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Where to eat in Estonia: A FooDiva culinary travel guide

Estonia’s delicious dietary staple, fermented rye ‘black’ bread, is reason enough to visit Estonia, this northern Baltic country and EU member. But there is a thriving culinary scene as well.

Estonia has cultivated rye for more than a thousand years. This loaf baked solely from rye flour, water, salt, sugar and starter culture, has the density of fruit cake, with a crisp, charred (blackened) crust – hence the name. Every meal we devoured on our #TasteEstonia press trip organised by Enterprise Estonia kicked off with black bread.

And lashings of salted butter. We also feasted on open bread sandwiches with local herring and gherkins – and even slightly toasted with black garlic paste, another core Estonian ingredient. But there’s more to this country’s cuisine than solely bread, with restaurants showcasing many a global culinary influence – all whilst celebrating local, seasonal ingredients.

So here’s a tried and tasted FooDiva culinary travel guide on where to eat in Tallinn, and the outskirts – alongside hotels. You’ll also find plenty of behind-the-scenes videos in FooDiva’s Instagram stories.

Disclosure: I was invited to join this press trip, and, as always, you can trust FooDiva to share honest opinion.


  • Fotografiska: Tallinn’s most sustainable restaurant with a zero food wastage promise. Everything from flower to root, and from nose to tail is either cooked or composted by chef Peeter Pihel. Floor-to-ceiling windows shower the restaurant in natural light, making Fotografiska a glorious lunchtime venue. The lamb tartare on a sour dough miso waffle was one of my favourite dishes from the trip.
  • Lee Restoran: Local Estonian ingredients. An umami and textural bomb. Japanese cooking technique. All thanks to the Canadian-Japanese chef, Hiro Takeda. A plate of omelette rolls with green sour cream and potato crumble was the star dish of the night. A gem in the heart of Tallinn’s medieval cobblestoned town.
  • Noa Chef’s Hall: A tasting menu concept overlooking Tallinn Bay. A bowl of caviar crème brûlée with a hint of lemongrass goes down as one of my most memorable dishes worldwide – a genius concoction. On the same premises sits the more casual bistro Noa that would make for a wonderful lazy weekend lunch.
  • Restaurant Wicca: Overlooking another bay and a 45-minute drive west from Tallinn, this spa hotel restaurant uses local, organic, seasonal produce from the forest, field and sea sourced from farms and small batch producers by TV chef Angelica Udeku. Whilst you’re here, pop into Estonian composer Arvo Part’s state-of-the-art musical centre, a short five minute drive away. Even if you’re not a music buff, the breathtakingly beautiful pine forest setting is worth a wander. And the in-house café serves black bread sandwiches with good coffee.
  • Balti Jaama Turg, Tallinn’s food market: For fresh local produce, eateries and market stalls. You’ll even find antique and clothing vendors, plus a supermarket. Spread across three levels.

I asked our dinner companion Taigo Lepik, who wears two hats, the executive chef for Estonia’s President  and the president of the Estonian Chefs Association for his own personal restaurant recommendations, in addition to mine.


  • Hotel Telegraaf: This plush 83-room boutique-style hotel in the historical centre of Tallinn’s old town is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand. Initially built as a residential mansion in the late 19thcentury, it was later converted into a post office. Now it is a hotel.
  • Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa: For a country escape over an hour’s drive east of Tallinn sits this 800-year old manor house-cum-hotel, with Finland across the pond. We popped in for a guided tour which included the teeny vodka museum showcasing 100 Estonian vodkas (who knew?) lingering on for an arduous French-style degustation dinner, but we did not overnight, so I cannot vouch for the beds.

The article was published on the restaurant review website FooDiva.

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