Angel Cafe: (I-3) Sauna 1, tel. 641-6880. Open:12-01; Fri., Sat. 12-05. Easily one of Tallinn’s best cafes. Angel gets the little things right—like serving you water with your espresso. Service is outstanding and the menu refreshing (breakfast all day! cheeseburgers with actual beef!). For cocktail enthusiasts, there are five different mojitos on offer. And the best news is this: the kitchen is open anytime the door is open. Highly recommended.
Anneli Viik Chocolates Cafe: (H-2) Pikk 30, tel. 644-4530. Open:11-23; Sun. 11-19. Anneli Viik offers chocolates by none other than Anneli Viik herself—you can see her staff working behind the glass wall. This store is not some front for a chocolate mega-conglomerate but has the feel of a genuine artisan’s shop in the medieval tradition. Four tables and good music make for an intimate cafe. Also offers cakes and light meals.
Baltisepik: (C-3) Süda 1, tel. 646-1656. Open:07:30-22; Sun. 09-22. Almost no money has been put into refurbishing this place, but it is still one of our favorite places to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry. Perhaps the best reason to go here is the nice older ladies behind the counter. If you take the lead, they’ll chat you up while you’re in line. They’re as pleasant as your own grandmother, and you’ll leave with a spring in your step, wishing all old ladies in Estonia could be this much fun.
Basso: (H-3) Pikk 13, tel. 641-9313. Basso has all the obligatory design elements for to receive its trendy certification: modern, modern, modern. The service is friendly and prices for specials quite reasonable. By day, it’s ideal for a cup of coffee and a bite. By night, it’s more of a lounge where you might want to change your clothes in case Mick and Jerri stop in for a drink.
Bestseller Cafe: (I-4) Viru Shopping Center,
fourth floor. Finally, the modern world of bookstores has arrived in Tallinn—readers may now examine a book with a cup of coffee. Hats off to Chef Imre Kose whose touch is visible everywhere in this great cafe. And he’s often there in person. The cafe’s design seems a bit too space-age for a bookstore, but we have to remember we’re in Northern Europe.
Bogapott: (I-2) Pikk jalg 9, built into an old
city wall, tel. 631-3181. Open:10-18. A tiny, heartwarming cafe.
Motherly service, good pastriesbeautiful bathrooms!
Cafe Time: (I-2) Dunkri 4, tel. 697-7500. Open:01-23. Located in the Merchant’s House Hotel and run by KN restaurant’s Executive Chef Charlie Aird, you’ll be hard-pressed to find such good prices on good food anywhere else in town. You can easily escape with a lunch for under six euros (if you don’t imbibe too much).
Choccolaterie Cafe: (I-2) Vene 6, entrance in
the courtyard; tel. 641-8061. Open:10-22. This cottage-sized cafe could be the stage set for a
play by Chekhov, with a small piano against one wall and silver vases
set on embroidered table cloths. It’s all juxtaposed against remnants
of a town wall and heavy beams in what could have been a medieval-era
stable. The owners include the on-the-ball proprietors of the excellent Tristan
ja Isolde cafe nearby, so Choccolaterie has credibility from
the get-go; the New Old Theater is also associated with the
place, hence the occasional poetry readings and plays. The music, as one
might expect, is good taste: Edith Piaff on a recent night. This is
mainly a place for coffee and mouthwatering chocolates (made on-site).
Quiet getaways this good aren’t that easy to come by in Tallinn.
COFFER: (I-2) Vanaturu kael 8, close to the Town
Hall; tel. 646-0265. Open:09-20. Despite Coffer’s perfect location, it can still be hard to find (look behind the town hall). But find it you should: it offers a serious English breakfast, a Waldo’s Sandwich (named after the owner’s son), and Brazilian steaks. Also, a beer comes standard with breakfast.
Kehrwieder: (I-2) Saiakang 1. Open:11:30-23. A
quaint basement cafe just off the Town Hall Square. Great coffees and
good pastries. Run by the same people who do the excellent Chocolaterie
Cafe, Tristan and Isolde and the Press Cafe—so atmosphere, comfort and quality are a given..
