Often referred to as the ‘real’ Tallinn
, Kalamaja is an area where local creative industries thrive. It’s also home to a bustling new wave of popular restaurants, with a range of inventive menus to feed the neighborhood’s busy, brilliants artists. From beloved local institutions to exciting new dining destinations, check our list for the ten best restaurants Kalamaja has to offer.
Gastropub, Pub Grub, $$$
Clayhills Gastropub is making local history as the first true gastropub in Estonia that merges the culinary craft of a fine dining experience with a relaxing pub atmosphere (and relaxed prices). Situated in the medieval house on Pikk Street, Clayhills serves a seasonal menu that changes often to work local ingredients, resulting in a level of quality to satisfy even the most discerning palates. They also offer a broad beer selection to pair with your meal, with products from local breweries and international labels. Best of all, they actively take part in supporting Kalamaja’s vibrant art scene by hosting live music performances every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.
Pikk 13, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6419312
Kohvik Moon’s two chefs | Courtesy of Kohvik Moon
There are plenty of little surprises in store for travelers visiting Kohvik Moon, starting with the name itself – the word ‘moon’ actually means ‘poppy’ in Estonian. This delightful café continues to pop up year after year on the list of Estonia’s best and brightest restaurants, thanks to its well earned reputation for quality ingredients, delicious flavors, and crafty presentation. Moon’s menu was born from a long time dream of two talented chefs: to combine the finest aspects of Estonian and Russian cuisine, served with a luxurious touch in a welcoming, homely atmosphere. This graceful balance of homespun comforts and subtle elegance makes Moon a great place for romantic evenings and family lunches.
Võrgu 3, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6314575
Kolm Sibulat | Courtesy of Kolm Sibulat
Kola Sibulat invites Kalamaja’s diners to embark on a globetrotting international dining experience, or as the chefs call it, ‘fusion-confusion.’ This unique melting pot of a menu combines cooking traditions from all over the world, including spotlights on Mediterranean, Korean and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Here you’ll find everything from rich coconut seafood curries to pork belly kimchi flatbread to chicken schnitzel, as well as a whole section of homemade durum noodles with your choice of chicken, beef, pork belly, prawns, or duck confit. Vegetarians would do well to start with the pearl couscous with sugar peas, hummus, yoghurt and roasted Muscat pumpkin. With flavor profiles ranging from black garlic hummus and balsamico to white radish and mango sauce, there’s an exciting dish here to suit every taste.
Telliskivi 2, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 66 44 055
F-Hoone‘s industrial location will definitely catch your attention, and the inspired menu will hold it. Situated in a revived old factory building and furnished almost entirely from recycled and reused materials, this striking venue perfectly encapsulates the DIY renaissance era that’s swept over Kalamaja, turning it into Tallinn’s most exciting neighborhood. Those who are drawn to the space by its cool aesthetic won’t be disappointed by its trendy yet affordable menu. Hearty meat options include a heaping plate of mutton dumplings in creamy wild mushroom sauce, and a veal cutlet burger on dark bread with yellow beetroot, smoked cream cheese, chili aioli, red onions and cheddar. Vegetarians have a whole menu here, from fresh starters of yellow beetroot carpaccio, to creamy truffle pastas with champignons and pumpkin falafel plates in tomato kimchi and cashew sauces. This is also a great spot for happy hour thanks to a tasty snack menu of cheese, olive and smoked meat offerings, best enjoyed outdoors on their huge terrace during the summertime.
Telliskivi 60, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 53226855
When you’re drained from a long day of exploring a new city, head to Sesoon for a cozy spot to rest, reasonable prices, and a big delicious meal. This comforting oasis in the bustle of Kalamaja Sesoon is a superb choice for all weary travelers. Though its menu changes often to work with what’s in season, Sesoon is always careful to accommodate meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans in equal measure. This is also a great stop for Sunday brunch, or for catching up with a friend over a midday drink during the week. Their oven-baked brie with plum and cardamom jam and brioche is an especially tasty snack with wine or beer.
Niine 1, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 58665558
Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy your appetite is a truly amazing burger. If this type of hunger overtakes you in Tallinn, head straight to Kalamaja’s train station, and you’ll find what you’re after at Burger Box. Situated in a hip railway shack beside the station, Burger Box may not look like much walking by, but they’re not here to deliver five star elegance. Instead, they’ve perfected the art of the five star sandwich. Offering a glimpse of Tallinn’s alternative dining experience, this unassuming gem is beloved by veggie and meat loving locals alike. Their falafel burger is already famous in the area, and be sure to order a side of kimchi fries, as they’ve also become the stuff of local legends.
Kopli 4, Tallinn, Estonia
Cafe, Restaurant, European, Vegetarian, $$$
Klaus Kohvik is a small and stylish seaside restaurant in Kalamaja, much loved by Tallinn’s locals. This intimate café serves flavorful, homely meals in a nostalgic retro atmosphere. Stop in for a delicious, comforting breakfast of coffee, pancakes and sour cream potatoes, or come by later for a memorable dinner of coconut truffle duck tagliatelle. Thanks to its convenient location and pricing, sweet style, great brunch, and scenic terrace, Klaus is a very popular neighborhood spot. If you drop in casually and find that there’s a line to get seated, you can entertain yourself while you wait (and get an appetizing taste of Kalamaja’s art scene) by browsing the Estonian Design House next door.
Kalasadama 8, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 56919010
Baar Bistroo Kukeke
Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
Baar Bistroo Kukeke
Situated in a 19th century railway depot house on the border of Kalamaja and Pelgulinna, Kukeke maintains an inviting, rustic charm for its guests with a warm, natural color scheme and unique, cozy decorative touches. Their young but highly praised Chef Anni Arro uses fresh, local ingredients mostly sourced from the nearby Baltijaama Market. Arro’s menu is anchored in sumptuous all year staples (like fried duck fillet with cognac flamed duck liver, and beef entrecote with smoked salt flakes, boletus and garlic butter), but also pops with seasonal variances and rotating ingredients. Be sure to save room for something sweet from the dessert menu.
Telliskivi 57, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6778738
You’re not an official local Kalamajan until you’ve visited Boheem, a sweet little crepe shop situated in one of the neighborhood’s traditional yellow wooden houses. Though they offer a fantastic selection of crepes, salads and desserts all day long, Boheem is definitely most famous for its delicious, healthy breakfast options. A little terrace in front of the building (especially popular in the summertime) gives travelers a chance to peek at the fast paced morning routines of Tallinn’s locals, while you sit back and enjoy a leisurely plate of potatoes, ham and eggs, a sweet crepe, or a stack of pancakes with classic Estonian hapukoor sauce.
Kopli 18, 10412 Tallinn, Estonia, +372 631 1928
Fabrik outdoor terrace | Courtesy of Fabrik
Cafe, Restaurant, Pastries, $$$
Restaurant Fabrik is highly committed to both high caliber cuisine and artistic presentation. Chef Silver Saa mixes Estonian and international cooking techniques with a blend of local and Nordic flavors to achieve the best possible results in taste, texture and appearance for every plate. Try the indulgent starter of poached figs with buffalo mozzarella & cured goose, then go for the carefully prepared 60℃ pork fillet with celeriac cream, root parsley chips and madeira sauce. If you’re a vegetarian, the layered pumpkin with goat cheese and savory granola is a perfect pick me up for the cold months. Those with a sweet tooth should note that Fabrik is especially famous for its cakes and pastries, and it’s a sin to leave this place without tasting one.
Vabriku 6, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 644 5743
By Vaiva Seskeviciute