Rus Articles Journal

Estonia: traveling notes of a gourmet

Estonia - the small country on North - east coast of the Baltic Sea. Till 1991 it was one of the Soviet republics and all the time while was in structure of the USSR (since 1940), was considered as “the Soviet abroad“. Everything there always was in wonder to the simple Soviet toiler: comfortably, lovely, beautifully, it is well-groomed, politely. Actually, so everything remained and nowadays, in 2010. I could be convinced of it, having visited the capital of Estonia - beautiful Tallinn.

Note potential tourists

the Population of all Estonia - 1 million 400 thousand people. Slightly more than 400 thousand inhabitants live in the capital of the country. To the Russian measures - a drop in the ocean. However this fact does not prevent Estonia to be very convenient for accommodation by the European country. Relative small number, probably, helps Estonians to belong more carefully to everything that surrounds them - the country looks tidy and gains. On economic indicators Estonia in general ahead of two Baltic “sisters“ - Latvia and Lithuania though the last world crisis very negatively influenced the Estonian economy (the general recession is equal to about 30%).

Since 2004 Estonia - the member of the European Union (EU) and NATO. To get to Estonia, it is required to receive in consulate the Schengen visa, having which further it is possible to move across the territory of all EU Member States. It is possible to reach Estonia from Russia in several ways: by plane (from Sheremetyevo, to fly an hour and a half), by train (from the Leningrad station, 15,5 h), by bus from Moscow (16 - 20 h) or St. Petersburg (7 - 8 h). it is natural, it is possible to reach also on own car - distance from the capital of Russia to the capital of Estonia - 995 km, from St. Petersburg to Tallinn - 367 km.

Monetary unit of Estonia - krone. Nowadays one krone is equal to about 3 rubles. It is better to change money directly in Estonia - there more favorable a course. And, it is possible to go with rubles - they without problems are exchanged for national currency.

With placement in Estonia hardly problems will arise. In any case, in Tallinn. Hotels of different level of comfort in the city a set: from magnificent to hostels. Of course, it is desirable to reserve hotel in advance, at least because in this case the cost of accommodation can be lower. It is possible to rent, by the way, and the apartment. Lessors provide all documents confirming rent which can be required for the visa.

Enough “adjusting“ data. Eventually, if someone from readers of “the Culinary Eden“ is going to Estonia (I recommend!) it is possible to obtain all necessary information always from various sources - with it now easily.

the Estonian culinary lyrics we Will pass


to the main thing - to food. As - in any way, this text - traveling notes of a gourmet... With food in Estonia of any crunch. Tallinn in general seemed me the city consisting of hotels, restaurants and cafe.

I will not tell

that Estonia struck me with some culinary fury, exotic or still something frankly unusual. Actually, I expected nothing of that kind. I just hoped for tasty food. And I received it.


, the most memorable culinary impression received by me in Estonia not a meal at expensive restaurant, though those sometimes happened, and simple food which I tried on the street. Or rather, on the main city square - Ratushna. In days of my stay in Tallinn the Christmas fair worked at Town Hall Square. There is a lot of tourists, trade in souvenirs went quickly and that tourists not too froze (on a calendar nevertheless winter) them right there fed a liquid mulled wine and fed with simple food: sausages (including my favourite krovyanka) yes potato with cabbage.


: January evening, the small beautiful area with Gothic structures, in the middle a fir-tree shines festive sparks. Around a fir-tree - the small lodges covered with garlands from bulbs. In lodges sell souvenirs (there was a wish to write that sellers are little gnomes, but is not present - quite tall Estonians and not only they). Near some of lodges - benches, directly on the street, on huge frying pans (if it is so possible to call them) cook food: those sausages with cabbage and potato. You have only 60 kroner (180 rubles) in hands a plate with hot, simple and tasty food. Right there on the street several little tables - it is possible to rise at one of them and to enjoy, derive pleasure that you eat on this cozy square, among friendly people, among tourists nearly from all over the world here and now... Now you eat up and you will take for 35 kroner to yourself a mulled wine glass. Hot wine will be carried on a body by slightly exciting heat... There is no wind, it is snowing. Beautiful Christmas snow. At such moments you understand - life, whatever you may say, is fine and surprising.

Such is the Estonian culinary lyrics. In any case, in my interpretation. Sorry if it turned out is a little banal. Eventually, our life in many respects also consists of banalities. Yes, by the way, I absolutely forgot about roasted almonds - too kulinarno - a lyrical stroke! Nuts are sold from the counters stylized under medieval vehicles by the nice Estonian girls dressed in the corresponding (“medieval“) suits. Fry almonds right there, at you. You receive fine addition to mulled wine for 50 kroner.

