Being Vegetarian In Latvia

Since traditionally, Latvia is a meat-loving nation, many menus reflect this love of meat. So, being vegetarian in this meat lovers’ paradise has historically proven to be disappointing if you enjoy eating out.

However, the last few years have brought positive change! It’s now easy for vegetarians to satisfy their tastebuds outside the home. And we’re not just talking pasta and sauce, potatoes and sauce or vegetarian pizza. Riga’s cafes now cater to gourmet vegetarians.

Many chefs make use of the wonderful local produce, often sourced from small, organic farms and independent retailers. Often, vegetarian dishes will feature the likes of beetroot, goat’s cheese, wild mushrooms, homemade pesto, spinach, barley groats, buckwheat and more mouthwatering goodness.

Of course, you can also buy this produce for cooking up your own vegetarian feast. Riga’s markets, organic food shops and supermarkets stock vast amounts of vegetables, dairy produce and other essentials.

Can’t be bothered to cook at home or looking to celebrate a special occasion? For a good vegetarian feed in Riga, try:

  • Miit – a cafe/bike shop with an excellent veggie lunch deal
  • Fat Pumpkin – a popular vegetarian and vegan haunt in the old town
  • Fazenda – two beautifully designed cafe-restaurants for laid back lunches, brunches and dinners
  • Rama (local branch of the Hare Krishnas) – an ayurvedic buffet-style lunchtime hotspot
  • Tibetas virtuve – another ayurvedic buffet style lunchtime hotspot
  • The Beginnings – a casual spot for lunch and dinner with warm food options as well as raw
  • Stockpot – a very popular lunch spot, sadly not open at weekends
  • Bhajan – ethnic and ethnic-inspired delights
  • Terapija – low key vegan food cafe and bar
  • Mū Cafe – university canteen with great range of vegetarian (and vegan) options
  • Gardā Pupa – casual and affordable vegan and vegetarian cafeteria

As always, we’d love you to add to this list in the comments section below. It would be great to hear of other people’s experiences here in Riga, particularly at school and office cafeterias.

I still ate meat when I was at school but my vegetarian classmate was regularly just served sauceless potatoes and salad – the dish of the day minus the classic minced meat sauce.

Are you provided with a vegetarian option or are you just left with the potato/grain-of-some-sort, salad and meat combo minus the meat? What are attitudes like when you explain that you’re a vegetarian?

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