From street food to Michelin stars
Estonians have a deep relationship with food and so to fully appreciate this charming country, you will need to engage your taste buds. Locally grown, seasonal ingredients form the foundations of any self-respecting Estonian dish, whether it’s street food or Michelin star, traditional or contemporary. In fact, foraging, fishing and growing your own food are popular pastimes for many and in recent years, urban garden spaces have grown in popularity among Tallinn’s residents.
Having nurtured a meaningful relationship with the fruits of its land and sea for centuries, Estonia has become the first Baltic state to attract the Michelin Guide writers and in 2022, the first Michelin Guide to Estonia was published. Restaurants are selected for the quality of their ingredients, harmony of flavours and mastery of techniques, among other criteria and so naturally, some of the chosen establishments are included below, such as Lee, Paju Villa, Rado and Tuljak.
What do Estonians eat?
Black rye bread, potatoes, wild mushrooms and berries are some of the staples in the Estonian diet. But above all, it’s the source of the ingredients that count and below are some of the restaurants championing homegrown flavours fresh from the talu’s (farms). The Estonian palette includes both earthy, herbal notes from the use of root vegetables and mushrooms to more tart piquancies with fermented produce and berry wines being heavily leaned upon, especially during winter.