III Draakon is…something else. Here is a story of why it’s always good to inform yourself before trying a new cafe or new place to eat. Otherwise, you might get confused, insulted or worse. Not a great way to start the review, I know. But trust me on this one.
We didn’t try coffee there. Honestly, it didn’t look like a place to have a fascinating coffee menu. If you want something like that, you can always check our list of best places to drink coffee in Tallinn.
What can you find about III Draakon on Tripadvisor?
When you visit III Draakon on TripAdvisor, you will see a pile of bad reviews. I was stunned. How the hell this premise is still working? Most of the comments are about the rude and cocky staff. As I read further, it became funnier and funnier. When one guest complained that the tavern lady verbally assaulted him because he asked for a spoon and told him to bring his own spoon next time, two things came to my mind:
- The owners are a suicidal, money-hating bunch
- Or, there is more to the picture than it meets the eye
So, I decided to look further. And looky here.
Why does III Draakon have such terrible reviews?
And now, a revelation. III Draakon has more than a great location in Tallinn’s Old Town. Meaning – groups of innocent tourists will walk into the lair of the dragon. Oh, and they will be welcomed warmly. The tavern lady will be here to provide you with all the hospitality she holds. I have actually seen small groups of tourists entering the tavern, and leaving almost instantly, with angry eyes and red cheeks. All because of few words from a tavern lady.
Of course, it’s all a roleplay to present the atmosphere of a 15th-century tavern. Now, being a sassy waiter for quite a time, I can just applaud the approach. However, some tourists don’t like that, or they are unaware it’s all a show.
Well, tough luck.
Location and interior
III Draakon is located near Old Town square. A wooden dragon head makes it hard to miss. That explains the number of tourists that go there daily. Especially when they see on the sign that food here costs €1.50 – €20. Given the fact most places around here charge €10 for a hamburger, this sounds like a good deal.
The tables, chairs and benches are wooden. Makes sense because you are entering a 15th-century tavern.
Follow the rules and you will probably have a great time.
The toilet has small doors, a claustrophobic interior and a funny sign on the wall. Not the cleanest toilet ever, to be honest. I assume not a lot of people are intimidated by the warning sign.
III Draakon Menu and etiquette
I visited III Draakon on Friday evening with my wife. It was a cold and snowy night. We both had elk soup (served in old clay vessels), two large dark beers in clay pots, and two carrot pies. Price? €18 for everything. The Tavern lady told me that 1 euro was for her, and I agreed. I paid with magic (credit card), and I had to take all of that to my table. I also got a blasting warning I need to clean my table after.
Yep. After you finish your meal/drink, you need to gather all the dishes from your table and carry them into the basket used for dirty dishes. Hey, house rules.
The elk soup was warm, greasy, and good. It kinda reminded me of goulash, but it wasn’t that thick. Of course, no spoon. Drink it, as our forefathers did. The carrot pies were fresh and tasty, although rather small. Dark beer was okay-ish. Nothing that special, but not bad. The beer was made using the old monk recipe, so I guess I am just not a fan.
The food was fine, tasty, and didn’t cost that much, compared to usual Estonian prices and given the fact we are in the heart of the Tallinn Old Town.
However, their menu went through some changes and now it looks like this:
As for the etiquette, the rules are simple. Don’t mess with the inventory, and don’t ruin the atmosphere by using your camera flash excessively. Respect the premises, because this tavern is truly unique.
If you want some salad with your food, the tavern lady will direct you to a large wooden barrel full of pickles. Then simple take out one pickle using very large wooden fork, and you are good to go. It can’t be simpler than that.
Pros and Cons
III Draakon Tavern ladies: funniest comments
- Can I get an Irish coffee?
- Go to Dublin then.
- Do you have soups here?
- It would be weird we don’t, given they are on the menu.
- Can we see the menu then?
- Can I get a spoon?
- Why didn’t you bring your own?
- Is there a table service here?
- Does it really look like we have table service?
and my favourite one:
If you want a medieval atmosphere, good food and witty tavern ladies, I suggest visiting III Draakon. You won’t get disappointed. If you expect top-notch service, a kid-friendly environment and a great choice of the world’s cuisine, why did you enter a medieval dungeon then?
Bottom line: III Draakon is worth visiting. Go there, warm yourself with house schnapps and elk soup, end just enjoy the true medieval atmosphere of Tallinn. If you are a gentle flower, and momma’s special kid, go somewhere else.