12 UNMISSABLE CULINARY EXPERIENCES FOR GROUPS IN TALLINN
Do you have a meeting in Tallinn, and are you looking for something fun to do for the afternoon? The best team-building activities are the ones that involve food or drinks. What is a better way to relax than to visit a distillery, taste local food in a beautiful scenery or even better, try to make something yourself?
In the medieval capital of Tallinn, you don’t have to look far to find great food experiences. Tallinn offers a wide array of culinary activities like having zero waste dinner, tasting bear meat, or eating dinner in a bog. Whatever you fancy, we got it. Here is a list of food and drinking themed activities to try out with a group.
Tallinn is a medieval city, and the best way to experience the medieval vibe is to go to the old town, admire the city walls and enjoy the atmosphere of the place. When you enter the old town through Viru gates, it doesn’t take long on cobbled stones before a tempting almond smell tickles your nostrils. This means only one thing— you cannot get the full medieval experience without using all your senses including smell and taste.
Restaurant Olde Hansa just next to the Town Hall is the place where medieval times make a comeback. Just open the heavy wooden door, and you will find yourself in another time, in a candlelit room filled with medieval music. The service here is loud and authentic, and the bear meat on your plate is an experience that is hard to recreate. Enjoy your meal with eastern dances or book a group experience that allows you to experience how nobility celebrated their wins 700 years ago. Bear in mind, that everything that lands on your plate in this restaurant is prepared using 15-century recipes. The owner of the restaurant is a real connoisseur of medieval times. He has handpicked the receipts from old archives so that you would experience a feast of your lifetime.
Did you know, that according to legend, marzipan was invented in Tallinn? Come and learn to make marzipan figurines like a real master! Marzipan has a long and sweet history in Tallinn that goes back to the heyday of the Hanseatic League – like the German City of Lübeck, Tallinn is also well known for its marzipan. Whereas up until 17th century the sweet almond paste was considered a medicine and sold by the Town Hall Pharmacy – also the oldest constantly operating pharmacy in Europe, first mentioned in written sources in 1422.
Nowadays it’s a popular treat that gives guests the opportunity to practice true craftsmanship. In this workshop, you will learn about marzipan and its making and see how the real masters ply their craft. Even more, you’ll become a craftsman yourself, sculpting, colouring and painting your own small figurine. Besides being fun, it also tastes fantastic!
Why not to start exploring a new culture from its craft beer? The craft beer scene is trending all over the world from the US to Asia and in Estonia, and we have more different craft beers than we can count. One of the well-known beers is Põhjala. The cool thing about Põhjala Tap Room is that they are offering trips to their brewery where you can see how the beers are made, and you can ask whatever is that you have always wanted to know about craft beers. Plus, the tour includes tasting 3-4 beers to get a better understanding of what all the talk is about.
Another awesome thing about this experience is the location of the brewery. Põhjala Tap Room is located in the hippest new part in Tallinn, in the Noblessner district. The former submarine shipyard has now turned into a trendy urban space with a marina, promenade, eateries, galleries and a techno club. Whether summer or winter— the place is bustling with walkers and enjoyers.
One more hip location in town, Telliskivi hides yet another pearl, a local gin distillery Juniperium. If you have a lot of gin lovers in your group, then this artesian distillery is a must, because it’s the first one in Estonia that offers tours for everyone interested in the history of gin and the art of production. You can taste different gins, and at the end of the tour, you’ll get a gin and tonic.
Now, if you feel it’s too early to call it a night, you can, of course, keep going after the tour. Why not make yourself familiar with the wide array of cocktails in Junimperium? How about trying Telliskivi 60 S, gin combined with sparkling wine, sugar, syrup and lemon juice?
While gin production in Estonia is relatively new, vodka has been a traditional drink for centuries. It’s part of our culture, and hardly any traditional birthday party, wedding or funerals go without a shot of vodka. So there’s no better way to know Estonians and understand their traditions than to pay a visit to a vodka distillery.
And what could be a more fun and relaxing way to recover from a meeting than to take a tour of vodka distillery? Liviko invites you to an over 100-year-old factory where you can learn all about the process of producing and bottling vodka. Did you know that one of Estonia’s most famous vodka brands Viru Valge has a wide variety of flavoured vodkas like cranberry, watermelon and rhubarb? Well, during the tour you will learn how these aromatic spirits are made as well. Of course, the tour will include a tasting.
