47 FLAVOURS OF VILNIUS
For centuries, Vilnius has been home to various cultures bringing their own culinary heritages to the city. These days, the city’s restaurants offer much more than traditional old world cuisine. The streets of the UNESCO-listed city are filled with aromas from all over the world, hinting to contemporary flavour combinations and modern food preparation techniques.
Renowned Lithuanian chef Martynas Praškevičius opened a bistro where sharing is caring – eating food with hands, tasting different snacks, and trying to understand what the skilfully paired ingredients are trying to say make for an unforgettable feast. Everything is prepared using local produce, which means the menu is seasonal and changes often. Guests are invited to try hams cured at the restaurant or pickled vegetables prepared in the kitchen. The restaurant’s philosophy is to delight in simple, yet high-quality food. There is no rush; a dark interior allows guests to focus on the most important things – fresh food and intriguing dishes. Džiaugsmas was named Lithuania’s best restaurant in 2018.
A dinner at this restaurant is like a puzzle consisting of a number of subtle dishes and one-bite stories. Natural flavours, together with locally sourced and seasonal products, make for fresh takes on traditional food. Vegetables and herbs straight from the restaurant’s garden, berries, and mushrooms from the nearby meadows and forests appear on plates to tell their tasty tales. It’s always a good idea to come back – the changes in the menu are dictated by nature itself; only the bread and the farmers’ butter stays the same year-round. A modern presentation, a light and calm space, and sincere local cuisine create a new dinner tradition. It’s no wonder Sweet Root was named the third-best restaurant in the Baltics.
The only fresh Lithuanian fish restaurant is exceptional, to say the very least. Guests can choose their favourite fish from the ice tray on the counter. No one knows what the fishermen will find in their nets, so the dishes and flavours here change every day. Improvisation and imagination come to life in copper cookware as fish is paired with seasonal products, and the restaurant’s interior makes guests feel like they’re in a small fishing village in Lithuania Minor.
Deivydas Praspaliauskas, repeatedly awarded the honour of best Lithuanian chef, improvises using seasonal products to create new flavour profiles. A Scandinavian spirit in the kitchen is transferred to the restaurant’s halls and the dishes on the tables. A love for food shines through the restaurant – it awakens the senses, nourishes the body, and surprises the eyes with an aesthetic and creative presentation. The restaurant, which is housed in Hotel Artagonist, can easily become an artistic experience. There is a different lunch menu every day, and the restaurant transforms into a theatre of gastronomy by evening with its tasting dinner. The special atmosphere created by the chef is always fascinating. Guests can enjoy a new tasting menu on the first Tuesday of each month.
It was simply inevitable that food and wine would be ideally paired when chef Egidijus Lapinskas and a sommelier Arminas Darasevičius joined forces to open this restaurant. Complex European cuisine impresses guests with light and subtle flavours. The menu is filled with refined creations where seafood, fish, and meat play a key role. Guests can also choose a tasting menu complete with wine pairings. The restaurant is divided into two spaces. Colourful details contrasted by white prevail on one side of the room, while the other side is more temperate and dark. Depending on the occasion, everyone will be able to feel which side suits them best.
The idea of this restaurant is simple – tapas and wine. However, every dish is created passionately and following the highest standards of quality. Which is more important, food or wine? The menu can change a couple of times an evening, but the flavours will keep surprising. The restaurant offers a large selection of quality raw fish, seafood, and meat snacks. One of the most popular dishes among guests consists of little hot pans filled with tasty morsels baked in a wood oven. Six professional sommeliers help guests navigate the list of 400 wines and pair them perfectly with their meals. Tasting menus with wine pairings are also available, as are wine-tasting dinners that include visits to winemakers.
This restaurant blends European cuisine with a touch of contemporary Indian cuisine. The chef, Gaspar Fernandes, prepares some of his dishes using his mother and grandfather’s recipes, but he also adds some experiments to the menu, including grilled or slow-cooked dishes, as well as meat and seafood recipes. Most of the spices come from India, but the restaurant is proud of its own secret spice mix, which gives each dish a unique and easily distinguishable flavour. Brunch is served on weekends and the cosy atmosphere invites guests to enjoy eggs Benedict without having to rush.
