I’m always excited to try some traditional food whilst I’m away and Lithuania was no exception. I wouldn’t be able to say that I would have known what traditional Lithuanian food consisted of but I was looking forward to finding out!
Our first meal of the trip was enjoyed at Cozy, a little restaurant in the Old Town. Both my Mum and I only fancied something light so she went for a baked camembert, that came atop some vegetables, and I went for a little platter which had the most amazing Lithuanian hunting sausages, accompanied by nuts, olives, crisps and cheese. Our meals, accompanied by a beer, came to just below 12 euros each.
Wiped out by an early morning we visited Bunte Gans, on our first night in Vilnius, as it was just a 2 minute walk from our apartment. They served us the largest schnitzels I’ve ever seen in my life, everything was so delicious. They served them with a range of sauces, I went for a mushroom sauce. Along with a carafe of wine our meal was 18 euros each.
Our first real traditional meal was at Etno Dvaras, where we had a lunchtime reservation, which I’d recommend as it got quite busy. We had some local ales and I had some Cepelinai, the national dish of Lithuania. The dumplings were made of mashed potato and contained minced meat. I had a side of pork rind and sour cream to top it with. My Mum went for another national dish, the potato pudding. The meal was amazing value too, working out at about 7 euros each.
There are lots of great little places to stop for a drink whilst in Vilnius and we opted to visit Decantus Vynine. We visited in the afternoon so the place was pretty quiet but it was a lovely little bar to enjoy a glass of wine.
Our evening meal at Ertilo Namas was probably one of the most interesting I’ve ever had. My Mum’s birthday was about a month before our trip so my gift to her was a special meal whilst we were away. Ertilo Namas felt very special, and was amazing value. Our 4 course tasting menu, with drink pairing was 50 euros each (30 euros without the drinks).
The menu was linked to local history, as each beautiful dish was presented we would also be talked through the flavours, how they related to the local cuisine, the availability of the produce throughout history. It was a great experience.
The food was delicious, rich and flavoursome. The accompanying drinks were really interesting, ranging from meads, ciders to port. If I was heading back to Vilnius I’d definitely want to come back and try the latest menu.
If doughnuts are your thing then you have to head to Holy Donut, a little bakery full of amazing doughnuts. I had some amazing strawberry delight and it hit all the right spots. Make sure you swing by!
We had lunch one day at Saula, an underground restaurant located right in the centre. We were basically the only ones there when we visited but I loved the look of the place. Its bare ceilings and walls gave it a really rustic feel, which contrasted beautifully with the luxurious velvet couch I cosied up on. The food was also amazing and although not cheap, we paid 22 euros including a drink and dessert, and it felt great value for the quality of food.
Georgia has long been on my list of places to visit and so I was happy to see a wide variety of Georgian restaurants whilst wondering around the city. Georgia and Lithuania have a close relationship, dating back to the 19th century when many Lithuanian’s found themselves exiled to Georgia. We stopped into Chacapuri Sodu, which served traditional Georgian flatbreads. The food was good and our stuffed flatbreads, with a beer, came to under 6 euros.
Hales Market, the oldest market in Vilnius, is a great stop to grab some local produce and in our case, some pastries from the bakery for breakfast. Looking around a market is certainly something I love to do whilst away and there were a number of little restaurants just off the main market floor where you could sit down and have some proper food.
Another great traditional restaurant was Restoranas Lokys, where once again we found ourselves in some sort of underground cavern, this time tucking into some delicious game sausages. The service was very friendly and the food very homely, it was really lovely meal.