You can’t help but be impressed with the quality and variety of the restaurants in Tallinn, Estonia. From traditional Estonian food to contemporary cuisine, there’s something for everyone.
If you thought that Estonian cooking was going to be heavy then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the healthy recipes and tasty dishes that you’ll enjoy here. Read on for our recommendations of the best restaurants in Tallinn.
A traditional Estonian meal often involves potatoes, foraged mushrooms, homemade bread and Estonian cheese. There isn’t really one Estonian national dish. However, sprats served on black bread and räim or Baltic herring fillets are both popular.
Another traditional Estonian recipe is mulgipuder, a sort of pearl barley and potato porridge that is often served with bacon. It’s not to be confused with Estonian mulgikapsas, or pork cooked with sauerkraut and barley.
Apple cake is one of the most tasty Estonian desserts, and curd cheese topped with berries. Microbreweries are popular throughout the country and there are many excellent craft beers to enjoy.
Estonian vodka has been produced since the 1400s and now has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This means that it’s made entirely in Estonia, using only Estonian water and raw ingredients.
Vana Tallinn liqueur is another popular Estonian drink. Launched in 1960, this spicy liqueur contains rum, herbs, spices, oranges and lemons and works well in cocktails or on the rocks.
Best Restaurants in Tallinn
If you want to experience good food, Tallinn is the perfect place for it. There are some great restaurants serving modern Estonian cuisine for affordable prices.
You’ll also find quite a few cosy coffee shops and bars with live music in this small city.
1. LEE Restoran
One of Tallinn’s best restaurants, LEE (formerly known as Lieb Restaurant) has a picture perfect setting in Tallinn Old Town. With a large courtyard garden, it’s a great place to dine in Summertime.
The name LEE comes from the traditional Estonian fireplaces around which people would cook meals together. The dining experience kicks off with a nice selection of contemporary Estonian appetizers.
These are followed by main courses such as Pähkla trout with new potatoes, fermented potato sauce, green beans, fennel and lovage oil. Try the black bread, which is one of the restaurant’s specialties.
There are some interesting desserts including creamy broad bean sorbet with roasted barley broth, redcurrant rhubarb jam and lemon thyme.
Chef Janno Lepik and sommelier Kristjan Peaske also own Lore Bistro, a delightful Estonian restaurant in the quirky Kalamaja district of Tallinn. Located at Noblessner Harbor, in a former shipyard, Lore features many dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven.
LEE Restoran, Uus 31, 10111 Tallinn
2. Noa Restaurant
With a lovely location overlooking Tallinn bay, Noa is the shining star of Estonian cuisine. Some say that if Estonia had the Michelin Star scheme, then Noa would most likely have at least 2 stars. It’s spread over 3 floors and there’s also Noa Chef’s Hall for a full tasting menu experience.
Noa, Ranna tee 3, 12111 Tallinn
3. Restoran Kaks Kokka
For a cosy lunch or dinner and friendly service, you can’t go wrong with Kaks Kokka. Meaning The Two Chefs, it’s headed up by Martin Meikas and Ranno Paukson, who are chefs from Saaremaa.
This casual Tallinn restaurant is a few doors down from renowned Restaurant Ö, owned by the same group. Kaks Kokka is without doubt one of the best places to eat in Tallinn.
From the comfy sofas to the bare brick walls, the atmosphere is very relaxed. For a starter, we can highly recommend the Kolotsi spicy cheese mousse with “black dirt” and roasted and marinated vegetables from South Estonia.
The fish dishes are also very good here, as is the quail from Järveotsa farm served with organic buckwheat from Karmeli farm.
Restoran Kaks Kokka, Mere puiestee 6E, 10111 Tallinn
4. Restaurant Pegasus
In a modern building on one of the Old Town’s most picturesque squares, Pegasus stands out for its friendly service and contemporary cuisine. Many consider it to be the best restaurant in Tallinn and the dishes taste as good as they look. There are three floors and you’ll find the best views on the top level.
Pegasus, Harju 1, 10146 Tallinn
5. Restaurant F-Hoone
One of the most popular restaurants in Kalamaja is F-Huhne. Located in a former factory, it’s the epitome of cool. From the 60s style orange lights to the colourful floor and brick walls, the vibe is cosy and relaxed.
Make sure to book at weekends or you’re unlikely to get in without a long wait. There are some delicious food dishes such as halibut fillet with pak choi, black olive crumbs and a creamy white bean and celery sauce.
The freshly brewed coffee here is especially good, or for something stronger try the sea buckthorn glögg.
F-Hoone, Telliskivi 60, 10412 Tallinn
6. Tuljak Restoran
A sister restaurant of Noa, Tuljak Restoran has far reaching views over Tallinn bay. A large terrace and outdoor fire pits make it particularly popular in the Summer months.
The restaurant originally dates from the 60s and has been reimagined with contemporary interiors matching the modernist take on Estonian cooking. Try the snacks platter for two, which is a great selection of light bites including Atlantic herring, greenshell mussels, tiger prawns and more.
