So, here is my list of some cool/hot/funky/trendy restaurants/bars/clubs/cafés in Riga (in alphabetic order). 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. Vegetarian/Ayurvedic café. Great for lunch. Not sure how the staff is with English, but pointing everything with your fingers should do the thing. Open: Mon-Fri 11:00-18:30. Address: Ģertrūdes iela 5, 2nd floor (“iela” is “street” in English).
- Albert Hotel. Although there is restaurant “Bestsellers” on the first floor, I am thinking more about that 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. For inquiries call: +371 67142749. Address: Dzirnavu iela 33. alberthotel.lv.
- Andalūzijas suns. Great place where to grab a drink/coffee before/after a movie @K SUNS. The name in English means “An Andalusian Dog” (pardon, si vous préférez en Français – “Un Chien Andalou”) – so you have an impression what kind of atmosphere to expect there. Love the out-door terrace (in summer time). Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85. andaluzijassuns.lv.
- Bārs TAKA. A hip and alternative bar/café. You can have a tasty vegetarian lunch/dinner there. Chocolate cake is just terrific! Check their FB page for live performances, dj-sets, etc. Address: Miera iela 10.
- Bar I love you. A cozy little bar in Old Town. Check their FB page for live performances, dj-sets, etc. Address: Aldaru iela 9. iloveyou.lv.
- Bergs. A fancy & expensive restaurant, but really worth the atmosphere. For inquiries call: +371 67770957. Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85. hotelbergs.lv.
- CUBA. A cozy little bar in Old Town. Check their FB page for live performances, dj-sets, etc. Address: Jauniela 15.
- Fabrikas restorāns. A fancy & expensive restaurant, but really worth the atmosphere as it is located on the other side of the river Daugava. Should take taxi to go there, if you do not happen to have a bike, of course. For inquiries call: +371 67873804. Address: Balasta dambis 70 (“dambis” is dike in English). fabrikasrestorans.lv.
- Fazenda. Great place for lunch or simple dinner. There are two places – one in the center @ Baznīcas iela 14 and the other – over the river (in Latvian @ Pārdaugava) @ Nometņu iela 7. The place outside the city center is great for lazy weekend brunch. In summer time the place in center has a nice out-door terrace with little veggies market. For better prices, though, walk some 10 minutes till Vidzemes tirgus.
- Food Box. Great Turkish kebab. Open: Mon-Fri 11:30-19:00. Sat. 13:00-18:00. Address: Antonijas iela 6a(entrance from Andreja Pumpura iela). foodbox.lv.
- Garage. Cozy wine & tapas bar. Address: Elizabetes iela 83/85. www.vinabars.lv.
- Junge. Great place for grabbing a sandwich and heading high and low. My favorite is @ Blaumaņa iela 17 but you can check other as well @ Marijas iela 21 or Brīvības iela 52. junge.lv.
- Indian Raja. Restaurant in Old Town. Great Indian cuisine. Address: Skārņu iela 7-2. indianraja.lv.
- Istaba. On the ground floor – gallery (you can purchase there some hand-made stuff from Latvian artists). On the second floor – cozy, little restaurant. Check their FB page for current exhibitions & other events. Address: Krišjāņa Barona iela 31a.
- KABUKI. If you like SUSHI – I suggest the chain Kabuki. For delivery 24/7 call: + 371 67007874. My favorite place is @ Tērbatas iela 46, entrance from “Martas iela”. Check other options @ kabuki.lv.
- K.I.D. Place for lunch or simple dinner. Address: Tērbatas 41/43. www.restaurantkid.lv.
- Krogs Aptieka. 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). Address: Mazā Miesnieku iela 1. Check their FB pagefor live performances, dj-sets, etc.
- LIDO. A chain of bistro for simple lunch. People tend to bring foreigners to LIDO 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 I would go sometimes to “Krievu sēta” (in English “Russian Yard”) as it has good Russian cuisine and real ancient (not Soviet) atmosphere. Address for Krievu sēta: Ķengaraga iela 3 (outside from the city center, should take taxi to go there). Another option for families with kids is “LIDO Recreation Centre” @ Krasta iela 76 (also outside the city center).
- Lielais Ķīnas mūris. Chinese place for lunch or simple dinner. Address: Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 21. Quite full during lunch time. lielaiskinasmuris.lv.
- 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).
- 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.
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 the night when they have Night Market and it ain’t no Night Watch!). The thing why I mention this place, is that may alternative performances, shows, exhibitions, etc. take place there, see: www.dirtydeal.lv. Besides gallery kim? is just next doors.
NB! Please read my other post, as many new places are not on this historical list.