Certainly, being in Tallinn, I was not limited only to meals at Town Hall Square. Eventually, in a nearly a week which I spent in the capital of Estonia sausages with cabbage would obviously bother me. However, sold on the square still of the most tasty slightly smoked salmon (smoke in the same place), but also he, you see, can bother.

On restaurants, on restaurants

And also on cafe and bars. Originally I pursued the aim to come to be at restaurant of the Estonian cuisine. However I did not manage it: I state the small defeat. Not least so it happened and therefore that it is not much such restaurants in Tallinn. Residents explain it with the fact that the Estonian cuisine is not too rich with any dainties, a lot of things in it are borrowed Germans, Poles and other people - neighbors. Generally, if when you come to Kiev - dumplings with pampushkas “look“ at you from - for everyone a corner, then at the majority of the Tallinn restaurants and cafe of the menu is eclectic - kitchens of people of the world are presented. Well it or is bad? I do not know, eventually, the kitchen emphasizes identity of the people. But, probably, Estonians treat it more simply.

One of institutions where I often ate - Hell Hunt (on Pikk Street, 39). If to trust a sign is the first real pub in Estonia. There really there is a lot of beer though, I saw the beer menu and nasyshchenny. It is natural how in any pub respecting itself, in Hell Hunt not only suggest to try known and not really (in any case, me) the European grades of beer, but also cook own:“ Hell Hunt dark “and“ light Hell Hunt“. By the way, quite good beer. There is floor - liter of frothy beverage in Hell Hunt and other cafes and bars of the Estonian capital generally of of 45 - 60 kroner.

Krom of tasting of beer in this very democratic both at the prices, and on spirit the place, can have a dinner or supper perfectly (a breakfast, most likely, will offer you in hotel). The menu, however, does not blow the mind abundance of dishes, it is possible to call it modest, however for several days of stay in Tallinn will last with interest (is also other institutions - them in the city not to consider).

soups Are remarkable

in Hell Hunt. Besides - they do not represent anything special. These are simple and tasty soups - no more, but also it is not less. And what else is necessary to the tourist who froze, admired the Tallinn beauty? I managed to taste potato shrimps cream soup, and also mushroom cream soup. Both cost 65 kroner for a big portion and 45 - for a half. And they are are very tasty. Even I do not know what is more tasty: long ago darling mushroom which I try in all institutions where he is submitted, or new to me potato with shrimps. It is necessary to go once again to Tallinn and to come - to some opinion on this subject.

Krom of soups is in Hell Hunt and many other delicacies. From snack there are among other even Russian pelmeni at hot fan with sour cream and hot sauce (55 kroner) - nedurstvenny hot appetizer.

Main courses. In Hell Hunt I happened to try them a little. It and a kettle with the baked salmon and potatoes in mayonnaise with cheese for 75 kroner, and other kettle - with spicy potatoes, smoked sausage and beans for 60 kroner. And still there were hot crackling potatoes with forcemeat and cheese (75 kroner) and a pork cervical carbonate with the baked potatoes and onions sauce - for 120 kroner. There was also a small embarrassment: I ordered unpretentious paste with forcemeat from beef, and for some reason brought me paste obviously with mutton forcemeat, and in the menu such did not. Perhaps the cook just mixed forcemeat? I did not begin to swear because I love mutton, and in general paste was tasty (85 kroner). As I noted above - the prices of dishes in Hell Hunt which are more than accepted.

Other institution where, perhaps, should glance the tired traveler who appeared in Old Tallinn - Beer House restaurant (Dunkri, 5). Actually, it is a pub too. Here too cook the beer. The small pothouse zavodik can observe directly from the street - Estonians have nothing to hide. Beer House - a big pub. It is nearly the biggest restaurant in old part of the Estonian capital. Here you will be able to accommodate in the big beer hall accomodating up to 300 people or on an internal terrace with a glass roof - the beer street (125 people). In the summer also the open terrace works. The interior of a pub reminded the German pothouse. And quietly sounding music was German.


