Lithuanian is an off-the-beaten-track destination located in Eastern Europe that really should be added to everyone’s travel list. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a budget-friendly destination with various exciting sites to see, and is very safe. Foodies and coffee-lovers will be happy to know that there are some seriously great places to eat in Vilnius. Read on to learn my top suggestions for any time of day.
The most important meal of the day
Unlike other meals, breakfast can be a bit tricky to find in Vilnius. Luckily, I’ve done a bit of legwork and have several recommendations for a tasty breakfast out. First up, try Cafe Montmartre for a deliciously French breakfast of crepes, waffles, or croque madame. My personal favorite is the perfectly cheesy croque madame (a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top) with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
For something more Lithuanian, head straight to Pinavija Cafe for a Karaites (Crimean people who migrated to Lithuania in approximately the 15th century) pastry called a kibinai. A sweet kibinai filled with jam goes perfectly with your morning cappuccino or espresso. The Pinavija Cafe also has a play space for children, which makes it a great option for families.
If you are traveling with children, Gusto Blynine is a great option as it serves any kind of pancake you can imagine and has options for people with food allergies or specific dietary restrictions. The whimsical interior of lights made from teacups, secret doors, and mini hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling sure to keep any kid entertained. Also, the prices here are great. Expect to pay around 1 to 2 EUR (~1.12 to 2.24 USD) for each large pancake.
A mid-day stop
Try one of these two recently opened restaurants for a creative lunch to keep you going during your wanders around the gorgeous Vilnius old town. Lauro Lapas is a sleek restaurant that has an ever changing menu of delicious dishes. I recently tried the cod with cauliflower and fennel, and enjoyed each and every bite. The meals here are on the more expensive side, with mains costing about 10 to 20 EUR each (~11 to 22 USD).
Dublis is another great choice for a creative lunch cooked by inventive Lithuanian chefs. Dublis is especially great if you are traveling with a large group, as there are many seating options available. Ordering the fixed price menu for lunch is a good value for money as 12 EUR (13.42 USD) will get you a drink (beer, juice, or wine), starter (soup, salad, or appetizer), main, dessert, and coffee. The dessert I had at Dublis is probably the best that I’ve enjoyed (and I’ve had many!) in Vilnius, so be sure to save room.
Coffee break or tea time
For an afternoon treat head straight to one of Vilnius’ many cafes. I have many favorites, but I’d suggest you visit one (or both!) of these cafes. Mint Vinetu is a cafe and used bookstore located on a windy street of the old town. Order a cappuccino and be surprised when it is served in a bowl! After enjoying your drink, check out the shelves upon shelves of books and the many beautiful postcards. Perhaps a strange suggestion, but visit the restroom and be blown away by the crazy street art inside the stall.
Another option for your afternoon coffee and dessert is Strange Love. Strange Love roasts its own coffee and also is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (they have great food). For those who love Instagram, the interior design in Strange Love is flawless. They also have a great outdoor space if the weather is nice.
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A hearty meal to end your day
If you’d like to try Lithuanian fare for dinner, head to Medininkai Restaurant and order potato pancakes or cepelinai (boiled potatoes stuffed with meat, formed into an oval, and topped with sauce). For a lighter meal, try their pumpkin soup and beetroot tower salad - my favorites from Medininkai. Be sure to order the cheese plate as a starter to sample local cheeses. Dip the cheese in the maple syrup provided and be prepared to be surprised by this unusual, but delicious combination. Main courses here average about 10 to 20 EUR (~11 to 22 USD).
For an alternative meal using only local, in season produce try Sweet Root, which is located in the famous art republic, Uzupis. Sweet Root serves meals that are art on a plate (and in your mouth!). They offer both a four and seven course tasting dinner. The seven course meal costs 50 EUR (56 USD) per person, while the four course meal costs 35 EUR (~39 USD) per person.
There is no shortage of bars in Vilnius, but these two awesome bars stand out from the crowd. For beer, beer, and more beer, head directly to Alaus Biblioteka (The Beer Library) on Traku g. 4. Here you will find an incredible selection of beer from all over the world, a wonderfully helpful staff, a delicious meat plate, and a great atmosphere. Decide to sit at the table in the secret room or on the balcony to make your evening even more memorable.
If you are looking to try the best selection of local beers, you should visit Bambalyne on Stikliu g. 7. This bar is located in a basement and has curved entranceways, rock walls, low lighting, and plush chairs. If you need a snack with your beer, try the fried bread - an ultimate Lithuanian comfort food that is often heavily flavored with garlic and served with a thick cheese sauce.
Full to bursting!
When it comes to eating or drinking out, you will be spoilt for choice in Vilnius. Because Vilnius remains a budget destination in Eastern Europe, you’ll have the option to try fancier meals for less than the price of a similar meal in a larger city. So, go all out and have dessert with that!
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