For little over month we’ve been living now once again in the city, closer once again everything nice – in a moderately nice but definitely interesting neighborhood of Kallio. Kallio as a district is one of those lively and vibrant areas of town where interesting happenings and people are around the clock, even though from time to time ramblings of drunken people is less of a performance act of urban culture and more of a sign of alcohol induced rage or hallucination. Nevertheless we have enjoyed our time in Kallio and being once again closer to the city, something you don’t get while living in suburbia.
One thing that everyone who comes to kallio will notice is the dire competition between pizzerias and beer bars. Almost anywhere you turn or look you will see atleast one place selling pizza’s with three toppings for 5,50 – 6,50 euros, or selling 0,4 liter pint of local lager for 2,50 euros. So as long as you eat and drink in different places, you can get your stomach full and get your buzz going on with cheap beer. However if you mind things like atmosphere and clientele, you have to be much more selective.
Cheap pizzerias can be quite a surprise from time to time too! Sometimes in despair I’ve had a pizza at Sivuraide, which is conveniently located right next to the metro station. Sivuraide offers good value for money with their few cheap pizzas on the menu and that is exactly what you get, value for money and decent pizza. Nothing too shabby or too spectacular, but a good deal for both the merchant and the customer. When in a hurry or desperately hungry Sivuraide has helped a lot.
Much better pizzas however can be found around Kallio. Pizzeria Apollo has had a fame of making really good pizzas, though it is based more likely on it’s convenient location on vaasankatu, right next to couple of bars where people frequent. However on Kustaankatu is located a little gem called Capris, which has served us on multiple occasions really good pizzas – actually so good pizzas that we have been wondering what is wrong in the world if you can get such a good pizza in Helsinki for 6 euros.
What I really liked in Capris is the fact that even though you might have a selection of meat lover’s dream ingrediends as toppings on the pizza, the pizza itself will not be covered in fat, as it happens quite often in other places. Pizzas have also been baked quite thin, which makes eating them a joy – with each bite you get a good combination of pizza dough and toppings. Capris is also open ’till late, which is a great thing if you happen to come home from club hopping or bird watching and it is already closer to 4 am.
From business perspective though one has to ask how do all these places survive? Can people living and visiting Kallio eat so much pizza, kebab and eat so much beer in bars that each of these places can make a decent profit or atleast income for the operators?