A NIGHT OUT IN TELLISKIVI
It’s important, when you visit Tallinn, to step out of the Old Town and see the exciting and lively scene just a short walk, or a shorter tram or taxi ride, from the cosy surroundings of your hotel. If you want a fun time, with the coolest people, head to the complex of former factory buildings in Tallinn’s Telliskivi district. It’s not hard to get there, but when you do, it’s like being in a new world. Below we profile some of the places you can find.
Quite possibly the daddy of all the modern Telliskivi bars (though those living in Tallinn for longer might dispute this), F-Hoone or F-Building is a former factory building with two rooms, plus a breakout room that is used as a children’s play area these days.
It’s a marvellous space, and the restaurant uses it creatively. There are comfy sofas for remote working during the day, and for lounging at night, and up high by the tall windows there are surprisingly secluded seating areas, perfect for planning that top-secret creative project.
At night the restaurant turns, periodically, into an open-plan party venue, with the possibility of using the two rooms for two very distinct experiences. I went to a party which even had two DJs playing different styles of music, and that was amazing.
The restaurant known in English as Flying Saucer took its bow last year and became popular with an international crowd, including families. Like F-Hoone, Lendav Taldrik is something of a hybrid, in that the former factory space has the ability to function as a café or as a restaurant.
At night the atmosphere, lightened by the bright colours and pinewood, becomes mature without being po-faced. As Lendav stays open late, it’s a very effective chilling place, where you can bring friends or relations without embarrassing anyone with your choice.
Although there is an impressive choice of drinks, and Lendav wins credit for being one of very few affordable Indian restaurants in Tallinn, the food was, at first try, average at best. Nonetheless, it’s surprisingly difficult to foster a friendly atmosphere in a new restaurant / bar, and Lendav certainly does that.
Kivi Paber Käärid
Just across the path from Lendav Taldrik is this smaller café/bar, recognisable by the big white letters painted on the outside of the grey building. Although F-Hoone and Lendav offer food which is decent but not outstanding,
Kivi Paber Kaarid raises the bar with some truly impressive, and healthy, options. The gluten-free cakes are also a treat.
As with all the other bars in the complex, there is a good drinks list. The bar will, at weekends, organise live music from local bands. In spite of the echo that is audible all around, KPK is an easy place to talk in. It’s quite popular, so make sure you book a table if you want to try it out, but of the places in Telliskivi where you can sit down, eat, have a drink and chill into the night, it’s probably the best, and it definitely tries the hardest to impress.
When the night has progressed a little, there’s only one place you should consider going to. Pudel has been open for more than two years, but it’s not fallen out of fashion, maybe because it was never trying to be in fashion. It just does what it does (a constantly-evolving list of craft beers from around the world and some well-curated quiz and comedy nights), without distracting itself with the latest fad.
The result is a bar that will welcome anyone with a bright interior and staff with a warm disposition.