Rataskaevu 16

Rataskaevu 16 (named after the street) is a restaurant housed in a historic building. I love the rustic feel of the interior. The historical tavern brick wall and wooden floor and furniture yet with a modern touch.

As I was waiting for my food, there was a constant flow of people entering the restaurant. Many had to be turned away, but the waitress recommended similar restaurants nearby; some even made reservations for that evening when they couldn’t get a table for lunch. I highly recommend making a reservation.

The waiters are young, friendly, and bubbly, especially the guy that served me. I ordered a strawberry raspberry lemonade, elk mushroom soup, and buckwheat noodles.

The bread was warm and soft, with a slight crust on the outer edges, not sour like the traditional dark rye bread but mildly sweet. It was the softest dark rye bread I’ve had, and I dare say the best restaurant served rye bread in the Baltics. I could just have bread for lunch.

The strawberry raspberry lemonade was like a fruity virgin mojito.

The Elk mushroom soup was rich and packed with umami. Absolutely divine! The texture of the elk meat is grainy and the taste of the meat is a cross between pork and beef.

Buckwheat noodles was a refreshing dish with fresh salad greens and a light pumpkin puree with rye shavings.

After I paid, I told the waiter that the food was delicious and that I understand why the restaurant is so popular not only amongst locals but also tourists. I don’t usually have the habit of giving tips, but I was so pleased with the entire dining experience, I had to tip!

I recommend this restaurant not just for the warm and friendly service but also for the excellent quality food.

 

Rataskaevu 16

Website: http://rataskaevu16.ee/en/

Opening hours:

  • Mon-Thu 12.00-23.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-24.00, Sun 12.00-23.00

Telephone: +372 642 4025

Address: Rataskaevu 16, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia

Coffee bar at the Nordic Design Home

 

This coffee bar is located within the Nordic Design Home furniture shop. It is about a 15-minute walk from the old town. Both indoor and outdoor seatings are available, however, there are only four tables inside. It was raining when I visited the cafe and all four tables were occupied. Luckily, one customer left a few minutes after my arrival. I love the contemporary setting and dark color tones of the cafe. The floor to ceiling windows was aesthetically pleasing.

The cafe offers a variety of specialty coffee, hot sandwiches, and pastries. They also use Rocket Bean Roastery’s coffee beans which is the biggest specialty coffee roaster in Latvia.

The cappuccino was bold and full-bodied. The Reuben sandwich was divine! Sourdough bread paired with delicious melted cheese accompanied by creamy sweet dressing, sauerkraut, and corned beef. The outer crust had an amazing crunch. It’s like a grilled cheese sandwich with a punch.

The Nordic Design home coffee bar is definitely worth a trip!

Cappuccino €3

Reuben sandwich €6

 

Nordic Design Home

Website: https://nordicdesignhome.ee/pages/kohvibaar?lang=en

Opening hours: 

Tuesday – Friday
9:00 a.m. – 19:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday
10:00 a.m. – 18:00 p.m.

Telephone: +372 511 7313

Address: Maakri 25, 10144, Tallinn

Valgomasis

Valgomasis is a small family restaurant. The facade of the restaurant is not attractive, but the interior is cozy and homey. The restaurant only serves lunch, Sunday brunch, and caters private events. There was a good selection of 70s/80s music playing in the background.

I made a reservation by email. On the day of my visit, they sent an English menu in advanced to check to see If I had any dietary restrictions.

The restaurant offers a very simple menu. The daily menu is listed on the wall but only in Lithuanian. The waitress was sweet and approachable.

For lunch, I ordered a cabbage soup and a pearl couscous porridge with a minced beef patty and cucumber tomato bean salad.

While I was waiting for my food, I was served a sweet, dense bread with hummus, which was nice as it was different from the usual butter.

The cabbage soup was hearty with a hint of sweet, creamy note.

