Estonian restaurant culture is thriving, having plenty of easily accessible options from fine dining to unique treats of organic farms. Already a weekend getaway is quite an experience, but Estonia’s atmospheric restaurants, cafés, craft cider houses and local breweries make you want to stay a little longer.
Oceanic ambiance and seafood dream by the ocean
About 30 minutes car travel from Tallinn you’ll find the outstanding fish restaurant Ruhe placed just by the ocean. The seaside fish restaurant offers dishes made from only the freshest fish and seafood in a peaceful environment and an exceptional view, cooked by inspiration from traditions in old fisher villages.
Located in the old fishing village of Kolga-Aabla on the Juminda Peninsula, you will find a home restaurant MerMer where the restaurant owner Jaan and his wife, chef Merritt serve local treats accompanied by excellent French and Italian wines. Remember to make the reservation in advance as MerMer host one group at a time!
For cider, wine and beer lovers
Estonia has a long-lasting tradition of craft beer and cider. Born in 2011, Põhjala brewery has become one of the most important independent breweries in Estonia. The Speakeasy by Põhjala bar in Tallinn offers visitors the opportunity to try its ward-winning craft beers.
At Tori Cider and Wine Farm apples and grapes are grown organically. The cider is made with a traditional champagne-inspired method, ‘méthode traditionnelle’, where the natural bubbles created during fermentation contribute to the cider’s fruity and fresh flavor. Parnu’s Jaanihanso Cider House – a family-owned cider and orchard house located in an 18th century farm – produces some of the finest organic cider in the country.
Estonian wineries offer flavors of local grapes, fruits, flowers, and herbs. In Estonia, for example, dandelion wine, birch juice secco, rowan wine, and aronia wine are made. The most popular are rhubarb sparkling wines and over 10 different products are made from them. Book ad Wine Route Tour for a detailed overview.
Chef’s table experience at top restaurants
Manor Restaurant Alexander in Muhu has been chosen many times as the best restaurant in Estonia. It boasts a fine dining experience inspired by the surrounding archipelago. Reserve either a private table, or dine at a communal Chef’s table, personally hosted by Chef de Cuisine Stefan Berwanger.
With its unique architecture and spelling view over the ocean, NOA Chef’s Hall is like a restaurant in a restaurant: it is the more private and elegant part of NOA restaurant, where head chefs Tõnis Siigur and Orm Oja prepare the OMNIVORE 9- and 11-course tasting menu in an open kitchen.
Puri Chef’s Side is an exclusive restaurant for true foodies. The service is friendly, and the meals and drinks are fun. The restaurant’s northern design and subtle details, as well as the breath-taking views of the Haven Kakumäe Marina from the windows, create a great atmosphere. Puri Chef’s Side won the Best New Restaurant of the Year title in 2019.
Modern Estonian and seasonal, thanks
The Estonian kitchen uses a collection of pure, regional ingredients. Staples like rye bread, cheese and herring compliment seasonal products. In autumn, forest mushrooms are foraged, wild game like elk appears on tables, apples are picked from orchards and root vegetables are unearthed. What cannot be served fresh is preserved and enjoyed throughout the winter thanks to methods like salting or marinating. These age-old methods remain popular even today.
Modern Estonia food is perfectly embodied at Põhjaka Manor in the green region of Järva County, where delicious food is prepared using nothing but local raw produce. Nordic-infused cuisine is beautifully mastered at Restaurant Ö, led by chefs Ranno Paukson and Martin Meikas, who draw inspiration from their home island of Saaremaa - the largest island in Estonia - to create complex, refined dishes mixing land and sea.
Farm-based home restaurants are also on the rise, with Ööbiku Farm offering a constantly evolving menu prepared with seasonal forest products, and Tammuri Farm Restaurant serving a no-fixed menu based on fresh and home-grown ingredients and everything that the nature offers.
Experience the café culture
Estonia is famous for its countless cosy cafés located in stunning historical locations, where visitors can enjoy the local buzz and taste fantastic traditional food. Every café in Estonia has its own unique story to tell. Tallinn’s gothic Old Town charms with its romantic cafés specializing in artisan chocolate and marzipan, while visitors can relive the golden 1930s by visiting Café Dietrich in Haapsalu, a beautiful seaside resort town located on the west coast or Café Supelsaksad that is located in a 150 year old log house, where the spirit is created with colorful furniture, laces, tablecloths and selected coffee sets. Tartu’s Werner Café has hosted famous musicians, artists, actors and writers, earning TripAdvisor’s number 1 spot for the best café in Tartu.