Coastal delicacies

Source: Oliver Moosus

Coastal delicacies

Dining by the coast is especially rewarding during the summer but Estonia's long coastline lures in visitors throughout the year. Don't be surprised to find gourmet chefs serving up local seafood during a visit to Estonia's many fisherman villages and seaside towns.

With its 3,800 km coastline, Estonia is practically an island itself. Well, an island of islands, as Estonia's landmass is distributed between the mainland and its 2,222 islands.

If fish is your dish, then head for the seaside and islands, where you'll find a range of salted fish such as Baltic herring, bream and perch as well as all manner of smoked fish including the local favourite – flounder. Smoked fish is often served on its own and involves a sort of a ritual of handpicking juicy pieces – it's fair to say that the dish might require some commitment but the salty, tender but the tasty meat is definitely worth the effort.

Dining by the coast is especially rewarding during the summer but Estonia's long coastline lures in visitors throughout the year. Don't be surprised to find gourmet chefs serving up local seafood during a visit to Estonia's many harbors and seaside towns.

Here is a list of the best coastal delicacies to consider. The journey starts at Estonia's northeast coast and slowly takes you counterclockwise along the Gulf of Finland and then to the Baltic Sea. Along the way, you'll stop at various islands in the West. And finally, we'll end things in the east of the country along the coast of two of Estonia's most beautiful lakes.

Feel free to check the map for reference as you learn about Estonia's food by the coast.


Northeast Estonia

Starting things in the Northeast of the country, visitors can enjoy the view of the Gulf of Finland from Liimala, Toila, Narva-Jõesuu, and more.

With its unique architecture, the beach restaurant Tulivee was opened in June 2017 at Liimala beach near Purtse Marina. Beautiful views of the sea can be enjoyed both from the terrace and the large windows. Tulivee's dishes are made from local and seasonal ingredients and offer something special as they combine local fish food traditions and Slavic nuances. During the prohibition period, forfeit spirit was transported from here to Finland. The custom-made roof of the restaurant resembles waves and is architecturally spectacular to look at.

Creative flavours come together at Mereresto Restaurant overlooking the beauty of Toila Beach. Enjoy a meal here to taste Mediterranean-style dishes made with local fish and ingredients. You'll be sure to remember the view and the food!

The Romantic Garden Restaurant offers a romantic glimpse into the beauty of Narva-Jõesuu with a view of the surroundings as well as the perfect vantage point to watch the sunset on the sea. The menu includes dishes from the local cuisine as well as food from neighbouring Scandinavia and East Europe to make something totally different, yet delicious.

Restaurant Meretare on  Narva-Jõesuu beach offers guests a magnificent panoramic view of the Gulf of Finland. Come to enjoy a calming view of the sea and stunningly beautiful sunsets, all accompanied by delicious European cuisine.

Restaurants in Harju County

Continuing west, visitors arrive in Harju county and Estonia's capital of Tallinn. Here, you'll find plenty of style, seafood, and culinary fusion.

The Kalev Yacht Club Restaurant is located in Tallinn, next to one of the most famous harbours in Estonia. The restaurant offers a special ambiance and a fun service culture. It's open year-round, but in the summer, you can enjoy the beautiful view from the large outdoor terrace.

About 30 minutes by car from Tallinn, you'll find the outstanding fish restaurant Ruhe located just by the coast near Neeme Harbour. The seaside fish restaurant offers dishes made from only the freshest fish and seafood in a calming environment with an exceptional view. The menu was inspired by the traditions of old fisher villages.

GMP Pühajärve Restaurant is listed in the White Guide Nordic 2020 as one of the best places to eat in Northern Europe. Moreover, it has been recognised as one of the best and most stylish restaurants in Estonia with its unique take on local cuisine.

Located in the beautiful Haabneeme beach, Restaurant OKO focuses on slow fast food. That makes it perfect for sharing an Italian Romano pizza made in a wood-fired oven with family and friends.

The beach restaurant Valkla Rand has a cosy spacious Scandinavian design and has a summer terrace with a gorgeous view of the sea. The menu includes dishes made from fresh and local ingredients as well as pastries cooked in-house.

Dishes at NOA are made with seasonal and fresh ingredients, and we focus on making them look impressive. In fact, it's the only restaurant in Tallinn that has an aquarium for their own seafood, so you know that it's truly fresh. Come sit by the sea on the inviting terrace and enjoy the sunset and the wonderful view of the Tallinn skyline.

Restaurant 180° was created by the Michelin star chef Matthias Diether and based on his principles of fine dining. Located in the historic Noblessner harbour, it boasts a wonderful view of the sea, has an open kitchen, an elegant menu, and offers aesthetic pleasure in addition to an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Individual tables can choose between 4–6-course menus. So get ready for an unforgettable multi-course meal and see how the chefs prepare the food up close.

After a 50-year break, Restaurant Tuljak offers visitors something different in a Soviet-era building that has been extensively renovated into something stylish and special. The menu includes Baltic herring in tomato sauce and cognac-flavoured cakes crafted by experienced chefs.