The vibrant colors of the pearl couscous porridge were very appetizing. The beef patty was well done, accompanied by a lovely light peppery cream sauce, which balances out the overall flavors of the dish.

What I loved about this restaurant is the different uses of ingredients and flavors. The service and quality of the food exceed the price. The restaurant is a distance away from the old town but totally worth the trip!

Cabbage soup with sour cream €2

Pearl couscous porridge, minced beef patty with black pepper sauce and cucumber tomato bean salad € 5.50

Raspberry tart €2

 

Valgomasis

Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/valgomasis

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 14:00 p.m

Telephone: +37061092124

Address: Muitinės g. 43, Vilnius 03109, Lithuania

Vanaema Juures – grandmother’s cooking

Vanaema Juures is strategically located in the old town along Rataskaevu street with many other popular restaurants. The restaurant is located in the basement with a cozy ambiance accompanied by old-fashioned decor with antique furniture, reminiscent of a grandmother’s home.

There was just one waitress along with an older lady, whom I assumed is the owner or manager. The waitress was friendly and spoke good English.

The bread tasted homemade. It was soft and light with a hint of sweetness.

I ordered a smoked meat soup. The soup was hearty and heartwarming. It was perfectly seasoned. The kind of soup that grandmothers would make on a cold winter day.

For the main course, I had the honey-flavored chicken fillet in parsley sauce, garlic potatoes, wild mushroom sauce, and marinated onion. The pickled onions were appetizing and refreshing for the palate. The chicken was cooked perfectly, very tender, and juicy. The mushroom sauce was light and creamy.

This is one of my eating highlights in Tallinn – simple and delicious traditional Estonian cuisine.

Smoked meat soup with potatoes 4.5€

Chicken  14€

 

Vanaema Juures

Website: https://www.vonkrahl.ee/

Opening hours: Monday -Sunday  12:00 p.m. -22:00 p.m.

Telephone: +372 6269080

Address: Rataskaevu 10/12

Rukis cafe

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Rukis is a cozy cafe with a rustic country decor serving delectable desserts, pastries, and freshly baked bread. I love the color contrast of the purple table cloths against the wooden furnishing. Rukis is located in Tallinn Old Town, a stone’s throw away from the historical landmark – Viru Gate.

When you enter the cafe, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts in the air. There are two display cases filled with mouthwatering desserts, cakes, and homemade chocolates. As I had made a table reservation in advance, I got a table by the window.

 

 

I was excited about my first meal experience at Rukis, especially after browsing through the dessert menu on the cafe’s website. The breakfast menu had a good variety. There were porridges, different kinds of egg dishes such as eggs benedict and omelets; assorted homemade jams, thin pancakes, open sandwiches, and etc.

I got me a Cappuccino, thin pancakes with honey, and a Marzipan Panna Cotta. I don’t usually have dessert for breakfast, but they look too good to resist. I looked around the cafe, and almost every table had desserts.

The thin pancakes were light, delicate, and buttery with crispy edges. Yum! The Panna Cotta came with a lingonberry sauce, topped with chopped pistachios and lingonberries. The colors were enticing. The creaminess and sweetness of the Panna Cotta balance out the sourness of the lingonberry sauce.

I revisited the cafe on another day for afternoon tea. It was a beautiful day to sit outside, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake. I wanted to try something that is more Estonian-ish, so I asked the waitress to recommend a dessert that is popular among the locals. She was helpful and friendly. We headed inside to the display case, and she suggested a few of her favorites, with the cream cheese rhubarb cake being her favorite. She commented that the ingredients used were typical in Estonia. I have never had a rhubarb cheesecake before, so I decided on that cake. I also ordered hibiscus tea to go with my cake. (I would have loved Earl grey or English tea, but it was too late in the afternoon for me to drink anything with caffeine, or I would be up all night.)

There were four layers to the rhubarb cheesecake. The first was a gelatin topping, followed by cream cheese, then rhubarb, and lastly the crumbly cookie crust. The cheesecake was stunning! The sweet and the sour flavors were well balanced. It was a delicious and memorable cheesecake.

