So, here is my list of some cool/hot/funky/trendy restaurants/bars/clubs/cafés in Riga. Enjoy it, but please be gentle when you handle me
He, he, another tune popped up in my head: just be gentle, be gentle, be gentle, and I’ll be gentle, be gentle, be gentle, be gentle with you
P.S. I will try to update it, as there are still so many places I have not tried yet, or just forgot to mention! All Apologies
- Ajurveda. EKO Kafejnīca. Address: Ģertrūdes iela 3, 2nd floor (“iela” is “street” in English). The food (vegetarian/ayurvedic) is MORE THAN GREAT. Not sure how the personal is with English, but then just point everything with your fingers and it will be just fine. Dirty sticky fingers :)
- Albert Hotel. www.alberthotel.lv. Address: Dzirnavu iela 33. Although there is restaurant “Bestsellers” on the first floor, I am thinking more about bar “Star Lounge” on the top floor, having a little out-door terrace with lovely view over the city, its houses and their roofs. Of course, it’s quite touristy place, but for sake of view, can grab a drink/coffee there.
- Andalūzijas suns (en Français – Un Chien Andalou, in English – An Andalusian Dog). Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85 (in the same court-yard where hotel Bergs, see below). Nice out-door terrace (in summer time), prices are quite expensive for simple breakfast/lunch. But not that expensive. Great place where to grab a drink before or after a movie @ K SUNS.
- Bārs TAKA. A hip and alternative bar/café. You can have a low-cost lunch/dinner (vegetarian) there. Chocolate cake is just terrific!!! http://pataku.wordpress.com. Address: Miera iela 10. Often different artists perform there on Tuesdays/Wednesdays, DJ’s on Fridays/Saturdays.
- Bar I love you. Address: Aldaru iela 9 (in Old Town). www.iloveyou.lv. I go there if nice DJ’s/artists playing.
- Bergs – very expensive restaurant, but nice interior. Fancy, fancy place. Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85 (in the same court-yard where Andalūzijas suns is located, see above). www.hotelbergs.lv.
- Bites Blues club. Address: Dzirnavu iela 57a. A great place if you want to listen to the blues. Can have a nice lunch/dinner as well. Check www.bluesclub.lv as they have live performances and other stuff.
- CUBA. Bar in Old Town – many foreigners, but sometimes I go there myself, if nice DJ’s. Address: Jauniela 15.
- Fabrikas restorāns (the other side of the river Daugava, should take taxi to go there, if you do not happen to have a bike, of course! Address: Balasta dambis 70 (“dambis” is dike in English). Quite expensive, but has a nice interior and view over the city. www.fabrikasrestorans.lv. Check before going if it still open.
- Fazenda. A cozy place, nice out-door terrace (in summer time). Address: Baznīcas iela 14. From food I loved pasta + they serve very tasty from their own bakery. Check also the little out-door market for veggies (it is still open in winter time). I only don’t know why this place has BLOCKED me on Twitter. Can you imagine?
- FOOD BOX (good junk KEBAB). Address: Barona iela 31(although it is on Lāčplēša iela actually) or Antonijas iela 6a-20.
- Garage @ Berga Bazārs. Cozy wine & tapas bar + style gallery. Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85 (in the same court-yard where Andalūzijas suns and Hotel Bergs is located, see above).
- Harry Morgan. Great sandwiches and many more! www.harrymorgan.lv, address: Dzirnavu iela 31.
- Junge.lv. Great sandwiches just for grabbing and going. On the corner of Barona iela and Blaumaņa iela. www.junge.lv
- Indian Raja (restaurant in Old Town). Address: Vecpilsētas iela 3. www.indianraja.lv.
- Istaba (Room in English). Address: Krišjāņa Barona iela 31a. Lunch + gallery + you can buy some interesting hand-made stuff, etc. from Latvian artists. Don’t have their own web page, but check this, too bad it’s in Latvian only: http://www.anothertravelguide.lv/lat/eiropa/latvija/riga/galamerki/veikali/galerija_istaba/
- KABUKI. If you like SUSHI – I suggest any from the chain Kabuki. Check: www.sushi.lv. 3 spots: (1) Krišjāņa Barona iela 14 (entrance from Elizabetes iela); (2) Tērbatas iela 46 (entrance from Martas iela) and in Jūrmala (its seaside town 25 km from Riga) – Jomas iela 61. I suggest going to Jūrmala by train (half an hour drive) and visit seaside and its walking street called Jomas iela and catch some post Soviet atmosphere.
- Kamala (vegetarian restaurant in Old Town). Address: Jauniela 14. Quite expensive, but good Indian cuisine.
- K.I.D. www.restaurantkid.lv. You have two options: (1) Tērbatas iela 41/43 (entrance from Ģertrūdes iela) or (2) Pulkveža Brieža iela 2. There is something nice in the interior @ K.I.D.
- Krogs Aptieka. Address: Mazā Miesnieku iela 1. Check: www.krogsaptieka.lv. A place where to have a drink or two. What’s nice – the owner has the same bar in Washington D.C. – Pharmacy bar (been there, done that :P).
- LIDO. People tend to bring foreigners to LIDO (chain of bistro) as it has traditional Latvian cuisine. I do not like to go there as things (clothes, hair) smell afterwards and it’s quite oily, but some folks like it. Check www.lido.lv for addresses, but from that list I would suggest “KRIEVU SĒTA” (in English Russian Yard) as it has good Russian Cuisine and real Old (but not Soviet) atmosphere. Address for Krievu Sēta: Ķengaraga iela 3 (outside from the city center). In the center – two relatively cheep options: “Vērmanītis” at Elizabetes iela 65 and “Dzirnavas” at Dzirnavu iela 74/76. One more place is “LIDO Recreation Centre”, address: Krasta iela 76, but I do not like to go there, it is more for families with kids.
