Summer in the City
When the sun shines in Tallinn, what better way to enjoy it than with a meal or drink on one of Tallinn’s many terraces.
Old Town Square
Tallinn’s Town Hall Square is spotted with terraces in the warm months. Kehrwieder (Saiakang 1) dispels the myth that all of these places are tourist traps. Reasonably-priced drinks, freshly-roasted coffee, pastries, and meals can be enjoyed on their terrace, which is also an excellent place for people watching. If you’re in the mood for something medieval, visit 3 Draakon (Raekoja plats 1) on the other side of the square, located in the Town Hall. Here you can enjoy some beer, a delicious bowl of elk soup, and freshly-baked pastries. Troika (Raekoja plats 15), though more on the pricey side, serves up hearty Russian fare with warm and has friendly Russian service too.
It’s hard to turn a corner in the Old Town without finding a terrace. Controvento’s (Vene 12) outdoor eating area spills out onto the narrow Katariina käik. With limited seating for one of Tallinn’s longest-running Italian restaurants, it’s wise to make a booking. Wana Wiipuri has two terraces, one on Pikk 33 and another in a secluded courtyard. Enjoy an Estonian-inspired menu with European flavours. While not a vegetarian restaurant, Von Krahli Aed (Rataskaevu 10) boasts many inventive vegetarian and vegan dishes. Their small courtyard garden is a great escape from the bustling streets of the Old Town. If you’re looking for another quiet garden oasis, you’ve come to the right place. Leib Resto & Aed (Uus 31) focuses on Estonian cuisine using only local ingredients. In summer the garden of the old Scottish Club turns into an outdoor restaurant with plenty of seating, as well as a grill. You know summer has arrived when Hotel Telegraaf opens its terrace. Telegraaf Hotel (Vene 9), has terraces where you can enjoy award-winning food in an elegant outdoor setting.
Summer sees the opening of Varblane (Harju 6) Privé’s outdoor bar. Superbly-located, overlooking Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square), the buzzing atmosphere continues throughout the night fuelled by a vast amount of shots and cocktails and the added bonus of hookah. On the other side of the Old Town, if you like water pipes with your food, we recommend walking past the uber-flash Deja Vu bar, for Popular bar (Vana-Viru 6), where the atmosphere is low-key, the music is up-tempo and bright, and you can sit next to Vana-Viru street, one of the nicest, most historic streets in the Old Town. Starting, as many people do, out on Freedom Square, Wabadus Cafe is still pretty similar to the old Cafe Moscow that used to sit comfortably opposite St. John’s Church. Though the food selection isn’t anything to write home about, it’s a prime spot for people-watching.
Outside of the Old Town
Another sign that summer is here is the opening of Komeet cafe’s rooftop terrace (Estonia pst 9) above Solaris shopping centre. During the day and evening, food is served and then on Wednesday nights from June until September, the party is on. Known as Legendary Wednesdays, this is one of the hottest parties in town in summer.
Located at the Kalasadam, or fish port, enjoy a good cup of coffee and a wonderful meal by the sea at Klaus (Kalasadama 8). Klaus offers a great Sunday brunch too. You can find out more about their changing menu on their Facebook page.
There is no shortage of cafés and restaurants to choose in the ever-growing Telliskivi Creative City (Telliskivi 60a). An afternoon or evening can easily be spent visiting a few places and enjoying the many terraces in this trendy spot.
Unless you’re staying there, Lounge 24 (Rävala pst 3) at the top of the Radisson Blu Hotel may be criminally ignored. This is a shame for what it has to offer is truly stunning.
Situated on the 24th floor, 90 metres above the street, Lounge 24 is a restaurant, café and bar all in one. When the rooftop terrace is open, it really becomes a must-visit. With views that look out over the city, it’s possible to see everything in the city from the airport to Kristiine Shopping Centre. This includes all the sights of the Old Town and the goings-on at the harbour. An excellent way to get a bird’s-eye view of the city in some delightful surroundings.
If you want to stay close to the port, give Sadama Suveterrass (Sadama 6/8, Tallinn) a try. It’s not in a location that is going to win awards for style, but the joyful way you are greeted when you join the party makes it feel like an outdoor bar where everybody knows your name, and the people are always beautiful.
A bit further out
Owned by the same group behind Oko and Tuljak, Noa (Ranna tee 3) offers one of the best views of the Tallinn skyline from across the bay. Sit inside or outside on their beautifully designed terrace and enjoy a great cocktail or a wonderful meal. Located a bit outside of Tallinn on the way to Viimsi, it’s certainly worth the trip to one of Estonia’s top restaurants.
Click on the address to see the location.
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV