International Restaurant Guide 2024: The best restaurants in Estonia
The new Nordic Restaurant Guide presents the best culinary addresses in Estonia for the first time.
For the first time, Falstaff presents the best gourmet addresses in Estonia as part of the Nordic Restaurant Guide 2024. The northern European country impresses with a cuisine that has its roots in German cuisine and combines Slavic and Scandinavian influences with mainly French techniques. A strong "sea breeze" rounds off the cultural mix. Tallinn is particularly enchanting with its historic old town and is increasingly known for its good restaurants, but there are also top-class restaurants for gourmets to discover in smaller towns and hidden areas.
A total of 85 restaurants were rated by the Falstaff community. At the exclusive awards ceremony at the "Taste Estonia" festival in Tallinn, which took place on November 18, greats from the local gastronomy were also honoured in categories such as Chef of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Newcomer of the Year.
The Best Restaurants:
1. 180 Degrees by Matthias Diether, Tallinn - 97 Falstaff points
The famous Berlin chef Matthias Diether moved to Tallinn and brought a good dose of big city glamour with him. The interior, the attentive staff and the first promising bites make it clear that the classic fine cuisine that is often said to be dead is alive and well at "180 Degrees". Neither minimalism nor modesty prevails here. Matthias Diether rules his kitchen with genuine German thoroughness, while the dining room embodies French elegance. Both together create a refined experience for customers that other Tallinn restaurants cannot offer.
2nd NOA Chef's Hall, Tallinn - 96 Falstaff points
If something looks familiar when you first visit the "NOA Chef's Hall", don't be surprised. The current top chefs in several dozen restaurants have earned their first real spurs under head chef and mentor Tõnis Siigur. Dishes that are history here live on in slightly different forms in other restaurants. At 'NOA', however, everything tastes new with every new menu that Tõnis offers in collaboration with his protégés. "NOA" is a trailblazer in Estonian gastronomy.
3rd Alexander - Paedaste Manor, Liiva - 94 Falstaff points
Nordic island cuisine is served in the "Pädaste Manor". Just like the Nordic weather, the dishes change frequently and the menu changes according to the season. The dishes served here are not the traditional, simple and rustic dishes of the past, but dishes inspired by them using the same ingredients. Apart from that, the cuisine at "Pädaste" is a unique form of contemporary culinary art.
3rd Fotografiska Restoran, Tallinn - 94 Falstaff points, ex aequo
Since its opening, the "Fotografiska" restaurant has been serving sustainably prepared food without waste. The dishes produced in this way are generally tastier; there are more different textures on the plate and the dishes look more colorful and sophisticated. Today, the use of ingredients from leaf to root and nose-to-tail is a novelty, and curiosity drives people into "Fotografiska". In the future, however, it must become an everyday reality. The kitchen at Fotografiska leads by example and shares its knowledge.
4th Soo Restaurant, Maidla - 94 Falstaff points
The "Maidla Nature Resort" is a micro-hotel with three small villas in the forest. The "Soo" is a restaurant for ten guests within the resort - it doesn't get much more intimate than that. The chef personally brings all the dishes to the table and presents them to the guests. A private chef, so to speak, with the only difference being that it's not the guest who decides what to eat - the chef does.
5th Lahepere Villa, Lääne-Harju vald - 93 Falstaff points
They say that a good restaurant can be opened anywhere - friends of good food will find it and will definitely come. "Lahepere Villa" is just such a place: Chef Silver Saa is the driving force that makes food lovers queue up here, and his fine dining cuisine forms an interesting contrast to the summer house-like atmosphere of the restaurant.
The special awards
- Life's work: Rein Kasela
- Chef of the year: Silver Saa, "Lahepere Villa", Lääne-Harju vald
- Hostess of the Year: Killu Maidla, Chairwoman of the Restaurant and Hotel Association
- Ambassador of the Year: Matthias Diether, "180 Degrees by Matthias Diether", Tallinn
- Best service: "La Cucina di Orm Oja", Tallinn
- Newcomer of the year: "Aarde Pagari Leivabaar", Tallinn
- Surprise of the year: "Kalana ÄÄR", Kõrgessaare and "KABE Beach", Kaberneeme