Latvians haven’t taken to pizza quite as much as our southern neighbours. You’d be forgiven for thinking Čili Pica and Charlie Pizza, both Lithuanian chains, are the only places for pizza in Riga since they’ve snapped up some of the best real estate in town in terms of getting passing traffic. But look ever so slightly further than the city’s main dining areas to find cosy neighbourhood pizza joints with more character! Here are some of our favourites.
Elizabetes iela 10b
The pizzaiolo is Italian! What more is there to say. Well actually – lots. Casa nostra feels like a much-loved family home, so much effort has been invested in getting the feel and food just right. No wonder it’s been picked up on by Latvia’s food bloggers. Alex’s new favourite.
Baznīcas iela 8
L’Acquerello scored itself a place in Lelde’s top 3 pizzerias in Riga list even though the vegetarian pizza had cucumber on it! Strange touch, but it worked. This is a really pocket-friendly option but don’t expect a cosy evening out, the restaurant occupies an odd sort-of-basement area, and it’s really quite sterile and office-like.
Kuģu iela 11, and Baznīcas iela 24
Now serving both sides of the river (and Ogre)! So happy the owners decided to expand to the centre of town after the obvious success of their Pārdaugava branch just opposite the National Library. Fantastic fresh pizzas with creative toppings for carnivores and vegetarians. Expect Latvian toppings like dill and gherkins on some of them!
I am distraught at their decision to take the vegetarian pizza with chutney off the menu.
Pulkveža Brieža iela 6
Antica Roma claims to have been the first Italian restaurant in Riga, and has been open since 1998! Obviously, they’re doing something right because that must be way longer than the average Riga restaurant.
It’s set in a vast cellar with vaulted ceilings, and certainly has us feeling like we’ve popped into a neighbourhood pizzeria in Rome. After finishing your pizza, you can stock up on Italian produce like olive oil and vino from the small deli selection at the front of the restaurant.
Tērbatas iela 65 (entrance on Matīsa iela)
Pizza from a proper wood-fired oven and house wine served in a carafe – Da Sergio’s certainly got a very Italian feel to it. In summer, you can enjoy your meal on the outdoor patio.
Strēlnieku iela 11
Piranija has, quite possibly, the longest pizza menu in town, and some toppings are more authentic than others. The owner spent some time living in Italy, brought the pizza dough recipe back with him and opened shop in 2006. Apparently, he’s also into extreme sports hence the wakeboards and kiteboards stuck up on the walls. Best overlook the strange décor!
Liepājas iela 76
Bulka is among my top three favourite cafes in Riga, scoring top points for food, service, décor and atmosphere. You would never expect to find a place like it in a glorified suburban shed, but there it is, right next to a Maxima supermarket.
Here, pizza is made on a sourdough base and is served from Wednesday to Saturday, in the evenings. I advise being very hungry so that you have space for dessert. Bulka make some of the most amazing cakes and pastries in Riga. And you have to buy a loaf of bread for breakfast the day after. I’d be a much more regular visitor if I had a car, and I’d probably be a lot bigger, too.
Where’s your favourite place for pizza in Riga?