Latvian cuisine is derived from its peasant foots and harsh winter climate. Local food is characterized by hearty meals, including potatoes, rye bread, meat and beans. Favorites include piragy which is a bacon and onion dish; griki, buckwheat; and kiselis, a fruit soup served for desert. Despite humble beginnings, Latvia is among the most cosmopolitan conurbations in the Baltic region which means there are plenty of high-end and international restaurants to choose from. Beer is the drink of choice, although Black Balsam is the most popular spirit. Nightlife runs until 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., making Latvia a popular place for clubbers.
Bars and Pubbing in Latvia
Riga, Liepaja, and Sigulda are three of the more exciting cities for a night out in Latvia, although Riga’s downtown area is almost double the price of clubs in the outskirts of town. One of the favorites is Betty Page (Dzirnavu 28, Riga) with design influenced by the famous 1950’s pins-up girl. A more mainstream spot is Push Club (Terbatas 2, Riga), a Russian-owned club perfect for the young crowd. Essential Club (2 Skolas iela, Riga) has a number of revolving DJs playing several times a year.
Liepaja may not have the reputation of Riga, but visitors will still be impressed by the options. Fontaine Palace (Dzirnavu iela 4, Liepaja) can hold 600 people at one time, housed in an old warehouse downtown. The best dance spot is considered to be Big 7 Night Club (Baznicas iela 14, Liepaja) where all-night parties are held. The Rock Café is another important establishment that offers a great social nightlife.
Aparjods Hotel (Ventas iela 1, Sigulda) is where many visitors to Sigulda spend an evening drinking and mingling with the Latvian locals. Malnais Kakis (8 Pils Street, Sigulda) is another popular spot within the city, open nightly from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. or later.
Dining and Cuisine in Latvia
Restaurants in the Latvian capital are influenced by cuisines from around the world. However, one of the more unique experiences is Rozengrals (Rozena iela, Riga), a medieval-themed restaurant in the Old Town. For a unique twist between International and Baltic cuisine, try Pinot (Grecinieku 26, Riga). Another restaurant with an epic reputation and delicious tastes is Bergs (Elizabetes 83/85, Riga).
Although overly elaborate, the Fontaine Royal (Sturmanu iela 1, Liepaja) restaurant is a classy establishment serving delectable meals. It is often considered to be Liepaja’s most exclusive restaurant. The fish place, Old Captain (Juras iela 24, Liepaja), is recommended for all seafood lovers. One of Latvia’s more renowned dining options is the Restaurant Piano (Veca Ostmala, Liepaja), which is found inside Hotel Promenade.
Daugavpils is a small Latvian city, but still provides great choices for locals and travelers. For a delicious meal without a hefty pricetag, head to Bistro Grill Niko (Viestura 25 – 1a, Daugavpils) in the center of town. One of the more popular places to eat is Gubernators (Lacplesa iesa 10, Daugavpils). The name may not be too enticing, but the dishes are delectable. Another non-expensive delight is Afrodite (Mihoelsa iela 52, Daugavpils), which has a romantic ambiance.