has not been at her best for the past three years. There are other options too, but I haven’t tasted them yet.)

Other restaurants/diners

Barot’s (Hannikaisenkatu 6)
Slightly higher quality hamburgers. I recommend only one patty in your smash burger, because it’s rather heavy.

Cielo (Kauppakatu 19)
A Turkish-Greek-Italian-North-African restaurant. Haven’t visited it yet.

Green Egg (Kauppakatu 27)
Despite the name, this is not a vegan restaurant. Rather, the name refers to the Green Egg brand ceramic coal grill that they use.

Good buns (kinda like burgers, but in a bread roll), the dessert quality varies because everything is made on the Green Egg grill, even the dessert cake. (EK)

Michi Asian Cuisine (Kauppakatu 27)
Chinese buffet and à la carte.

Hanko Aasia Jyväskylä (Kauppakatu 20, Forum)
Sushi adapted to Finnish taste, now with bowls, pokes and noodles. Only kappamaki is similar to what you’d get in Japan. (NP)

I concur that sushi is not like what you would get in Japan, but dunno how that would be possible to achieve. The bowls are kinda good. (EK)

Café Elo (Forum, Kauppakatu 22)
The local “Elonen” (eng. “lively”) bakery’s café is a classic spot for afternoon coffee or brunch in Jyväskylä.

Thai Street Food Jyväskylä (Kauppakatu 28)
A small Thai restaurant. Basic dishes that you’d expect, but good. They are really considerate of allergens in my experience. (EK)

Wilhelmiinan Konditoria (Asemakatu 6, Nikolainkulma)
Very popular “old style” café in a historical building from 1899. (NP)

Yummy cakes and sweet rolls. In my opinion, the fight for the best cakes in town is between Wihelmiina and Miriam’s. (EK)

La Brava Boquería (Asemakatu 2)
Spanish tapas restaurant. Open Wed-Thur 16-23, Fri-Sat 16-02, Sun closed.

Ravintola Base Camp (Yliopistonkatu 38)
One of the two Nepalese restaurants in town. Very popular.

Shalimar (Matkakeskus, Hannikaisenkatu 20)
Indian restaurant at the local train and bus station. Better than that sounds. They make fresh naan bread. You can choose the level of spice.

Miriam’s (in the shopping mall Torikulma, Asemakatu 12)
A café that offers cakes, pastries, salads, as well as breakfast. In my opinion, the fight for the best cakes in town is between Wihelmiina and Miriam’s. Cutesy interior. (EK)

Pizzeria Bella Roma (Vanha tiilitalo, Kauppakatu 41)
An Italian restaurant, which actually has Italian food other than pizza.

Nepalilainen Ravintola Nagarkot (Hannikaisenkatu 41)
The other Nepalese restaurant in town. Located right next to the Travel Centre.

Konttiravintola Morton Jyväskylä (Satamakatu 2)
Located at the shore of the Jyväsjärvi Lake. The summer restaurant has burgers,fries and salads. The vegan diet has been taken into account in the menu. You can decide the protein you want in your burger. During some summers the opening times have been affected by the weather.

The best burgers and fries in town with interesting combinations. Be prepared to queue! Next door there is a café from the same company if you have a sweet tooth. (EK)

Besides Figaro, fans of fine dining can try:

If you’re a fan of steak:

Typical fast food:
Of course, the usual Rosso Pizzerias, McDonald’s, Hesburgers, Burger King and Coffee House can be found in Jyväskylä.

Editor’s choice, drinks in downtown

Musta kynnys (Vanha rautatieasema, Hannikaisenkatu 16)
The number one choice for the rockers of the town and the ground zero for Sarurday’s evening party. Flipper and board games available to play. During the summer the local metal union organizes its get-together.

Harry’s (Vanha tiilitalo, Kauppakatu 41)
An English pub, but not really an English pub. They serve chilled beer, and Finland is not even one of the old colonies of the British Empire! (← Goscinny & Morris: Lucky Luke: La Pied-tendre (The Tenderfoot).)