a weekend in tallinn

Posted in WinterEstonia

terra-cotta rooftops and church towers

Tallinn is a city with a growing recognition for its nightlife and/or cheeky weekend breaks! Oftentimes, I message my friend Gerda after a night out and we share our respective stories that involve libations, banter and good company-so it was only natural to spend a birthday celebration in Tallinn {considering I was going to be spending my actual day on an international flight}. The weekend was full of incredible food, endless sunshine and the start of spring. I had the pleasure of staying with Visit Estonia at their flat that overlooked the terra-cotta rooftops and church towers of the historical city centre. Each day the sun would rise and illuminate the night sky as we stepped into another day.

We walked the medieval cobblestoned streets lined with pastel storefronts. Each road winding and turning into another. To explore this city was exciting because political and religious juxtaposition was prevalent at each corner.

bodysuit H&M jeans c/o JOULES shoes c/o BODEN scarf ZARA leather jacket HUGO BOSS

a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn

After a few hectic weeks, I realized that I hadn’t done much to treat myself to a nice meal. Surprisingly enough, Estonia had so much to offer and Tallinn definitely didn’t disappoint after a riveting experience in Otepää.

TOKUMARU If you know me, you know my absolute love for all things dumplings, noodles and the like. Getting off the plane, I was ravenous and itching for something warm as it was much colder than I had anticipated. We ordered ramen, seaweed salad and some dumplings to prepare for a long afternoon’s drive. I was so impressed by the vegetarian and seafood options, which is what I ended up going for.

NOA A bit away from the city centre, but totally worth the drive along the coast. We walked up to a glass box that seemed to flirt with sea views and freckled in the distance was a view of the city centre. NOA houses a multilevel 80 people seating venue with an extensive wine list. It has some bold international flavors imbedded within comfort dishes.

CONTROVENTO As in Tartu, I visited an Italian restaurant to see how international cuisines do in the country. Controvento serves up true Italian delicacies that never misses a flavorful beat. Nestled in the heart of Tallinn’s Medieval Latin Quarter, the place was buzzing even at 9:30pm when we left.

LEIB RESTO JA AED As mentioned before, Estonian cuisine and gastronomy has been evolving to make use of what is made in its own backyard. Leib held onto traditions and valued the land that the nation sits on. Working with local farmers, the menu often changes to fit seasonal pleasures. Think simple, soulful dishes painted by a Picasso of a chef.

UMAMI When I was first introduced to Umami, I was surprised by the cuisine the restaurant served. Driving just a bit away from the centre, the concept is very much like Leib as that it saves up local produce in a simple and flavorful way.

ELEVANT Again, wanted to try a different cuisine from the traditional fare and found myself at Elevant, an Indian restaurant. Much to my surprise, the restaurant offered what they did best and steered away from Indian-tourist-trap-like offerings. Batura instead of naan, cumin in my salad and the right amount of lemon squeezed into my subzi. Very impressed with this place!

a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn

cafes

I don’t think I’ve drank so much coffee on a holiday before. Since time was pressured in what I wanted to do, I found myself visiting cafes whenever possible. The drips were bold and fruity and the offerings were galore.

RENARD Kind of in a hipster locale of Tallinn, you drive up to a car and motorcycle garage and find yourself driving up to a place that looks like a gas station. Through the doors and into a brick 2-story enclave houses a gem of a coffee corner. It’s quiet, light falls in and plants and decor on point. My friend ordered a classic drip and the barista asked her which regions beans she wanted. Sounds like you need to be a connoisseur when you come here.

PIERRE CHOCOLATERIE Indulgence in my middle name and Pierre should be too. Considered the best hot chocolate in the country, this little chocolate and confectionary place offers an array of teas and treats. The hot chocolate was exceptional with various options of adding citrus or chili or even changing up milk options.

a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn
a weekend in tallinn

nightlife

As mentioned before, we celebrated my birthday the weekend I was in Tallinn and what a treat it was! My friend, Gerda, would randomly go up to strangers and ask them to sing me happy birthday in their respective mother tongue. To my surprise we had all sorts of languages including Turkish, Arabic, Italian, French and of course two types of Estonian! Here’s the rundown of places we went. We ended up staying out until the sun came out and walked back from the historic city centre with the rest of the town. It was a memorable one!

FRANK UNDERGROUND You walk in and you’re already transported to a cool brasserie that Hemingway would enjoy a glass of champagne in a New York brasserie. Lush seats, tufted walls and ornate ceilings, the visual wonders were just as good as its cocktails. If you’re looking for a tipple after dinner, this place will definitely be the best.

CLUB STUDIO Typical club party vibes, dancers and multi-stories and rooms-this place was the place to be after 1am. It’s where people went to end their night and each corner included a crowd that was not displeased. Definitely go for the late night dancing!