The perfect reprieve from the hustle of Old Town Tallinn is the spacious Nurri Cat Café, perfectly sized to still maintain an air of coziness. Without a reservation, visiting most cat cafes is a bit of a challenge, but Nurri was
surprisingly empty on a Friday night. Only quiet music and a few other guests filled the space. Small tables, thick structural pillars, and the occasional cat tree dotted the concrete floor. It was a perfect opportunity to relax with some dinner and highly scientific feline-watching. The cats mostly slept, though a few wandered around, taking special interest in several guests. A girl played with two cats using her long, green dreadlocks (and that’s where the term “stranger than fiction” comes from). On occasion one cat would take interest in another cat, and their peers would notice; they’d all slowly descend upon one spot. It seemed kind of like telepathy, but it was difficult to figure out what the allure was at any given point. The waiter was very friendly, and came around to chat with guests on occasion.
Apart from the adorable cats, which come from various shelters and are very well-loved and cared for, the menu is worth checking out. Unlike many cat cafés around the world that only serve drinks, the food is a huge draw at this charming location, in addition to fair trade tea and coffee.
Nurri has many unique and refreshing beverages to choose from. The “ginger drink” was an ideal choice on the chilly evening of my visit; it appeared to be a hot non-alcoholic ginger with a hint of
cider. Very mildly sweet at first, its aftertaste was gingery and tingly. This option is also available with Jagermeister added. For the main course, I can recommend the handmade spinach-goat cheese ravioli. This house specialy features creamy, tangy filling folded into thick, doughy, sweet pasta, topped with slightly spicy diced tomatoes and sprinkled with parmesan.
All desserts are under five euro, and include everything from apple pie, cheesecake, and ice cream to sweet pancakes.
Visitors will be pleasantly surprised by a pop of nostalgia on their menu card. A fixture of most Estonians’ ’80s childhoods was not only the show Saturday Evening With Daddy (starring presenter Uncle Raivo and his cat, Arthur), but the delightful treat that the cat enjoyed, Cat Arthur Cake (Kass Arturi Kook). This sweet dessert was originally created from locally grown corn. It’s worth noting that corn is not something that grows naturally in any part of the Baltics, and (despite Nikita Krushchev’s insistence that corn be grown everywhere) Estonian corn ended up being only about 30 centimeters high. Perhaps as a way to spread the joy of corn, this treat, consisting of sweet corn sticks and toffee candy, was introduced and became a simple and hugely popular treat throughout the Soviet Union. Today, this buttery corn puff-toffee bar, similar to a Rice Krispie treat, can be devoured at the Nurri Cat Café.
Take your time and relax in cat heaven, with no time limit, surrounded by friendly cats and even friendlier people (who won’t investigate the contents of your purse or try to sit on your head). Very walkable from Old Town and right next to Stockmann Mall, it’s a convenient and unmissable stop on your tour of Tallinn.
The café is open from 12:00-19:00 on most days, and is located at Tartu maantee 24, 10115 Tallinn, Estonia