So, you’ve got tickets to a show in Kalamaja and you’ve been waiting for it all week. You’re strolling along the charming streets, looking up at all the quaint wooden houses, taking in the atmosphere, when all the sudden you realize you’re super hungry! You’re craving a quick bite to eat, but have little time and don’t know where to go? Don’t worry, we have gathered you a list of the top 10 places to eat in Kalamaja! From this list, you can get acquainted with some places in the bohemian district where you can indulge in a delicious meal before a show, during a show and after one. Hungry for more? Let’s dive in!
- Restaurant ÜLO
This gorgeous restaurant is perfect for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores, they have something for everyone! Restaurant ÜLO’s key mission is to entice both the veggie- and meatlovers, creating splendid dishes for both flavour palates and diets. The interior is enticingly retro, with emerald green zig zag-tiles on the walls, functionalist chairs and potted plants that render a cozy, warm aura. Their staff is incredibly friendly and attentive, making the whole experience that more exceptional. Every meal on their menu sounds delicious, so if you’re having trouble deciding, they can offer ‘Flavors of Ülo’ – 5 dishes on sharing plates, serving you the best of the best. Restaurant ÜLO is a great option for you if you want to have a calm, sit-down dinner before a show.
- Restaurant F-hoone
Located in an old industrial building in the heart of Telliskivi Creative City, the ambience in F-hoone is remarkable. A spacious restaurant with incredibly high ceilings, contemporary artworks (like a colossal head of Voltaire made of reused materials mounted on the wall) and tall windows that illuminate the space stunningly. Their menu offers a wide array of options, from meatbased dishes to vegan options. Noteworthy are their burgers (both vegan and omni), salmon fillet and luscious cake selection. As for their drinks menu, they have concocted unique and utterly delicious cocktails that are a must try. Restaurant F-hoone is a perfect spot to unwind before a show and after an early show.
- Burger Box
A hipster dreamland with burgers, ponies and an arcade game, Burger Box is one of the best fast-food joints around. Upon entrance, the space is eclectic and cozy, but deceitfully small. Next to the diner-esque booths, a door leads to a roomy indoor-patio with vintage couches, funky chairs and tables covered in comic strips. Burger Box specializes in fusion kitchen and they definitely deliver on that front, offering you unique, intriguing and utterly flavorful food options. If not sold out, then most localers will recommend you try their cheese balls, as they are unofficially rated to be the best in town! Apart from snacks and fries (the kimchi ones are a must-try!) their bestsellers are, of course, the burgers. Top rated are the China pork, classic cheese and falafel burgers, providing options for any preference. Additionally, almost every weekend the patio is abuzz with people and live-DJs livening up the place. A budget-friendly and scrumptious eatery to visit after a show.
- Boheem café and pizzeria
This café is a true bohemian paradise that’s quite spacious and almost built like a maze. The multiple dining rooms, with differing furniture elements, decor items and fun wallpapers give you and your group a more intimate and personable dining experience. Their interiors look like typical boho-hipster apartments in Kalamaja and the aura is comfortably familiar. Boheem offers omni and vegetarian options, ranging from creamy chicken pasta to fresh veggie wraps, and a wide range of delicious pizzas. Boheem café and pizzeria is the ideal sit-down location, especially for a family dinner, to sit back, relax and catch up before going to a show.
- Heldeke! theatre-bar
This vaudeville-style venue with stadium seating and bewitching red curtains serves as a host for a vast catalogue of events, from standup to burlesque, from sauna to live music, Heldeke! has an event catered towards everyone. With events taking place in the venue almost daily, the place is incredibly lively, beaming with positive energy and a sense of community. Although the venue does not offer food (just yet!), just simple snacks like chips and nuts, there are some events that allow you to bring your own food! Yes, for events like Sauna Social or Heldeke! Vinyl Sessions, you can bring something to munch on from home, or order something in. Quickest is to order from one of the places closeby and have it delivered to Heldeke! When coming to see a show, check out the event description and maybe you can grab a bite with you! Heldeke! theatre-bar is a splendid place to enjoy your food during a show.
