The best restaurants in Tallinn
The main gastronomic direction of this summer is the capital of Estonia, where local chefs built local gourmet cuisine on top of venison and wild garlic: the best restaurants in Tallinn in our selection.
You get to the restaurant almost according to the script of the film The Secret Garden – right from the Old Town street, you go up the inconspicuous steps into a picturesque courtyard, the lush greenery of which organizes the power of the 13th century fortress walls in space. On the street under the heaters on the terrace of the two-story building, guests – from officials to programmers – sit until late autumn. There is also a showcase where they wrap local black bread, which gave the name of the establishment, and an open grill. The team of chef Janno Lepika was one of the first in Estonia to turn to national products and achieve such perfection in their culinary arrangement that the gastronomic shock here does not even come from creme brulee with the taste of black bread or fried mayonnaise in meat tartare, but from plain beef liver from the grill – it is so tender here that even foie gras will turn pale.
Beef is delivered from the largest island of the country of Saaremaa, connected to the mainland by ferry service only – there the calves walk in peace grazing on free pasture all year round: the warm current provides such a mild climate that even thermophilic grape snails are found. The local products that are delivered fresh every morning at Leib really know how to reveal: soft cheese from the Kalamatsi cheese factory is delicately fried with Jerusalem artichoke and honey sauce, green buckwheat from the Tyrvaaugu farm is combined with whipped sour cream, trout is ginger and lingonberry. The second eminent name after the chef for the establishment is sommelier Kristjan Pejaske, who made an outstanding wine list, where organic wine from around the world and Estonian craft are collected in separate blocks. Even brand-name Estonian liquor Vana Tallinn – up to five types. Incidentally, it differs in strength and taste: eat with sugar and cream or with rum.
Uus 31, 10111
+372 611 9026
on every day
The charismatic chef of the vegetarian restaurant, Mik Myagi, is a real ambassador of plant-based food: from the pages of his book, he teaches you how to cook a bomb salad with nectarines, tomatoes, basil and strawberries, and vegan wraps on the food markets on weekends. If the chefs of the whole world are only now trending vegetables, Mick has specialized in them for more than ten years: before his establishment in the very center of the Old Town, he had a catering service. Not surprisingly, he now has a full fit all day.
People come here for a snack – fried with wasabi tofu, cucumbers stuffed with nut paste, beetroot ravioli and Caesar with fried artichokes – or have a hearty meal of green curry with jasmine rice, wild garlic soup and wakame seaweed or beetroot chickpea burger with beetroot to which the fried slices of pumpkin, outwardly indistinguishable from french fries, are ingeniously served. Mik has a pastry chef behind him, so there are legends about local cakes: silk tofu, oatmeal, pumpkin mousse and halva and citrus creams are used in their recipes. Vegan does not transmit any austerity – the miniature room has a completely secular design, a seitan with potato-celery puree and a dessert of cashews, rhubarb and strawberries are taken under biodynamic prosecco, cider or even Estonian vodka produced using the technologies of 1526.
Rataskaevu 12, 10130
+372 626 9087
The most spectacular restaurant interior in Tallinn is the restaurant with haute cuisine: ornaments taken from Gothic architecture, a lot of black, glass and the main Estonian mineral dolomite that looks like marble, portraits and still lifes in the style of small Dutchmen in spotlight. If you look closely at the painting, it turns out that in a separate VIP room for twelve people are priceless originals, and in the main hall there is photo stylization: the heroes of the shootings are restaurant staff from cooks to waiters.
Chefs Orm Oia and Mart Klaas feed on the menu, in which there are three sets of five, seven and ten dishes. In order to delve into the ideology of their cuisine, which Petersburgers could compare with that promoted in the boutique EM by Eduard Muradyan, the chefs advise taking the largest, promising that the portions are designed so as not to create a feeling of heaviness. Dishes as gastronomic improvisations are named according to the ingredients: “Sea bass / celery root / peanuts / wild garlic”, “Beef / soil / Chinese artichoke / miso”, “Tart / foie gras / rhubarb / meadowsweet”. Menus are constantly retyped – as expected, they observe seasonality here: wild garlic and rhubarb, for example, topical in June, will be replaced by root crops by autumn.
Olevimägi 7, 10123
+372 600 3353