Skyline Bar: New Town: Great Views
For decent coffee with an outstanding view, you should head straight for the Skyline bar. The prices are also sky high, but it's worth ordering a coffee and cheesecake (or a cocktail later) to sit down and enjoy the Old Town from 26 floors up.
It's in the Reval Hotel, and it feels like you might be doing something wrong when you wander in there looking for the lift, but you're not. Just head towards the back and to the right, and find the lift that goes to the 26th floor. There are others, but only one lift goes that high.
1739: Old Town: Italian
Excellent Italian food with an interesting clientele, at least when I was there. I spent a good lunch listening a French and an American woman talking about jewelry, from the history of silver making in Mexico, to the special market in Budapest. They seemed like regulars too, and enjoyed their meal as much as we did.
In the evenings the place is quite expensive, but they have a very reasonable, if thinned down, lunchtime menu which is definitely worth checking out. Food takes a respectably long time to reach your table, because it's properly cooked.
I think it's called 1739 because that's when the place was built. It's a very old building.
Indian Raja: Old Town: Indian
Indian food in the Baltics sounds about as likely as snow in the Sahara, but it works. In fact it more than works, it's excellent, putting many English restaurants to shame. Despite the friendly waitress being as blonde as a Latvian can be, I spied Indians in the kitchen, and the food tasted fresh and authentic.
You won't find any surprises on the menu as it seems geared to the English tourists that descend on the city, but you get an English language menu because of that too. Get there early to avoid the drunks who'll probably come later.
There was another Indian Raj near St. Peter's. I'm not sure if this was a sister restaurant, or just a rip-off place trading on the reputation of the older restaurant. This review is for the restaurant on Vecpilsetas.
Melnā Kaķa Mājas Restorāns: Pleasant place to people-watch
The heavens truly opened on my first evening in Riga. Torrential rain sent me to seek shelter somewhere I'd probably avoided otherwise, because Melnā Kaķa Mājas Restorāns is on the edge of Livu Laukums, a large-ish leafy square which is very much on the visitor path.
I'd been looking for the 'cat house' but the rain was so torrential it was only when I left that I realised this cafe/bar/restaurant is actually on the ground floor of that building!
The covered outdoor area was inviting, with space heaters, fleecy blankets and nice chairs...and awnings which were waterproof! So I decided not just to have a beer whilst watching the rain (and all the people struggling through it) but to have n=my evening meal as well.
Almost exactly the same thing happened on my third evening, and i ended up yet again under the awnings watching the rain pelting down. I should have tried somewhere else to eat, i suppose, but I just couldn't be bothered.
The young staff are very pleasant and friendly, with good English. My beer on both occasions was Latvian, on draught and very good.
My first meal was a starter of baby herring with onions...absolutely delicious....followed by main course of pork with apple sauce and a gravy, served with roast potatoes and also absolutely delicious.
My second meal was a bit less successful...my fault entirely, because I made bad menu choices. The starter (marinated (uncooked) herring, boiled potatoes, sour cream) was delicious but the traditional Latvian dish of 'grey peas', although tasty, was simply too much for me. It was served with a glass of kefir, a fermented milk drink. I'm afraid i found the kefir simply too sour, too thick and too creamy for my taste.
But that was my fault and my taste preference. The food itself is of very good quality, well-cooked and presented beautifully.
Prices are pretty much standard for old town Riga restaurants, although a bit lower than the nearby restaurants around Livu Laukums. Both meals, plus beer, cost me less than 15 Lat.
Recommended for its beer, its well-prepared Latvian (and other) dishes, for its comfortable outdoor seating area (smoking and no-smoking) and for the courtesy and friendliness of its staff.
- Family Travel
Folkklubs ala Pagrabs: Local, atmospheric, comfy, potentially noisy!
I'd never have found this place if it were not listed in my Rough Guide. It really is tucked away in Riga's old town, on a side-street from nowhere-very-special to nowhere-very-special. The entrance is small and not particularly flashy.
I'm a bit confused, because the Tripadvisor reviews I've seen give another address entirely. Maybe there are two branches..but I have no indication that this is so?
I thought, as I descended the steps into the cellars (which turned out to be amazingly extensive) that the place might be shut. It was, after all, only around 5.30pm. But although quiet, with just a few Latvian customers, it was most certainly open for business.
Several cellars are linked together, forming separate 'rooms' with comfy seating of various types. There's an excellent range of draught beers on offer as well as all the usual (and not so usual) bottled beers, wine, spirits and so on.
I tucked myself away with my book and enjoyed my beer. But I liked the look of the menu, and the prices (you can get a huge 'beer platter' for 4 people for just 14 Lats), so I decided to eat there as well. The standard menu has lots of Latvian dishes, all very reasonably-priced indeed.
I ordered from the 'seasonal dishes' special menu: carp with multi-coloured carrots. spring garlic shoots and red cabbage in a sea-buckthorn wine sauce, followed by a 'Latvian creme caramel' with seasonal berries. I particularly liked the way the waitress had to check with the kitchen if either were available. Imo, that's much better than knowing vast quantities are prepared in advance so all the dishes are on hand whenever.
The carp was delicious and well-cooked, although rather bony, as was the rest of the dish. And the pudding was lovely too.
Together with my beer, the whole thing came to less than 10 Lats...which is very good value indeed, imo.
I didn't stay for the music...there's live music of one sort or another at least 4 nights a week....but I really wish that I'd returned for another meal.
The young staff are pleasant and friendly, with good English. I suspect the place gets packed later in the evenings, particularly at weekends and particularly when the university students are back in Riga.
Well worth seeking out, whether you just want to sample a variety of Latvian beers (they have at least 14 on tap!) or want to eat Latvian food at sensible prices.
