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Tallinn's delicious cakes and pretty cafés
Tallinn is filled with pretty and elegant cafés and bakeries, each one lovelier than the last. The café culture in the city has German influences. In Tallinn, you'll find fresh pastries, mouth-watering cakes, and impressive tea selections. While in town, you must visit the local eateries, where delicious cakes are waiting for you!
Because there are so many to choose from, we make finding the best cafés in Tallinn easier for you. Here are the top 5 cake and dessert spots in Tallinn.
Ristikheina Kohvik - a café loved by locals
Ristikheina Kohvik in Pelgulinn represents local taste combined with high quality. The place was created as a neighbourhood café by local residents and opened its doors in November 2014. Today you can enjoy their delicious cakes at two locations; in the original Pelgulinn café and in the renovated Balti Jaam Market. A third spot was opened in the centre of Tallinn (Tartu mnt 6) in the beginning of November.
The café has an interesting background. Jarmo, a former Estonian professional footballer, had the idea while living and working in Hungary in 2013. He felt that the Pelgulinn community was missing a place where local residents could gather to enjoy good food and cakes. He presented his idea to his wife, Meelika and to Sandra, who is a food blogger, and the rest is history.
Ristikheina Kohvik strives to bring you high quality and amazing tastes. Every day at the café in Pelgulinn starts with breakfast. According to the staff, the breakfast is popular among locals, as well as visitors staying in Airbnb apartments in the area. Ristikheina Kohvik also serves daily specials and can host dinner parties.
The cake selection at Ristikheina Kohvik varies a bit according to seasons, but it always includes classics such as brownies, honey cake, carrot cake, red velvet cake, and napoleon cake. You can also find vegan cakes, amazing pastries, and macaroons at the counter. Online, you can even order a whole cake to take home with you! Every cake is produced with great dedication and passion in Ristikheina Kohvik.
According to Meelika the most popular items on the cake menu are the true classics, for example the napoleon cake and profiteroles. The excellent juniper-strawberry cheesecake, pistachio-passionfruit cheesecake and, apparently favourite in particular of male customers, the vegan peanut butter-raspberry cake, are also very popular.
Komeet - combining elegance and culture
Komeet is located on the 4th floor of the Solaris centre in the heart of Tallinn. The café offers delicious cakes, big enough to share with a friend, plus stunning views over Tallinn. Komeet is owned by Anni Arro, a well-known Estonian chef, baker and cookbook author. A café in Tallinn had been something she had dreamed of for a long time, and it all came to fruition when Komeet opened in 2009.
Komeet is stylish and elegant, with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Everyone from babies (they have a separate infant menu) to grandparents are warmly welcomed to spend time and enjoy good food in Komeet. Locals love to stop by before and after going to the theatre, as the café is located close to the Estonian national ballet and opera house, two large concert halls, and the Estonian Drama Theatre.
An a la carte lunch and dinner are available here. There are plenty of dishes to choose from on the menu, such as
spaghetti with spicy king prawns, vegan beetroot pattie with hummus, grilled salmon salad and much more. A large selection of coffee, tea and juice, along with a substantial wine list, guarantees that you’ll find a drink to compliment the food. Every detail is taken into account in the café’s design. A lot of effort is put into the recipes and the menu, which is updated twice a year with fresh fancies.
Komeet values high quality and pure and honest ingredients, such as butter and cream, to make the richest cakes. The staff's and also customers’ favourite is the layered chocolate meringue cake with fresh strawberries. Other meringue cakes are also worth trying. Especially popular is the raspberry-meringue roll. Most cakes can also be preordered online and picked up from the café.
Not only do the cakes taste sensational, they also look impressive. The geisha cake, chocolate meringue cake, pavlova, pistachio-strawberry cake, and vegan blueberry raw cake are just divine and simply melt in your mouth.
Vahvlihaldjad - old traditions with a millennial twist
Vahvlihaldjad (meaning the 'waffle fairies') is a particularly special newcomer in the crowded field of cake cafés in Tallinn. Two young women, an old waffle machine, and a Facebook page were all it took to start a successful cake business in the beginning of 2016. First only available through online orders, Vahvlihaldjad now has its own shop in the Balti Jaam Market.
Vahvlihaldjad specialises in waffles. So far they have made and sold what is estimated to be more than 100,000 of them. What makes their waffles special? They use old-fashioned waffle machines, produced during Soviet times, the kind that Estonian grandmothers used to use and in some cases still do. The old machines make the waffles really thin and tasty. Liisel, the owner, says that the other reason why their waffles taste so good is the recipe. The recipe has been tuned by her mother to perfection and now you can’t get such tasty waffles anywhere else!
