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Photo by: Anu Vahtra

By Heidi Vihma  •  17.02.2017

It’s interesting to eat in Tallinn. New and original restaurants are popping up, styles are mixed, new Estonian cuisine is being developed and national cuisines are being discovered. 

There have always been great and even greater restaurants in the Old Town. My favourites include Leib Resto ja Aed with Estonian cuisine, the stylish Russian-French gourmet restaurant Tchaikovsky, the superb food and wine matchers Dominic and Ribe, and Olde Hansa with the spirit of Medieval times.

The gourmet scenery is expanding to the suburbs, which is a more recent tendency. The hipster district of Kalamaja is having its culinary heyday with a number of new restaurants on the scene, including MoonSesoonF-hoone and others in Telliskivi Creative City. Located on the border of Tallinn, Noa is widely popular and has been chosen among the best restaurants in Estonia. There is also the modest Salt in Kadriorg, Kolm Sibulat in Pelgulinn and Umami in the Õismäe-Mustamäe district, which all provide great culinary experiences.

Opening times

You can always go out to eat in Estonia, as there are no strict dining hours. The restaurants are usually open from noon to midnight and stay open longer on weekends. There are just a few dinner restaurants, including those that test the waters and only open their doors at lunch and dinner time. The distinctions between cafés, bars and restaurants are disappearing and numerous cafes have introduced soups and main dishes to their menus. Many cafés only open between 10 and 11 am, but it is possible to find breakfast spots that open earlier, around 8–9 am – Katharinenthal, Carmen Café, MamoGianni café. The bistro style restaurants and cafés that are open in the mornings have special morning menus, including mainly egg meals, omelettes and sandwiches. When hunger strikes at midnight, it is best to head to the city centre where you can find Taco Express, Loca, Istanbul kebab and Tommi Grill.

Price level

A main dish in city centre restaurants that offer great flavour at a moderate price costs around 15 euros. I would recommend AedSfäärLusikas and Platz ja Leib
In the more expensive restaurants, a main dish costs around 30 euros. The reliable choices here are HorisontGianni and Tchaikovsky. Many restaurants and cafés have a simpler and cheaper day menu during lunch hours, usually from 1 pm to 3 pm. You can get the daily special for 4–6 euros in a less fancy restaurant, but the cheapest place for the common folk is III Draakon located in the heart of the city, under the Town Hall. Here you can get a bowl of soup for 2 euros and a decent pastry for 1 euro.

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