Mon,Tue 12:00 - 01:00
Wed- 12:00 - 03:00
Th,Fri - 12:00 - 04:00
Sat - 14:00 - 04:00
Sun - 14:00 - 01:00
- Budget Travel
Lido: The best Airport restaurant in the world!
Lido is part of a chain of restaurants. This has to be the best (in both good food and price) the best airport restaurant in the world. They make over 100 dishes to choose from and everything is fresh. The restaurant is in the upper level of RIX (Riga international airport) and is open long hours. They also have a full service bar inside. You can enjoy your meal while looking out over the runways.
You choose individual dishes. Choose a salad, a starter, and then go over to the chefs and get a hot entrée. They make an excellent dish that is a roll with beef and cabbage smothered in a nice sauce. Every dish tastes great and the prices are economical.
Service is also quick and friendly.
(Please note: the weblink is their larger location in town - that's good too! - and 7 other locations)
I tried several dishes over 4 visits, and they were all great.
- Business Travel
C.U.T. Restaurant: Cute C.U.T.
Pros: Tasty meals; You can get a table in a patio.
Cons: Short menu, however, the manager promised to improve the selections.
Conclusion: Decent restaurant with good prices/quality balance.
Located in the Radisson Blu Elizabete hotel (near the Vermanes Park), it is easy to find by the futuristic urban glass architecture of the hotel.
For lovers of Lamb soup and Crème Brulee this is definitely a 5/5 restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Lamb soup, Creme Brulee.
- Family Travel
Fish Restaurant Le Dome: Complete Disappointment
This is DEFINITELY not "the best fish restaurant in Riga", as I have read somewhere on the Internet. The best thing to say about the meals is that the flavor of the fish (Trout and Salmon) was delivered well, but that's it. The overall taste was rather blunt; side dish (mashed potato and greens, by the way, identical for both kinds of fish) was not impressive. Mediocre meals with high-tag prices.
Do not take it as an insult if you get a half eaten piece of bread in the bread basket (!)
We got it. No attempt to manage this issue was taken by chef or manager; I even don’t remember that waitress apologized.
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Zvejnieka Dels (Fisherman's Son): The Best in Riga
It is a seafood restaurant, but the Lamb I had there once was the best I ever had in Riga or in New York.
They serve Bouillabaisse, that's how I found this restaurant on the Internet.
Pros: Cuisine, everything was from very good to wonderful, Location with view on the cobblestone street, You can order a custom meal (in advance)
Cons: Some inconsistence in how some meal was done: one day it was wonderful, another day - just very good, so ask server for advice or "Meal of the Day"
In my opinion, this is the best seafood restaurant in Riga, a HEAD above the other seafood restaurants.
Favorite Dish: Fish Soup (Solyanka)
Goat Cheese Cake
- Family Travel
Pie Kristapa Kunga Restaurant: Traditional Latvian, Russian Cuisine
The group of us went for dinner at Pie Kristapa Kunga restaurant. As we enter my first impression was wow, yeah I am looking at the medieval décor. I thought it was a magnificent set up. We had a set meal that was organized by our tour director. I am not sure the name of the dishes that I had but it was delicious. I had three course meals. I had soup then as main I had beef that was cooked in traditional Latvian style, followed by yummy desert. They were live music to entertain us, a guy playing keyboard. The staffs were superb and quick. I thought the food, the beer, the wine and the atmosphere were great. I totally enjoyed the night. I recommend this restaurant.
- Arts and Culture
Charlie Pizza: Family Friendly Pizza
We had no idea what this place was but just dropped in because it looked like a place where Oskar would be happy. We weren't wrong. They immediately brought us a child seat and a box of toys for him to play with. The pop music was just the right level of bounce for him to shake his head to.
Turned out to be a local Latvian chain of pizza restaurants. The service was very quick and friendly, the food was decent, the prices were really low and the location on the Cathedral Square was perfect. No wonder it was so popular with the locals.
Manhattan Double Coffee: An early dinner on a Monday evening
After a day of meetings and teleconferences, i went for a walk and some fresh air. i I had thought about visiting the old city and seek a restaurant there. However, after walking through Vermanes Park, i discovered Manhattan Double Coffee on the other side and only a shorty walk from the hotel itself.
They had good music playing, friendly staff and seem to offer free wifi.
Favorite Dish: chicken starter, followed by a schnitzel and then a cheesecake - they recommended their creamy original cheese cake.
BIBLIOTEKA N°1 (Library Nr 1): The library restaurant
newly opened in the summer of 2011, i enjoyed an evening meal here on a Sunday night. I had in fact read about the restaurant during my air Baltic flight. During my visit two of the four owners where eating there that evening - lots of attention paid to them and the other diners too.
Favorite Dish: great soup and fillet steak.
Lido Vermanitis: Good value in a fun atmosphere
Mrs Flying Scotsman and I enjoyed the Lido Vermanitis very much. It is self service and is decorated in the style of the early 20th century. The total cost for 2 main courses, 2 deserts, and a beer was less than 13€. It seemed to be very popular with locals, although we struck up a conversation with a Polish woman and her German work colleague who were in Latvia on business from Denver, Colorado. They mentioned that Denver was about to open it's first Ikea! What do people in Denver sit on? This restaurant is quite central and a good choice for a budget meal with a fun atmosphere.
- Budget Travel
Pasaka: Inexpensive meals near Art Nouveau district
I believe this is part of a chain, but I've no idea where the others are. Eastern European fast food such as pancakes with sour cream, pork schnitzels, and pelmeni are on offer. Inexpensive but excellent food if you are looking for a light lunch. It is very handy when looking at Art Nouveau architecture or the wooden buildings in the area.
Favorite Dish: Near Dzimavu iela
- Budget Travel
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