If you’ve never been to Latvia and you wish to try something local, then I’d suggest visiting restaurant chain Lido. They offer homemade style food; affordable and tasty. And that’s where I go when I want to have a homey meal.
My favorite restaurant though is Tokyo City. I just love their baked sushi. I know, it sounds weird and wrong. And that’s exactly what I thought when I saw it in their menu for the first time, but I gave it a try… and it turned out to be insanely good! Even better than “original” if you ask me. I could easily eat a couple of the sets without even blinking an eye.
That lovely crunch that cheese makes when you bite into it… Mmm… just the thought of it makes my mouth water.
Restaurant Mio was a new discovery. I got enchanted by its French style interior. It looked so inviting, I simply couldn’t resist. Although in the end their interior was the only thing I enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, the food was quite good, but there was nothing special about it. Plus 10.50 euros for a salad plate is a bit too much, in my opinion.
One of the most popular places amongst tourists nowadays is so called Gastro Market, located in Riga Central Market (Rīgas Centrāltirgus). Previously used as Zeppelin hangars, Riga Central Market is the Europe’s largest market and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gastro Market was opened not so long time ago, but it quickly became an “it place”. There are few food stalls, where you can try different types of cuisine. And most importantly, they have a bar in the middle of it all.
* 300 ml Leffe Blond costs 3.90 euros
As for the food, I laid my eyes on Japanese stall, but unfortunately they had some problems with kitchen appliances, and they couldn’t serve food. My second choice was Italian corner Stūris (literally translates as “corner”).
I paid 7 euros (!) for this tiny Garlic white pizza with chanterelles, and unfortunately, I can’t say it was worth it. Only thing I could taste afterwards was the strong garlic and yeast. That’s all.
Another disappointment was the restaurant Egle. The prices here are higher than average, but no surprise there, after all it’s located in the heart of the Old town, so it’s understandable. Plus, they often have live music, which is great. Only let-down for me was their menu, which hasn’t been changed since my last visit here… back in May of 2017. Besides it’s always nice to have something light and fresh to eat in the summertime.
But it wasn’t all bad. There was one restaurant that blew my socks off. Vērdiņš (verdinskafe.lv). Nice and cosy interior, friendly and helpful staff. But the food… I won’t exaggerate if I say it was the best food I had during my stay. Surprisingly it was the cheapest place I’ve been to as well.
I ordered Cheburek with mashed potatoes, onion and mushrooms (2.30 euros) for an appetizer and manti-dumplings with chopped lamb and sour cream (6.00 euros) for main dish. And was completely full after this meal. I am definitely coming back next time I’m in Riga!
And I would like to end this post on a sweet note. Well, kind of. Every time I come to Riga I like to buy one special dessert, something what I cannot have at home. And that’s “Vecriga” (old Riga). A traditional Latvian pastry filled with soft cheese cream and sprinkled with icing sugar. Word “yummy” doesn’t even begin to cover it. I love it!
Hope you enjoyed it!