Chocolats de Pierre - Amazingly nice and good

This is one of the best place in Old Town, a small cafe selling home-made chocolates. It has a wonderful ambiance, very romantic. When we are dining out in Old Town, we rarely take the dessert in the restaurant anymore, but we go to the Chocolats de Pierre and have some chocolates with an expresso. Or on a cold winter day we take one of their highly originals warm chocolate drinks.

Of course the chocolates are expensive (30 EEK a piece), but they are big and excellent. There is also a Chocolats de Pierre in Tartu, but the Tallinn one has a much more intimate experience.

And where else in Tallinn do you hear Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Brel?

My number one tip for a successful date :)

Zebra - Such a pity

Zebra is a new restaurant on Narva mnt., which could have been one of our favorite places in Tallinn. The food is good and not too expensive. The meat is great and they have a nice choice of fish, something rare in Tallinn. Their cakes are really excellent and cheap, in particular the chocolate cake.

Yet we will never go there anymore. It seems that in Estonia it’s not possible to eat without having the TV on (so much that there are two TV in the kitchen at Skype…). At Zebra there is a huge plasma screen showing music video clips, with naked women dancing (or throwing up as we saw one day) and loud aggressive hip-hop music. That’s not what I want to listen to or see when I go spend a lot of money in a restaurant. We have several times asked them politely if they could reduce the volume of the music, but we were always ignored, even when being the only customers.

The food can be as good as they want, if the atmosphere sucks it’s not worth it.

Scotland Yard - Catastrophic service

There is not much more to say about the Scotland Yard pub on Mere pst. than the following experience: Last week I was there with about 20 colleagues, we had reserved a table, and it took one hour to get any drink! We got our food after 1h30. This is not because the place was so full (it was on a Tuesday), but just because the service is so incompetent and bad there. It’s a no-go.

Sisalik - a touch of Mediterranean

Sisalik is a restaurant inspired by mediterranean cuisine in the Old Town of Tallinn on the Pikk street in a cellar just under Anneli Viik’s chocolaterie. It has a cosy and warm atmosphere and it is very refreshing not to have the typical minimalist modern interior. It is a place you can go as a couple or with a group of friends to enjoy good food and nice atmosphere in a really laid back mediterranean way, taking your time.

Service is friendly, but it lacks a bit professionalism. To reach the levels of good restaurants in the south of France, service is a field that offers ample room of development, for most restaurants in Estonia, not just the particular one.

The first attraction of this restaurant is food itself and they have managed to make very good environment that really helps you enjoy it: nice atmosphere, no smoking restaurant!!, no loud crappy music and even the prices are reasonable for a place in the Old Town. Something to order in this restaurant are beef and lamb dishes of the main course. The meat is very good and goes well with the roasted vegetables that you buy separately to accompany. Less impressive are duck and pasta dishes. As for duck I have not found a restaurant in Estonia that would serve good duck. If you want to try something a bit exotic like frog legs or snails, they are present in the menu. Frog legs are not comparable to the ones you get in France but not bad either. A classic and safe bet from the dessert side of the menu is warm chocolate-almond cake, always good, nothing capricious. The menu changes quite a bit, which is good to make you go back to discover new flavours, downside is that some of your favourite dishes ”disappear”. We haven’t studied extensively the wine list, but surprisingly the wines you can buy by glass are ok.

A great restaurant to go for the good food and relaxed cosy atmosphere to enjoy in the evening or weekend as a couple or with a group of friends.

Peppersack - Disneyland + roadside pub

Peppersack, as I’ve heard, is supposed to be a medieval restaurant in the Old Town of Tallinn opposite Olde Hansa. In reality it is difficult to put a label on it: the interior decoration and waiters’ costumes are medievalish; the food is that of a usual roadside pub in Estonia; and they have a bellydancer and a short swordfighting show which reminds one of Disneyland.

The menu offers a mix of everything and resembles that of any touristic Old Town restaurant that wants to cater all. The food is nothing special, nothing original, no surprise, just some usual food that you could find in any pub, but with 2-3 times cheaper prices outside Old Town. It must be said that the portions are big, keep that in mind when deciding whether to have an appetizer.