- One Sixty
A top of the line smokehouse that shares the space with a motorbike shop, which gives an unparalleled and exhilarating dining experience. They strive not to be a restaurant with white table covers that make you careful, but rather a robust, straightforward and honest eatery. One Sixty serves mostly meat-based dishes and American style foods, from BBQ sandwiches to meat dishes, from bar snacks to heavy desserts. Interiors of the place are similar to F-hoone, since One Sixty is also located in an industrial building, but the American-inspired decor elements make it stand out (like decorative motorbikes or old movie posters). Before a show, it’s the perfect spot to satisfy your hunger to ensure a successful and fun evening.
A one-of-a-kind location for a restaurant for sure! Peatus, meaning ‘a stop’ in Estonian, is an eatery that resides in an old train wagon. Upon entering, the wave of nostalgia hits instantly, with the interior of the wagon staying true to the era. Mostly known for their burgers (including a vegan option), they also serve finger food, starters and pizzas. During warmer periods, their vast terrace area is also open and most weekend nights a DJ plays their tunes. It’s a place where the passing of time comes to a halt and you’re inclined to enjoy the moment. Peatus is a superb place to eat before a show or after an early show to unravel.
- KOGU restaurant and bakery
A very rustic and industrial appearance, but absolutely top-of-the-line dishes. KOGU restaurant and bakery is located near the bay of Kalarand, which offers freshly-baked goods in the morning time, but unveils itself as a restaurant in the evening. Their handwriting is author’s cuisine – a mixture of local produce, Baltic aromas, Scandinavian style with a French approach. It’s a robust and cozy environment, where you feel welcome and relaxed. Offering mostly fish and meat-oriented dishes, like their Atlantic halibut and veal fillet, they also have a few vegetarian options like the mushroom buckwheat, and their food selection is highly-rated across the board. KOGU restaurant and bakery is an ideal dining spot after an early show.
- 180 Degrees
The only place in Estonia with two Michelin stars, 180 Degrees is a high-class fine dining restaurant by the sea. Located in one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in Tallinn – Port of Noblessner – the walk to the restaurant is just delightful, where you can stroll beside the seaside and take a breather. Their cuisine blends innovative techniques with the highest quality local and international produce, attentive craftsmanship and global influences. You get an utmost excellent and sterling dining experience, sitting by the floor to ceiling windows opening to a gorgeous view of the sea. For dishes, you can choose between the ‘Entire Menu by Matthias Diether’ (the executive chef of the establishment) or a shorter ‘4 Course’ version. For vegetarians, you can pre-order individually cooked multi-course meals. Additionally, they offer groups of up to ten the ‘Discover the Chef’s Table experience’, where guests can watch the executive chef preparing the entire menu in front of your eyes, like a show in itself. Matthias Diether aims to create an elevating eating experience for all your senses and raise the bar for fine dining in Estonia. An unforgettable dining experience, perfect for after an early show when craving something elevating.
This gourmet burger spot has operated in Kalamaja for 9 years already, standing the test of time with its’ heavenly street food selection. Today, they have 5 locations around Estonia and during summer periods, they open a pop-up food truck at festivals and open-air events. They serve an extensive list of burgers, with a veggie and a vegan option included, that are just utterly delicious. Apart from burgers, their finger foods, wrap and even bao are alluringly luscious to the taste. It’s one of those burger joints you just have to try and it’s a great place to pop by before a show or after an early show for a night cap.
Kalamaja is home to a plethora of different restaurants and cafés, from the regular and simple foods to high-class and exquisite dining experiences. If you are feeling a tinge of hunger before a show or want to unwind after one, then one of the many food joints in Kalamaja will definitely cater to your particular needs. So have a look around and try some of Tallinn’s best burgers, deluxe courses or homemade pastas around!