Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a city that is rich in history, culture, and gastronomy. It is a hub for foodies, boasting a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars that cater to all tastes. Whether one is looking for traditional Estonian cuisine, international dishes, or fusion food, Tallinn has something for everyone. Explore the Tallinn restaurants.
In recent years, Tallinn has become a popular destination for food tourism, with its restaurant scene gaining recognition from prestigious international guides such as the Michelin Guide and the White Guide Nordic. These guides have highlighted the city’s culinary offerings, showcasing the best restaurants and chefs that Tallinn has to offer.
From fine dining establishments to casual eateries, Tallinn’s restaurants offer a unique culinary experience that combines traditional Estonian ingredients with modern techniques and international influences. With a focus on fresh, local, and seasonal produce, Tallinn’s chefs are committed to creating innovative and delicious dishes that showcase the best of Estonian cuisine.
Best Tallinn Restaurants
Tallinn has a diverse culinary scene with a wide range of restaurants to choose from. Whether you are looking for Michelin-starred fine dining, local favourites, or affordable options, Tallinn has something for everyone.
Michelin Star Restaurants
Tallinn boasts two Michelin-starred restaurants, NOA Chef’s Hall and 180° by Matthias Diether. NOA Chef’s Hall, located on the waterfront, offers a unique dining experience with stunning views of the sea. The restaurant’s menu features innovative Nordic cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that are both beautiful and delicious. 180° by Matthias Diether, located in Noblessner.
For those looking to experience the local cuisine, there are plenty of options to choose from. One of the most popular local restaurants is Rataskaevu 16, located in the heart of the Old Town. The restaurant’s menu features traditional Estonian dishes, such as black bread, smoked fish, and elk stew. Another local favourite is Vanaema Juures, which translates to “Grandma’s Place”. The restaurant’s menu features classic Estonian dishes with a modern twist, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
For those on a budget, Tallinn has plenty of affordable dining options. One of the most popular affordable restaurants is Uulits, a gourmet street food restaurant that offers some of the best burgers in Tallinn. For something a little different, try Kohvik Must Puudel, a quirky café that serves delicious coffee and pastries, as well as a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
In conclusion, Tallinn has a vibrant culinary scene with something to offer everyone. Whether you are looking for Michelin-starred fine dining, local favourites, or affordable options, Tallinn has it all.
Cuisine Specialities in Tallinn
Tallinn is home to many restaurants that offer traditional Estonian cuisine. One of the most popular dishes is black bread, which is made from rye flour and served with butter. Another must-try dish is verivorst, a blood sausage made with barley and pork.
Seafood is also a staple in Estonian cuisine, thanks to its location on the Baltic Sea. Smoked fish, such as salmon and herring, are commonly served as appetizers or main dishes.
For those with a sweet tooth, try kohuke, a sweet curd snack covered in chocolate. Another popular dessert is kama, a mixture of roasted barley, rye, and peas that is often served with yogurt or kefir.
Tallinn’s food scene is not limited to Estonian cuisine. There are many restaurants that offer international cuisine, including Italian, Indian, and Japanese.
La Prima Pizza is a popular Italian restaurant with two locations in Tallinn. They serve a variety of pizzas and pasta dishes, as well as antipasti and a selection of wines.
For Indian cuisine, try Chakra, which offers a range of curries and biryanis. The lamb and chicken curries are particularly delicious.
If you’re in the mood for sushi, head to Tokyo Sushi, which serves a variety of sushi rolls and sashimi. They also offer bento boxes and other Japanese dishes.
Overall, Tallinn’s food scene offers a wide range of options for both traditional Estonian cuisine and international dishes.
When it comes to dining out in Tallinn, there are a few key areas to keep in mind. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner in the Old Town or a casual bite in Kalamaja, there’s something for everyone. Here are three areas worth exploring:
Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. It’s also home to some of the city’s most charming restaurants. From traditional Estonian cuisine to international fare, there’s no shortage of options. Some popular picks include:
- Olde Hansa: This medieval-themed restaurant is a favourite among tourists. The menu features hearty dishes like wild boar and elk stew, as well as plenty of mead and ale.
- Rataskaevu 16: Located on one of the Old Town’s prettiest streets, this restaurant serves up modern Estonian cuisine with a focus on local ingredients.
- III Draakon: Tucked away in the Town Hall Square, this cozy spot is known for its hearty soups and medieval atmosphere.
Telliskivi is a former industrial area that has been transformed into one of Tallinn’s trendiest neighbourhoods. It’s home to a number of hip cafes, bars, and restaurants, many of which are housed in repurposed factory buildings. Some must-try spots include:
- F-Hoone: This industrial-chic restaurant is a popular brunch spot, but it’s also a great place for a casual dinner. The menu features dishes like burgers, salads, and pastas.
- Pudel Baar: This craft beer bar is a favourite among locals. The rotating selection of Estonian and international brews is complemented by a small menu of snacks and sandwiches.
- NOP: This vegetarian and vegan restaurant serves up colourful and creative dishes like beetroot ravioli and cauliflower steak.