In my opinion, this is one of the best places for breakfast, cakes, and pastries in Tallinn.

Cappuccino €3.50

Classic thin pancakes with honey €5.20 

Marzipan panna cotta €3.90

Cream cheese rhubarb cake €4.50

Hibiscus tea € 2.00

 

Rukis

Website: https://rukis.ee/?lang=en

Opening hours:

Sunday -Tuesday 8:00 a.m.-20:00p.m.

Wednesday -Saturday  8:00 a.m.- 21:00p.m.

Telephone: +372 517 3261

Address: Viru 11, Tallinn

kalambuur – A humble seafood eatery

Hidden in Hirvepark in a charming cottage is a family-run seafood restaurant serving fresh local fish dishes. The restaurant is owned by Estonia’s famous fisherman and chef – Vladislav. The surrounding is quiet and green. On a chilly day, the restaurant offers blankets for customers dining outside. An unexpected but gorgeous location for a restaurant.

The interior is cozy and warm and decorated with various fish pictures on the wall, fish handing lamps along with decorative sea elements, invoking a strong sense of the sea.

The staff was friendly and welcoming. The menu is a simple menu with various appetizers, main courses, and desserts. All ingredients used are local and fresh.

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Soup with salmon and pike quenelles € 5.50

The soup had a beautiful delicious light broth. The fish quenelles were lightly seasoned, allowing the natural flavors of the fish to stand out. The lovage adds a sharp lemon aroma to the soup.

Crusted cod with sun-dried tomato pesto €16

The cod, nestled on a bed of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, was cooked beautifully with a crispy sun-dried tomato pesto topping. The topping had a good balance of flavor – savory, herby, nutty, with a hint of acidity.

 

 

Kalambuur

Website: http://kalambuur.ee/en/

Opening hours: Opening hours differ, check the restaurant’s website for exact time.

Telephone: +372 56694194

Address: Toompuiestee 8, Tallinn

Tabula Rasa

I came to this restaurant by chance. My initial plan was to have pancakes at Kompressor, which was just down the street from Tabula Rasa. The place was packed, and as I was tired, I did not want to wait. I just wanted to rest and have dessert. I walked up the street, scanning at all the restaurants available and Tabula Rasa caught my attention.

Tabula Rasa is located in the heart of Old Town Tallinn, tucked away in the St.Petersburg hotel. The restaurant has an exclusive vintage bar feel with a chic setting. There are interesting art pieces on the wall. It was around 4:40 p.m. when I arrived at the restaurant. There were only two customers, so it was quiet. There is a big window at one corner of the room, overlooking Rataskaevu street (one of the oldest streets in Tallinn) and cat’s well (a historical landmark).

 

I ordered an orange juice and the traditional Estonian “Kama” Pavlova (€5). For those who are not familiar with kama, kama is one of Estonia’s national food. It is a flour mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat, and pea flour. It is usually added to yogurt or milk.

The waitress informed me that the kama Pavlova is not the traditional meringue pavlova but a kama based pavlova. She went on to describe what the dessert consists of.  It was nice of her to tell me, or I would be expecting a meringue pavlova.

I like the presentation of the dish, especially the colors. The red stood out and was stimulating. The kama pavlova was sweet and nutty, It reminded me of graham crackers. I love the different layers of texture and flavors of the dish. There was the nuttiness from the kama, acidity from the berry sauce, sweetness from the fresh fruits, and the occasional crunch from the meringue cookies.

I was only here for dessert, but it may be worth visiting for lunch or dinner.

Tabula Rasa

Website: http://tabularasa.ee/en/

Opening hours: Opened daily from 12:00p.m. till 00:00 a.m.

