Saturday, 9 April 2016

Foodie's Riga - where to go, where to eat

Good food is something Riga has in abundance. Luckily I was travelling with an equally shameless hedonist, who genuinely believed 3 desserts is only reasonable. Though I did hear (with all due respect and love, I'm sure?) I can be quite a foodzilla...

Our biggest favourite this trip was Muusu, currently ranked #3 in Riga's top 30 restaurants. 

Located in the Old Town Muusu won us over with its fairytale-like surroundings, but everything about this place works. Lovely atmosphere, excellent customer service, knowledgeable wine recommendations and really good food.

Their starters are their strong suite. They're a celebration of Latvian culinary traditions and European twist. Both game and slightly more exotic cuts are prominently displayed  - you should absolutely try the beautifully deep flavours of lamb tongue and pig ear terrine.

Our feast consisted of glasses of Champagne, 4 starters, a main we shared, 3 desserts, a bottle of wine and a couple of digestives. Even with tip the total only came to about €130. Well worth it.

In case it's Mediterranean feast you're after, head over to Riviera, on the other side of the city. The list features oysters, octopus (!!!) and frog legs. Despite the quality the prices are reasonable: even the mains are priced below €20. 

Great wine list and user friendly, too: several are available by the glass and the extensive Champagne list still makes me sigh.

Wine lovers should check out the latest arrival in the wine bar scene: Easy Wine. The concept is familiar from Tasting Room at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market and as the name suggests, it's a low treshold, casual and fun way to get to know wines. 

As you walk in, you get a card that's been charged with €50. You insert the card into the machine and choose your wine and preferred portion (which start at 5 cl) out of the more that 60 available varieties. Simples! And oh, so much fun. 

They also have a very reasonably priced menu featuring antipasti, salads, bruschettas and pastas. 

Another wine bar worth recommending is Garage near Vincents. Interesting, hand-picked wines and and oyster brunch available during weekends. 3 oysters with the trimmings with a glass of either Prosecco, Franciaforta or Champagne costs €9/ €12/ €15

When looking for a brunch venue in Riga, you can't beat Biblioteka (oyster, here too!) but you might also want to check out Restorans 3, the latest venture by the chefs behind 3Pavaru. The philosophy is literally down to Earth, but then, so are the prices (weekend brunch €12,50 for grown ups, €5 for children).

Riga is a city of gingerbread-like charm, so you can't be blamed for getting a sudden craving for something sweet. For that, make your way to Audeju Iela street, home to Bake Berry and their amazing pastries (have the lemon tartalette!)

Nelleulla is a fantastic artisan chocolatier located on the same street and definitely worth a visit, too (basil and mango truffles, anyone?)

For more tips on making the most of foodie Riga, see the lowdown on our previous trip over here.

Next I'd quite like to sample the delights of Latvia's neighbour - I've ben hearing Vilnius is quite a culinary gem, too. Anybody been there and have tips and recommendations to share?





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