Have you finally made up your mind and decided to go visit Vilnius, in Lithuania? Whether you’ve made this decision thanks to my post about the things worth seeing and doing in Vilnius or based on other circumstances, it’s ok anyway…you’ll be happy with your choice because this city is a feast of unexpected things.
This said, I suppose there will be a moment when hunger will start knocking on your door.
Here’s a list of ten places where you can eat in Vilnius, both low-cost and high-quality (a very frequent combination in the Lithuanian capital, to be honest), and enjoy good local food, cooking contaminations based on the matching between Baltic traditions and the rest of Europe, but also art and live music.
And, for sure and as usual in my “foodie” posts, I’ll tell you much about veg friendly places.
Ertlio Namas (Šv. Jono g. 7)
In the heart of downtown Vilnius, this restaurant is extremely cosy and combines traditional Lithuanian cooking with contemporary contaminations. This is the strength of Vilnius: tradition looks neither manneristic nor too geared towards tourism (locals actually like to eat here).
Guests will have the chance to try the ancient recipes of the old monasteries in this area, as well as grandma’s recipes and their best modern interpretations.
Porto Dvarsa (Pilies g. 16)
Porto Dvarsa, restaurant in downtown Vilnius
Zeppelin (Capelinai) , a local variety of goulash, horseradish sauce and a lot more…this is the place to go if you want to taste this dish and some good local cuisine or even a decent pizza when you’re craving complex carbs.
The restaurant is right downtown and I suggest dropping by this place instead of waiting in line for who knows how long to visit other places with that rustic but fake look tourists like so much. You should definitely try it, even just for its more than decent selection of local wines and more.
Alive (Gedimino pr. 31)
This is the place to go if you’re vegan or vegetarian and would like to taste the best local cuisine. Different tapas are served almost every evening, which confirms the extremely creative character of the cooks. In the dishes you’ll find small but great works of art. You’ll almost feel sorry about eating them up but… you’ve got to live with it 😉
I believe there’s no better place for a food Instagrammer to be in Vilnius as well as across the whole Europe!
Cozy (Dominikonų g. 10.)
This place is ideal if you’re not that hungry but still want to try something local, simple and mouthwatering. The kitchen is open up to 2 o’ clock in the night (something far from the ordinary at these latitudes), the setting is extremely stylish and the periodic photography exhibitions of independent authors make everything look trendier.
Cafe de Paris (Didzloji 1)
Located in the heart of the Jewish quarter, this place without a proper Lithuanian name is preferred by students and locals (and this means quality).
Very good live music and DJ sets combine with the food to feed the soul and curiosity, and to make socializing easier.
Alaus Pirkliai (Šiaulių g. 5-6).
About socializing, you won’t leave the Alaus Pirkliai without making friends.
This place is managed by a very friendly couple of wine and beer lovers (who I feel close to just because of this), the setting is small and cosy, and you’ll be guided in your choice of new and particular food and drinks.
Tesla Pub (Totorių g. 5)
This place is named after the scientist Nikola Tesla, of Eastern European origin and a naturalized American citizen. The menu in this gastropub is actually a combination of USA style burgers and more local food, sauces, meat and recipes, in the Serbian and Lithuanian variants.
Šmc ( Vokiečių g. 2, Vilnius)
ŠMC stands for Šiuolaikinio meno centras, or Contemporary Art Center. Interesting reading sessions, concerts and special and funny events are held from Thursday to Saturday at this important cultural venue in Vilnius.
You’ll obviously bump into exhibitions and shows besides good food, either local or foreign. During summer you should definitely try the beautiful terrace, where they serve “soul food” starting early in the morning until the evening.
René (M. Antokolskio g.)
The restaurant is named after the Belgian painter René Magritte and offers the best part of Belgium; you can actually draw on the tables while waiting for your premium Belgian beer or food, ranging from the delicious chips to mussels and oysters.
It’s set up like a museum, definitely a must-see place.
Open Kitchen (Aukštaičių g.)
Finally, the top of it all: this wonderful food street market that takes place every Friday from May to September by the amazing Užupis Republic (the anarchist district of Vilnius I have already told you about).
Needless to say, here you’ll find the best street food, good vibes, greenareas and night bustle!