The amount of street food in Tallinn has increased substantially, with street food offered both outdoors and indoors and being an integral part of every festival. Street food, which used to mean a simple and hearty meal for workers, has become a metropolitan phenomenon and a place for world cultures to meet. So it is in Tallinn, as well.
Tallinn's cafés and restaurants also provide outdoor service during the summer. Every summer, a new street, square or terrace appears in Tallinn that becomes the centre of attraction for the season.
Old Town – food on the street, but not necessarily street food
The atmosphere of Tallinn's medieval Old Town can best be felt in the summer, when the entire Old Town transforms into a large open-air stage where all of the city's most important events take place. The heart of the Old Town events is and will always be the Town Hall Square. It's also nice to meet here in the summer more casually – sit on one of the spacious terraces of a Town Hall Square restaurant or café to have lunch, indulge in a glass of beer or a cup of coffee and just watch the time pass. You can find Estonian and Russian national cuisine, French café culture as well as classic pub food in this area.
In and around the Town Hall Square, there are many different eateries where you can buy food to go or enjoy it on-site.
On the corner of the Town Hall Square is the street café Kooker, whose thick mini pancakes are delicious and handy to grab on the go. On the other side of the Town Hall Square, right under the vaults of the building, operates a medieval-style folk tavern III Draakon, where they serve affordable food and drinks. The place is run by a talkative innkeeper who likes to test the humour of visitors.
During summer, summer terraces can be seen on every step of the way on the streets of Old Town, but there is one that stands out from the rest: Vene Street, which can be rightly called Tallinn's restaurant street. There are many good restaurants with different cuisines serving food and, most importantly, these restaurants are the favourites of locals.
There is a wide selection from Indian to Italian cuisine, including Greek and Old European classics. The restaurants on Vene Street are also very good at combining drinks with food and there is even a special champagne restaurant. Vene Street hides romantic passages and courtyards – St. Catherine's Passage, the Master's Courtyard and the courtyard of Telegraaf Hotel, where food is served by the elegant Russian restaurant Tchaikovsky.
Viru Keskus food hall – the largest food hall in Tallinn
The popular shopping centre in Tallinn's city centre underwent a refurbishment in 2022 and now houses the capital's largest food hall on its ground floor. In an area of 1500 square metres, 15 food and drink stations await visitors, offering a variety of culinary delights from around the world.
Based on the food hall concept, the customer can order their favourite food and drinks from a variety of restaurants and then enjoy them in a communal seating area. To save water and energy, all the used dishes are collected and washed together, thus using less water and reducing the need for cooks to wash dishes while working.
The seating area of the Viru Keskus food hall will also be extended to the outdoor terrace by Tammsaare Park.
Rotermann Quarter – from an industrial centre to a modern city
Tallinn’s actual centre point at the intersection of several roads is the former industrial area Rotermann, which has become one of the city's most prominent oases of modern architecture with a wide range of opportunities for leisure, including cafes and restaurants.
The flavours of the world, from Asian to Mexican cuisine and kosher food to Estonian cuisine, are woven in between modern and historical architecture.
The Stalker Passage on the edge of the former orchard is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of the whole quarter and a paradise for food gourmands that fulfils the heart's desires of both meat lovers and vegetarians. In the summer, these places smelling of good food, cardamom bread and coffee bring their products outside, right onto one of the most special streets in Tallinn.
Baltic Station Market and DEPOO food streets and one of a kind Literaat
Baltic Station Market (Balti Jaama Turg) is a food market where in addition to shopping for things to take home, food is also offered on-site in case you get hungry. Soup fans, khachapuri worshipers, vegans, waffle enthusiasts and pie and pizza lovers will all find something to enjoy on the kiosk street. On top of all that you can enjoy all the delicious scents walking around the area, as all that good food is prepared on-site. The food street of the market attracts cake lovers, sushi and smoothie fans and has some surprises for wrap enthusiasts.
The DEPOO food street is a unique business idea where various cafes and traditional food providers have established themselves in ship containers, authentic train wagons with a colourful historical background and even in train repair depots.
Just a little further is one of the most unique food places in Tallinn – Literaat. The cosy restaurant is located in the middle of a Rahva Raamat bookstore, so you can enjoy both good food and quality literature at the same time. Literaat has become an attractive addition for the Telliskivi Creative City located right next door.
Telliskivi Creative City – a special community centre
The former factory area has become Tallinn's hipster community and culture centre, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The rediscovery of Telliskivi began with a restaurant with a strange name, F-hoone (Building F). Back in the day, the factory buildings were referred to by letters instead of addresses and this tradition is still followed in the Creative City.
At present, dozens of food services are offered in Telliskivi Creative City including one food truck, Bueno Gourmet, which introduces the flavours of South and North America. Telliskivi also offers street food for children: La Muu, the first Estonian manufacturer of eco ice cream, prepares and offers its refreshing products here. French, Asian and Nordic cuisines are also represented in Telliskivi.
Telliskivi got a whole new breath of life when the top photography centre with Swedish roots Fotografiska set up here, whose concept includes both food and food education as well. In Fotografiska you can find a café, a bar and a restaurant where cooking is based on the principle of zero-waste, resourceful use of all raw produce.
Port Noblessner – a combination of marine and urban
The site of the more than a hundred-year-old submarine factory in the former Russian tsarist state has been given new life. Located next to the popular Seaplane Harbour museum, Noblessner enchants visitors with its colourful architecture, which boldly combines new and old styles. The old factory atmosphere has been best preserved in two architecturally powerful buildings – the PROTO Invention Factory and Kai Art Centre.
What is remarkable about Noblessner is the equally powerful reputation of their food and drinks, right on the huge sun terrace that reaches directly over the sea during summer. You can find bistro Lore, cake café Suhkruingel, Kaif bar and Kampai restaurant, which brings together all kinds of Japanese cuisine from street food to the chef's own handwritten dishes. The summer terrace of Port Noblessner seems to be whispering: “If you’re not here, you don’t exist.”
The Põhjala Tap Room, a small brewery just off Noblessner’s central square, is heaven for beer lovers. The restaurant delights its guests with a wide selection of beverages, while the menu focuses on authentic Texan barbecue dishes. In the summer, you can sit on the balcony or in the front yard.
Patarei Sea Fortress is one of Estonia’s most imposing ensembles of buildings with preserved classical architecture. This fortification functioned as a barracks and a prison. However, it will become unrecognisable in the coming years as Patarei Sea Fortress will be transformed into a new urban space. The courtyard of the sea fortress will be packed with events this summer and even turned into a theatre stage.
In the summer, the following pop-up bars and food trucks will be open for business in the Patarei Sea Fortress courtyard: Mere PARK´la, KIIX, Naiiv, Pühaste, Patarei BBQ, Bubble and POP! Veinibaar, Kausik, Uulits and Marok´Est. The sea fortress area will be closed for construction at the end of summer and Patarei Sea Fortress will open again in 2026.
Extra tip: Tallinn also hosts various exciting food events and festivals throughout the year. See the food events of the capital in our cultural calendar. You can also find inspiration in our various articles and lists: