Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, is stepping out of the shadows to show it can be a major force in the culinary world and is the ideal destination for food fans.
Lithuania boasts a rich cultural history, but, you might not know that it has a hidden secret, it is a foodies paradise. In this feature, we’re focusing on Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, highlighting the foods, local beverages and places where you can experience things guaranteed to tantalise your senses.
First-time visitors to Vilnius will probably be surprised by the variety of world-class modern cuisine from a huge array of traditional multi-ethnic restaurants. And for those craving something a little less formal, the capital also boasts a strong craft beer culture and vibrant hipster street food.
Over the following pages, we’ve listed some of the foods, tipples and places that should be on your radar when you visit Vilnius:
Combining the past with the present
Historic cuisine comes alive at Ertlio namas restaurant where ancient recipes found in old estates and monasteries and recreated in authentic Renaissance and Baroque meals, formerly accessible only to nobility. The tasting menu is priced €35 per person.
Sweet Root was nominated as the third-best restaurant in the Baltics and offers a sincere take on local cuisine and tradition. Their kitchen team are sticklers for only using the finest local ingredients. The vegetables and herbs they use come straight from the restaurant’s own garden. While the berries and mushrooms are sourced from the nearby meadows and forests. The tasting menu is priced at €75 per person.
Džiaugsmas, is regarded as the third best restaurant in Lithuania. Here, patrons will delight in simple, yet high-quality local à la carte food. Highlights include dishes such as cod doughnuts with tarragon and egg sauce or smoked carp with cumin mayonnaise.
Šturm Švyturys is a restaurant that specialises in fish. Their team is keen on improvisation and offer some great dishes paired with seasonal produce.
Nineteen18’s New Baltic Cuisine
New Baltic Cuisine takes local ingredients and turns them into new and imaginative forms. Traditional multi-cultural influences are fused with local produce such as chanterelles, cucumbers, parsley and raspberry. The restaurant’s attention to detail and respect for the country’s culinary history has earned Vilnius recognition from the White Guide Nordic. The guide rated Nineteen18 as the second-best restaurant in the Baltics.
All of Nineteen18’s produce comes from their local farm, only an hour’s drive from Vilnius. The restaurant is currently located in the PACAI hotel, but, will be moving to a new location in the near future. Must-try’s on the menu includes pickled turnip with horseradish cream and fragrant herbs or raw crayfish with radish flowers. The Degustation menu is priced at €115 per person.