When in Tallinn, one has plenty of options for delicious food, more or less healthy, organic and ethnic varieties. Traditionally Estonian food seems to rely quite a bit on meat, and shares characteristic with Russian cuisine as well as Finnish; there is herring and pickled vegetables (specially cucumber), wild game meat, cold cuts, grains and sour cream. If you have never tried Estonian food, I suggest you give it a go (because always try everything new once!). Below are a few options for something more enjoyable than just the average tourist spots in the Old Town.
Admittedly, this place is solely for tourists, but at least it seems pretty authentic, the wine is delicious, you dine in candlelight and the food isn’t half bad! Olde Hansa is a massive building, with 2 restaurant dining rooms and a shop selling medieval clothes, spices, household items and such.
The dinner experience here is delightful: you sit in the old wood benches, drink from peculiar cups, and eat foods that are more or less medieval-inspired (forks and knives are allowed). There are a few vegetarian options, but the menu is definitely meat orientated. Some of the dishes are a bit confusing, like two fish salad: lettuce, smoked salmon, herring, salted mushrooms, white beans(?) and mozzarella(?). Delicious, but so much salt! Apparently the wild boar is delicious, but if you take a starter, prepare to have a mental fight to eat everything. After 1 1/2 courses we were simply too full and had to cancel dessert plans. If you don’t want to eat here, at least go check out the atmosphere.
Neikid resto is a bistro style restaurant that offers delicious lunch, dinner and (cheap) cocktails. The place has a nice atmosphere, backyard seating for sunny days, white linen and lingonberries in their water jugs. And they mention their allergen free and vegetarian dishes in the menu, so you don’t have to make a scene and ask! Lunch with fresh pressed juices for 2 was 20 euros, which was a bargain! Divine vegetarian risotto and delicious home-made hummus; this place is definitely worth a visit if you venture just outside the old town wall.
For coffee, try Pierre Chcocolaterie, tucked in an alleyway on Vene street. This place sells coffee by the cup or in a french press, and you can enjoy your cuppa with some handmade chocolate or luscious cakes.
Now, this place is far from healthy and very much not my usual go-to style of place, but it just first perfectly in the old town atmosphere with its’ velvet sofas, dim lights, and lovely yard. If you want an option for a healthier coffee, see these tips to the Telliskivi area.
My other favourite in the Old Town is the Vegan Restauran, but this time around it was full when we wanted to have our farewell dinner (note: reservations encouraged!), so I don’t have recent pictures or a review of the menu. Go see for yourself, even if just for some sweets and tea!
Another nice laid back spot is Clayhills bistro&bar, but I haven’t been there in 2 years so can’t really give an updated opinion. If you crave something more ethnic, Bollywood Restoran offers a mix of Thai, Indian, and Chinese dishes in a laid back atmosphere. Besides these, I highly recommend taking a little walk over to Telliskivi area, which is a nice contrast to the medieval atmosphere.
- Gluten free
- Health Food
- Ice cream
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- Raw food
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