The Best Street Food & Dumplings in Tallinn
Though Tallinn is still in the initial stages of its street food culture, it can be found if one knows where to look. Some options for the best street food & dumplings in Tallinn include traditional street vendors and food trucks. Others include restaurants that prepare food throughout the day and have easy access to make food to-go. Lastly, I listed a quick way to cook dumplings for travelers who are on a shoestring budget and still want to enjoy some great food.
Grilled Meat Skewers: Event Locations Throughout Tallinn
Like many countries in Eastern Europe, the locals love grilled meat. At parades, large public gatherings and many other events, people can find a number of tents grilling up delicious meats and vegetables on skewers. Usually next to a beer tent, there will be common seating all around and people can grab some meat with fries, a beer and get to know some local Estonians. At $8 they aren’t the cheapest option but the grilled meat, veggies and spicy local mustard were one of the best things I tried in Estonia. Maybe it’s the fresh, local meat and vegetables or maybe it was just the overall experience. Either way, highly recommended.
III Draakon: Raekoja plats 1, Tallinn (Town Hall Square)
Make sure to try this delicious elk soup ($2) and a local stuffed bread called pirukad ($1-$2) with carrots. III Draakon is a favorite local spot for dine-in or take-away located in the Town Hall Square. It’s easily the best deal you’ll find in the area. I liked it so much I included even more information about it in the Tallinn Budget Restaurants Impress post.
This place is also known for its humorous staff, free pickles in a barrel and a bunk bed that can be rented in the back for about $1 per hour to sleep off all that food (or alcohol). Everyone who travels to Tallinn should have at least one meal here.
Dereku Burger: Vanalinn, Aia Tn 8 (Europark parking lot side), 10111 Tallinn
A local favorite I unfortunately was not made aware of until after I left Tallinn, Dereku Burger originally started by putting out burgers until 11 p.m. to feed hungry party-goers. They were such a success that they began attracting more people throughout the day and have expanded their menu. Street Food Tallinn discusses their experience at Dereku and posts a number of delicious looking photos as well.
Tallinn Street Food Festival: Yet to be Determined for 2016
The Tallinn Street Food Festival is hopefully a sign that the local scene will continue to grow in this city. The second annual event took place in June of 2015 in Telliskivi Creative City. Their website states “48 food vendors served more than 20 000 portions of tasty street food to more than 12 000 visitors in one day”. Check out their website for continued updates on a date and location for 2016.
For travelers on a budget, dumplings are a tasty and inexpensive option. With a variety of styles there are plenty of different types to choose from, vegetarian options included. Dumplings are generally prepared either boiled or pan fried and served with a light salad of some sort and sour cream with dill.
Many restaurants will also serve dumplings boiled or fried with a salad and sour cream with dill. Expect to pay a little bit more but the prices are still very affordable in the $3-$5 range, depending on whether you’re in the most touristy areas or a little further out.
Dumplings outside of Tallinn are even cheaper, such as spot favored by locals near the Keila Waterfall. A beautiful quick trip 20 miles outside of the city that I recommend checking out.
EAT – Väike-Karja TN 3, Tallinn, 10140
This great no-frills dumpling house is a solid budget option. EAT‘s dumpling variety changes day to day but expect to find options such as cheese & potato, beef, chicken, pork and vegetable. Cabbage salad and a number of different sauces are available as well. Everything is served buffet style and price is determined by weight (about $0.75 per 100 grams). Dining in and grabbing the food to go is the same price.
You won’t necessarily be won over by smiles from service staff but once you taste the dumplings and see the prices, you won’t care. This slightly hidden spot is favored by locals for a reason. It’s well worth stopping by for lunch or dinner but I would recommend getting there close to 9am when they open to get the dumplings as fresh as possible.
Their menu can be found here.
Cook Your Own Dumplings!
If you would like to cook some dumplings, whether it’s tonight at home, or while you’re in the Baltics, this is another simple and inexpensive option. If you shop for these in the US they will most likely be marketed as pierogi and can be purchased at many specialty stores or some grocers.
In the Baltics they are seemingly available in every grocery store and go for around $1 a bag. Sour cream, dill and some vegetables or slaw can be purchased for another $2 or so. This feeds 2-3 people, depending on how hungry you are.
Boiling instructions can be found on most bags.
Pan-fry instructions can be found here.
To make the dipping sauce, I would recommend chopping up a small handful of dill and hand mixing it with the sour cream, a sprinkle of paprika and some garlic powder. For extra kick, you can sprinkle some chili powder or hot sauce on top but that’s my own preference. Spicy ingredients are not generally found in the Baltics.
Map of the Best Street Food & Dumplings in Tallinn
Don’t Miss Tallinn’s Budget Restaurants!
READ MORE: Tallinn Budget Restaurants Impress
With so much great food to eat, enjoy the street food and dumplings in Tallinn, but make sure to check out the impressive budget restaurants as well. Enjoy your time in this beautiful city! Thanks for reading!
Terviseks! (Cheers in Estonian)
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