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Planning a family getaway to Tallinn? Welcome! Tallinn is a first-rate family-friendly destination with a number of great attractions and exciting things to do for children. And when hunger strikes, you can have your pick of many child-friendly eateries.
Old TownThe Old Town is full of incomparable cafes and restaurants, but Koogel Moogel, located in Piip and Tuut’s Play House, has to be the outright favourite for children. The venue, named after two beloved Estonian clown entertainers, hosts theatre performances and concerts and children have their own playroom. Families with slightly older children who might be more interested in knights and princesses than clowns, would do well to head to Peppersack Restaurant. This medieval restaurant doesn’t have a separate playroom, but medieval-style high chairs appeal and it also stocks coloured pencils with drawing paper. It also has a nappy-changing area.
If you’re looking for more festive, modern place to eat, consider Leib Resto & Aed, where the wait staff also gladly hand out colouring books and crayons and in warmer weather, children can play in the sandbox in the courtyard. In summer, the restaurant’s garden rates tops for atmosphere. With its modern simplicity and noteworthy level of service, Rataskaevu 16 restaurant is a standout. Here children will find a small playroom and there’s also a nappy-changing station.
For sweets, the Gelato Ladies ice cream café is a splendid option, offering a wide selection of homemade gelati. The café has a separate children’s corner.
The city centre
Central Tallinn has many cafes and restaurants with a cosy atmosphere, but one of the newest places that has a children’s play corner is the Rävala location of the Reval Café chain. The café serves both savoury and sweet dishes. Kids will love the smiley-face cookies and the house ice cream. Two Mamo cafes are also located in the same part of town, Mamo being known in Estonia as a nutritious and balanced health food chain. These cafés are best known as a good spot for breakfast or lunch. Perhaps a family porridge morning, enabling everyone to sample a classic Estonian breakfast?
Those looking for something heartier - especially fans of American food and atmosphere – should consider dining at Mack Bar-B-Que. The menu features tasty ribs, chicken wings, burgers and pizzas. There's a separate kids’ corner here as well.
While shopping in the city centre, you’re bound to come across Solaris Centre. Komeet, the café on the top floor, is known for the best view and best cakes in town. Their kid-friendliness comes through in their special menu, which even has options for infants, like fresh vegetable puree. There’s no children’s corner, but the wait staff is kind and provides colouring books and pencils. One floor down in the same complex is the slightly simpler buffet-restaurant Lido, which puts a premium on the efficiency of its cafeteria-style service and a wide variety of home-style fare. There’s no children’s corner, but it’s probably one of the best options for fast service and it’s also likely to be easy on the budget.
Kadriorg is well-known not only for its greenery and elegance, but for its cosy and stylish cafes. One of the most child-friendly ones is certainly Gourmet Coffee right near the park, a place for a family breakfast outing or cake break. Besides the acclaimed coffee, the café has a small kids’ corner. Another cosy Kadriorg café is NOP, known for putting ecological food in focus. Here there’s not only a kids’ corner but a sandbox that’s open in summer.
Serving Thai and Indian cuisine, Villa Thai has a popular children’s menu that attests to the fact that kids are open to trying more exotic foods as long as they’re prepared well and not too spicy. The restaurant has a separate playroom.
During the summer period, some families are bound to prefer the outdoors to restaurants and opt to have a picnic in the park. In that case, we advise stopping by a nostalgic Kadriorg establishment, Vesivärava Cafe, to buy their fresh and incredibly tasty sweet and savoury pastries.
The new and rapidly developing Kalamaja area has become one of the preferred places to live for families with young children. One of the most popular museums in the city is located in this area – Seaplane Harbour. The dishes served up by Maru Café with its pure and simple flavours were inspired by the cuisine of the Estonian coastal regions. If you’re too hungry for a sit-down meal, there’s a small selection of ready-to-eat options in a glass case.
In this part of the city, F-Hoone is certainly a child-friendly restaurant option, with its separate playroom. This Bohemian-style restaurant is special because of its eclectic menu and retro style. Pancake-lovers should visit Apelsini Raudtee down by the railway tracks.
Kalamaja’s newest food court is found at Balti Jaama Turg, the newly renovated railway station market, where Kniks&Kraaps Restaurant should be mentioned among a number of other eateries. At this place, inspired by children, patrons of any age can assemble their plate themselves: there’s a buffet as well as a la carte menu, cooking classes are held, and there’s also a quality playroom.
Õismäe (Rocca al Mare) and Mustamäe
After a visit to the zoo, you can recharge at the nearby pizza and pasta restaurant Rucola. The menu is simple and unpretentious, but what makes Rucola special is its spacious kids’ corner and the fact that younger patrons are made to feel so welcome. A bit further off, on the border between Mustamäe and Õismäe districts, is Umami Restaurant, which quickly became a favourite of families. In summer, tables are brought out under the apple trees, and kids have the run of the lawn and a sandbox - it’s almost like a birthday at grandmother’s cottage, rather than a restaurant. In winter, the restaurant retreats into the cosy house, where there’s an upstairs children’s playroom. The restaurant is also known for its Sunday brunch.
Even the favourite Estonian children’s character Lotte has her own café in Tallinn. The popular Lotte Café is in Mustamäe Keskus shopping centre and is reminiscent of the whole setting for the Lotte-verse, as one can taste food prepared by Lotte’s mother Anna, play in a big play area, invent in Oskar’s workshop and watch Lotte in the animated films.
Just outside of Tallinn
There are also child-friendly restaurants outside the city limits. A short drive west of Rocca al Mare Shopping centre and the Estonian Open Air Museum, along Rannamõisa tee, is the Lucca family restaurant. The restaurant’s menu features traditional meat dishes and homemade pastas and pizzas. Children have a large separate playroom and outdoor area.
Tabasalu is also known for its child-friendly places to eat – it’s home to the American-style restaurant BabyBack Ribs & BBQ, as well as Seller, which is cosy in a modern way. The advantage of the first one is its big playroom, while Seller Restaurant has a baby changing station.
A drive of 20 kilometres to the east of Tallinn, on the other hand, brings you to the scenic fishing villages of Kaberneeme and Neeme. Besides the local unspoiled sands, Neeme has a small seaside fish restaurant called Ruhe, which beckons to families with its spacious terrace and small children’s corner.