Northwest Estonia

Journey past Harju county and into towns like Haapsalu for quality seafood and an inviting atmosphere.

Dirhami Fish Cafe can be summarized with the words 'good tastes by the sea'. It is definitely for people who love seafood as the menu focuses on local fish. Even though the cafe is located somewhere more remote, the journey there is completely worth it as the cafe is located on the beach, overlooking Osmussaar and the wonderful sunset.

Grand Holm Marina Restaurant, located in a harbor of the same name, is among the best places to eat in Haapsalu. The menu always features delicious local fish. Paap Pihelgas, the barista of the restaurant, is one of the best baristas in Estonia, making cocktails from homemade ingredients and serving the best coffee! Only open until September.

Haapsalu Kuursaal is a summer restaurant (open until 1 Sept) that is truly one-of-a-kind in Estonia. The restaurant has been preserved in its original form from the 19th century. The menu includes something for all visitors with delicious pastries, seafood, and local cuisine.

The pleasant and cosy atmosphere of Blu Holm Restaurant is located in the Hestia Hotel Haapsalu Spa. With good music, sunset views, and unique tastes, you have to experience the place for yourself.

The Wiigi Café (named after the surrounding area of Väike Viik) provides you with a wide selection of dishes from appetizers to desserts. While the food entices you to enter, the cosy terrace in the café invites you to stay and relax while offers a wonderful view of the sea.

Eating in Estonia's Island

Travel from Estonia's Western coast to the islands and experience tasty fish, stunning views, and cosy settings.

Saaremaa

The small and cozy Restaurant Hafen is located in the Kuressaare City Harbour and welcomes both young and old guests from land and sea. The restaurant offers dishes made from local products which are influenced by the cuisines of the world. The lovely view of the sea is calming and adds to your meal.

Also on Saaremaa, you'll find restaurant Särg offering Nordic style fare. Since it's located next to the Nasva River, come here for a meal and enjoy a scenic view while enjoying the atmosphere of a fishing village.

Muhu

Located in the centre of Pädaste Manor on Muhu, Restaurant Alexander offers guests food from the Nordic islands. The cuisine is inspired by the cooking traditions of Muhu and surrounding islands allowing visitors to try different tastes depending on the season. Book now to enjoy the ambiance of the high ceilings and the ancient trees in the manor park as well as an unforgettable meal.

Alexander has won the Global Masters Level title in the White Guide Nordic for twelve consecutive years and was named the best restaurant in Estonia from 2010–2013 and 2015.

The Pädaste Yacht Club offers a delicious and peaceful lunch, in a pleasant atmosphere in Muhu. Come have a meal and ejoy the best views of the manor and the sea. Open until 15 September.

Hiiumaa

Restaurant Ungru is a seaside restaurant on the northern shore of Hiiumaa. Experience a coastal atmosphere complemented by the excellent food that combines the traditional flavours and ingredients of Hiiumaa with modern cooking. Come and try the taste of Ungru soul food.

Eating in Pärnu County

Head back to the mainland and into Estonia's summer capital, Pärnu, and enjoy breath-taking seascapes and unique seafood dishes.

The cuisine at Restaurant Raimond is inspired by clean Nordic flavours. Each dish is prepared with local produce, the majority of which has been grown in the surrounding area. The restaurant is located in the historic Pärnu Mud Baths building at Pärnu beach, offering visitors a piece of history with their meal.

Come to the edge of a sandy beach and a pine forest and enjoy Restaurant Eagle. With breath-taking views of the sea and the golf course, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy the sunny flavours of European cuisine with dishes made with local ingredients and seafood.

Pärnu Yacht Club Restaurant is a unique restaurant that gives you a river view. Step in and enjoy the excellent wine, delicious food, great music, and ambiance in Pärnu.

Come to the Tervise Paradiis Spa Restaurant and let yourself be charmed by beautiful views of the sea as well as the delicious food and quality wine selection.

Restaurants in South Estonia

Along with Estonia's extensive coast, you can also enjoy unique eating experiences along the coast of the country's numerous lakes. Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipsi offer some of the most unique and comfortable atmospheres.

Near Lake Võrtsjärv

Restaurant RUUP is located near Lake Võrtsjärv at Oiu Harbour. Open, from 1 May to 31 August, the menu focuses on local fish from Lake Võrtsjärv and products from the surrounding area. As such, the menu changes with the seasons.

Near Lake Peipsi

Café Anna gives guests a more peaceful and homey atmosphere than most restaurants. At a picturesque location in the town of Kallaste, by Lake Peipsi, you can taste delicious local fish dishes and other meals. If you can't stay long, stop by and enjoy a cup of coffee with some wonderful homemade cake.

The Fish and Onion Restaurant is another unique and homey experience. Meals are prepared with fish from Lake Peipsi and local vegetables. And the recipes used have been passed on for generations among the Russian Old-Believers. Make a visit if you want to taste a different side of Estonia.

Last updated : 16.09.2021

In category: North Estonia, History & culture, Food & Drink & Nightlife

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