Where to eat in Riga (budget and mid-priced restaurants from 3 EUR)
Riga is considered as an inexpensive city, however, if you are a foreigner, it might challenging for you to find a place to eat at a reasonable price. In this article, I will share the places where the locals eat: budget canteens, sushi, kebabs, pastry shops and traditional mid-priced and expensive restaurants.
The cheapest place where the locals eat is the canteen. Usually, canteens are opened on working days from 11:00 to 17:00. In the canteens, most popular food is “dish of the day” for around 3-5 EUR which includes either main dish, or main dish + soup or dessert. If you don’t want to have a “dish of the day”, you can order something different (depending on the canteen, they usually have about 3-5 choices of meat dishes, different salads and side dishes. That tailor-made option will not cost much higher than the “dish of the day”: expect to pay no more than 5 EUR.
Some of the best canteens in Riga:
Daily is the largest canteen network in Latvia. They serve many canteens Riga centre and suburbs. The most centrally located addresses for the canteens are:
Rātslaukums 1, Rīga (entrance from the “Rātes” passage). This canteen is located in the Riga Council building, in front of the House of the Blackheads.
Doma laukums 3, Rīga. This canteen is located in the Dome square.
Kronvalda bulvāris 9,Rīga. This canteen is located in front of the Bastejkalns (Bastion hill).
Pipars (or Pepper in English) is a popular canteen with several locations in Riga. In the old town, you will find a Pipars canteen on Audēju iela 15, Rīga. This is in front of the Galleria Centrs shopping centre.
Note that 12:00 – 13:00 is peak time for the canteens when many locals go to eat. To avoid crowds and sharing the table with the strangers, I advise you to come before 11:30 or after 13:00.
Kebabs are the most popular food among students and youth. Normal size kebab costs around 3 EUR and vegetarian kebabs are also available. Popular kebabs restaurants in Latvia are:
TurKebab is an authentic kebabs eatery chain owned by a Turkish-Latvian family. Also, they make traditional Turkish red lentils soup and serve traditional very strong Turkish black tea and milk dring airan. There is a one kebabs place located in the Old town: Vaļņu iela 26, Rīga.
KebabsFIX is the first kebabs chain in Latvia, operating more than 10 years. Pretty similar to the first one, they also serve traditional Latvian soups: meat soup “Soljanka” and cold beetroot soup.
Sushi is a trending food in Latvia now. There are many sushi eateries across the city with a so high competition, that many of them offer regular campaign “1+1”, meaning, that you order one set, and another comes for free. Some of the popular sushi restaurants in Riga:
Planeta Sushi, located on Vaļņu 26, Rīga.
Gan Bei – Asian food restaurant chain. Theirs most centrally located restaurant is housed in Galleria Centrs shopping centre, on Audēju iela 15, Rīga.
Riga has a long pastry shop tradition. While the most authentic pastry is what a Latvian mom can bake, there are several very good pastry shops, where you can come for a short break, sit and have a pastry with tea or coffee. Pastry shops in Old town Riga:
Mārtiņa Beķereja, Vaļņu 26, Rīga.
BakeBerry, Audēju iela 15, Rīga
If you would like to have a more unique and personal experience, why not to try one of the Riga restaurants.
3 pavāru restorāns (restaurant of 3 cooks). So far the best experience in the city. After you make your order, the waiter will cover the table with paper napkins and distribute the different sources made by the chef. Then, the waiter will bring the in-house cooked bread and will offer you to taste the souces. The sources tasting is probably the most interesting part of this establishment. Address: Jēkaba kazarmas, Torņa iela 4, Rīga
Fazenda. This is a cozy restaurant that offers home-like atmosphere at affordable prices. Address: Baznīcas iela 14, Rīga
As you can see, there are not many establishments mentioned in the list, but these are my favorite eateries in Riga. If you have any question about where to eat in Riga, feel free to ask me in the comments.