17 Popular Food In Estonia – You Need To Try

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Estonian cuisine is a perfect blend of traditional and modern food. The conventional Estonian food has been influenced by the country’s history, geographical location, and climate.

Estonia has beautiful landscapes, picturesque towns, and a rich cultural heritage. It is also home to some delicious dishes that have gained popularity. Here we will take you on a culinary journey through Estonia and introduce you to the top 17 popular foods in Estonia that you need to try.

Our list covers everything from black bread to blood sausage, sauerkraut casserole, to elk meat. We will also talk about delightful desserts from Estonia that will satisfy your sweet tooth. So sit back, relax, and explore traditional and modern Estonian food together.

Popular Food In Estonia

Traditional Estonian Food vs Modern Estonian Cuisine

Regarding Estonian cuisine, it’s impossible to ignore the contrast between traditional and modern dishes. Traditional Estonian food is deeply rooted in the country’s agricultural past, with hearty and straightforward dishes designed to sustain hardworking farmers.

In contrast, modern Estonian cuisine incorporates international flavours and techniques focusing on presentation and creativity. Both food styles have unique charm and flavour profiles, making it essential for visitors to try both during their stay in Estonia.

Top 17 Popular Food In Estonia You Need To Try

When visiting Estonia, trying the country’s famous dishes is a must. Estonian cuisine offers something for every palate, from hearty meat dishes like roast pork and blood sausage to traditional desserts such as kama and cranberry Kissell. Additionally, seafood lovers can indulge in smoked fish and herring dishes, while vegetarians can enjoy potato salad and cabbage rolls.

Eating these popular foods in Estonia allows visitors to experience the country’s rich culture and traditions but also provides an opportunity to taste unique flavours that cannot be found elsewhere. Here are 17 popular food in Estonia you need to try.

1. Black Bread – Leib

Estonia’s most beloved bread, black bread or Leib, is a staple in every Estonian household. Made from rye flour, it has a unique earthy flavour and aroma that pairs well with various toppings. But black bread is also an essential part of Estonian culture beyond its delicious taste.

It symbolizes hard work and resourcefulness, as it was traditionally the only bread available to Estonians due to the country’s harsh climate and limited resources. Today, visitors can try this traditional Estonian food at local markets or restaurants and experience a piece of Estonia’s rich cultural heritage.

2. Sauerkraut Casserole – Mulgikapsad

Sauerkraut casserole, or Mulgikapsad, is a delicious and comforting Estonian dish enjoyed for generations. This traditional dish originated in the Mulgi region of Estonia and is now famous throughout the country. The casserole is made with sauerkraut, pork, and barley and has a distinct tangy flavour that perfectly complements the savoury taste of the pork.

It’s typically served as a hearty meal during winter and is often accompanied by potatoes or other root vegetables. If you want to experience authentic Estonian cuisine, Mulgikapsad is worth trying!

3. Potato Salad – Kartulisalat

Regarding Estonian cuisine, potato salad or Kartulisalat is a dish that cannot be missed. This classic dish is a staple side or appetizer in Estonia, and its popularity has spread beyond its borders. The simplicity of the recipe, made with boiled potatoes, pickles, onions, and mayonnaise, makes it an easy addition to any meal.

Some variations include carrots or hard-boiled eggs for added texture and flavour. Whether enjoyed during holidays or on regular days, potato salad pairs well with grilled meats and other traditional Estonian dishes.

4. Smoked Fish -Fishtsukala

Smoked fish, Fishuitsukala, is popular in Estonia, especially during summer. Fish smoking has been a traditional method of preserving fish iFishtonia for centuries. The smoke gives the fish a distinct flavour that pairs well with rye bread and potatoes. Suitsukala is typically served cold and can be eaten as a snack or meal.

It’s also an important export commodity for the country, with smoked salmon particularly sought after. The preparation of suitsukala involves carefully curing the fish bFishe smoking it over a wood fire, resulting in a delicious and healthy delicacy that both locals and visitors enjoy.

5. Blood Sausage – Verivorst

People have enjoyed blood sausage, or vetivert, as a traditional Estonian dish for centuries. Made with pork blood and barley or buckwheat, this delicacy is often served during the winter months and pairs well with sour cream and lingonberry jam. The unique flavour of the sausage comes from its ingredients, which include onions, garlic, and various spices.