The service…a waiter goes to show a group of half drunk Finnish to another table in the middle of taking orders from one table. Hm, could be worse, but don’t expect too much from the service.

To sum it up, a place that has not managed to define its identity and falls into being a simple tourist catcher with minimum charm.

Elevant - a cosy place

Elevant is an Indian restaurant situated on Vene street in the Old Town of Tallinn. Entering the front door a high spiral staircase takes you to the first floor. The interior decoration is done using natural materials only. It gives a very cosy atmosphere. There is also something slightly colonial about this place.

Comparing the food with another Indian restaurant next door called Tanduur, the food is better in the latter. Prices and atmosphere are better in Elevant. The food is good, no strongly memorable culinary experience, but good. The main courses are always served with rice and bread and salad. The salad is a bit unexpectedly a plate of sliced onions. Some of the food in the menu is nicely spicy as it should be in an Indian restaurant. Compared to the Indian restaurants I have tried in China, the Estonian Indian restaurants have adapted to the local taste and there is nothing really too hot. So to sum it up, it is a nice place to go.

Tanduur - good food with a price

Tanduur is an Indian restaurant in the Old Town of Tallinn. It is situated next to the Indian shop of the same name and close to another Indian restaurant in Tallinn called Elevant.

The atmosphere is comfortable, some details make you think it is nice, others that it is kitch, nevertheless, you are going to feel good there. The service is ok.

Food is expensive in Tanduur. That does spoil a bit the experience, when you have to give out 6 euros (90 eek) for just a plate of boiled rice. Luckily the food is delicious. Try the Garlic Naan bread, Shrimps Ke Curry sauce, Akbari chicken and mango lassi.

Seiklusjutte maalt ja merelt – for travellers!

Seiklusjutte maalt ja merelt – the Estonian name means “adventure stories from land and sea”. It is a restaurant/pub on Tartu road in Tallinn, where one somehow has this feeling that the world is small, just like it should be on a travel theme oriented place!

It has a really cosy atmosphere, stone and wood. On the ground floor you have to go to the bar to order, upstairs they bring the menus to the table. The service is slow. The menus themselves have been a great find, they are hidden between the covers of adventure books published in Soviet times.

One can be happy with the food. Don’t expect any refined gourmet experience, of course. The more simple style pub food - it is really good. The prices are ok, not as high as the ones in Old Town. Take the biscuit cake as a dessert!

Bienvenidos a Carramba!

Carramba is a Mexican restaurant in Tallinn, situated a couple of hundred meters from the president’s palace in Kadriorg. Unusual place for such an establishment. Not easy to notice, but when you happen to see a sly looking vulture, there it is, in the cellar.

The rooms are painted in bright colours and the atmosphere is that of all the good classical Mexican restaurants around the world. Service is good and food is great.

Start the meal with a nice cool Margarita cocktail as an aperitif. For an entrée a plate with a variety of snacks is good. Tacos al carbon are always a great choice for the main course. Not exactly authentic, but good none the less. Fajitas are ok, but for some reason, they are cheap on the fajitas and you only get two. Of course, it goes without saying that some of the food tastes nicely hot! The last but not least, they serve excellent coffee.

Moskva - a place you will visit more than one time

A restaurant that has one of the best quality and price relationships in Tallinn is Moskva. Moskva is situated on the Vabaduse väljak, just next to the Old Town. Downstairs there is a café of the same name, but the restaurant is upstairs.

It has a modern posh atmosphere and is known to be a place where people go to show themselves. One of the first things that will probably catch the attention of male visitors is the little red dresses of the all-year-round-tanned waitresses.

And then comes the food… Food is served on nice tableware and attention is paid on the visually esthetic display of the food. Try the salmon soup, local fish with risotto, salmon with rice noodles and vegetable julienne, pasta carbonara – they are all delicious. If you have a tough time choosing the dessert then a good choice is warm chocolate cake.

To make an already great experience an excellent one, there are two things that could be improved. One little, but important detail is serving the bread fresh and warm with some tasted butter. Also something surprising for a place, where so much attention is turned to style and upscale atmosphere – when asked a coffe to be served after the dessert the waitress seemed to consider you as excentric. And here it comes to all the waitresses across Estonia – coffee is served after the dessert!