Food · Travel

Dining in Latvia

I’m finally getting around to sorting all of my photos and belongings from the trip, and I can’t help wishing that we were still in Latvia.  Along with missing all of my old and new friends there, I’m having café withdrawals and I’m missing all the wonderful food and coffee that I had during our time in Latvia.

So, here is a photo library of my favorite meals from the trip: may they inspire you to try new and exciting foods and destinations.

buffet items included several meats, potato variations, and salads


 fries, salad, and a traditional strawberry desert 

Our entire church group ate at this buffet in Kuldiga the first couple of days we were there.  It was well suited to the immense size of our group and offered several traditional Latvian foods.  Interestingly, most salads that we had in Latvia used mayo or vinegar (or both) in the dressings, which made them much like the coleslaw that we have in the South.  The bowl in the back of that photo is a light strawberry purée served over milk that it floats on: I was told that this was a very traditional Latvian treat.

Jenny’s balta kafija, or white coffee
lots of yummy pastries at Makkalei
Cafe Latte
Nutella Crepe

We stopped in this café, Makkalei Kafejnica, a couple times as it was located centrally in the downtown area of Kuldiga.  Great coffee, pastries, and crêpes: what more can I say?

Cafe Latte
Savory cheese crepe 
Vegetarian Burger
Stender’s spicy burger

Our group also ate at Stender’s, which had a really large menu, a couple of times.  the restaurant is in downtown with two levels of outdoor seating.


Stender’s was probably one of my favorite places we ate lunch during the trip.  Between the great food and awesome view of Kuldiga, it’s definitely a place to stop if you’re in town.



Buttery pasta with cheese and dried carrots
Lemon cake with fruit
Cafe Latte
Chocolate ice cream with fruit

And of course I can’t talk about eating in Kuldiga without mentioning this castle that I got to dine in twice.  The castle is about a fifteen minute’s drive from the city.  The first night I went with my friend Lasma, and then our entire group went there for lunch on our last day in Kuldiga.  All I can say is that it was just magical.  If you’ve ever eaten in a castle in Disney world, per say, just imagine doing that in a real, ancient, beautiful castle.  While you dine, the history in the walls sits there with you, and it is so real and breath-taking.  The food here was also amazing; that lemon cake was probably the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in my entire life.


Riga in a glass
Dad’s meal
Eggplant with yogurt sauce, chickpeas, and goat cheese

We ate at this restaurant on our first night in Riga- it was one of the first patios you see outside as you enter the Old City from the Freedom Monument side.  This meal was outside at around 10:00 at night- just another example of the endless sunlight that we had in Latvia.

Salad, potatoes, and a banana crepe

This was another buffet, called Lido, that Dad, Raēle, and I ate at during our time in Riga.  Like the one in Kuldiga, it offered many traditional Latvian foods: including a lot of sausages and potatoes.

Cafe Lattes


Feast your eyes upon yet another adorable coffee shop I went to.  Raēle took me to this bike themed gem in Riga- the coffee was great.


Cafe Latte

Once again… more coffee! Dad, the Harshbargers, Raēle, and I ate here right before she had to head back to Kuldiga.  Don’t judge: yes, I had that cheesecake for breakfast.

Four cheese pizza
Kvass: a Latvian drink (that tastes like molasses to me)

This was in a restaurant, called The Godfather, we found in the Riga Old City.  Our group dined in an enclosed back sun room while a drizzly rain accompanied our meal.


Honey soda and cafe latte

Rocket Bean was another cute coffee shop that a few of us stumbled into in the backstreets of the Riga Old City.  The tiny coffee house offered many different drinks (like many cafés we found in Latvia, Rocket Bean served coffee, tea, wine, and beer) and snacks.



Caprese crepe
Potatoes and bacon with cheese

This was another find in the backstreets of the Old City: although it seemed a bit Americanized it was really delicious food and a cute little restaurant.

So, that’s the majority of it anyways!  We had great experiences everywhere that we dined in Latvia.  One of the huge pluses, to me anyways, was that we got to sit outside on a patio almost everywhere that we ate.  As we enjoyed our meals, we also got to soak in the beauty of both Kuldiga and Riga as the cities came alive around us.

I love good food, and I love good coffee.  Latvia’s hotels and restaurants didn’t disappoint me at all, nor did the people who cooked the few homemade meals that we had during our trip.  All in all, dining in Latvia was a great experience and I would recommend any of these places to anybody who loves to eat and watch the world go by as much as I do.




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