Tuljak Restoran, Pirita tee 26e, 10127 Tallinn
7. Frenchy Bistro
Not to be confused with the Parisian restaurant Frenchie, this Tallinn bistro is located in a bright orange building in hipster Kalamaja. Inside, take a seat next to a Jean-Paul Gaultier lookalike. Tuck into French dishes such as Croque Monsieur or Tartiflette whilst admiring the quirky decor.
Frenchy, Telliskivi 60a B Hoone, 10412 Tallinn
8. Horisont Restaurant & Bar
Located on the 30th floor of luxurious Swissôtel Tallinn, Horisont Restaurant & Bar boasts great views of the Old Town and the sea. There’s a spacious private dining room as well as a stylish lounge bar and restaurant. The restaurant’s emphasis is on fine dining and seasonal, fresh ingredients while the bar rustles up signature cocktails using Estonian gin.
Horisont Restaurant & Bar, Tornimäe 3, 10145 Tallinn
Located in the heart of Tallinn old town on Vana turg, Peppersack is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Dating from the 14th century, staff are dressed in medieval style outfits and there’s a swordfight at 8 pm every evening.
This historic eatery is one of the few restaurants in town that are open for breakfast on a weekday. Try hearty main courses like Master Crowel’s feast with grilled pork tenderloin and sauerkraut, potatoes and marinated beetroot in a milk cap sauce.
Peppersack, Vana turg 6, 10140 Tallinn
10. Restaurant Olde Hansa
Just opposite Peppersack and close to Tallinn Town Hall Square, Olde Hansa serves traditional Estonian food. You can enjoy medieval style music performances every night apart from Mondays.
The food is cooked according to 15th century methods using authentic Estonian recipes of the time. Sample dried elk meat and wild boar at reasonable prices in a cosy atmosphere.
Olde Hansa Vana turg 1, 10146 Tallinn
Other Restaurants in Tallinn
We’ve also heard great things about:
- Art Priori – Gothic architecture and Nordic food trends.
- Restaurant Cru – French cuisine in Tallinn’s old town with a lovely courtyard.
- Kohvik Moon – for refined Russian cuisine.
- Manna La Roosa – a quirky restaurant that turns into a cocktail bar at night.
- Mon Repos – an elegant three floor restaurant in Kadriorg Park by chef Vladislav Djatsuk, a Silverspoon and White Guide award winner.
- Rataskaevu 16 – tasty food and friendly service in the Old Town.
- Tchaikovsky Restaurant – top level Russian food at Hotel Telegraaf.
Bars and Cafes in Tallinn
The oldest coffee shop in Tallinn and Estonia, Maiasmokk has beautiful interiors dating from 1864. It’s now owned by Kalev, who are known for their Estonian chocolate.
On the ground floor, admire the miniature rotating ferris wheel in the window. Upstairs, there’s a more formal room where you can take afternoon tea. You’ll also find an interesting museum dedicated to marzipan on the premises.
Maiasmokk, Pikk 16, 10123 Tallinn
NOP Cafe and Shop
This casual eatery in Kadriorg is popular with locals. A short stroll from Tallinn centre, it’s a great pit stop if you’re visiting Kadriorg Palace. As well as the cosy cafe, there’s a deli section where you can buy food to take away and a large courtyard to relax in during the Summer months.
NOP Cafe and Shop, J. Köleri 1, 10150 Tallinn
Nordic Design Home
The brainchild of an Estonian and British couple, Nordic Design Home is a stylish interiors store with a great little cafe. Their barista has won awards for his latte art and the matcha tea is made in the traditional Japanese way.
Nordic Design Home, Kopli 6, 10412 Tallinn
One of the most picturesque Tallinn cafes is Pierre Chocolaterie. Set in historic Masters’ Courtyard, it’s a charming spot.
Decorated with vintage furniture and fabrics, Pierre Chocolaterie is the perfect refuge on a rainy day in Tallinn. They do delicious flavoured hot chocolate drinks to go with their homemade desserts such as Estonian apple cake.
Pierre Chocolaterie, Vene 6, 10123 Tallinn
Fancy dining in a former train carriage? Peatus could well be the most quirky restaurant in Tallinn. This former Moscow-Tallinn passenger train carriage is now a cool café and nightclub. It is a fun and casual place to have a coffee and a snack in between exploring Kalamaja.
Peatus, Telliskivi 62, 10412 Tallinn
Next to Peatus, you’ll find Balti Jaama Turg Market. This restored market hall is great for food shopping and also has a large number of street food stalls. When you’ve finished eating, have a browse around the antique stalls on the upper floors.
We hope that this list of mouth watering places to eat in Tallinn will inspire you to visit and try some delicious Estonian food. Let us know if you have any other recommendations for great cafes and the best restaurants in Tallinn.
Check out our video of Tallinn here:
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Thanks to Visit Estonia for assisting us with our trip
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