Vegan restaurants in Tallinn
By Terhi Pääskylä-Malmström • 14.07.2016
There are quite a few restaurants in Tallinn that are suitable for vegans or that only offer vegetarian food. And, of course, they also welcome all those who love good food.
Vegans are people who only eat food of plant origin. The Estonian restaurant scene has developed fast in the area of vegan food and has also become an excellent gourmet travel destination for vegetarians.
Gone are the days when vegetarians visiting Tallinn were offered ‘vegetable soup’ containing meat. Well, there were also some vegetables in the soup!
These days people are well aware of special diets. Everyone understands what lactose and gluten intolerance are and vegetarians have a lot to choose from.
Vegetables by the well
Vegan Restoran V, which is located on the cosy Rataskaevu street (named after the well on the street) in the beautiful Old Town, opened its doors in 2014 as the first vegan restaurant in Tallinn and Estonia.
The menu contains about five starters and mains, along with a couple of soups, salads and desserts. Guests can enjoy mouth-watering cakes and muffins, juices and smoothies, various teas and special coffees as well as vegan beer and wine.
A visit to V breaks myths and prejudices – even many meat eaters consider V their favourite restaurant. The 30-seat restaurant is almost always full, so you have to book a table early if you definitely want to eat there.
However, it speaks for itself if you cannot find a free table there. Right next door to V is Aed, which also offers many vegetarian dishes.
Sources of inspiration
Café Inspiratsioon on the other side of the Old Town, at the crossing of Lai and Pagari streets, is also an eatery that only offers vegetarian food.
Guests will find a wide selection of delicious vegetarian dishes from pies and salads to stir-fries. The most popular food choice at the restaurant is the hamburger, which guests can combine themselves. The menu also contains a lot of small snacks and sweet delicacies that are perfect with an afternoon coffee. Recommended cold drinks include smoothies, wines and craft beer.
Inspiratsioon is located in a newly renovated building where the presence of history can still be felt: the notorious KGB head office operated here during the Soviet times, and the interrogations they carried out spread fear and proved to be lethal for many Estonians.
The dark shadows of the past have now retreated and, in addition to the restaurant, they have also made room for luxury apartments on the upper floors.
Retro rhythms of Müürivahe street – good food and music go hand in hand
Two vegetarian-friendly restaurants are located in Müürivahe street right next to the city wall. They are not exclusively vegetarian restaurants, but clients who wish to avoid meat dishes are greeted with friendly and understanding service, and the dishes are modified to meet the requests of the guests.
Must Puudel is a bohemian café and restaurant that consists of four unique rooms and a courtyard open every summer. The interior of the café comes from the 1970s and the café’s windowsills are full of magazines and books from that era. Estonian music plays in the background.
Sinilind at the other end of Müürivahe street also has a down-to-earth retro atmosphere. The menu contains several vegetarian dishes and great music is played here in the evenings. The café has a stage for bands and a dance floor.
Vegetarian buffet and fast food chain
Be ready for some adventure when looking for great food - get on the bus or trolleybus and head out of the city centre, to restaurant Bliss in Mustamäe.
Bliss is a spacious and airy buffet restaurant in a modern office building that specialises in vegetarian food. Everyday, the restaurant offers more than 70 dishes, including a wide selection of vegetarian options. Everyone selects their favourites from a buffet and then pays for the food by weight. The strengths of Bliss are its delicious cakes, biscuits and other sweet delicacies.
Why not try the food offered by the cafés in the Mamo chain? All Mamo cafés are located in the city centre - on Liivalaia, Roosikrantsi and Tornimäe streets. The first Estonian café chain that focuses on healthy food is an excellent place for people who love healthy fast food.
Dishes that are suitable for vegans are clearly marked in Mamo and there are quite a few of them. On weekdays, the cafés open early in the morning and closes at the end of the working day, as they are mainly places for lunch.
The lovely café and bookstore GreenBakery.ee in the city centre is also committed to vegetarian and gluten-free food. Here, you will find a wide selection of vegetarian and gluten and sugar-free food, as well as other cakes and biscuits. A buffet lunch is available on weekdays. Guests can enjoy the coffee and cakes outside when the weather is warm.
Get your vegan food from the shops and cook yourself
Lääts, which just opened its doors in the Rotermann Quarter in Tallinn, is a food store for vegetarians. The shelves in the shop are full of vegetarian ingredients that can be used to cook your meals when you’re staying in a hostel or guest apartment. Would you like to try some oat milk or vegetarian cheese, wieners or even something sweet? It seems that there is no meat in Lääts, as vegetarians don’t go for it. It’s always good to have a little snack in your bag for an energy boost when you need it – they can also been found in Lääts. And the shop also sells cosmetic products made from plants.
Read more about the restaurants in Tallinn that offer vegetarian food.