Inside their pink café and shop at Balti Jaam Market, you can find pretty waffles, pastel-colored meringues, cute and colourful macaroons, unicorn cookies, shiny cake pops and also flamingo, bunny, mermaid and unicorn cupcakes. Everything is very cute, with pink, pastel and rainbow colours that are especially appealing to children, millennials and Instagrammers. The older generation can find nostalgia in the “old-school” waffles, bringing back memories from childhood.
For new product ideas, Liisel likes to surf through Pinterest. For her, it is important, that the cakes don’t only taste top-notch, but also look top-notch. The most popular items at Vahvlihaldjad are the regular waffles, vanilla and berry-filled waffles, and meringues. A lot of the preparation is done by hand. Liisel’s mother usually makes the waffles, using several machines at a time. Vahvlihaldjad is a family business and behind the counter, you can usually meet Liisel’s mother and sister.
Decorating the coffee table with Vahvlihaldjad products is not challenging at all. Everything from watermelon macaroons to salted caramel flamingo cupcakes not only look stunning but also taste exquisite.
Rukis - staying true to Estonian flavours
Rukis means 'rye', and is close to the hearts of Estonians. Estonian rye bread is something every Estonian starts to miss abroad. It is also something Rukis café and bakery is famous for. Besides excellent bread, Rukis also serves some of the best cakes in town.
Located in the Old Town on the main thoroughfare, Viru street, Rukis is a perfect spot to visit on your trip to Tallinn. Open the door and step inside, and you are greeted with friendly smiles and the lovely smell of fresh bread. Take a look at the back of the café, and you’ll see the ovens where the tasty bread is baked. But right at the entrance, you’ll find an astonishing selection of cakes and desserts.
Next to Rukis café and bakery is the Farm restaurant. According to the manager Marta Rosalie Tõhk, both Farm and Rukis are focused on Estonian traditions. Here you’ll find traditional Estonian food, pastries and cakes, with a modern twist, made with fresh Estonian ingredients. Try desserts with kama (a flour mixture of rye, oats, barley and pea), and seasonal cakes honouring Estonian nature and four seasons.
This café is also a place in Tallinn where you’ll find the traditional sweet bun filled with whipped cream, a treat usually served only on Shrove Tuesday, and typically only available at that time! In Rukis, it’s an all-year-round treat, and so much the better for it. It is one of the café’s bestsellers along with raspberry-halva cake, and pavlova with berries. Other sweet favourites include chocolate-cherry cake and hazelnut cheesecake. A must try at Rukis is the poppyseed cake, loved by customers and staff!
Silky cream cheese rhubarb cake and fresh buckthorn-rowan cheesecake are seasonal products from the wide selection of desserts Rukis offers. Smooth hazelnut cheesecake, classic pavlova with berries, and sweet banoffee pie cups are all perfect for a coffee break. Take a seat by the window and just enjoy with all your senses.
Carmen Café - treats you like VIP
Carmen Café was born out of the Carmen Catering business, and has gained huge fame among locals. The first café, opened in 2014, is located in the trendy Rotermann Quarter. It is a cosy place to start your day, enjoy an all-day breakfast, hang out, treat yourself with cake and coffee and slowly watch the world go by.
The second café was opened in 2016 on Kentmanni street, in the centre of the city, with a third spot just opened in the Estonian Film Museum in Maarjamäe Palace. So you’ll have many opportunities to try out the incredible cakes Carmen Café offers. Carmen Café in Kentmanni also serves tasty daily specials and a selection of warm dishes, some of which are exclusively available there.
Carmen Group (which includes Carmen Café, Carmen Catering, Korsten Armastus ja Hea Toit, and Saku Gastro) continues to be a market leader in the catering industry. They have been chosen to cater for heads of state and other VIPs meeting in Tallinn, as Estonia holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2017. Being one of the best in the business, Carmen Group lets its service do the talking. There is a focus on to serving top quality refreshments for every customer.
Kadri Vainomäe, the marketing manager, says that new cakes and desserts are added to the menu to add some excitement every so often. Customer views about new items are mean a great deal and help to fine-tune the selection to perfection. Popular desserts are developed further, and some items are replaced with new ones. Carmen Café has also begun offering fresh vegan sandwiches at their cafés.
The cakes at Carmen Café are rich and tasty, but also very fairly priced, so treat yourself! The customers love the fresh pavlova meringue and the rich and milky biscuit cake with chocolate. The super-soft passion fruit cake and tastebud-tickling eclair with salted caramel are two of the many other recommended dishes.