The Best of the Best
Every year, 50 of Estonia’s top restaurants are chosen. Here’s a look at some that made the cut.
Since the start of the restaurant competition in 2008, restaurants have been selected and rated every year for a list of the 50 best. The ratings have been criticised for the comparison between different styles of restaurants being unfair in that it compares apples with oranges. But whichever way you look at it, the list no doubt gives a good overview and an excellent gastronomical guide to the country.
Starting in Tallinn, Tchaikovsky has long held the number one spot in the city, that was until last year when NOA Chef’s Side stole the show. Tchaikovsky focuses on classic Russian cuisine with a French influence. It’s said that people come from far away to try their borscht with duck meat. NOA Chef’s Side offers a five or seven course tasting menu prepared by head chef Tõnis Siigur. While the food is fantastic, many people visit NOA simply for the magnificent view of the city from across the bay.
To move further down the list, places like Salt in Kadriorg, Kolm Sibulat in Pelgulinn, and Leib Resto & Aeg in Tallinn’s Old Town are worth checking out for their more casual dining scene. Salt, a tiny bistro changes its menu weekly and focuses on mediterranean inspired dishes.
Kolm Sibulat has a little bit of everything, but all prepared in house including some fantastic ramen and curry. For a taste of something more Estonian, Leib is the place to go. Everything is locally sourced and the menu plays with many traditional flavours.
Moving outside of the city, let’s not forget some of those places a little off the beaten track. Places like Põhjaka, Tammuri Farm, and OKO are worth the drive out of town for a unique dining experience. Põhjaka was started by three chefs who decided to move to the country and restore an old manor house. This cosy house is now a favourite place to stop en route between Tallinn and Tartu for hearty home cooked meal. Tammuri Farm is about as far away as you can get from Tallinn in Southern Estonia and is a one man restaurant. Chef owner Erki Saar takes groups by booking only, preparing creative meals and offering wine to match. OKO, owned by the same guys as NOA offer a beautiful seaside dining experience that is better in winter, when there are more chefs than service staff at work.
For more information and a complete list of the 50 best restaurants of Estonia, visit: www.flavoursofestonia.com
Kolm Sibulat http://www.kolmsibulat.eu
Tammuri Farm http://www.tammuri.ee
Click on the address to see the location
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP,PHOTOS LAURI LAAN