Olde Hansa restaurant, Tallinn: Touristy but good

When I go on holiday, I like a bit of a mix. I love going off the usual track. I adore exploring new places and I will choose somewhere that isn’t ‘the norm’. But I also love being a tourist. And I hate the snobbery around it. Things become touristy because they’re good. They’re interesting. There’s something to look at. Call me boring if you must, but I want to go and see those places. Not all of them (usually the free ones), but what’s the harm in doing the popular stuff if you want to go?

Olde Hansa Tallinn

Which brings me to Olde Hansa in Tallinn. One of the most popular restaurants in the city. And without a doubt, the most touristy. It’s a traditional restaurant, medieval in style and they go to town on the theme. And despite the fact that it’s rammed with tourists (like me), it’s excellent. Once you get past the method acting from the waitresses anyway.

The food is different. The decor beautiful. Yes, I do want to sit in a gorgeous old building by candlelight (although a little more would have been helpful). Would we like to try traditional root beer? Yes please! And everything will be tasty and different and the bulgar wheat dish will be amazing? OK then. Go for the meat dishes. And don’t be put off by the prices. The main courses come with all sorts of tasty goodies (even a little mini pie with beans) so you’re paying around £15 for your dinner with drinks.

Olde Hansa is an experience, without being tacky. Sure it’s packed so service was a bit slow, but it’s worth it. The traditional spiced wine we tried the next day was excellent. Yes, it was so good we went back. I’d recommend sitting outside if it’s sunny – old buildings and lack of air-con are not fun.

This won’t be the best restaurant you’ll ever eat in. But it’s really very good and the experience is worthwhile. Some tourist places are worth putting snootiness aside for. This one is a real treat.

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