- Lielais Ķīnas mūris (in English – The Great Wall of China) – Chinese café/restaurant. Address: Kr. Valdemāra iela 21. Modest prices. Quite full during lunch time.
- Māja. Recently opened as restaurant of chef Mārtiņš Sirmais. Heard that he is not there any more but don’t know exactly. Prices are quite expensive but the atmosphere is good. Closed on Sundays, and it’s a pity. Address: Kalnciema iela 35. www.kalnciemaiela.lv. In this neighborhood you can also see nice wooden houses!!!
- Muklājs. Address: Baznīcas iela 37, open from 12.00 till 23.00 (closed on Sundays). Manager used to have an alternative video/dvd renting place (a famous and underground one). Don’t have their own web page, but check this, too bad it’s in Latvian only: http://www.anothertravelguide.lv/lat/eiropa/latvija/riga/bauditaja_celvedis_/piecas_netradicionalas_estuves_iesaka_gatis_murnieks/muklajs/
- NABAKLAB (in Old Town). During the day can have some sandwiches @Sviestmaižu Studija www.sviestmaizes.lv, at nights – party party party, as it is kind a student club, but what’s good – often artists are having gigs there. Address: Zigfrīda Annas Meierovica bulvāris 12 (“bulvāris” is “boulevard” in English). www.nabaklab.lv.
- Neiburgs. Address: Jauniela 25/27. Check: www.neiburgs.com. Nice interior & food. Restaurant type, but can find good business specials!
- Ostas skati (restaurant). Address: Matrožu iela 15. http://www.ostasskatirestorans.lv/. Located at the bank of the river Daugava. Very nice view from the terrace. A bit far away, so gonna need to grab a cab (if you do not have a bike/car).
- Pērle. A trendy place where to go for a drink. Can by some funny vintage/disco/old school stuff. Address: Tērbatas iela 65. Unfortunately, closed already some time ago. Such a pitty.
- Peldošā darbnīca (in English “Floating Workshop/Studio”). www.peldosadarbnica.lv. Alternative, good to hang out when some event/performance is taking place. Can have a lunch @ Bufete (open from 10.00 till 17.00). Never had lunch there, but it is not a bad idea to go there and try it out + you can see port of Riga + nice view on the city. Address: Andrejsala (“sala” is “island” in English). Do not mistake with a Street near by called Andrejostas iela.
- Piens (MILK in English, MOLOKO in Russian and I love to call it like that) my favorite bar, as I live nearby, it’s outside the Old Town, which is great. Address: Aristīda Briāna iela 9. http://piens.nu/. The best day to go there is Wednesdays (or now Thursdays, as they have changed sth) round ninish, live music, nice, mostly local people. On Fridays and Saturdays it’s packed with sometimes nerdy party animals (I wonder do I also belong to them, as I still happen to go there too) Oh, I forgot, you can als have breakfast/lunch/dinner there. Delicious and modest prices! p.s. Piens policy: NO foreigners allowed(ok, it’s flexible, as long as you are polite and willing to know more about Latvian people) and NO pictures (unfortunately).
- Pulkvedis (a bar in Old Town) full name: Pulkvedim neviens neraksta (No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel García Márquez). www.pulkvedis.lv. Address: Peldu iela 26/28. Alternative, though many foreigners, as it is in all guides, but I go there if nice DJ’s.
- Rāma (Indian/vegetarian), next to Hare Krishna movement, if you can ignore that, it is a very cheap place where to have lunch. Address: Kr. Barona iela 56.
- Skyline bar (on the 26th floor, has a lovely view over the city). Address: Elizabetes iela 55. Of course, it’s full with tourists, but for sake of view can grab a drink there.
- Space Dog (bar in Old Town). I go myself there when nice DJ’s, artists playing, although many youngsters around. Perhaps I am just getting old? Address: Vecpilsētas Iela 19. www.spacedog.lv.
- Sue Asia (Indian restaurant in seaside town Jūrmala). www.suesasia.lv. Address: Jomas Iela 74, Jūrmala. I hope it is still open. Have not been there lately, but used to be very, very tasty cuisine. How to go to Jūrmala? Many options (rent a car, rent a bike, train, bus). Check: http://www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/places/latvia/jurmala/tips/train.
- Vīna studija. Very nice vine bar. I love interior there. Can buy a good vine too. Address: Elizabetes iela 10. www.vinastudija.lv. Recently, a new vine studio has opened on Stabu iela 30. There is also a restaurant elmāro (chef Elmārs Tannis).
Another suggestion: Maskavas iela 12, 2nd corpus. Located in the cool neighborhood – Spīķeri www.spikeri.lv – just behind the Central Market, which itself is worth visiting (also during night when they have Night Market and it ain’t no Night Watch!) . There is a new club opened Ziggy Rock, but I don’t think it’s gonna be my kind a place (playing/performing Latvian rock/pop music). The thing why I mention this place, is that may alternative performances, shows, exhibitions, etc. also take place there, see: www.dirtydeal.lv. Besides gallery kim? is just next doors. As well as restaurant Kitchen (currently closed).
NB! Please read my other post, as many new places are not on this historical list.