We visited Pier Zero restaurant at Helsinki Airport twice this autumn. The Scandinavian Pier Zero is an architecturally impressive sight and offers tasty food with friendly service. The view of the runway is almost unobstructed. It’s not quite a perfect restaurant, though we can honestly recommend it. Read our review to find out what’s good about the restaurant and what could be improved.
Pier Zero is a combination of a deli, bar and à la carte restaurant in the Schengen area of Helsinki Airport. As the restaurant is after security control, only those travelling are allowed to enter. Pier Zero is one of the many places to eat at Helsinki Airport, but one of the few with a good view of the runway.
We visited Pier Zero in October and again in December. In this article, we share some basic information about the restaurant, our experiences and a review.
Pier Zero is located at Gate 28 in the Schengen area. The restaurant is on two floors: a deli and bar downstairs and the à la carte restaurant itself upstairs. Pier Zero’s main shortcoming is the lack of a lift. If you have a mobility disability, getting upstairs is difficult if not impossible.
Pier Zero is located in the old part of the terminal, identified by its iconic parquet floor. Near the restaurant is the Aspire Lounge, which also overlooks the apron.
Pier Zero is a restaurant open to all. However, it is worth noting that the restaurant offers Nordic American Express Platinum members and one companion a free breakfast or a meal from the menu later in the day. Beverages are also included in the offer.
We have twice taken advantage of the American Express card at Pier Zero restaurant.
Our Visit to Pier Zero
We were travelling from Helsinki to Belgrade via Frankfurt in late October. We decided to try Pier Zero for the first time because American Express had been actively promoting the Pier Zero benefit. Finding the restaurant after security was easy, as it was just a few steps away at Gate 28 and the restaurant was easy to identify by its shape.
We visited Pier Zero also in December.
We climbed the stairs to the Pier Zero à la carte side, as there was only a bar and deli downstairs. We noticed as soon as we arrived that there was no lift upstairs, so not all potential customers might be able to take advantage of the restaurant’s services. At the top of the stairs, we were greeted by a small but very comfortable and particularly quiet restaurant area. The view of the runway was almost unobstructed, making Pier Zero an aircraft enthusiast’s dream.
We ordered a pulled beef burger from Pier Zero’s American Express special menu and a beer and mineral water. To our knowledge, the menu was not much different from the basic menu, but some dishes had been cut out. The drinks and food were brought to the table quickly and it wasn’t long before we were eating. The taste and presentation of the food were impeccable and the drinks were what we had ordered.
Service at the restaurant was friendly and professional throughout our stay. A minor shortcoming was that the service was only in English, even though the restaurant was located at a Finnish airport. If you are fluent in English, this should not be allowed to detract from an otherwise good restaurant experience. We understand that there were also Finnish-speaking staff in the restaurant, who will probably serve on request.
The restaurant had a flight information screen, so it was easy to keep track of your flight status. We recommend that you allow at least an hour for dining, with a half-hour margin on top of that. There’s no need to leave in a hurry. If your flight is delayed or you have some extra time after dinner, you can enjoy a drink at the bar downstairs.
Was Pier Zero a Good Choice?
We haven’t tried all the dishes at Pier Zero, but the ones we have ordered have been excellent for the price. The prices are reasonable and American Express Platinum customers can dine at the restaurant free of charge for now. With its peaceful surroundings, friendly service and a great view of the platform, we think it’s an excellent choice for lunch or dinner travellers.
We give Pier Zero’s à la carte restaurant 3.5 stars. The restaurant is excellent and would deserve a 5-star rating if it were built to be accessible. In today’s world, you rarely come across services that are not accessible to all.
- Where is Pier Zero?
- Pier Zero is located in the departure area of Helsinki-Vantaa airport, by Gate 28.
- Is there an elevator to the Pier Zero restaurant?
- There is no lift to the upper level where the à la carte restaurant is.
- What is the difference between the upper and lower floors of Pier Zero?
- There is a deli and bar downstairs and the à la carte restaurant is upstairs.
- Does Pier Zero have a good view of the runway?
- Yes, there is an excellent view of the apron from the top.
- Is Pier Zero a buffet?
- No, it is not.
- How much time should you allow for dining at Pier Zero?
- To avoid a busy dining experience, it is recommended that you allow 90 minutes for your entire visit.
- Is Pier Zero expensive?
- Pier Zero is not particularly expensive. However, it is worth noting that the average price level at the airport is not affordable either.
- Do we recommend Pier Zero?
- Absolutely. The restaurant is worth a try.
Pier Zero is a fresh and modern dining experience at Helsinki Airport. The food has a Scandinavian twist, although, for the most part, it’s pretty standard Western fare. But the best thing is that it is well prepared and tasty.
Food is not the only attraction of Pier Zero’s à la carte restaurant; the tranquillity of the space and the open view of the apron are other good reasons to choose Pier Zero. The restaurant is more welcoming than many other restaurants at the airport. This, combined with friendly service, makes for a pleasant visit.
Have you visited Pier Zero’s deli, bar or à la carte restaurant? Did you enjoy the food? Tell us about your restaurant experience in the comments section.