Telephone: +372 628 6560

Address: Rataskaevu 7, Tallinn Old Town

 

RØST Bakery & Café

RØST is a bakery and cafe tucked away in an alleyway in the Rottermann city. The interior design and decor are different to many cafes in Tallinn. The muted color brick and tile walls, open kitchen, and wooden furniture resemble a Scandinavian style cafe.

The cafe makes its own sourdough bread along with sandwiches and pastries.

The whole cafe is enveloped with the aroma of cinnamon and coffee. You could smell it from a mile away.

The cinnamon and cardamom buns were amazing! They were soft with a sweet cinnamon and cardomom gooey filling. The Cappuccino was the best I have had in Tallinn. The coffee had a good depth of flavor with bitter and sweet notes. The milk foam was creamy and dense, unlike the cappuccino from other cafes where the milk foam was light, airy with bubbles, and the coffee flavor was mild.

I would say that this is my favorite cafe in Tallinn. If you want good coffee and pastries, then this is the place to be.

RØST Bakery

Website: https://rost.ee/

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday (8:30a.m. – 18:00 p.m.)

Saturday (9:30 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.)

Sunday (closed)

Telephone: +372 5622 3239

Address: Rotermanni 14, Tallinn

Italian food at Gianni’s Cafe

Gianni is located in the Sadama neighborhood, not too far away from Rotermann City. Gianni has a cafe and restaurant. I planned to dine at the restaurant, as I was not aware that the cafe was attached to the restaurant, I ended up in the cafe. The cafe has a simple menu while the restaurant offers a more extensive upscale menu consisting of seafood and meat dishes. The decor of the cafe was elegant and airy. However, I thought the chairs were a bit gaudy.

The salad was delicious with a beautiful Balsamic vinaigrette. The greens were fresh, and the chicken perfectly seasoned and cooked. The shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano encapsulates each bite with a lovely nutty, sharp, and savory taste. The overall flavor was all rounded, coats your whole mouth.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the pasta. It was oily and bland. The taste of the oil overpowered the whole dish. The pasta was a little firm for my taste. I requested for the pasta to be cooked a little softer and the chef was kind to make a new plate.

Gianni cafe was announced as the best cafe in Tallinn in 2018. I was expecting better service and food, perhaps the food and the service at the restaurant would be more promising.

 

Gianni 

Website: http://www.gianni.ee/en/cafe/

Opening hours:

Cafe

Monday – Friday 8:00 — 20:00
Saturday 9:00 — 21:00
Sunday 10:00 — 20:00

Restaurant

Monday – Sunday 12:00 — 23:00

Telephone: +372 626 3684

Address: Jõe 4a, 10151 Tallinn

 

Legendary pancake house

 

Kompressor serves the best pancakes in Tallinn and is located in the old town. The huge portions and reasonable prices make this place very popular amongst locals and tourists. I highly recommend making a reservation. You can call or make a reservation online through their website.  The outside of the restaurant does not look like a restaurant at all (I actually walked past it); with barred windows, dark entrance, and dull facade, it reminded me more of a prison. When you enter, the whole room is filled with the aroma of pancakes and has a pub feel, with the low lighting and wooden furniture. The menu offers a wide range of sweet and savory pancakes along with salads, soups, and snacks. Gluten-free pancakes are available but need to be preorder. Orders are done at the bar, and they only accept cash.

 

 

I ordered the pancake with chocolate sauce and ice cream for 5.30 euros. The portion was big. I was not expecting such a big portion of just 5.30 euros. I was quite stuffed after.

The pancake was much thicker than the French crepe. The pancake was delicious with savory, buttery notes. The milk ice cream was really good, and the chocolate sauce was not overly sweet.

This is definitely a place to visit when you are in Tallinn.

 

 

Kompressor

Website: http://kompressorpub.ee/en/

Opening hours:  Everyday 11:00 a.m to 23:00 p.m (Take note that kitchen closes at 21:45p.m.)

Telephone: +372 646 4210

Address: Rataskaevu 3, 10123, Tallinn