A high-end restaurant that has been serving its guests exciting flavours in a Provence setting for 13 years. Everything starts with great ingredients, an impressive wine list, and a commitment to excellence. This French restaurant’s menu delights with sophisticated dishes and variety of ingredients – the harmony of flavours is definitely well thought out. Since the menu rarely changes, the recipes have been perfected over time; however, they can never get mundane. Classics like beef tartar, tomato or boletus soup, beef Stroganoff, tuna fillet, and a special risotto have been on the menu since the restaurant opened. The cosy bohemian atmosphere is easy to love, and notable patrons have included Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Daniel Craig, and Naomi Watts.
Once a famous pizza restaurant, today Da Antonio offers many snacks, meats, and fish dishes, as well as an impressive list of desserts. The restaurant offers traditional Italian cuisine with a modern touch. Chef Dmitrij Babenko could even impress a real Italian, and his kitchen is constantly experimenting – new dishes are added each season, unusual products are used to create new flavours, and unique ravioli shapes and fillings are the norm, making ravioli the staple at Da Antonio. The restaurant also offers an extensive list of wines from all over Italy.
This restaurant creates a surprising opportunity to travel back in time and take a gastronomic journey from the 13th to 19th centuries in Lithuania. Fine Lithuanian cuisine, contemporary culture, and modern technology are blended effortlessly in this unique family space found in the historic 17th-century house of the German mason Jurgis Ertlis. It’s easy to feel like ancient nobility while eating pigeon, duck, or borsch with tortellini. The menu depends on the season and changes six times a year. The dishes are prepared following the recipes of different periods and guests are told the story of their origin at the table. For the most authentic experience, pairing food with mead or Lithuanian wine is recommended.
This Mediterranean restaurant focuses on quality and in-season ingredients. Each dish, from raw fish to seafood and grilled exotic meat, is balanced and well thought out. The small restaurant is about communication; guests can see the impressive tartars being made. The Caciucco – a traditional fish soup from Tuscany – or risotto with crabmeat served in a crab shell, make for a delicious atmosphere. The splendid interior with a view of Vilnius Old Town is a great place to sit for coffee and enjoy traditional desserts with a unique twist.
This restaurant brings a strong meat-eating culture and traditions that follow a simple vision – combining quality ingredients and mastery of preparation. The taste of natural meat is much more important than seasoning at this restaurant. Steaks from around the world prepared from sustainably raised beef, sheep and lamb, as well as a wide variety of seafood snacks are perfect from the first bite. Like every true steakhouse, guests have the freedom to improvise, choose their side dishes, and decide how they like their meat cooked. The menu created by the chef Mher Gevorkjan is not dauntingly large, but the dishes are perfectly selected, leaving no room for confusion.
A love of travelling and a passion for unique ingredients are reflected in the menu of the family bistro Selfish. The restaurant smells of the ocean and the menu is filled with fresh oysters and seafood. Seafood is not a luxury here; it’s a common food. The cosy atmosphere invites guests to relax and pay special attention to the fresh products while discover new flavours. Champagne and wine are usually a great pair to make the seafood shine. Mussels and a long lunch with family or friends are a Sunday tradition at this restaurant.
A gastronomic restaurant, a tavern, and a pastry cafe named Ponių Laimė set in the 16th-century building housing the Relais & Chateaux Stikliai Hotel have been preparing food for world leaders, members of royal families, and stars for three decades. The restaurant’s chef, Gerdvilas Žalys, is creating a new identity for Lithuanian cuisine based on the high standards of the 19th century – his goal is to keep developing traditions for future generations. The restaurant uses vegetables, various berries, apples, and pears grown at its very own farm.
Set in one of Vilnius’ fanciest properties – Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square – Telegrafas Restaurant creates a perfect harmony between the historical past and the contemporary era. The menu is inspired by different countries around the world – its European cuisine is open to culinary surprises and is complemented by Asian flavours and Lithuanian traditions. Local products are in the spotlight as chef Vytautas Alekna turns to nature while adding a pinch of his travels and childhood memories to create new and modern flavours. Martynas Pravilionis, Lithuania’s best sommelier for three years in a row, helps guests choose the best wines to accompany their journey of discovering the restaurant’s authentic dishes.
