The food of Lithuania – quite the hearty dishes

I can honestly say that I remembered nothing from my previous trip to Lithuania in regards to its local cuisine. Therefore I deep-dived into the whole thing with reservations for two different restaurants, one in Vilnius and one in Kaunas. Everything else was done on the fly, meaning I ate wherever it looked good. So in that manner I found out that Lithuanian food is very hearty. Lots of meat, deep fried, greaves, etc. In a way everything you need if you are about to go into the forest to cut down a tree. In case you only go sightseeing, you might want to cut the portions in half.

Which sounded like a plan, but I didn’t follow through. I started my first day in Vilnius with a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict at Holy Donut. Since this is my all-time favorite breakfast dish, I couldn’t resist when I found a place that served it. Not that Holy Donut is a restaurant. It’s really a donut shop with a couple of tables on the first floor. The eggs were quite alright though.

Eggs Benedict with tea and my ever present e-reader @Holy Donut

Very lovely was the chilled red beet soup with potatoes that I enjoyed later that day, after a long walking tour. Pub Šnekutis has two locations in Vilnius, I was right in the old town and sat underneath a large tree in the garden in front. Not totally hygienic since pigeons are almost snatching away your food, but it was sheltered from the rain. Also the soup tasted great and excellent choice of local beers.

chilled red beet soup @Pub Šnekutis

Another breakfast happened on the way to the Resistance museum at Elska Coffee, which I think is a vegan/vegetarian place. I only got a croissant there, which was okay and first there was a little mishap with the tea. But service was lovely and I enjoyed the sun outside.

croissant and tea @Elska Coffee

Another breakfast, and way better than the one above, I had in one of the many bakeries (Kepyklėlė) in Kaunas on Liberty boulevard. I loved the Canelè, which I tried here in Kaunas for the first time and got totally hooked on them. So good! Happy to report that these little bites of heaven were available in every bakery.

apple pastry and Canelè for breakfast @Kaunas

And here you can see what else was available for breakfast. Honestly, that was not an easy choice in the morning.

pastry selection in a bakery @Kaunas

At the yacht club in Kaunas I ate mussels in creamy sauce and Kepta Duona (fried bread with garlic). Maybe not really a winning combination, but at least interesting. The fried bread is a Lithuanian staple and it comes with a cheesy mayonnaise sauce.

mussels and Kepta Duona (fried bread with garlic) @Kaunas

At Katpėdėlė in Klaipeda I finally ate some herring with potatoes and sour cream. A simple dish, but big on taste. Herring is always a good choice in the Baltics.

herring with potatoes @Katpedele

And then I tried another traditional dish, Švilpikai, a potato dish with crackling sauce, sour cream and deep-fried bacon. Another hearty meal, and since I didn’t cut down trees thereafter, I only ate half of it.

Švilpikai, a traditional Lithuanian dish @Katpedele

At Vanilės Namai I had a fantastic dessert which reminded me a bit of the Swedish Princess cake. But it was just the green color and otherwise not similar at all.

pistachio cake @Vanilės Namai Klaipeda

The next day at the beach in Nida I had a fantastic meal at Pušynė. Grilled local fish, local because I can’t remember the name, with cucumber salad and mashed potatoes. The potatoes didn’t work but was the only side order with carbohydrates that might have worked. The combination was weird, but each dish really tasty.

grilled fish with cucumber salad and mash @Pušynė Nida

My dinner at Leja in Šiauliai was the weirdest ever and not great, so no pictures from this disaster. But I ate one more traditional meal in Vilnius at Etno Dvaras. The Cepelinai are potato dumplings, shaped like the Hindenburg Zeppelin, but instead of a gas filling there was meat inside. I ordered them with a mushroom sauce on the side. the sauce was good, the dumplings way too rich and I only managed one.

cepelinai with mushroom sauce @Etno Dvaras Vilnius

On the whole Lithuanian dishes are very rich, lots of potatoes in form of dumplings or just along side a meal. I was more than positively surprised by the Kepyklėlė and their excellent pastry choices. You can skip the hotel breakfast and just go for breakfast there. There are also very reasonably priced compared to Western styled coffee shops which charge three times the breakfast price just for coffee (not a joke). Sticking to herring and pastries is probably the best food advice I can give you for Lithuania. Yours, Pollybert

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