Save this list for your next trip to Tallinn! The city is full of good restaurants, and after reading this post you know what are the best ones according to Henna Mikkilä. Yes, that’s me: a Finnish blogger, who’s got a small place in Tallinn, and therefore knows the city quite well. So the headline should be The best restaurants in Tallinn according to Henna, but I just wanted to keep it simple.
Many of the most prestigious media in the world have been quoted on the Tallinn restaurant scene. The Guardian was keen on comparing the dining experience of the Estonian capital even in Copenhagen and Noma, one of Europe’s most notorious restaurants in the world.
So both The Guardian as well as many other medias praise how so many good restaurants can be found in such a small town. The are particularly enthusiastic about the fact that the price level is at its best something very different to the other European capitals. So are the best restaurants in Tallinn at the same time the best in Europe?
Yes, that has been a known fact to us frequent Tallinn visitors! We all have our own favorites, where it is nice to have a treat while visiting our southern neighbor. Opinions are exchanged, recommendations are asked. I am also constantly asked for tips on good eating places.
It was therefore time to draw up a list of the best places to eat in Tallinn. Here we go: the best restaurants in Tallinn – or at least my very subjective perception of the matter.
Best restaurants in Tallinn – why these?
The list of the best restaurants in Tallinn is completely subjective, and does not meet any Michelin, White Guide, or other professional listings. The criteria are my own, but I think many others choose their favorite restaurants on the same basis.
I think a good restaurant experience consists of many different things. Criteria for my list of the best restaurants in Tallinn:
- Food is good. Well prepared, interesting to taste, local, ethnic… I’m omnivorous, so no “idontlikethisandthat” does not affect the list. So good is different in different places: sometimes a great gourmet, sometimes tasty street food.
- The restaurant has an nice atmosphere. Comfortable lighting, cool furnishings, good music … access to my list may sometimes be granted by things not related to food. The same reasons can also be an obstacle: if there is no proper mood, there is no access to my list.
- The price is reasonable. There may be a few places on the more expensive side, but generally I like the fact that eating out is somehow reasonably priced, as there still is a lot of places with inexpensive menus in Tallinn!
- Profit is not made with wine. This is becoming more common in Tallinn as well: food can be reasonably priced, but the profit is being made with the wine prices. I don’t appreciate places that size the wine glass by 12 cl and the price of that glass is 7 euros and up.
So here we go. Stay on board and please comment!
Best Restaurants in Tallinn: all time favorites
These are the places I go back to over and over again. The ones that don’t disappoint – they are like old friends.
- The Rataskaevu 16 has been on the number one in Tripadvisor as long as I remember. And no wonder, as it is everything a good restaurant should be: good food, despite its popularity, low prices, cozy interior and extremely pleasant service. Plus, the wines are reasonably priced. Here is photos of Rataskaevu 16, menus and other info on their own website. Rataskaevu on Google map.
- F-hoone in Telliskivi. Despite their popularity, prices have remained affordable. The place opens every day at 9 am and is open for the night, so this is a perfect spot for breakfast, (very cheap) lunch as well as for an evening bar tour. Pictures of F-hoone here (text in Finnish), the restaurant’s own pages here, map link here.
And the list of best restaurants in Tallinn goes on…
- Von Krahli Aed. Another favorite at Rataskaevu street (the best restaurant street in Tallinn). All dishes are available either vegan or with meat/fish. Great concept. Von Krahl’s window table maybe the coziest in the Old Town! Here you will find the restaurant’s web pages, map link here.
- Pööbel is both a relaxed bar and a good gastropub. A super-cool interior, good music and a relaxed vibe makes this a place I often find myself in. Food may not be great, but definitely not bad either. There are a few other nice places in the neighborhood (such as Kalambuur and Hotokas restaurant). Here you will find the Sooloiluja blog post of Pööbel, and the restaurant’s own site here. Pööbel is here on map.
Noku is hidden from the hustle and bustle of the street. Only the one who knows the door code will open the red-colored door. Well deserved place on my best restaurants in Tallinn list.
- I also recommend the Noku Club on Pikk Street (here) for reasons other than the food. The first reason is a super-comfortable interior, but also affordable prices. Noku is hidden from the street – you need a door code to get in! Send me a message, so I can reveal it. Here you can take a peek at the pictures of Noku, and at Noku’s Facebook pages you can check the opening hours and other facts.
- Manna la Roosa is a restaurant and a bar, but the biggest thing about the place is its incredibly cozy interior – the weight in the word incredible! I’m not even going to describe it, because this restaurant needs to be experienced. The bar serves good drinks. Prices are not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. Manna la Roosa’s web pages are here and map link here.
