Summer is a feeling, not a season. to experience this feeling, you just need to pack a medium-sized weekender and head to Pärnu for a couple of days (or even a whole week!) to enjoy the expansive food scene the summer capital of Estonia offers.
After just a 2.5-hour drive from Riga, you’ll be happy to find that in addition to Pärnu’s well-known hotels and spas, there are several highly rated restaurants that have been ranked among the best in Estonia. Top-class meals can be enjoyed both in fine-dining restaurants and cosy resort cafes, and good places to drop in for a bite can be found virtually throughout Pärnu county and along the Via Baltica.
In summer, Pärnu is full of cosy outdoor terraces and bustling restaurant-cafés. The most popular places are located in the old town area and on the promenade Supeluse tänav,
which are both car-free during summer. Summer brings a lot of outdoor events and a lot of people to Pärnu – we suggest that after dinner you take a walk towards the beach to have a cocktail and partake in any outdoor happenings sure to be going on.
Enjoy excellent service, exciting menus, and special flavours in Pärnu’s top restaurants. Nordic and Scandinavian fine-dining experiences can be found in the restaurant Raimond and in the historical Ammende Villa. This spring, Pärnu’s first chef ’s hall was opened in Villa Wesset, where an experiential dinner is prepared from pure fresh ingredients right in front of your eyes. There are two menus to choose from – Local Journey and Baltic Journey – which bring first-class flavours to visitors in surprising combinations.
The menu at the Wesset’s chef ’s hall includes smoked eel, veal tongue cooked for 36 hours, deer tenderloin, chocolate-black garlic mousse, and many other exciting delicacies.
The area along the Pärnu River is developing rapidly, and several trendy eateries have established themselves here in recent years. It has quickly gained popularity among locals and visitors alike as the riverside offers a completely different atmosphere. For example, the urban restaurant Kastrul serves dishes influenced by Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, while right next door, the bakery Leivakas offers freshly baked goods and stone oven pizza.
Nearby are Suncity and Wunderbaar, perfect spots to spend summer evenings. Baarceloona, with its considerable Spanish influence on the menu, offers a good selection of sangria and tapas.
To get a better overview of Pärnu’s local food culture, try to visit some eateries away from the main streets as well. For example, at the Kosmonautika recreation centre located on Via Baltica, the Kosmos cafe offers great flavour experiences. Authentic flavours also await at the Groot restaurant in Varbla harbour as well as at Võrgukuur in Ermistu holiday village near Tõstamaa.
The local menu includes traditional fish dishes as well as pork, beef, and game meat dishes. The islands in the Gulf of Livonia, Kihnu and Manija, also offer culinary experiences in which the customs and traditions of our ancestors are still honoured today.
In addition to a high-level restaurant culture, Pärnu also honours the production of craft drinks. Cider, wine and other drinks are made by small producers. The most well-known makers of craft drinks in Pärnu County are Mamm&Frukt, Jaanihanso Siidrivabrik, Tori Siidritalu, Pootsi Winery and Allikukivi Winery. Mamm&Frukt craft drinks can be sampled at the Valgeranna wine stable located in Audru, near Pärnu.
The wine stable is a 140-year-old manor horse stable practising small craft wine production, and even has a terrace restaurant offering stone oven pizza. It’s a great place to taste the winery’s own wine as well as that by other producers, and learn more about the art of wine production.
Pärnu resort town is an attractive destination for visitors looking for food experiences not only in summer but in other seasons as well. Thanks to all the various options on hand, Pärnu is a great place to stay for everyone – couples, families with children, and groups of friends. In Pärnu, enjoy not only good food, but walks in town, golf centres, a racing circuit, an adventure park, national parks and much more. Pärnu also prides itself with having the best beach in Estonia. Families with children can enjoy water centres, spa holidays and Lottemaa, the largest theme park in the Baltics. In addition, Endla Theatre and Pärnu Concert Hall offer wide cultural programmes.
In May, the local competition for the Bocuse d’Or world chef championship will take place in Pärnu to determine the best Estonian chef, who will then go on to represent the country at the international championship.
Come and enjoy awesome flavours in Pärnu!