In Beer House, as well as almost everywhere in Estonia, observes mixture of kitchens, but the emphasis, perhaps, is placed on the German, Danish, Polish cuisine. Menu. Ah! Ah, these crackling pork ears with garlick sauce for 100 kroner. Oh these fried chicken ventricles for 85! Not to mention beer Pilsner soup with beans and smoked ribs for 65! And if to add to this edible magnificence still a sausage of “Bratwurst“ with a fermented kapustka “M ä rzen“, the baked swede with rosemary and mustard sauce (95 kroner)? Add still a house sausage from meat of a game in mustard sauce with the wiped cranberry, a potato pocket from gorkushka and terrine from beet and horse-radish (195). No, it is not the Estonian cuisine, but these are the Estonian culinary impressions. And they are beautiful. The Tallinn meals, believe, for a long time will remain in memory.

Estonian culinary delicacy

However, there is more to come. In memory there will be not only sausages. It is widespread in Estonia also so-called “high kitchen“ (rather it is widespread in Tallinn, with its abundance of tourists). I admit, I “the simple Soviet guy“ - not her big fan. But nevertheless there was a wish to try something similar to me in Estonia. No sooner said than done. Near my hotel the Senso restaurant was found (Liivalaia, 33) - there I and directed the feet. Actually, it is possible to try at this restaurant just pizza for 90 - 100 kroner: tasty and big. But we (matter of course, I went on restaurants not one) had other purpose. We reached it quite: I ordered Buffalo - salad with a mozzarella, a beet gazpacho, orange and the crackling Parma ham. You do not want to make this salad of the house? If is not present, then in Senso this winter it will cost you 120 kroner. Still, it is remembered, I tried a lasagna with a saffron, Mascarpone cheese and a smoke-cured salmon. And in the menu near this dish there was a mark “local color“. I very much was surprised: from what it a time a lasagna - the Estonian color? Everything appeared simply. Local color it, in opinion the chief - cooks, a salmon. Let`s know. This culinary delicacy pulled on 130 kroner (everything ten more expensively than salad).

The next day I decided to return to Senso. Very much I wanted to try the stewed leg of a lamb noticed in the menu with apricot chatn, gnocchi (trickled pastries) from pumpkin and grass broth. Tried. Well, how shall I put it? Leg of a lamb, of course, quite. And here all these chatn and gnocchi... But as it is beautiful! To you not sausages with beer to knead it! It is high kitchen! The lamb with all the “gadgets“ cost 225 kroner. Sometimes, of course, it is possible to try also it. But nevertheless simpler food is lovelier to me (yes, the sausages which set the teeth on edge with cabbage - such here I am a gourmet).

Cannot tell

of Vana Tallinn (Old Tallinn) to

about the culinary impressions about Estonia and not to remember at the same time Vana Tallinn. Vana Tallinn is the well-known Estonian liqueur which can be brought surely as a gift from this country. There are several types of this drink: with a strength of 40, 45 and 50 degrees. Vana Tallinn - liqueur on the basis of rum with various natural additives: citrus oils, cinnamon, vanilla... At liqueur inherent only to it velvet taste. It is difficult to describe it - it is necessary to try. In Estonia to you can recommend to mix champagne with Vana Tallinn. You can try. However, it is necessary to stock up with anesthetic - for a meeting of the next morning. It is better to drink this liqueur in pure form, it is possible with coffee or tea. If you do not want with hot drink - drink pure, with ice.


to me especially fell in love Vana Tallinn Cream - it is less strong (16 degrees) creamy liqueur. Taste he reminds the well-known Irish Baileys, but is more gentle because is less strong. It can also be drunk in pure form or to add to coffee. There is still Vana Tallinn Chokolate Cream. The bottle (0,5 l) of the Vana Tallinn liqueur costs about 100 kroner. Except liqueurs and beer in Estonia make also, for example, whisky. The Estonian whisky is called Old Thompson, do it of alcohol for whisky from the American state of Kentucky. Most often, however, mix from several alcohols is applied (the tag of “a blend“ on a label testifies to it).

of Ait ä h, Eesti - thanks, Estonia

generally, it would be possible to tell for a long time about how they tasty feed and give to drink in Estonia. But readers of “the Culinary Eden“, it appears, already understood that hungry in this small northern country not to remain it: will feed so tasty that ask additives. Finally I will report that at the majority of the Tallinn restaurants there is a menu in Russian. Waiters, as a rule, too speak in Russian and if they do not speak - for the order there will be enough minimum school level of English. Eventually, it is possible just to point to the attracted dishes in the menu. Tip is usually not included in the account. I left 5 - 10 percent from total amount: as everywhere. On it all. Welcome to Estonia - the small country of a big culinary variety. Bon appetit!