We know Estonia
21.1.2024 | Restaurants

Great pastries, poor service

Text Mark Taylor
Photo Andrei Chertkov

Great pastries, poor serviceThe café has a retro feel as a result of an interior that is little changed since it opened in 1947.

 

Narva Kohvik is one of Tallinn’s oldest café, having been open since 1947. For a business to exist for 76 years, especially through the Soviet times and the difficult first few years of Estonia’s re-independence, you would think that it is doing something right.

That right thing is the quality of their pastries, kringels, and other baked goods. On our visit, we asked what were the most popular sweet pastries and were informed the Moskva sai. This pastry, with a yellow creamy filling looked unremarkable at first sight, as well as after the first bite. However, like many good things, it grew on me with every bite, until I reached the last thinking it was one of the best pastries I had tasted in a long time.

However, this is the point where I stop talking about the positives of Narva Kohvik and get into the negatives. Reading through this website and our regular Finnish language magazine you will find many interesting interviews with people at cafés, restaurants, museums, and more. All of whom are happy to share their story and what they are all about with readers such as you.

Sadly, Narva Kohvik did not answer our numerous requests for an interview. Pressing on regardless, I decided to visit the café in person to see how it is for a regular visitor. However, upon entering I was not met with a smile or a hello, but with a look of almost disdain and disappointment that a customer had walked through the door. And, when I asked which pastry was the most popular, you would think I had asked the server to work on Christmas Day.

All of this led me when I sat down, in what is the cool retro surroundings of the café, to not feel welcome, and as if they were just waiting for me to leave.

You may think at this point, that I am just sharing a personal poor experience. However, just a quick glance at Tripadvisor reviews shares that my experience is not a rare one, but very common indeed.

So if you would ask us would we recommend Narva Kohvik? To grab a pastry for the road, or a cake or kringel for a special occasion, yes. But to visit the café no. Luckily, they have an e-shop where you can buy from the comfort of your home.  

 

Narva Kohvik, Narva Mnt 10, Tallinn

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Bakery Café Cake Kringel Narva Kohvik Pastry Tallinn

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