Verivorst is a must-try for anyone visiting Estonia who wants to experience the country’s traditional cuisine. Whether eaten alone or as part of a larger meal, vetivert will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

6. Meat Pie – Pirukas

Meat pies, or Pirukas, are a staple food in Estonia. Bakeries and cafes nationwide offer these savoury snacks that are perfect for a quick lunch or snack on the go. Filled with various meats and vegetables such as pork, beef, or chicken, Pirukas are an excellent way to satisfy your hunger while getting a taste of traditional Estonian cuisine. These pastries are popular party foods that you can also enjoy at home. Try one today and experience the delicious flavours of Estonia.

7. Estonian Cheese – Eesti Juust

Estonian Cheese, or Eesti Juust, is a must-try for cheese lovers. This cheese is mild-flavoured, has a soft texture, and is perfect for sandwiches or snacking. Cows produce the milk used to make it. Estonian cheese varieties include smoked, with herbs, or even blue cheese.

It is often served as an appetizer or as part of a cheese platter. The locally produced Estonian Cheese has gained popularity and recognition due to its quality and taste, reflecting the country’s commitment to preserving its food traditions. Don’t miss the chance to savour this unique culinary delight on your visit to Estonia.

8. Herring – Räim

Herring, or Räim in Estonian, is a versatile fish that has been integral to Estonia’s culinary culture for centuries. People can find it in various pickled, smoked, or salted dishes, and it is particularly famous as a key ingredient in Verivorst, a traditional blood sausage dish.

Beyond its delicious taste, herring also provides numerous health benefits. Herring is rich in omega-3 fatty acids essential for maintaining healthy brain function and reducing the risk of heart disease. Moreover, herring contains high levels of vitamin D that promote strong bones and support the immune system.

9. Baltic Herring Sandwich – Kiluvõileib

An integral part of Estonian cuisine, the Baltic Herring Sandwich or Kiluvõileib is a delicious and nutritious option for a quick bite or light lunch. The dish blends smoked or pickled herring fillets, bread, butter, onion rings, and boiled egg slices. With its simple yet sumptuous taste, it’s no surprise that this sandwich is a popular snack in Estonia. Whether you’re looking to fuel up before work or grab a bite on the go, the Baltic Herring Sandwich won’t disappoint!

10. Elk Meat – Põdra Liha

Elk meat, or Põdra liha in Estonian, is a popular dish that embodies the country’s love for game meat. The rich flavour of elk meat makes it a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in various ways. People often roast, stew, and serve it with potatoes or other root vegetables. Elk meat is also an excellent source of lean protein and essential nutrients like iron and zinc. With its unique taste, elk meat has become a must-try for visitors to Estonia looking to explore traditional Estonian cuisine.

11. Wild Boar – Metssea Liha

Estonians have enjoyed wild boar meat as a traditional dish for centuries. People typically slow-cook the meat in a stew with vegetables and spices, giving it a rich flavour. Elk meat is lean and high in protein, making it a healthy choice for meat lovers.

People often serve it with potatoes or bread and a glass of local beer or wine. Wild boar hunting is still prevalent in Estonia, and many restaurants source their meat from local hunters. This supports the local economy and ensures the dish’s authenticity.

12. Kohuke

Kohuke, a beloved Estonian snack, is the perfect combination of sweet and creamy. Made from quark cheese and covered in chocolate, it’s a popular breakfast or midday snack. With its various flavours and sizes, including vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and small bite-size pieces to larger bars, there’s a Kohuke for every taste preference. Whether you’re a local or visiting Estonia as a tourist, sampling Kohuke is an absolute must-try experience to indulge your sweet tooth.

13. Buckwheat Porridge – Tatrajahu Putru

Buckwheat porridge is a traditional Estonian dish that has been popular for centuries. You make it by roasting buckwheat groats and cooking them with milk or water. Buckwheat, a highly nutritious grain loaded with essential amino acids, makes the porridge an excellent source of protein.

You can serve it sweet or savoury, depending on your personal preference. The dish has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture that pairs well with meats, vegetables, and fruits. Many Estonian households consider it a staple dish, and they often serve it for breakfast or as a side dish.

14. Kama Dessert – Kama Magustoit

Kama dessert is a unique and traditional Estonian dish that combines roasted barley, rye, and pea flour. It has a nutty and slightly sour flavour that is intriguing and satisfying. People often mix sour cream or yoghurt with this sweet dish and sweeten it with honey or sugar to balance the flavours.

