Why Foodies Should Discover Vilnius – You’ve never heard of Vilnius? We get that a lot.
But this city in Lithuania is one of Europe’s newest foodie destinations – and definitely one to put on your bucket list.
Lithuania’s past is one of cultural isolation. This halted its development and hid its cultural heritage from the rest of the world. After the Soviet Union collapsed, however, the country began to demonstrate an extraordinary creativity – with food! – while at the same time embracing its timeless multi-cultural cuisines.
First-time visitors to Lithuania are surprised at the modern culinary offerings created with local produce, items from nearby forests, and family farms. Traditional restaurants, a strong culture of craft brewing, and some impressive hipster-styled street vendors have made Vilnius a culinary capital. If you’re looking for new cuisines to try with an international flair, this city should be at the top of your must-visit bucket list.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, private beer breweries weren’t allowed. Locals, however, in isolation continued their craft – most of the time, it was only half-illegal. They used local ingredients and used methods that had been in practice for hundreds of years. Today, craft brewing is very much a legal pastime, and local producers say Lithuanian brews are becoming popular and those in Vilnius are leading the way. Breweries in Vilnius aren’t afraid of experimenting with non-traditional ingredients, such as peas or niche or recipes that have been long-since forgotten. Breweries like Kuro Aparatura are constantly offering new recipes, some of which hearken to classics but with a new twist. Some of the local pubs that offer these brews also offer tastings in which you’ll get to know the history of the brew as well as the subtleties of beer itself.
Anywhere you go, street food is a way to taste cuisine that doesn’t always make it into the luxury five-star diners – but should. The entire hipster movement has made its way into Vilnius and extends far beyond the street food scene and eating outdoors. Think cultural events, live music, and street arts. A fan favorite of street vendors is Keule Rukeis. Their pulled pork burgers are a hit, as is the art gallery that accompanies their cuisine. Graffiti artists create murals on the walls outside the vendor, and you never know what you’re going to see – one of the most famous murals ever was of Trump and Putin.
Discover a place you didn’t know you wanted to.