Hidden in an ancient courtyard on Vene Street is the Choco café. The actual cafe opened in 2003 with roots dating back to 1937. The interior transports you back into ancient Europe. The cozy café features a plethora of golden-rimmed paintings, Victorian candles, red velvet chairs and an old sign in book to explore where travelers come from. Enjoy a latte, or a Chai tea, accompanied with a slice of European-style cake or small square of chocolate. During the warmer months, enjoy the makeshift “couch” along the exterior’s stairs.
Built between 1402 and 1404, this is the most unique café located in Tallinn. Climb 115 narrow stairs; using a walled-in chain to aide your adventures up the steep stairs toward the tower. Be careful on the way down, especially with dress shoes. A bit expensive, visitors pay for the view and the experience (around 5 euros for a coffee). But, there are not many places in the world where you can hangout in a medieval tower for 5 euros!
Maiasmokk is Estonia's oldest cafe. Established in 1864, a bakery and shop occupied this space since 1806. This era was a time when locals dreamed many little dreams of inventions to the creation of photography. In 1941, the Soviet occupation incorporated the business with other confectioneries. Legend has it that Tallinn is the birthplace of marzipan and used to prevent lovesickness during the medieval era. Today, marzipan is still handmade in the shop where guests shop and watch storekeepers paint marzipan.
If you're feeling nostalgic for the Soviet Union, explore Energia Cafe. Some claim the only thing that has changed is that the waitresses are now old ladies. There are few authentic Soviet cafes left in Tallinn, and this is one of the closest ones to Old Town. Established in 1964, this is one of the cheapest places to eat and drink. Besides coffee and pastries, explore a variety of Eastern European soups and simple sandwiches. The decor is modest and as plain as and uninspiring as you can get during the Soviet era.
Kehrwieder has several locations within Tallinn and roasts it's coffee locally in town. The established cafe is not that old, but resides in some of the most historic spaces and buildings in town. Besides coffee and chocolate, Kehrwieder hand makes their own ice cream without preservatives or artificial coloring.
This Old Town Vene location is a beautiful spot to visit to soak up the historic atmosphere. Open earlier than most cafes in the neighborhood, it's an affordable breakfast destination. With two stories, stay warm as the heat rises, which is essential during the cold winter months. Reval is now one brand that united several cafes throughout the city. With 11 cafes located throughout the city, I recommend spending more time at the other cafes, but having breakfast or an early AM coffee here.
What's your favorite cafe in Tallinn? Let us know so we can check it out on our next trip!
This Lemon Tree article is now featured on GPSmyCity. To download this article for offline reading or travel directions to the attractions highlighted in this article, go to The Best Historic Cafes in Tallinn, Estonia.