Food & Drink, Tallinn
My Estonian girlfriend doesn't like spicy food, not even food with garlic or onion. This is just the way Estonians take there food: plain, but hearty. Typical dishes involve lots of meat, typically meat and two vegetables. But being a coastal country, with a harbour capital, fish is also popular, and the tiny Sprat in particular. Tallinn is sometimes called Spratville, because of its proclivity for these tiny taddlers.
Some of the more unusual dishes include blood sausage, or even blood bread or blood balls, at least according to Lonely Planet. My girlfriend is a little skeptical about the latter. One food that definitely exists, and might cause visitors to gag is the traditional sult. This is meat in jelly and is a plate very popular at Christmas time.
If you are lucky enough to be invited into an Estonian home for dinner, you can expect to sit around a table with the entire family while many large plates or bowls of food are placed around. These plates are usually filled with salads, like crab noodle, some kind of marinated fish, pickled vegetables, especially cabbage and gherkins (usually home made), and potatoes of some form (fried or boiled). Expect to be very full before you are allowed to leave.
Despite being labeled the Land That Spice Forgot by the Baltic Times, Estonia has some fantastic restaurants, and not just in Tallinn. On the other hand, don't be surprised when your "spicy" dishes are not all that spicy, or when your Estonian friends are shocked by even the mildest of curries.
Coffee is very popular in Tallinn and people like to have their coffee breaks. There are many nice cozy cafes in the old city, some of them trying to give you nice medieval atmosphere as well as serve the coffee accordingly.
Everywhere we went there seemed to be cakes waiting to tempt us. On arrival in Tallinn we headed for a snack and a drink. As well as the nice healthy salad I also couldn't resist a tempting cake. At Kadriorg Palace we needed a drink and we ended up with a cake too. Put temptaion in my way and I can't resit!
If you do a lot of walking you can eat them without feeling guilty!
Saku is one of the biggest breweries in Estonia and the Saku Kuld is their premium lager beer. You can get it is most cafe's and bars in Tallinn and so I did :)
In front of the Olde Hansa and is other location in the old city you can try these honey spiced fried almonds. Hemmmm, delicious.
Pickles came as a side dish with many of the meals that I ordered in Tallinn. In fact, even the breakfast buffet at my hotel had pickles. I love pickles -- so I thought it was great!
As an appetizer, many Tallinn pubs serve deep fried garlic bread. It may not be the most healthy choice, but it is delicious! You're on vacation -- enjoy!