Do you have many cocktail friends in your group? If that’s the case, you should consider taking cocktail classes with experienced sommeliers who will teach you the secrets of cocktail making.
If your company and people support a sustainable lifestyle, then fear not, Tallinn has something for you as well. On top of the new photography museum Fotografiska, there’s a restaurant with a great view of the city. But that’s not all. They have a zero-waste philosophy which means that they use every part of every ingredient and compost the leftovers in their garden. The food is fresh and seasonal, and many ingredients come from their own garden.
Also, at Fotografiska they avoid foil and vacuum bags. Carrots and tomatoes come straight from a farmer in boxes that they return afterwards.
So, while you sit down to enjoy beautiful views of the Tallinn old town and Telliskivi district, you can be sure that in the kitchen everything from nose to tail is used and no unnecessary food waste is created. Come here to enjoy wonderful food without feeling any guilt, you’ll leave knowing you did something good for our planet today.
Now, would you like to offer your team something unforgettable? If so, we recommend you to have dinner with a cabaret show in Tallinn. Yes, what would be more fun and put smiles on your team members faces than looking at the pretty dancers with their hats, bow ties and boas putting up a show of a lifetime.
Experience a spectacular night in Tallinn filled with amazing performances, bombastic costumes and of course, exquisite food! Catch the dazzling Cabaret Dinner show at the Original Sokos Hotel Viru and let yourselves be whisked away for a magical night. Packages include welcome drinks, 3-course gourmet dinner and the grand show magic. Indulge in delicious local cuisines that will be served at your table as you watch talented artists performing on stage. Themed shows range from around the world and movie classics to old school and 80’s themes.
If your group consists of more hands-on people, and their hands are itching to do something instead of sitting and waiting for their food, then this opportunity is spot on. In Toiduakadeemia, you can take cooking classes with an Estonian chef.
Cooking together is a fun way to strengthen your team’s spirit. Together you will cook dinner consisting of several courses and of course, at the end of this fun activity, you can eat it all.
Or maybe there are a couple of baking enthusiasts in your team? In this case ,why not to take a class on how to bake one of Estonian traditional dishes— black bread? Foodies.ee offers a class, that gives you all the knowledge you need for baking black bread, and while the bread is in the oven, your team will enjoy the dinner.
Do you love chocolate? If so, then have you ever dreamed about making your own chocolate? It’s hard to imagine more relaxing activity than learning to make something so delicious. In Tallinn’s chocolate museum Chocolala, you’ll learn how a simple cocoa bean transforms into chocolate or how to model your own chocolate bon-bons. And when you have finished your masterpiece, you can admire real chocolate masters at work.
Estonia is not your typical wine country, yet we have a long tradition of making berry wines. During the Soviet times, alcohol selection in our shops was poor, and that’s the reason why many Estonians started to experiment with their own drinks. A lot of us have grandparents who knew the secrets of winemaking. Estonians use all kinds of different berries for winemaking but also apples and rhubarb.
Got curious? If so, then we welcome you to Nudist Drinks in Telliskivi. Nudist is a new-age winery that celebrates diversity and healthy hedonism. Their speciality is sparkling berry wines, and to make these, they only use natural ingredients. So how are they doing it? Well, to know that, you should gather your team and come to take a look. You will see how the berries are fermented and bottled. And of course, you get to taste everything that they produce. Get ready for having fun!
Experience a traditional Estonian Party in an authentic Estonian environment, with traditional food and drinks, local musicians, and other fun entertainment. Estonian parties typically take place at the Rocca al-Mare Open Air Museum, where you can get a closer look at real Estonian villages and ancient authentic farmhouses. Set in a tranquil forest park just outside central Tallinn, the museum presents a collection of nearly 80 historical buildings dating from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, all relocated here from various regions within the country. Among these architectural gems are thatched-roof farmhouses, wind and watermills, a 17th-century church, a fire station, an inn, and a schoolhouse.
Okay, let’s say that your meeting was early in the morning, so you have basically the whole day off. If so, you’ll have a great opportunity to leave the busy city life and charge your batteries in nature. Estonia is famous for its bogs. The most well-known bog is Viru bog in Lahemaa national park about 50km from the capital. Stretch your stiff muscles, breathe in clean bog air and enjoy the mystical landscape of Estonian wetlands.
Pack enough food and snacks, tablecloth and other necessities and make a beautiful picnic table in the middle of the bog. This is a typical Estonian experience that is impossible to forget.