White Guide Nordic: the best restaurants in Estonia

Source: La Boulangerie, Lauri Laan

White Guide Nordic: the best restaurants in Estonia

The key to Estonia's recent culinary success lies with chefs celebrating seasonal ingredients and local traditions. Culinary customs — picking berries, pressing juice, salting and marinating cucumbers and mushrooms, smoking wild game and fish — flourish within the framework of four distinct seasons.

White Guide Nordic released its final restaurant recommendations in Estonia in 2023. On this list of highlights below, you'll find some overlap with the MICHELIN Guide Estonia. But you'll also see something for everyone, as the critics have found top-notch dining at various price points, including classics such as Saaremaa Veski in Kuuresaare and Tallinn neighborhood favorites Viru Burger in Kalamaja and Karjase Sai bakery in the hip Põhja Tehas area. 

Falstaff Nordic has replaced White Guide Nordic. First founded in 1980 as a German-language wine magazine in Austria, Falstaff is a hedonistic lifestyle publisher featuring a hotel guide, restaurant guide, and various drinks guides. Falstaff Nordic is the most recent geographical expansion of the publishing house.

White Guide Nordic highlights by region


Are you a visiting foodie and want to know where to start your culinary tour of Estonia? Tallinn has the most restaurants mentioned in the White Guide Nordic, fitting as it's the country's capital and home to the only two Global Master Level restaurants in Estonia. Both were also recent recipients of a coveted MICHELIN Star.

Global Master Level

Master Level

Tartu and South Estonia

Southern Estonia is good at maintaining old traditions, but traditional doesn't mean stationary. Estonian food culture constantly moves forward, mixing typical ingredients with new techniques. Plus, the region is home to several ethnic groups with culinary traditions that add a special twist to its gastronomy.

Master Level

GMP Pühajärve

Photo by: Lauri Laan

Very Fine Level

Saaremaa and Haapsalu

These two picturesque coastal areas are foodie hotspots thanks to the restaurants recommended here by White Guide Nordic. Alexander, at Pädaste Manor on Muhu Island, is one of only five Master Level restaurants outside Tallinn.

Master Level

Very Fine Level

North and Central Estonia

This area of Estonia is known for its wild, untouched nature, so it makes sense that some of the best restaurants are located in beautiful seaside locales or off the beaten path, surrounded by forest. 

Master Level

Very Fine Level


The Pärnu restaurant scene is making strides to catch up with the other top culinary destinations in the country. Now you can relax by the beach during the day and treat yourself to a gourmet dinner in the evening. 

Very Fine Level

View all of the White Guide Nordic's restaurant recommendations here.

Where else can you find great Estonian food?

Appreciation of local produce comes hand-in-hand with the collaboration between the chef and the farmer. Food fairs and regional markets, where you can meet the farmers and sample their products, have become increasingly popular. The golden autumn brings out the best opportunities for tasting something exceptional, like the jam and preserves fair in Olustvere, the Lindora fair in the Seto region, the Paunvere exhibition near Tartu, and Bread Day at the Open Air Museum in Tallinn. Onion growing thrives along the Lake Peipus coast where the locals braid onions into golden-yellow chains that resemble the rich braids of Russian tsarinas from fairy tales. 

This is just a glimpse of Estonia's ongoing journey toward culinary excellence. Once you've had a try and been astonished once, you're likely to return for more!

Last updated : 21.11.2023

In category: Food & Drink & Nightlife