(C-2) Endla 23, tel. 666 4807 in the Unique Stay Mihkli. The original Uniquestay Cafe made a name for itself by offering good food
at local prices. They’ve done the same with La Boheme—expect western-quality food and service at affordable prices.
Le Bonaparte: (H-3) Pikk 45, old city; tel.
646-4444. Open:08-20; Sun. 10-18. A fine cafe in the foyer of an
upscale restaurant inside a wonderfully renovated Medieval building.
Classyand expensive; good coffee and mouthwatering pastries and
mouthwatering pastries. www.bonaparte.ee
Moskva: (J-2) Vabaduse väljak 10, tel. 640-4694.
Open:09-24; Sat., Sun. 11-24. A reincarnation of a cafe that was here during Soviet rule. But this and the Soviet era have nothing in common: this fashionable but affordable place is in good taste from top to bottom. A favorite of the chic-but-cash-poor crowd. The downstairs is good for people watching; the 2nd floor has a
cuisine nouvelle restaurant, a bar and a dance floor for
frequent visiting DJs.
Narva Cafe: (B-4) Narva mnt. 10, tel. 660-1786. Open:10-18; Sat. 10-20. If you missed the Soviet Union, all is not lost. You can still get the same nasty service and original decor at the
Narva Cafe. This cafe seems to have been preserved like a museum: the same curtains, tablecloths, block furniture, and god-awful music you’d find in any Soviet cafe. An hour before close they’ll bring your check, because here the customer isn’t exactly king, and the staff goes home when they damned well feel like it.
Novell: Narva mnt. 7c, a five-minute walk from the old city, linked with the
Reval Hotel Central; tel. 633-9891.
(See DINING OUT for details of this fine new establishment.)
Spirit Cafe: (H-4) Mere pst. 6e, tel. 661-6151. Open:12-24; Fri., Sat. 12-01; Sun. 13-22. Outstanding service in a stylish cafe facing a quiet courtyard/parking lot. Both the light (it pours in) and the lighting (very clever—see for yourself) are wonderful, and this is a great place to wile away any hours of your day. Extensive sushi menu in addition to very tasty traditional offerings. We recommend the feta cheese and smoked chicken salads.
Tristan ja Isolde: (I-2) on the ground floor of the old citys
Town Hallpossibly the most storied building in Tallinn; tel.
645-7919. Open:08-23. After a management change, it now threatens to at
least vie for the title of Tallinns most atmospheric cafe.
Its wonderfully dark and brooding; yes, its cramped, but this
somehow just makes it all the more quaint. Its something of a cross
between a dungeon out of Shakespeares Hamlet and a 19th
century hideaway in Bohemia. Largely candle-lit, often with progressive,
but soothing background musicLeonard Cohen and the like. Chessboards
and cards, too. www.kohvik.ee
U-cafe: (C-2) Paldiski mnt. 1, in the Uniquestay Hotel;
tel. 660-0700. Open:07-21. Connected to the Uniquestay Hotel, this cafe gives you access to a hotel kitchen without the usual hotel prices. The owners want it to be a place where you won’t pay through the nose for a coffee—and you won’t. Excellent service. Wifi is free.
Central Post Office: (I-4) Narva mnt. 1, on the
2nd floor of the main post office.
Kohvik@Grill: (I-3) Aia 3, in the WW Passaaz shopping center. Open:10-20.
National Librarys Internet Hall: (C-2) Tõnismägi
2, on the 2nd floor. Open: Mon., Thu. 10-17; Tue., Wed., Fri. 12-19;
Sat., Sun. closed. Just internet access, no coffee. www.nlib.ee
Neo: (I-3) Väike-Karja 12, tel. 628-2333. Open 24h. So futuristic you expect Keanu Reeves himself to step through the door. Plenty of terminals upstairs and down. And here, the techno is in the equipment, not the music.
Stockmann: (C-4) Liivalaia 53; on the second
floor of this Finnish-owned department store. Open:09-21; Sat., Sun.
You can connect to wireless Internet while sitting at some restaurants and bars—or on some city-center park benches. For info about where this can be done, go to