We know Estonia
17.1.2024 | Restaurants

A street food restaurant with a warm feeling of nostalgia

Text Mark Taylor
Photo Andrei Chertkov

A street food restaurant with a warm feeling of nostalgiaPelmen’s old town restaurant has a retro soviet time feel.

 

If there could be one short story that encapsulates the food and emotion behind blossoming street food café chain Pelmen, it would be this from a former 75 year old diner: “When I was little and I lived in Siberia, my grandmother made the same pelmeni that I tasted today,” reminisced Artur Tamme, the general manager at Pelmen.

This story in just a few words explains how Pelmen have gone from selling their handmade dumplings online in 2019, to having four café locations around Tallinn by the end of 2023. All of this despite the coronavirus pandemic and the following economic crisis.

So what is behind this success? For locals it is a taste of their childhood, and for visitors a chance to try something they likely haven’t tasted before. Something echoed by Tamme who explained that “only about 50 per cent of Finnish tourists know about Pelmeni”.

There are six different flavours of dumplings on the menu at Pelmen. The first two of which (Pork and beef, and potato and onion) were the classically available options during soviet times. The remaining four (salmon and shrimp, duck and thyme, chicken and shrimp, and lamb and garlic), are what Tamme describes as having “the taste and soul of today”.

However, pelmeni aren’t the only tasty local treats you will find on the menu. You will find traditional soups such as borch and seljanka, as well as other options like potato pancakes, and retro waffles. The latter made from soviet time machines that you just cannot buy new today.

It isn’t just the tasty food made of 90% local ingredients that has seen the blossoming street food chain ranked the 34th best restaurant in Tallinn on TripAdvisor. It is the quality of the service received and the cafés themselves. At their location in Tallinn’s old town, we saw that not only were the customers (Estonians, Russian, British, Germans, and Finns) all treated like friends, but the café itself was a time warp to the past filled with all kinds of knick-knacks from soviet times, from bikes and carpets on the walls, to little sugar tins.

In addition, as Tamme explains, “a coffee and a cake can cost you 10 euros in Tallinn today. However, at Pelmen you can have a full meal and a drink for this.”

On the Pelmen website you will not just find the full menu, details about the four restaurant locations (old town, T1 Mall, Balti Jaama Market, Viru Keskus), and opening times (which are all 7 days a week). You will also find an e-shop where you can buy their products and have them delivered to you at home.

 

Pelmen Locations:

Old Town – Vana-Viru 4 Tallinn

T1 Mall – Peterburi Tee 2, Tallinn

Balti Jaama Market – Kopli 1 Tallinn

Viru Keskus – Viru Väljak 4-6, Tallinn

To learn more about this and similar topics
Balti Jaama Dumplings Pelmen Pelmeni Street Food T1 Mall Tallinn

11.4.2024 | Restaurants

Endulge in the Flavours of Otepää

Endulge in the Flavours of Otepää

The popular food festival “Otepää Maitsed” (Flavours of Otepää) starts tomorrow, April 11. The 11-day long festival will see … Read more

18.3.2024 | Restaurants

Saaremaa Restaurant Week underway

Saaremaa Restaurant Week underway

Today sees the beginning of a week full of spring flavours at Saaremaa Restaurant Week. In total, 13 restaurants … Read more

12.3.2024 | Restaurants

Tallinn Restaurant Week underway

Tallinn Restaurant Week underway

The ever-popular Tallinn Restaurant Week has begun. This time around you will be able to try set lunch and … Read more

4.3.2024 | Restaurants

Exciting events in Estonia this week

Exciting events in Estonia this week

21.02–30.03, Pärnu Fotofest 2024, Pärnu 05–09.03, Student Jazz 2024, Tallinn, Tartu, Viljandi, Pärnu 06–09.03, Secret Service Concert, Tallinn, Tartu, … Read more

23.2.2024 | Restaurants

Indulge in great food at the Full Moon Night Feast

Indulge in great food at the Full Moon Night Feast

This Saturday evening, February 24, forty one-night-only restaurants will open along the full length of the 175 km long … Read more

19.2.2024 | Restaurants

Exciting events in Estonia this week

Exciting events in Estonia this week

01–29.02,Tasty Tartu, Tartu 13–23.02,Tallinn Winter Festival, Tallinn 16–25.02,Foodlovers Restaurants Week, around Estonia 19–21.02, Universe Orchestra Film Music Concert, Tallinn, … Read more

15.2.2024 | Restaurants

Try some of Estonia’s best eateries at a discount price

Try some of Estonia’s best eateries at a discount price

Foodlover Restaurants Week will begin tomorrow, February 16. More than 60 restaurants around Estonia are set to participate in … Read more

1.2.2024 | Restaurants

Tartu’s restaurant month begins today

Tartu’s restaurant month begins today

The annual Tasty Tartu restaurant month begins today, February 1. In total, 24 restaurants around the city will be … Read more