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Photo by: Vegan Restaurant V

Photo by: Vegan Restaurant V

Photo by: Vegan Restaurant V

Photo by: Von Krahli Aed

Photo by: Vegan Restaurant V

Tallinn - a feast for vegans

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By Terhi Pääskylä-Malmström  •  11.10.2018

Where to eat vegan or vegetarian food in Tallinn? Gone are the days when vegetarians visiting Tallinn were offered meat soup for lunch. It was called vegetable soup, because there were some vegetables in it as well… Today, special diets are well known in Tallinn. Lactose-free and gluten-free foods are offered practically everywhere, and vegans – those who consume only plant-based produce – have a generous variety of food to choose from. 

There are several vegan-friendly and 100% vegan restaurants in Tallinn, and they are not just for vegans. Anyone who has a taste for gourmet dining is welcome!  

Old Town’s vegan restaurants

Vegan Restoran V, located on the charming Rataskaevu Street, opened its doors in 2014 as the first vegan restaurant in Tallinn. Since then, it has become the jewel in the crown of Tallinn’s vegan restaurants. 

V’s menu is 100% plant-based, but it also proves that vegans can eat well and enjoy the tasty side of life. There are about five starters and main courses on the menu, along with a few soups, salads and desserts. Guests can also enjoy mouth-watering cakes and muffins, juices, and smoothies as well as a variety of teas, special coffees, and vegan beer and wine.  

A visit to V breaks myths and prejudices – even many meat-lovers rank V as one of their favourite eateries. The 30-seat restaurant is practically always full, so booking a table well in advance is highly recommended. If you can’t get a table, there’s no need to feel too depressed. The neighbouring restaurants Von Krahli Aed and Rataskaevu 16 also offer a good selection of vegan dishes. 

On the other side of Old Town, at the crossing of Lai and Pagari Streets, you’ll find another fully vegan restaurant called Kohvik Inspiratsioon. This inspiring dining spot offers soups, salads, wraps and vegan burgers, as well as snacks and cakes to go with your afternoon coffee. Freshly made smoothies, wines and craft beers are also worth trying.

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 occupation, and the interrogations they carried out spread fear and proved to be fatal for many Estonians. Today, the KGB Prison Cells operate as a museum.

Retro, eco and healthy cafés

Must Puudel, a café situated on Müürivahe Street in old Town, is not solely vegan in its offering, but it treats its vegan guests with great respect and has many dishes suitable for meat-free eating. The bohemian café and restaurant consists of four unique rooms and a compact, secluded summer terrace on the courtyard. The interior design is full-on retro, and the window sills are packed with piles of old books and magazines. Often, weekends bring local musicians and DJs to Must Puudel, so a ticket (and dancing shoes) may be required. 

Kadriorg is a district known for its beautiful park and palace. The famous and well-loved NOP café (standing for Neighbourhood Organic Place) is also worth a visit. It focuses on ecologically sound food, and offers tasty vegan options too. NOP’s well-stocked shop also sells a variety of snacks and products for home or hostel cooking. 

The newly-renovated Rotermann Quarter is home to a small and homey health bar, Purée, offering vegetarian food, mostly suitable for vegans. Purée is especially known for its rich and healthy smoothies.   

Try also the Mamo cafés on Tornimäe, Liivalaia, and Valukoja Streets. Estonia’s first health food chain is a great place for anyone in need of nutritious fast food, and the many vegan dishes are clearly marked. The cafés are open on weekdays from morning till early evening. 

By bus to a buffet

In case you want to have a bigger choice of vegan food, take a bus ride to one of Tallinn’s vegan buffets, a few miles away from the city centre.  

Bliss is a spacious and airy vegetarian restaurant in a modern office building, treating its guests to a choice of more than 100 courses in its vegan-friendly buffet. The food is paid-for by weight, and accompanied by cakes, cookies and other delicacies. 

Vegan café Vigri is situated in the former Olympic Centre in Pirita. In the summer, it opens early in the morning for a healthy breakfast. A pay-by-weight buffet is open all year round from lunchtime, serving seven cold and seven hot dishes that differ from day to day. For those with a sweet tooth, Vigri offers raw cakes, freshly baked pastries and sweet buns. Many of the products are also wheat- and sugar-free. 

The vegan pearls of northern Tallinn

The freshly renovated Balti Jaam (Baltic Station) Market offers plenty of good options for vegans. Veg Machine is a small and friendly food shack with a couple of vegan street food options that change daily. One of them is usually a burger. Just sit down by the counter and enjoy your meal! 

The vegan-friendly Japanese restaurant Tokumaru is across the floor, luring customers with its sushi and nutritious rice bowls. The well-liked restaurant can also be found at the Solaris Shopping Centre. Toormoor, also at the Balti Jaam Market, is a café focusing on raw food. Be sure to try its wonderful snacks and pastries that can be eaten in or taken away. 

Burger Box, just across the street next to the market, welcomes all vegans for a tasty falafel burger. A bit further, Ülo is a trendy vegetarian restaurant whose menu also includes something for meat and fish lovers. Noodle Box, on the nearby Telliskivi Street specialises in Asian vegan food. Another takeaway restaurant - SIIN, offers vegetarian and vegan food on weekdays. It opens early in the morning and closes after lunchtime.

If you choose to continue to the atmospheric district of Pelguranna, stop by the cosy Ristikheina kohvik. This romantic café and restaurant, serving its guests in an old wooden house, always has dishes and cakes for vegans on its menu. 

For the enjoyment of coffee lovers…

In addition to the places mentioned in this article, nearly all of the main cafés and café chains in Tallinn – such as Caffeine, Coffee In, Epic Coffee, Gourmet Coffee, Kehrwieder, and Reval Café – are ready to prepare special coffees with soy or other plant-based milk drinks. Usually there’s at least one cake suitable for vegans, too. 

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