You know when you are walking around a city for a few hours sightseeing and all of a sudden you hit if I don't eat now, I'm going to lose it? Well that was us after we arrived in Riga, checked into our hotel, and wandered around the old town for a bit. We ended up opting for a random restaurant that appeared to have enough space for our stroller, and soon enough we ordered what turned out to be a very lack-luster meal.
This certainly could have been avoided, however, if we walked just a couple of blocks more and left the old town. This was our third trip to Riga, and for some reason we've really struck out when it comes to meals in Riga, so much so that you'll note that I haven't previously written about food in Riga at all! Very unusual for me since I enjoy eating out and savoring local food.
So this time, I spent quite a bit of time asking friends for recommendations and checking out Heather's blog, since she was an expat in Riga for a couple of years. Some of those recommendations, we tried and tested and loved, and some we happened to stumble upon with some research of our own.
If you are looking for some great places to eat in Riga, please leave the old town and head over the river to test out some of these really great options!
If you like coffee, cool merch., great food, and really nice staff, you HAVE to visit Rocket Bean Roastery (note: not the one in old town). Rocket Bean is a super cool spot for breakfast, brunch, snacks, and more. It is decorated with massive wooden tables, geometric Latvia ornaments, and hanging lights.
We were pretty hungry when we arrived to Rocket Bean, so we ordered a couple of sandwiches, a cupcake, and a cinnamon roll, and everything was good. Also, their coffee was awesome, so do stop by for breakfast or brunch.
You can find Rocket Bean in the hipster area of the city on Miera Street 29/31. Check out more details on their website.
Do you travel with a toddler? Have you ever tried to go out to eat with a very angry, very not amused toddler? Let me tell you, J and I almost packed it in one day because we just could not handle Baby ISO at a restaurant (I'm sorry Index Cafe for our screaming kid, there was nothing we could do!). Instead of giving in to ordering Pizza Hut or KFC to go, J helped us end the day on a good note by finding Milti.
Now, this AWESOME restaurant really knows what parents need. It's got serve yourself wine on tap, a playroom with a gate (lock those kids right in there), and a really tasty menu. If you are in Riga with kids, do yourself a favor and have a nice meal with your partner or friends at Milti. Both Baby ISO and I really enjoyed the spinach ravioli and J ordered some kind of Australian beef dish. Our food was really tasty, and the wine the waiter recommended was great. Even if you don't have kids, I'd highly recommend swinging by Milti.
You can find this wonderfully family-friendly eatery on Dzirnavu iela, 34a. Check out their website here.
Big Bad Bagels
If you are looking for a fun option for a quick takeaway breakfast or lunch, Big Bad Bagels is a fun option. The staff were very friendly and we simply ordered a toasted wheat bagel with cream cheese to go. Super easy, very inexpensive, and tasty.
Grab a bagel at Baznīcas 8 and check out their hours on their Facebook page.
Index CafeIndex Cafe will forever be remembered as where Baby ISO had a massive meltdown. But hey, let's forget that, because this cute cafe has really tasty, healthy offerings for lunch. There are three Index Cafes scattered around the city, but we stopped at the Index Cafe on Brīvības bulvāris 32, which is near the Esplande.
At Index Cafe we ordered a tasty chicken salad, roasted sweet potatoes (a special), and a gluten free Asian noodle stir fry dish. I really enjoyed my dishes and J liked his noodles. If you are looking for somewhere to eat and catch up on emails, Index Cafe would have to be my suggestion.
You can find Index Cafe on Brīvības bulvāris 32 and check out their hours and other locations on their website.
We were searching for a tasty meal one day and we stumbled upon Miit Coffee just as we were starting to hit our hunger wall. The sign and windows full of people drew me in, and even though it was packed, we lurked until a table freed up. At lunchtime, Miit serves vegan soups and platters along with their regular dessert-type options. J and I shared the combo order of a large bean soup (for me) and a vegetable stew kind of thing for him. I really enjoyed my soup and J liked his meal as well. We shared a vegan coconut and chocolate bar, which was really tasty.
You can find Miit Coffee on Lāčplēša iela 10 and check out their hours online.
Valmiermuizas was my favorite dinner and bar option that we came across in Riga. The service was really nice, the atmosphere was cool, and the food that we tried was really tasty. I ordered the crispy potatoes and pumpkin soup, and J opted for the crispy potatoes, lamb meat balls, and bread pudding dessert. Everything was really tasty, especially the soup, which had a dollop of cheese on top. The bread pudding dessert was really not what I expected, in a very good way -- it was delicious!
You can find Valmiermuizas on A.Briāna iela 9a in the hipster Valdemāra pasāža. This is near Labietis and Rocket Bean Roastery. You can find their hours on their website.
Labietis is J's all time favorite brewery. They have a shocking 40 beers that they brew, although not all are offered at the same time, and have a really impressive range of flavors. J's favorite, which they don't brew often, is Bee Keeper's Widow and mine is the Bronze Age Braggot, which tastes like the Baltics' summer in a bottle. Another Labietis beer that I tried and enjoyed, Gravedigger, had a really deep, smokey flavor and is part of their black range.
You can find Labietis near Valmiermuizas on Arisida Briana 9a-2. It looks like an old warehouse and deserted from the outside, but don't be afraid, walk through the gates (in the photo below), and you'll find it. Check out their website for more information.
|Go through those gates to get to Labietis|
Where do you like to eat in Riga? Have you tried any of these places?