Ihana Kahvila

 One of the literally “hidden” treasures of Helsinki is Sompasaari, a derelict area behind the construction site of the new Kalasatama district. In this ever-changing wasteland one will be surprised by Ihana Kahvila. It might be a little hard to find, but the adventure through the construction site is definitely worth it. Ihana means lovely in English and that’s exactly what this cafe is like. Sanni Jouhki established it in 2008. The cafe was first based at an old factory in Hämeenlinna, a city not that far away from Helsinki. Ihana Kahvila eventually moved to Helsinki, starting as a pop-up cafe in the famous Flow festival.

In 2010 Kalasatama was still a developing but remote area and during that time a group of people involved in cultural activities launched the Kalasatama temporary project to refresh the area with different kinds of cultural happenings. Soon the area started to flourish, thanks to environmental and urban art projects such as graffiti walls, Konttiaukio (container square) for gigs, exhibitions and other happenings. In 2011 Ihana Kahvila jumped along and started their container cafe at the southernmost tip of the Sompasaari pier. Even though Konttiaukio has since shut its doors and moved to give way to the new residential area, Ihana Kahvila has remained and will continue for at least two more years. Sompasaari is a source of inspiration to Sanni and she associates the wasteland with a feeling of freedom. This is definitely one of the most alternative places in Helsinki to go to! 

For urban explorers Ihana Kahvila offers a nice variety of baked goods (also gluten-free options), sandwiches, smoothies and coffees. They also have mouth-watering raw cakes. In addition to food and drinks, they sell small souvenirs such as flip books, cups, cards, small home decorations, chocolate, sweets and much more. Ihana Kahvila’s dream is to continue as a permanent summer cafe in Sompasaari. They have kept their doors open every summer for the past five years from the beginning of June until the end of August. 

Another interesting fact about the cafe is that the graffiti on containers are re-painted every year. Ihana Kahvila is also open for self-organized events and some previous events worth mentioning are their famous Youtube-contest and movie nights. So if you are looking for an alternative venue to arrange something, Ihana Kahvila might be the place!

Ihana Kahvila

Address: Nihtikuja, Sompasaari, 00500 Helsinki (Nearest Metro stop is Kalasatama - some landmarks to pass by: New residential area of Kalasatama, Helsingin energia factory, shipwrecks, construction sites, carcoal hill. Try to spot Ihana Kahvila signs on the ground)

Opening times: From June until the end of August - Tue-Sun 10-19
Website: http://ihanakahvila.fi/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ihana-Kahvila/130517067026801?sk=wall
Contact info:
Tel. +358 45 846 7822

What else is in the area? Sompasaari is a peculiar spot for many reasons. Besides the cafe, you can also find graffiti walls on which it’s legal to paint, Dodo communal vegetable garden for farming, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) rental spot and Sompasaari’s free public sauna, which you can use whenever you feel like it. Jump off at Kalasatama’s metro stop and walk through the construction area – old ships are welcoming you to this hidden area of Helsinki.


Post a Comment