Filled up? Then it's time to hit the town – and these are the best bars and nightlife spots in Tallinn.
And when you're done imbibing like a true Estonian, check out all the best things to do in Tallinn.
It’s well worth a modest 20-or-so-minute schlep to this casual, ultra-modern waterfront restaurant looking back across twinkling Tallinn Bay toward the city’s pretty turreted skyline. Meaty classics are given a deft 21st-century perk up by head chef Roman Sidorov – think duck tacos with hoisin and paratha, and other light-touch Asian references. Feeling adventurous? Plump for the elk empanada with tart lingonberries. Floor-to-ceiling windows vibe nicely with the colourful mismatched furniture to create a chic, but decidedly unfussy, dining adventure.
3 Ranna tee, Merivälja
The name apparently means ‘hearth’ and the old-fashioned blue-tiled fireplace at the heart of Lee Restoran certainly is an inviting prospect on a chilly evening. Family is central to everything here – they even have a decent kids' menu – and all their suppliers are close friends that own local small farms or woodlands. The menu is ultra-seasonal and changes all the time, but expect Asian-inflected delights like venison tenderloin with pickled zucchini and hondashi jus with a fermented mushroom ‘kohuke’ for afters. The whole team, pretty much, are sommeliers too, and the thoughtfully curated wine list has won many plaudits.
31 Uus, Vanalinn
Manna La Roosa
If you’re hankering after a meal out with a side of OTT theatrics then this barmy spot just outside the Old Town will be right up your street. Set in a villa-style wooden house chock full of intriguing nooks and crannies, every spare inch of Manna La Roosa’s ground-floor restaurant is decked out in psychedelic wallpaper, mirrorball tiles and so much crushed velvet. At least one of the chandeliers was taken from a dentist surgery. The food is just as decadent, with truffle risotto and passionfruit cheesecake vying for your attention amid lurid technicolour cocktails. It’s a feast for every sense.
15 Vana-Viru, Vanalinn
This ultra-stylish joint first swung open its doors in 1962 and has happily retained plenty of vintage Cold-War-era James Bond charm. Spread over three eye-catching three floors – get a load of those porthole windows, shagadelic dining chairs and Anglepoise ceiling lamps – the menu is anything but retro, with big veggie headliners like spicy cauliflower with cashew cream and pickled kumquat. A big drinks list and handy location gazing out over downtown Tallinn’s medieval splendour seals the deal.
1 Harju, Vanalinn
Behold: ultra-contemporary Nordic cuisine served by groovy young people in an agreeably shabby, century-old ex-industrial space. What’s not to like? An integral part of the hip Telliskivi complex since day one, F-Hoone is beloved by local tech nerds and design professionals for its craft beers, poke bowls and dark-bread vegan burgers. It’s also, surprisingly, very kid friendly, and great for breakfast if you fancy nibbling on an oat-linseed porridge as you work on your app (or whatever).
60a Telliskivi, Kalamaja
180° by Matthias Diether
Michelin stalwart and giant of the Berlin dining scene Matthias Diether opened this fine-dining mecca – named for 180° views of the kitchen inside and 180° views of the Baltic Sea outside – on a previously un-loved stretch of Noblessner Harbour. Since then, its almost single-handedly regenerated the area, and it’s not hard to see why. On reception lucky guests are served cocktails by an open fireplace, before being seated for an inventive six-course feast – smoked eel and goose liver anyone? – with exquisite wine pairings.
1 Staapli tänav, Kalamaja
The second floor of Manna La Roosa's wooden villa house is occupied by an equally gorgeous Thai place. Done up, as downstairs, by Estonian king of kitsch Soho Fond, the decor fuses mid-century psychedelic furnishings, spiritualist icons and a good dollop of nu-Asian bling. The menu’s pretty joyous too – follow up your Gangnam-style wok pork and kimchi with a wedge of sweet coconut panna cotta. Cocktail? Go for the ‘Thaigroni’ with Tanqueray and Yata Yuzu.
15 Vana-Viru, Vanalinn
This intimate dining room was established by a gang of Estonian foodie mates who decided coming up with a proper name wasn’t a great use of their time. Instead, the focus here is on great plates. Pan-fried Baltic herring fillets. Mung bean and fig mash. Braised elk roast. Rataskaevu16 – that’s the address – is famous for its chocolate cake, and bread that’s baked on-site. In summer you can dine out on a lovely summer terrace – no wonder it’s regularly rated the best restaurant in Tallinn.
16 Rataskaevu, Vanalinn
Vegan Restoran V
Estonia’s first ever vegan restaurant opened its cosy little dining room back in 2014, and has been delighting punters ever since. Dishes are vividly realised and fun – think mince and mango tacos, beetroot ravioli with cashew cream cheese and pesto, or fancy sous-vide pumpkin with mushroom cream and red wine sauce. Vegan Restoran V does a refreshing line in sparkling rhubarb whine, with indulgent Oreo cheesecake to round off proceedings and send you out the door V satisfied.
12 Rataskaevu, Vanalinn
Fancy some proper hearty Estonian nosh? This smart downtown spot pays homage to the classics of rustic Baltic forest cuisine – simple mashes, plain soups and meatballs – with a lively contemporary twist. If you’re so inclined, there’s savoury wild boar and rich ox heart, or for something a bit more off-piste, plump for the ‘lamb chorizo’ – or, better yet, the Baltic spices ice cream from the kitchen of Nikita Tištšišin. It’s all sourced from indie local producers, dished out in a tastefully faux-rustic room. Worth a visit? Bet the farm it is.
27b Müürivahe Tänav, Vanalinn