The star of the restaurant is, of course, meat. Dry-aged beef, burgers, and tartars make for a hearty meal that promises to excite the taste buds. The meat is aged in the restaurant’s maturing chamber, which is the largest of its kind in the Baltics. The taste of the Lithuanian beef is just as good or may even surpass that of imported meat. Even though the main focus is on the meat, fish and vegetarian dishes are also grilled here. The brunch menu shines a new light on breakfast: traditional eggs Benedict are accompanied by rancheros style, Spanish or Turkish poached eggs.
This modern Spanish restaurant is made for family and friends, and is like a bustling Spanish marketplace. The new concept includes dishes from all of Spain’s . Guests are offered the classics, like paella and its less known sibling fideua, grilled steaks, fish, seafood, and an array of tapas. The restaurant is divided into two zones: the gastro lounge is a great place for breakfast, a quick lunch or evening snacks, while the second floor creates a relaxing seaside atmosphere, inviting guests to indulge in a worry-free life and share both food and experiences that are sure to make brunch last until the early evening.
In a small and colourful space the aromas and flavours of authentic Mexican cuisine entice guests to share their food. Tacos with different fillings get the most attention, but the chef also serves lamb and mussels. The restaurant’s free spirit invites everyone to celebrate life and enjoy great food. Sofa de Pancho has a large collection of tequila by small distilleries and famous brands, but pairing Margaritas with food is also a good idea.
This brasserie is open for the best breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The menu is understated, inspired by Baltic traditions and prepared using organic Lithuanian products – most of which are grown on the restaurant’s farm. When this much attention is paid to quality, even the traditional herring tastes a bit different. Fried buckwheat risotto or crispy and juicy bacon go well with Baltic craft beer, cider made by farmers, and quality wines. The restaurant also has a trick up its sleeve for kids – a small menu with the hits everyone loves.
This restaurant was named second-best in the Baltics by the White Guide. The restaurant’s name commemorates 1918, the year of the Restored State of Lithuania. Contemporary Baltic cuisine is created using local products from farms and nature, and follows the 12-month cycle. Nineteen18 focuses on sustainability and sources its produce within a 100km range of the restaurant. Even though it’s situated in the historic mansion of Lithuanian nobleman Pacai, which today is the PACAI Hotel, chef Matas Paulinas doesn’t reconstruct historical recipes but rather improvises over natural and historical themes. The only way to get the full experience is a tasting dinner; it gives the chef enough space to experiment and continue in his search for the perfect flavours combinations.
This restaurant offers classic French dishes prepared according to recipes found in historic cookbooks. The simple recipes have been perfected over time: authentic Salad Nicoise, mussels, and foie gras are among the French staples served at Astorija Brasserie. The menu changes twice a year, but the classic dishes are safe. The restaurant also celebrates different special days and micro-seasons: mulled wine is served during Christmas and asparagus dishes are served for spring. Sommelier Jolanta Smičienė, one of the best champagne experts in Lithuania, is happy to introduce guests to French wines and traditions.
French cuisine with staple dishes like four-onion soup, mussels, and snails, as well as some more modern recipes. The traditional French interior and historical elements of the building make for a cosy environment. The kitchen is always in the creative process, enticing guests with a different lunch offer every day. For dinner, the chef offers a changing menu reflecting the various flavours of France.
Two different types of cuisine share a 1,000 square metre space. The first floor is dedicated to Asian and Peruvian cuisine: sushi, Japanese sake, or Peking duck make guests feel like they’re on a journey. It’s easy to share the bite-size delicacies and taste everything with friends. The second floor invites Mediterranean cuisine lovers for an unforgettable experience – each evening, the chef prepares dishes with fish, seafood or meat. It’s easy to float to the cocktail bar for an after party, and the restaurant offers a fancy brunch on weekends. The chef, Ernestas Viršilas, has managed a number of Michelin-star kitchens and easily creates a harmony between the two kitchens, the fancy environment, and bold flavours.