Tai Boh and Tabula Rasa
- There is another place worth seeing from the upstairs of Manna la Roosa (map link). It’s called Tai Boh. Same owners have a third place called Tabula Rasa in different location in old town. Both have a place in my list and in my heart, but they can be found under different category of my list.
- OneSixty could also be on the “new acquaintances” list, but it became a favorite right away. The reason is delicious and well-prepared barbeque food, cozy décor and excellent service. There may be a risk of food running out as they only prepare a certain amount each day. Here is pictures of One Sixty (text only in Finnish). On OneSixty’s website you can check out the menu and the opening hours, on the map the place is here.
- Kaja Pizzaköök in the Pelgulinna district (map link) has grown to be small culinary cult. The place is owned by the same people as OneSixty, and here, too, the food can run out. They only make a certain amount of pizza dough per day, and when it is gone it’s gone: they close the doors and come back the following day. As the interior is relaxed and pizzas delicious, Kaja has quickly become one of my favorite places. That’s why it got it’s own post in my blog. You can find the menu and other facts on their own pages.
A few more favorite restaurants in Tallinn…
- Pegasus has the same owners as Rataskaevu 16. Maybe that’s why the same type of things raises these two places among my long-time favorites: a cozy interior, great views through the big windows, delicious and reasonably priced food. The list of Tallinn’s best restaurants would be much shorted without these owners’ places. On their web pages you will find opening hours, contacts and menus. Here is a map link.
- Restaurant Moon is also definitely one of my all time favorites. Moon has an excellent modern food concept built on a Slavic / Russian foundation. The place is very popular, so it is recommended to make a reservation if you want to get a taste of the excellent blinis or the borscht soup. The same owners have a couple of other popular places: Mantel & Korsten in Kadriorg and Kolm Sibulat in Pelgulinn. Kohvik Moon’s web site here. Moon in here on the map.
These, too, could be on my all time favorite restaurants list
However, I do not write more about them now, I just mention the names. Check out their websites and visit yourself!
- Vegan V: great vegan restaurant. I’m not vegan myself, but still return to this place often. Beetroot tortellini starter… mmm! Vegan V on map.
- Kohvik Boheem: cheap classic, nice place I especially choose for breakfast. Boheem on map.
- Kivi Paber Käärid: all gluten free, but very tasty food that suits everyone. KPK on map.
- St. Vitus: Same owners as Pööbel. Check out the pictures of this cozy place close to Telliskivi (map).
By the way, I have a map called “Henna’s Tallinn: the best food” on Google. I have saved all these favorite places of mine on it. The map is public, so you can save and start using it!
New restaurants in Tallinn
New restaurants pop up in Tallinn like mushrooms after an autumn rain. Many of these will be moved to my all time favorites list at some point, but will now be kept under their own new restaurants title, as not everyone has yet visited them:
- Tabac is on the busiest tourist areas in the old town (here on map), but still gets to my list, because both the kitchen and the bar really know what they are doing. There is partly same owners behind Tabac and Rataskaevu 16, which seems to be some kind of guarantee of quality. You can find menus and contact information on their website, pictures elsewhere on my blog. Table reservation is almost mandatory as Tabac has become very popular despite its young age.
- There is same people again behind this place than Rataskaevu and Tabac: Ülo is the newest member of the family. And same owners seems to mean similar vibe: friendly service, really tasty food and an interior that really pleases the eyes. Opened in early summer 2018, it has already became very popular. The menu mainly vegetarian with some exceptions. You can find the list on Ülo’s Facebook page. Ülo on map here.
- Mantel & Korsten is a newest place for owners of popular restaurants Moon and Kolm Sibulat. I have eaten just desserts at Mantel & Korsten (after having a lunch at a nearby 7ürti), but the place with such pleasant decor got to my list right away. On the restaurant’s own website you will find everything you need to reserve a table or view more pictures. Mantel & korsten on map in here.
Don’t give up yet! The list of the best restaurants in Tallinn still continues
- 7ürti is also a newcomer in the area, close to restaurant Salt. I’ve eaten at both, but I liked 7ürti more: lunch menu reasonably priced and food really tasty. Super friendly service and cozy decor. Pictures on my site. 7ürti on the map.
- This restaurant was shortlisted on Silverspoon’s Estonian restaurant competition: Anno was one of the 2018 finalist for a good reason! It’s in a small old house near the harbor (map). Family run restaurant doing really good job: food, service, wine selection and interior design. It seems to be very popular, so at least for the weekend evenings without a reservation there is no way getting a table. Restaurant’s own pages here, lots of pictures on my site.
