Latvia has long been a meat-loving nation and many menus reflect this love of meat. I’ve had many disappointing experiences of being stuck with bland risotto, soggy eggplant and undercooked chunks of cheese. However, the last few years have brought positive change!
Being vegetarian in Latvia is actually now a joy. And we’re not just talking pasta with ketchup, buckwheat with a dollop of sour cream or potatoes with a side of cabbage salad (all real examples). Riga’s cafes and restaurants now cater to gourmet vegetarians.
Chefs make use of the wonderful local produce, often sourced from small, organic farms and independent retailers. Vegetarian dishes might feature beetroot, goat’s cheese, wild mushrooms, homemade pesto, spinach, barley groats, quinoa 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 including yeast flakes and hemp seed oil.
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
- Green Pumpkin – a popular vegetarian and vegan haunt in a new location just beside the Art Nouveau area
- 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 vegan delights
- Terapija – low key vegan food cafe and bar
- Our list of falafel shops in Riga
- Gardā Pupa – casual and affordable vegan and vegetarian cafeteria
- Mr Fox – Moscow-style health food restaurant in a posh part of town
- Kozy Eats – unbelievably reasonably priced plant-based foods
- Divi Raiņi – vegan cafe in the National Library of Latvia building.
Gone are the days of vegetarian suffering in Latvia. May you enjoy your Riga food journey!