This restaurant takes its guests on a journey to exotic India and Thailand. Five professional chefs from Asia impress guests with dishes and delicious naan bread baked in a tandoori oven, a large selection of meat and seafood dishes in spicy sauces, as well as tasty vegetarian and vegan options. Indian recipes use at least seven types of spices and Thai recipes have a lot of coconut milk, nuts, and chilli peppers. Each dish can be super spicy or mild, depending on what guests prefer. The restaurant has a couple of stylish halls in which to enjoy dinner, host an event, or celebrate a special occasion.
Even though grey dominates this restaurant’s interior, the flavours
Just as its name suggests, this restaurant is all about healthy and balanced food that guests can eat regardless of their chosen diet. The restaurant shows that healthy food doesn’t have to compromise on taste or be boring. No sugar is used in the dishes, but there are healthy desserts and great wines. The main menu is changed every season, while the lunch menu changes every day. Every dish has a balanced nutritional value – carbohydrates come from whole grain pasta or grain, good fats come from avocados, olive oil or nuts, while proteins come from meat, fish, or cheese. A healthy yet tasty brunch is served on weekends, where the chocolate oatmeal porridge with bananas is a real hit.
This restaurant offers classic cuisine with a touch of different culinary traditions and no compromises on taste. Guests are serviced by royal protocol, which is unusual in the region’s democratically-styled restaurants. The small rituals create a festive environment, even on a normal day. It’s a harmony of the stylish interior and food – lobsters, caviar, and game meat are cooked to perfection. Each month is dedicated to a different micro-season ingredient, so the restaurant is a culinary adventure, even for its regular guests. A part of the menu stays fixed – New York style marbled steak or the famous foie gras can be savoured year-round. The restaurant also offers a special menu with Lithuanian cuisine designed to make guests feel like 16th-century nobility.
A modern home-style restaurant inspired by the Italian spirit. The small space is ideal for experiments in the quest for the best flavours. The menu is very small; consisting of a few dishes that are constantly changing, depending on what’s in season, but guests can always expect salads, soups, and homemade pasta. Depending on personal taste, the preparation traditions and old recipes can be easily changed, e.g. the famous panna cotta made with buttermilk is just as tasty, but is also a lighter dessert. It’s a great place to meet over lunch and worth returning to for an informal dinner – there is always something different to surprise guests with
This classic French restaurant strives to create memorable moments filled with gastronomic surprises. Sharing experiences over amazing food is a great pleasure and reflects one of the best parts of French culture. Lunch and dinner in the restaurant offer exciting adventures for the taste buds as well as a romantic atmosphere. Every guest is greeted like a friend and French chef Danilo Bianco creates the menu and serves as a consultant to the restaurant. Le Bonjour is spread out over two floors: the spacious Frescos Hall made up of a cosy bar and wine cellar; and the Flower Library Hall, which is ideal for small private celebrations and intimate dinners with family and friends.
Housed in a 16-century monastery right in the heart of Vilnius Old Town, this classic style steakhouse has been serving guests with aged beef dishes for more than twenty years. Whether you order a hearty lT-bone steak or a light Carpaccio, quality is what’s most important. The meat comes from all around the world – Lithuanian game and beef compete with beef from Argentina or Australia. Chef Rima Remeikienė has been taking care of the restaurant’s menu for many years, adding seafood and fish so guests can enjoy a full range of grilled dishes.
The largest portion of Mason’s dishes come from French and Italian cuisine. One part of the menu changes every couple of weeks, offering a taste of seasonal produce; but another part of the menu sticks to guest favourites, like grilled octopus, or Camembert with a red onion chutney. The restaurant is divided into several zones: a small bar at the entrance, a restaurant on the second floor, and a winter garden on the terrace. For brunch, traditional egg dishes, porridge or crepes are complemented with shrimp soup.
