If you asked the average person on the street what food to expect in Tallinn, Estonia, they would probably have to think for a while to come up with an answer.
The truth is that Tallinn draws on many influences, not least Scandinavian dishes to the North, Russian influences to the East and their own traditional dishes, based on Tallinn’s medieval heritage.
Tallinn’s Old Town houses some of the capital’s best restaurants and cafes, so when I arrived for our long weekend in February, I made a shortlist of foodie places to try. I had some amazing dishes, so it only seemed right that I shared my list of the xx best restaurants in Tallinn’s Old Town.
1. RATASKAEVU 16
16 Rataskaevu Street, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 642 4025
This is the top rated Tallinn restaurant on Tripadvisor, and for good reason. This place is constantly booked out (we got lucky as two people cancelled) and has some of freshest cuisine in the city.
Their bread is home made and arrives on the table warm from the oven. The service is sublime, from help guiding you through the traditional Estonian menu to finding other places in the city to eat and drink.
I went for elk meat soup to start (with the warm home cooked break, obviously).
This was followed by braised calf cheek. “You won’t need a knife for the meat“, said my waiter. He wasn’t wrong – it fell apart and melted in the mouth.
Can you believe we had two starters, two mains, one dessert, two glasses of wine and one beer for 56 Euros?! Go here if you can.
2. VON KRAHLI AED
8 Rataskaevu Street, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 626 9090
Also located on Rataskaevu Street (the place to be for good food in Tallinn, obviously!) I went here on my final night in Tallinn. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in fairness the food, ambience and service was excellent.
I had the pumpkin soup followed by mushroom risotto with chicken. Both courses were delicious!
3. POPULAR OÜ
6 Vana-Viru, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 641 4565
This is less of a restaurant and more of a cafe / bar, but the food here is excellent, and you won’t pay the price of the top restaurants in the Old Town. I came here for lunch on the weekend and had the chicken salad. When I say I got a plateful, I mean a plateful.
Popular is just as busy in the evenings as it is at lunchtime, so if you want a more relaxed atmosphere for dinner, head here.
4. OLDE HANSA
1 Vana Turg Street, Tallinn, Estonia– +372 627 9020
You will spot this place immediately as you walk around the Old Town. Located behind the town square, Olde Hansa is all about medieval food and music.
This place is a little unusual, but gives you a glimpse into medieval Tallinn. Expect dishes such as venison loin and elk fillet.
9 Vene Street, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 600 0610
With a blend of Russian and French influences, this is Tallinn’s fine dining scene at it’s best. Located in the Hotel Telegraaf, Tchaikovsky serves up dishes such as Sous-vide eel with grilled leek as well as favourites such as Roasted Black Angus beef flank with truffle-potato puree and Madeira sauce.
6. PEGASUS RESTAURANT
1 Harju, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 662 3013
I tried Pegasus restaurant on my second night in Tallinn. Good food at good prices, I had the bread and dips sharing board (one of which included smoked fish – the Scandinavian influence!), followed by a delicious piece of locally caught cod. The service was a little slow, which is why it has been knocked down the list, but the food was excellent, so well worth a visit.
There you have it! I hope you enjoy all the food and restaurants in Tallinn’s Old Town, and if you have any other restaurants you feel should be worthy of a mention, please let me know in the comments below!