A true Finnish enterpreneur institution, this pizza place (named "Side track") serves 'em big, greasy and coupled with beer bargains.
In the world of Finnish pizza, mostly dominated by immigrant "kebab-and-pizza-and-chinese" businesses, Sivuraide advertises itself as a Finnish pizza restaurant chain although some of the restaurants are staffed by Turks. Catering exclusively for the hungry Finn, Sivuraide pizzas sell more because of size rather than actual taste. However, in otherwise outrageously priced Helsinki, the 4,5 Euro (4 US$) "giant pizzas" are a bargain for the hungry and not-so-demanding eater.
According to the media, the only way for Sivuraide owners to make profit is to bake pizzas from morning until late night. Open twelve hours a day from eleven in the morning, the four restaurants attract not only eaters but beer guzzlers that simply sit as if in a bar. Since alcohol sales give the largest profits in Finland, the owners seem to encourage these beer drinkers with ads like "1 litre beer AND pizza!" giving emphasis to the low price of beer.
There are four Sivuraide restaurants in Helsinki, found at:
The menu of Sivuraide restaurants contains the usual assortment of pizza, but these are more expensive than the daily specials. Three different "normal" pizzas are available every day. A turkey-meat pizza and a kebab-pizza (with shredded kebab-style meat in every pizza) rotate once a week.
Frankly, it doesn't really matter which pizza you order. They all taste quite similar, with ample amounts of grease, salt and vaguely scattered cheese.
Sivuraide is not a very pleasant place to eat, resembling a form of the Finnish "räkälä" ("Snot bar") but if one is looking for a bargain pizza, it's worth considering. They can always be ordered as take-away. In this way one can avoid the admittedly horrible décor of the restaurants as much as possible.