This family bistro maintains an allegiance to Vilnius’ 19th century bourgeoisie culinary traditions. The restaurant is housed in a historic building and the recipes it uses are collected from old cookbooks and notebooks belonging to the Vilnius bourgeoisie, though they are adjusted to suit French contemporary high gastronomy. Guests are served simple homey meals for lunch, while evenings are for feasting and making everyone feel like they’re at a party thrown by ancient Lithuanian nobility. Stuffed quail, deer with carrot puree and parsnip, lamb leg and exceptional wines and mead make every day special.
Pachamama Dinner Club brings the essence of Peruvian cooking traditions and bright flavours from the Nikkei kitchen to Vilnius. The dishes are prepared with high quality products, and include cured fish, seafood, exceptional meats and delicious snacks for sharing. The Latin American menu blends the traditional Peruvian food experience with exciting influences from Japan, China and Spain. The stars of the menu – ceviche, tuna tacos, beef anticucho, rib eye steak and octopus – are sure to provide an extraordinary dining experience. More than a restaurant, Pachamama Dinner Club’s lively interior and energetic staff encourages guests to have a true Latin American dining experience. Evenings on the weekends cannot be missed; they combine DJs and live music for an immersive and interactive dinner with cocktails and a festive party.
This restaurant brings guests back to summers spent at a resort where time slowed down and the wood flooring squeaked under their feet. Steaks, aromatic Asian dishes, seafood marinated in rich sauces and fish from the Baltic Sea are served here. The menu reflects the changing seasons and change is also evident while enjoying food in the restaurant’s greenhouse. Exotic flowers and herbs used for the dishes create a resort atmosphere. The space is ideal for long dinners shared between friends or slow brunches with vegetable pancakes, eggs, and green smoothies.
A cosy family restaurant that puts a lot of focus on organic and fresh produce, including its own herb garden. The open kitchen allows guests to see how each dish is created, and different cuisines blend well in the menu – fresh Mediterranean fish, Italian pizza baked in a traditional oven, or grilled steaks. Most of the menu consists of well-known dishes that guests undoubtedly love. Families are welcome here for a slow lunch or dinner, and the restaurant offers a special area for kids to enjoy.
This contemporary Lithuanian restaurant and winery has a different take on Lithuanian culinary heritage – the traditional potato dumplings or hot potato sausages are best tasted in a minimalistic environment, rather than a wooden rural interior. But there is more to the restaurant than traditional dishes – the guests have a chance to try rarer Lithuanian dishes, like eel or duck. These dishes go surprisingly well with wine, especially if it’s Lithuanian – a sommelier will help guests choose from more than 50 Lithuanian wines. Brunch with omelettes, crepes, porridge, and sandwiches is served on weekends.
This restaurant focuses on contemporary rib recipes; they serve eight styles of ribs that take some 16 hours to prepare. Since it’s housed in the Holiday Inn Hotel, which welcomes guests from all over the world, the Rib Room’s menu has dishes influence by all types of regional cuisines, from Asian to American and much more. Grilling high-quality meat and seafood on a charcoal grill produces a smoky aroma like no other.
A cosy restaurant where time stands still, but sushi arrives promptly. Everything is prepared in the here and now. An open kitchen behind the bar makes the preparation process transparent – there are no secrets. An ascetic interior, minimalism both in terms of the restaurant’s interior and what’s on each plate, as well as the attention paid to the quality of food and preparation techniques help transport guests to Japan. The menu is compact, but one of the restaurant owners, chef Egidijus Lapinskas, offers diners a chance to try new and different flavours – one bite sushi is a great way to share various dishes. Moreover, sommelier Arminas Darasevičius has created the largest wine by the glass menu, making it extremely easy to pair food and drinks.
This restaurant housed in a 17th-century cellar invites guest to savour contemporary Lithuanian cuisine. It’s not a place to look for authentic traditional recipes; the usual ingredients are used to put a modern twist on the classics. Game meat, Jerusalem artichokes, and pearled grains resemble the food traditionally eaten by nobility. The restaurant bakes its own bread, makes jams, and grows herbs in its garden. All of the dishes are made from Lithuanian products, and the menu goes into depth about each of their origins. Choosing a favourite dish on the menu is easy since it’s based on local produce and changes both according to the season and the treasures found in the marketplace each morning.
