Have you finally arrived to Tallinn? Congratulations! Now it’s time to fill your fridge and get all the stuff you need to make yourself feel at home. In this new series called The Tallinn Service Guide we will give you information about where to find most of the things you need to live a happy life in your new hometown.
There are a few supermarket chains operating in Estonia. The quality of their products vary even between different kinds of stores of the same company, so it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer depending on your lifestyle, your budget and how close they are to where you live.
In Tallinn there are very few market places and I don’t remember ever seeing a bakery or a butcher shop, so everything you need to fill your kitchen with will have to be bought at a supermarket.
As a side note, like in many other European countries, supermarkets in Estonia charge for plastic or paper bags, so plan your trips to the supermarket ahead of time and take the goodie bag you got at the Orientation Days and a backpack to carry all of your stuff; that way you’ll save a little bit of money and help the environment at the same time :).
While doing research for this post, I found out that Rimi belongs to the famous Swedish supermarket company ICA. Not that it’s relevant for your shopping experience, but I thought you should know anyway :). I usually do my shopping at Rimi as there is one very close to TTÜ. The quality of their products isn’t the best but as a student with a tight budget, I don’t mind making that small sacrifice of not having the best gouda cheese in the world. (Check out their locations here).
This chain has several big supermarkets, one of which is halfway between the city center and TTÜ at the Kristiine shopping mall, so it is easily accessible. They offer a huge variety of products, including clothes and home appliances. Also during my research for this post, I learned that Prisma is owned by a Finnish company that runs the Sokos Hotel Viru (hard to miss building next to Kaubamaja), which is famous for having housed a KGB radio centre which placed hidden microphones on the hotel’s rooms to spy on guests during the Soviet occupation. Interesting, isn’t it? No? Okay, I’ll keep these random facts for myself and stick to supermarket descriptions, then :). (Find a list of its locations here).
This is another big chain that has several stores all over Tallinn. There is one close to TTÜ but I only went there a couple of times. Prices are also acceptable here and the variety of products is good. (Find a map of its locations here).
This Lithuanian chain is said to be the largest employer in the Baltics and it has 75 stores all over Estonia. Personally, I never went to a Maxima store but it also has decent prices. (Find the location of its stores here).
Probably the cheapest in this list, these stores which are part of the Rimi group are discount stores that offer a limited range of basic everyday products. The quality is what you’d expect from a place like this, but their prices are hard to beat. (Find here its locations).
Located inside Viru Keskus and part of the Kaubamaja departamental store, this supermarket is kind of high-end, so prices are not so friendly to the student budget. But if you ever need a special or good ingredient to cook for your Christmas dinner, for example, this might be the place to go. (Located in floor -1 of Viru Keskus).
Stockmann is a departmental store that also has its own little supermarket. But stay away from it if you don’t want to be broke :). Most of its products are gourmet like luxury coffee and fancy fish, so go there at your own risk. (Address: Liivalaia 53, Tallinn).
Welcome and happy shopping!