Eat, drink and experience the real Tallinn with Food Sightseeing Estonia. Here is some insiders’ input from our foodie contact, Paul Toots.
There are an abundance of places to head out to eat at in Tallinn, which always makes it a little hard to decide. Foodie travelers need not worry; we have got in contact with the Managing Partner of Food Sightseeing Estonia, Paul Toots, and got some insider’s input into the city. His company’s tours are the perfect way to enjoy a culturally delicious stay in Tallinn, so we asked him to gives us a bit of info on what to expect:
What makes Tallinn a great foodie destination?
Paul: After regaining our independence in the beginning of 1990-s Estonia has developed rapidly, and along with economical and intellectual growth, Estonia has also seen a sort of revolution in the local food industry. Suddenly the traditional Estonian cuisine took back its place next to Soviet era eateries and many international fast food and upper class restaurants.
So one might ask, what is modern Estonian Cuisine? Well, in short it is four clearly distinct seasons, with fresh and ecologically clean seasonal food ingredients. It combines the traditional Estonian peasants and noblemen cuisine from the past, with modern international cuisine, while at the same time heading towards Scandinavian cuisine.
This all makes Tallinn and Estonia in general, a surprisingly vivid culinary scene. You’ll find a large variety of quality but decently priced local, international, and street food oriented places to visit.
Which of your food tours would you recommend for first time visitors to Tallinn?
Paul: One cannot miss Tallinn’s Old Town when travelling to Estonia. So, for first time visitors I’d definitely recommend to take our Tallinn Food Tour, based in the Old Town. Our food tours combine personalized sightseeing with various food & drink stops en route, making this a unique opportunity for first time visitors to discover the real soul of this medieval old town. They are paired with an experienced local guide and at same time get to feel and taste a bit of traditional and modern Estonian cuisine on the way. It is a ‘two-in-one experience’, where the words food & culture form into food-culture.
What do you do on a typical food tour?
Paul: Our food sightseeing tours combine sightseeing with various food & wine & beer tasting stops depending on the program. Our aim is to provide personalized food tours, where during the strolls or short transfers our guides will be able to tell you also about the places & sights passed and about the general history and culture of Estonia.
Our tour guides can adjust the tours a bit according to the nature and wishes of the clients, meaning that if you are more interested in food topics and not that much in Estonian history in general, then they will focus more on food & drinks. As one of our guests nicely summarized our tour - "It was like meeting with an old friend, who invited you out and showed you around in Tallinn, by taking you to different places to see and try out a large variety of typical for Estonia food & drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.”
We always try to live up to our motto -
“It’s not just a tour, it’s not just a meal - it is an experience!”
What is the Tallinn Food Tour like?
Paul: Tallinn Food Tour combines city sightseeing with various food. The walking tour route is based on Tallinn Old Town, so you will pass most of its main sights and churches on your way. It starts from the cruise port taking you on a short intro tour around the ancient city walls as our guide gives you the first insights to Tallinn, its old town and Estonia in general.
Tallinn Food Tour consists of around 7 food stops, where at some spots participants of the tour do not even sit down. You will be served a soup, various traditional food samples for snacks, try out some local drinks and schnapps. There are also some traditional Estonian sandwiches, some sweets, which are prepared by the ancient recipes dating back to 15th century, and also some locally produced wine. The wine is served at the hidden pearl of Tallinn Old Town, a century old wine factory with stunning views from its private viewing platform. A thematic gift will be given to every participant at the end of the tour.
So what are Paul’s personal picks in the city?
Seeing as Paul knows the Estonian capital foodie spots better than the back of his hand, we asked him to give us a couple of hints for top restaurants in the city. Here are four of his favorites:
1. Leib Resto ja Aed
A calm and laid back restaurant that focuses on working with local producers to make the best quality, fresh Estonian foods.
2. Café Klaus
Described best as ‘cozy’, this cafe-restaurant is located in the Estonian Design House where you can check out great art as you munch away.
3. Restaurant Elevant
Try out something different and enjoy an Indian style restaurant with an ecological twist. Here you will be served a mix of Medieval European and Indian food.
4. Foody Allen and various eateries and bars at Telliskivi Loomelinnak
Exciting and mixed foods for every tastes can be enjoyed at Foody Allen. There is a bit of everything here and everything tastes great.
One of the greatest things about Food Sightseeing Tours, is that if you have a certain place you want to visit, or really want a personalized tour, then all you need to do is ask! The gastronomical guru guides will make your tour memorable and tasty. Check out some of their other food walks here. After filling up with delicious Estonian delicacies and wine, head back to a chic and stylish place to rest your head at Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia, Tallinn.