This restaurant is renowned for its grilled dishes and little miracles. The food looks impressive on the plates, but flavours ultimately trump looks. The miracles lie in the food’s simplicity: fresh high-quality ingredients, the harmony of flavours, and masterful presentations that don’t overwhelm dishes are key to success. The menu changes every season, but loyal patrons can find their favourite dishes all the time: tuna or beef tartar, as well as the burrata with pistachio cream are here to stay. The restaurant is also a guest magnet for brunches – eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, fluffy cottage cheese pancakes, and English breakfasts are all a welcome surprise.
A true oasis of Indian food, where both the dishes and the atmosphere are recreated in detail. The restaurant is best known for the spicy traditional curries, warm naans baked in a tandoor oven, and other renowned classics. The spices and rice come straight from India and the herbs are grown in the restaurant’s garden. The restaurant has gained a number of regular diners over the last twenty years, and many dishes are named after them. Interacting is key here, and the restaurant’s owner is often seen talking to guests. Only the view guests have of the Cathedral reminds them the restaurant is in Vilnius.
A flight to Paris has never been so short. Even the City of Lights can’t boast of a place where love is served on a plate. Sugamour is a dessert boutique where pastries and desserts can be compared to jewellery perfected down to the smallest detail: heavenly napkins, precious cutlery, velvet chairs, time almost standing still, and cosy lighting. Guests love Sugamour because breakfast here lasts from early morning until late afternoon. Classic eggs Benedict or their Italian, Portuguese, Greek or even Lithuanian recipes provide diners with a range of choices. Sugamour’s a la carte menu is a modern take on French classics.
This restaurant’s menu creates a harmony between old Baltic traditions and famous European cuisines. The astonishing view of the Cathedral through the large windows and the restaurant’s name, which alludes to the old Šventaragis Valley, remind guests of the historical area the restaurant is located in. Dukes used to dine here centuries ago, and today anyone that enjoys fresh and tasty food is invited to feast here, too. The restaurant serves early breakfast every day and a long brunch on Sundays. Tasting dinners are always a great option for a more exclusive and immersive experience.
This restaurant in the Comfort Hotel LT stands out for its Scandinavian minimalism. Fresh seasonal produce sourced directly from farmers is prepared slowly, smoked in-house if needed, and ultimately becomes the foundation for delicious creative experiments. Guests are introduced to the flavours of simple dishes and invited to enjoy the small things in life. The partially open kitchen makes is easy to get a glimpse of the culinary experiments and improvisations going on inside it. The menu here changes twice a day depending on the products the restaurant purchases that morning, so guests are always in for a surprise. The restaurant is also known for its Sunday brunch with oysters and Prosecco.
This steakhouse is about maintaining traditions and exploring high-quality meat-eating culture. All the meat is carefully selected and comes from farms around the world. The menu is compact, yet great attention is focused on the essentials: American steaks, grilled fish, and traditional side dishes. The light minimalistic interior helps keep the eyes on the food. Guests are also welcome for a business lunch or a weekend brunch of eggs Benedict, American pancakes or cottage cheese pancakes that can fill up the hungriest of diners.
A holy trinity of food and drinks, Trinity is housed in a former convent right next to the bustling S. Maniuška Square and the beautiful Church of St. Catherine. The aperitivo bar lures guests in with authentic Italian inspirations and timeless drinks and cocktails, while the restaurant Piatto offers Mediterranean classics with a modern twist, and Trinity’s Digestivo bar is a great place to finish an evening off with great conversations and genius ideas.
This restaurant’s motto is, “natural, fresh, culinary inspiration.” Set in a historical wooden house in a calm area of Vilnius, Veranda is like a lively family dining room. With authentic recipes, a cosy backyard, a separate space for children, and live jazz, there’s always something going on. Jazz also influences the kitchen, where seasonal Lithuanian produce is made into elegant European dishes. When it’s warm, guests can try special dishes prepared on the wood-fired grill. The restaurant also invites guests to buy a bottle of wine they enjoyed at dinner to go.