All posts by Lelde Benke

What to Buy at Riga Central Market

A shopping list for your next outing to Riga Central Market, certainly our favourite place to shop in Riga. Donuts Why? Because despite being the grumpiest vendor in the dairy pavilion, that little woman fries up the freshest, tastiest “virtuli” you’ll taste this side of Riga. Where? Directly to your left upon entering the dairy […]

Riga Weekend Adventures

There is so much more to Latvia than Riga and it’s a shame that many travellers overlook this in favour of a quick weekend city break. But even us residents often forget how many amazing little adventures lie right on our doorstep. Latvia is the perfect size for weekend expeditions, be it for the full […]

Cocktail bars in Riga

Ok, so we all know craft beer was/is a big thing. Correct me if I’m wrong but the next “revolution” in the bar world is cocktails again, right? Replacing commercially produced syrup and additives with homemade infusions, bitters and tinctures, focusing on flavours rather than over-the-top visual presentation. It now seems completely normal to have […]

Green living in Riga

It always seemed strange to me that Latvia was ranked 2nd greenest country in the world according to the Environmental Performance Index in 2012. As a simple consumer without a background in environmental studies, my key arguments to claim the opposite have always been “but we don’t even recycle!” and “we rely on central heating […]

Pizza in Riga

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 […]

Cycling in Riga

Ask any local and they will have an opinion on cycling in Riga. There are violent pedestrians who push cyclists off pavements, drivers that toot their horns dare a cyclist cross their path, and daredevil cyclists weaving their way through rush hour traffic without a helmet. There are also the pacifist cyclists, pedestrians and drivers […]

Do Latvians really hate “gays”?

“You’re leaving, how delightful!!! Truly! One less perverted and degraded person! What a nice bit of news! Gives me hope.” – a comment on the Kas Jauns article ““Esmu nogurusi cīnīties.” Psiholoģe Cihanoviča kopā ar savu mīļoto sievieti pamet Latviju” (I’m tired of fighting. Psychologist Cihanovica and her beloved partner leave Latvia). When I last […]

Latvian ice cream is amazing

On 2 January 2014 Estonian President Ilves journeyed to an unassuming Latvian town just south of the border where his aim was to make a purchase using Latvia’s then-new currency – the euro. Media followed him into the local supermarket so that Latvians across the land could see him fork out on a tub of […]

Best coffee in Riga

Would you rather be late to work than miss out on your first Aeropress of the day? Do you cringe at the idea of pouring boiling water over your favourite fairtrade, organic Ethiopian blend? Would you be offended or embarrassed if your friend rocked up cradling a Starbucks Frappuccino? Have you ever received a coffee-related […]

Online shopping in Latvia

Since moving into the new home, Alex and I have spent a LOT of time browsing both bricks and mortar furniture shops, and their online counterparts. At times I’ve been on the verge of tears – coming to a standstill mid-shop-floor surrounded by an odd mix of blinged up, faux Rococo sofa sets, plastic chandeliers, […]