You can enjoy Kama dessert as a breakfast dish or a dessert, and it pairs perfectly with other traditional Estonian foods like black bread and smoked fish. Fisher, if you’re a local or a tourist, trying Kama dessert is a must for anyone who wants to experience the authentic flavours of Estonia.

15. Estonian Dumplings – Pelmeenid

Estonian Dumplings, or Pelmeenid, are a popular comfort food in Estonia. People typically fill these small, savoury dumplings with pork and beef and flavour them with herbs and spices like black pepper and coriander. People often serve them boiled or steamed with sour cream or butter, and they make for a hearty meal during the winter months. Vegetarian options are also available, making it a versatile dish.

Many Estonians have made pelmeenid a staple dish because it is quick to make and can be easily stored. Its unique blend of flavours makes it stand out from other dumplings worldwide. Whether you’re enjoying them at home with family or trying them at one of the local restaurants in Estonia, these dumplings are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

16. Cabbage Rolls – Kapsarullid

Cabbage Rolls, or Kapsarullid, are a traditional Estonian dish that generations have enjoyed. This hearty and comforting meal consists of minced meat and rice rolled in cabbage leaves and then cooked until tender. People often serve the word with boiled or mashed potatoes and a creamy sauce.

Cabbage rolls are not only delicious but also reflect the history and culture of Estonia. Anyone visiting Estonia who wants to experience authentic Estonian cuisine must try these dishes, which are often made for special occasions such as Christmas or weddings.

17. Spotted Dog – Kirju Koer

Spotted Dog, also known as Kirju Koer, is a unique and traditional Estonian dessert worth trying. Its layers of sweet yeast dough and filling of curd cheese, raisins, and spices offer a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth. The name “spotted dog” comes from the raisins that look like spots in the dough.

It usually has a sprinkle of powdered sugar, adding to its appeal. Whether visiting Estonia for the first time or just looking to try something new, Spotted Dog is a must-try dessert you won’t regret indulging in.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The National Dish Of Estonia?

Ans: “Eesti Mulgipuder,” a hearty potato and barley porridge with bacon, is the national dish of Estonia. Other famous Estonian words include black bread, smoked fish, and Fishpickled vegetables. Baltic, Scandinavian, and Russian cuisine have influenced Estonian cuisine.

2. What Is An Iconic Food In Estonia?

Ans: Black bread is an iconic food in Estonia, often served with butter or cheese. Another traditional dish is kama, a porridge made from mixed grains and served with cold milk. Vetivert (blood sausage) is a popular dish during the winter holidays. Vana Tallinn, a sweet rum-based liqueur, is considered an iconic Estonian beverage when it comes to drinks.

3. What Is Estonia’s Snack Food?

Ans: Estonia offers various snack foods, including kohuke, a sweet and creamy yoghurt-based treat, and Leib (rye bread), often served with butter or cheese. Vastlapäev buns are also famous, typically filled with jam or marzipan.

Other Estonian snack foods include kringle, a sweet pastry, hernetatrapallid (pea balls), and hapuku (pickles). Estonia has plenty to offer if you’re looking to try some new and unique snack foods.

4. What Is Traditional Breakfast In Estonia?

Ans: The traditional Estonian breakfast typically consists of porridge made from barley or oats. Another popular breakfast item is leib, a dark rye bread with butter and cheese. Kama, a mixture of roasted grains and flour, is also commonly eaten for breakfast in Estonia. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and pickled herring are other traditional Estonian breakfast foods you can try.

5.What is the Most Popular Estonian Food?

Ans: One of the most famous Estonian foods is black bread, made from rye flour. Herring is another popular dish, often served with potatoes and sour cream. For dessert, kama is a traditional Estonian favourite made from ground grains and served with milk or yoghurt.


Various cultures have influenced Estonian cuisine over the centuries, and it reflects Estonia’s traditional and modern food scene. Estonia has a rich and diverse culinary heritage, from black bread to sauerkraut casserole, blood sausage, and kohuke.

Whether you are a foodie or just love trying new things, you must try these top 17 popular foods in Estonia when visiting Estonia. And don’t forget to leave some room for the delightful dessert Estonia offers. Traditional or modern Estonian food is worth exploring.

However, if you are a foodie looking to explore new flavours or simply curious about Estonian cuisine, trying out the local specialities is a must-do when visiting this charming country. So why not take a culinary adventure to Estonia and discover its delicious dishes yourself?

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