One of the most surprising discoveries about Estonia for me was the food. Tallinn offers up a great selection of restaurants at very affordable prices. However, the best insider tip is the lunch offers. Our routine was to start checking restaurant Facebook pages at approximately 11:30 everyone morning. “Hmmm . . . let’s see duck confit at Kulm Sibulat . . . or whitefish at Mimosa" all for between 5-8 euros. In general, you will find healthy foods with far less chemicals and preservatives than in the U.S.
Favorite Lunch Offer places (if they currently have lunch offers – check their Facebook pages)
Umami’s – Varied menu and all around great place. Go on a sunny day in the summer and sit outside in the yard
Kulm Sibulet – Great fish dishes, excellent chicken wings, great bread, and a nice selection of hot tea (stopped lunch offers at this time)
Riis – Nice Asian style rice and noodle dishes
Neikid – if it is open, excellent dishes
Mimosa – Great whitefish offers and get the chocolate fondant for dessert
La Tabla – After many years of searching I found that you really can get some good Latin American food in Europe! Our standard meal – Salmon taco, pork quesadilla, the chips trio (with 2 queso and 1 guacamole), and a pot of chai latte
Estonian Burger Factory – for a great burger what else. I recommend either a hamburger or cheeseburger with added goat cheese on top. And ask for the cheese fries . . . crispy if they can do it.
Nomme Market – My favorite Tallinn market for numerous reasons. Located not far from Tallinn Technical University it has a nice seasonal offering of fruits and vegetables where we would stock up almost daily on blueberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, etc. There is a Kalev store at the market where I have bought bag after bag of chocolates. Don’t miss the warm khachapuri inside the vendor’s building – amazing Georgian style hot cheese bread. Stop at the Buxhowden bakery for a yummy cardamom pastry. You can also get fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, etc. here. In the summer look for the Premia ice cream stand for a cone.
Kala Turg (fish market) on Saturday mornings. Get your fish fresh from the Baltic to put in the oven
Rost – for Cardamom and cinnamon rolls. Just walking in here will give your nose a vacation in sweet smells. And the sight of the rolls laid out on the counter will make your mouth water.
Kalambur – best place in Tallinn for fresh fish and in cool atmosphere in this small restaurant in the park. Sitting outside in the summer is nice.
Other great lunch offer places
A visit to Estonia wouldn’t be complete without stopping at a Kalev Chocolate store. The Finn’s are crazy about their Fazer but I think Kalev has even better chocolate. I would especially recommend the powdered milk chocolate for hot chocolate (add milk, cinnamon, and a little vanilla ice cream) and a box of the small bars of pure milk chocolate (piimasokolaad) to share with friends. You find stores at the Nomme Market, Rotermanni, and in Old Town to name a few.
Clayhills for their chocolate fondant and ice cream (just ended recently but check)
Kalev in Old Town
La Muu ice cream in store and factory in Teleskivi
Ice cream at Jätsirull
Chocolates from Karu Talu (all vegan) in Old Town