Kalamaja is a bohemian neighbourhood just west of the Old Town. It’s known for its colourful wooden houses and laid-back vibe. The restaurant scene here is eclectic, with everything from upscale Nordic cuisine to street food. Some top picks include:
- NOA: This seaside restaurant is a bit of a splurge, but the views and the food are worth it. The menu features dishes like smoked eel and grilled octopus.
- Boheem: This cosy cafe is a great spot for a coffee or a light lunch. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, and quiches, as well as a selection of cakes and pastries.
- Kaja Pizza Köök & Baar: This casual pizza joint is a favourite among locals. The pizzas are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Dining Etiquette in Tallinn
When dining out in Tallinn, there are some basic etiquette rules to follow. Here are some tips to help you navigate the local dining culture:
It is always a good idea to make a reservation before going to a restaurant in Tallinn. This is especially important for fine-dining establishments or popular restaurants. Many restaurants in Tallinn can get quite busy, especially during peak tourist season, so it is best to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Tallinn is a fairly casual city, and most restaurants do not have a strict dress code. However, it is always a good idea to dress smart-casual when dining out. Avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, or overly revealing clothing.
When dining in Tallinn, it is important to wait for the host to invite you to sit down. If you are unsure where to sit, wait for the host to direct you. When eating, keep your elbows off the table and use utensils appropriately. It is also considered polite to wait for everyone at the table to be served before starting to eat.
Tipping is not mandatory in Tallinn, but it is appreciated. In most restaurants, a service charge of 10% is included in the bill. If you receive exceptional service, you can leave a small additional tip.
When paying the bill, it is customary to pay at the table rather than at the counter. Many restaurants in Tallinn accept credit cards, but it is always a good idea to carry some cash with you just in case.
By following these basic etiquette rules, you can ensure a pleasant dining experience in Tallinn.
Sustainable and Vegan Options
Tallinn has a growing number of restaurants that are committed to sustainability and veganism. These restaurants use organic and locally sourced ingredients, and many of them offer plant-based options.
One such restaurant is Vegan Restoran V, which offers a variety of vegan dishes such as vegan burgers, salads, and soups. The restaurant also has a focus on sustainability, using eco-friendly packaging and cutting down on food waste.
Another great option is Kohvik August, which serves vegetarian and vegan cuisine made with local and organic ingredients. The menu changes frequently, but some of the popular dishes include vegan lasagna and beetroot burgers.
For those looking for a quick bite, Vegan Inspiratsioon offers a range of vegan fast food options such as burgers, hot dogs, and wraps. The restaurant uses organic and locally sourced ingredients and also offers gluten-free and soy-free options.
If you’re in the mood for pizza, then head to La Prima Pizza Vanalinn, which offers a range of vegan pizzas made with vegan cheese and toppings such as mushrooms, olives, and peppers. The restaurant also has gluten-free options available.
Overall, Tallinn has a range of sustainable and vegan options available for those looking for plant-based meals. Whether you’re looking for a sit-down dinner or a quick bite, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Seasonal Food in Tallinn
Tallinn’s restaurants pride themselves on using seasonal, local raw ingredients to create unique Estonian cuisine. This means that the menus often change depending on the time of year, with chefs creating dishes that showcase the best of what’s available.
In the summer months, you can expect to find plenty of fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, as well as a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and beets. These ingredients are often used to create light, refreshing dishes that are perfect for warm weather, such as salads, soups, and grilled meats.
In the autumn, the focus shifts to heartier fare, with dishes featuring root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips, as well as game meats, such as venison and wild boar. Mushrooms are also in season during the autumn months, and you’ll find them featured in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces.
Winter is the time for warming, comforting dishes, and Tallinn’s restaurants do not disappoint. Traditional Estonian dishes, such as black pudding, sauerkraut, and blood sausage, are often on the menu, as are hearty stews and casseroles. You’ll also find plenty of fish dishes, including pickled herring and smoked salmon, as well as warming drinks, such as mulled wine and hot chocolate.
Finally, in the spring, the focus shifts back to lighter, fresher dishes, with the first of the year’s produce, such as asparagus and rhubarb, making an appearance. You’ll also find plenty of fish dishes featuring Baltic herring and sprats, which are in season during the spring months.
Overall, Tallinn’s restaurants offer a unique culinary experience that showcases the best of Estonian cuisine using seasonal, local ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a fine-dining experience or a more affordable meal, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste buds in this vibrant city.
Tallinn offers a diverse range of culinary experiences for locals and tourists alike. From traditional Estonian cuisine to modern fusion dishes, there is something for every palate.
The Michelin Guide and White Guide have recognised the city’s culinary scene, with several restaurants receiving accolades for their exceptional food and service. Noa Chef’s Hall and Restaurant 180⁰ are two of the most highly rated restaurants in Tallinn, both offering fine dining experiences with stunning views.
For those looking for a more casual dining experience, LEE Restoran in Tallinn Old Town is a popular choice. With a large courtyard garden, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal in the summertime.
Visitors to Tallinn should also consider trying traditional Estonian dishes such as black bread, smoked fish, and sauerkraut. These dishes can be found in many restaurants throughout the city, as well as at local markets and street food vendors.
Overall, Tallinn’s restaurant scene is a testament to the city’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re looking for a Michelin-starred meal or a taste of traditional Estonian cuisine, there is no shortage of options to choose from.