My friend and I decided last year that we should spend every year a weekend away together. Traditionally from our last trip it’s March. This year we decided to go somewhere warm and nice. After consideration which countries/cities we haven’t visited yet and where it could be nice and especially warm we came up with Dubrovnik or Riga. We know that both cities aren’t particular warm in March but neither of us really thought about that by the time we were booking our trip.
We booked a weekend in Riga; the capital of Latvia and based on the Baltic Sea.
Riga is a lovely city with a lot of diverse history. From the first arrival of German merchants, World War 1 & 2 and the time with the Russians and its socialism, it became a quite unique little city. Riga’s old town belongs to one of the World Heritage Sites in Europe.
We didn’t exactly know what to expect in Riga and were a bit worried about food too. But my friend is always better prepared than I am and she did some research before we arrived.
Here are the best places we have been to:
1. Folkklub Ala Pagrabs
This gem is a basement restaurant/pub/bar in a side street of old town. When we walked down the stairs we both thought oh my god what is this place it looked cold and wet but the further we walked the better it got. It is an old cellar vault and it has live music every night which gives you a feeling you are in an Irish pub! It is very busy since it’s popular for locals and tourist at the same time. That’s why we were a bit worried about the food because our experience told us touristy places are often not as good but we got pleasantly surprised; the food was delicious. It is very traditional and very meaty but my vegetarian friend could find something nice on the menu too. We enjoyed our meal to the fullest and the prices are compared to other places cheap but the food and atmosphere doesn’t justify it. We definitely come back.
2. Black Monk
We were strolling around a little bit in old town and weren’t sure what we actually fancy. Till we found Black Monk it looked very welcome with heaters/ flambeau outside. The menu looked modern and international with vegetarian dishes on it too. The atmosphere was nice and the food was perfect. We had little traditional potato pancakes and mussels as a starter, our main was baked Avocado. Surprisingly the Avocado didn’t turn mushy or grey. The restaurant was a bit pricier than the others but worth a try.
3. Bar Garaza
We had this little gem on our list from the beginning. Not for the food but for it cocktails. It’s an old garage converted into a trendy cocktail bar/restaurant. Once there we went in and everybody was eating so we decided to give it a try too. The menu reminds more of pub food which makes you a bit unsure how good it will be. Nothing wrong with good down to earth food but living in England showed me that not every pub serves good food. When the food arrived we were astonished by the lovely presentation and the amazing taste of the pasta and the filled mushrooms we ordered. The prices were standard Riga pub prices.
4. The Good Father
We found the Good Father on our way to Garaza. The Good Father is a Pizza place in a tiny little side alley. We just seen it because there were people walking down that alley into the restaurant and we are very nosy so we wanted to know what it is. Not only is this place in a small alley it’s also a small little restaurant with the tables in placed at the winter garden. The pizza was perfectly made with a thin crust and a good amount of quality toppings. We had a nice little bottle of wine with it and I have to say we enjoyed both a lot. The prices were justified and we happily paid for this wonderful pizza.
5. Galarija Istaba
Last but not least we went to Galarija Istaba this time for lunch. This place is something else it is a little art gallery with a shop at the ground floor and on the top floor they have this tiny restaurant with view into the art gallery. They offer just one selected menu a day; on the day we have been there they served some kind of tapas. We had a starter with different dips and bread and our main was different vegetables with some couscous and rice – that was the vegetarian version otherwise they would have served it with some chicken. If you are a fussy eater it could become a bit difficult to eat here otherwise it is very yummy and worth a try. What I liked here most is the idea of having a restaurant on top of an art gallery.
A little photo collection of our food:
I hope you like my little list of my top 5 restaurants in Riga. Let me know which one you liked the most? I’d love to hear from you.