- I noticed R14 thanks to it’s great Facebook marketing. They publish every weekday an attractive post of the day’s lunch, which, in addition to its beautiful look, is also very reasonably priced. In addition to it’s skilled kitchen, the R14 looks spectacular. There is also a wine bar and a shop in the same space. Pearl of the Rotermanni block! Check out their Facebook page. R14 on map.
- My first visit in Parrot Minibar was when it had just opened, and I couldn’t get a table from any of my old favorite spots. It was a lucky coincidence, because Parrot immediately took a place in my heart. The food concept differs from the usual one, I recommend a tasting menu. Icing on the cake is a speakeasy, to which you need to ask for an access. Such fun experience! Check out their menu on their Facebook page. Parrot Minibar on map.
Close to the beach north of the old town, Korsten Armastus & Hea toit near the Kultuurikatel event center. The picture with huge roses on the wall is from another korsten: Mantel & Korsten in Kadriorg.
Tested and proven
My best restaurants in Tallinn page is getting so long, that now I continue with shorter summaries of some other places I like. For one reason or another they have not made it to all time favorites, but I can still recommend them.
- Restaurant Radio (map) took my heart right away on my first visit. Great kitchen and really nice atmosphere. See photos of this cozy restaurant, wine bar and shop in here.
- The price-performance ratio of Ribe on Vene street (map) is excellent. In addition to the a’la carte list, there are great fixed menus. Wines are reasonably priced, including nice range of wines served by a glass. Good selection of vegetarian dishes and very knowledgeable service.
- Leib Resto’s interior is not quite to my taste, but the food really is. Amazing summer terrace though. Special mention of locality and organicness. Map.
- Mon Repos: Villa on the edge of Kadriorg Park (map link). Upstairs Chef’s Kitchen Tasting Menus, a’la carte on the ground floor and outdoor terrace during the summer. Downstairs tested once, want to get back soon.
- Kalambuur is so small I almost missed it. Happy I didn’t: those blinis! Here on map.
- Paju Villa: taxi, bus or a car ride to the outskirts of the town (map) is totally worth the effort. Dining experience! Check out the pictures from last summer. So pretty!
- Väike Rataskaevu is like Rataskaevu 16, but smaller. On the map here.
- Salt (map) is small and tasty, so a reservation is a must.
That’s nine. Still nine more to go:
- Mimosa: outside the city (here). Very reasonably priced, good kitchen. Check out the pictures.
- Korsten Kitchen: tasty food in the food of a tall chimney (map). Pictures here.
- Kolm Sibulat: guaranteed good food in the corner of Paldiski maantee and Telliskivi street (map).
- Frenchy: a French bistro in Telliskivi (here).
- Juur: impressive decor and delicious food in Ülemiste area (here on map).
- Jahu Tänavagurmee (map) competes with Kaja pizza for the best pizza in town. I don’t know which one won.
- Veski Kõrts near Mustamäki (here). Traditional Estonian food in a funky setting. Excellent value for little money.
Juur is in the Ülemiste area, near the airport. Too far away from the city to get to the list of all time favorites, but a place worth a visit because of its stylish interior and special location. The colorful pictures above that are from Toormoor and Supelsaksad.
Henna’s Tallinn: the restaurants I haven’t tested yet
I’ve made another Google map, in which I save restaurants where I would like to eat. There are more than 100 entries, which speaks it’s language on how interesting restaurant city Tallinn really is. You can save it and start wading through at your own pace. Here are a few, the list is being updated all the time.
- Tallike ja Pullike
- Snoob Resto > EDIT: tested and found excellent!
- And the list goes on, as there is even new places opening at regular bases.
Fancy pants and fine dining
Then there are, of course, the crown jewels of the city’s restaurants: White Guide top spots, which often succeed in Silverspoon competition as well. These are almost all to myself yet untested, because I have so far focused a little less expensive places. One at a time, yes I am going to eat in these – but have to come up with the money for it first!
- Top restaurants at Sulevimäki street: Chedi, Art Priori and Ore (map).
EDIT: Ore is tested, and liked. Nice prices on the fixed menus considering the high quality of the place.
- Close to Rotermanni, on Mere Puiestee you can find Kaks Kokka (map) and Ö (map)
- Japanise restauranta Haku, that moved just a short while ago to a location a bit closer to the city centre (map).
- 180° in Noblessner area (map). Hight expectations on this place: I have even heard gossips about possibilities for the first Michelin star in town. EDIT: we had a nice 10 course menu in here. Liked, but not loved. Definitely worth trying though if you’ve got the money.
- Second floor of Mon Repos. The first floor I have tested, and very much liked. Mon Repos on map.