Tallinn has gained a new lease on life this summer, and its culinary scene is full of fresh ideas and bursting with energy. There is so much to try that these days, you no longer go to just one restaurant for the afternoon or evening. Instead, you go to a neighbourhood, a district or a street peppered with exciting places and make your way from one to the next.
Telliskivi's beverage boom
In the Telliskivi neighbourhood, an entire building’s worth of beverage-centred establishments has popped up among its amazing eateries
. Here, you can start your day with freshly roasted coffee from Brick Roastery
. On a hot day, you can quench your thirst at Nudist Winery
and discover how their drinks are made. Alternatively, stop in for a pint at Purtse Brewery Tap Room
, where you can try all of the beers from one of the most interesting craft breweries in Estonia. From the early evening, and well into the night, Metsis
offer the best gin cocktails around. The latter also gives you the chance to see how gin is made.
The Old Town is abuzz with activity – just take a look!
Some say the Old Town
is no longer the centre of life in the city. However, arguably the most interesting cocktails in Tallinn are made at Botaanik
on Suurtüki Street. But it is only those who are lucky enough to get a table who can enjoy them. If you want a chance of getting in, a reservation is the best approach. Bear in mind, though, that reservations need to be made well in advance.
Sadly, the renowned Old Town restaurant Leib, known for its excellent Estonian cuisine, closed its doors recently – but only so that another restaurant, Lee
, could open its doors in the same location! Lee boldly puts well-known Estonian dishes into oriental sauces, and the result is a whole new perspective on local food.
From there, continue on to Vene Street. There, you will find Rado
, La Bottega
, the courtyard of the Telegraaf hotel
, and the Dominic wine restaurant
all very close to one another. It makes little sense to try to fit them all in one night, so why not make a weekend of it? It is only then that you will be able to say that you have tried most of the interesting flavours the four of them have to offer.
Estonian drinks now share a pedestal with Estonian cuisine
This is despite the fact that in the past, local beverages have not been as highly regarded as imported ones. For example, fine Nordic dishes have usually been accompanied by wines from elsewhere.
Now, Estonia is becoming one of the leading lights in pairing food prepared close to home with drinks prepared just as close. You will hardly find a restaurant in Tallinn these days that doesn’t offer at least a few local drinks on its menu – with or without alcohol. The wine and beer store Sip
in Telliskivi offers the best selection of local beverages. You are not restricted to just looking and buying at the store either: you can taste drinks as well.
Telliskivi or Noblessner? Rotermann or Kadriorg? Perhaps Põhjala?
Deciding where to go for dinner in Tallinn is more difficult than ever because as new, up-and-coming neighbourhoods gain popularity, established areas continue to evolve as well. Noblessner
has not replaced Telliskivi
are being renewed simultaneously, and those who are always on the lookout for the ‘next big thing’ should keep a close eye on the former Põhjala factory
site in Kopli.
If you are struggling to decide, here are a few hints for you. New and exciting restaurants in Tallinn and elsewhere in the country are offering special menus this summer: ‘Estonian Summer Flavours’. These menus showcase the best culinary skills Estonia has to offer alongside the unique art of pairing food and drinks.