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Lithuania is not exactly known for being a culinary paradise. However, Vilnius didn't disappoint me. I was able to try two vegan restaurants and went to a vegan store during my short stay in Lithuania’s capital. When I travel I choose to support vegan places, so I can only report on those, but there are several other restaurants that you could go to which offer vegan options.
To be fair, my trip to Vilnius didn’t start off well at all with regards to vegan food. After I arrived at my Airbnb and took a short nap, I was ready to get something to eat at one of the two vegan restaurants in the city, Gyvas Baras. I ordered the seitan burger and an orange juice and sat outside to enjoy the beautiful weather on the first day of summer. Unfortunately, the seitan burger was not only the worst burger I have ever had in my life. I believe it was the worst overall food I have ever had. The patty was so gooey that it was difficult to chew it, and I had to force myself to eat it because I was hungry. When the super friendly waiter asked how it was, I didn’t react enthusiastically. He admitted that they had just gotten a new cook who still needed to learn how to prepare the food properly. I suppose by now she has learned and you could give Gyvas Baras a try if you travel to Vilnius. Personally, however, I cannot recommend it at all.
Trakų g. 11. Open Monday and Tuesday 11:30am to 10pm, Wednesday 11:30am to 11:45pm, Thursday and Friday 11:30am to 1am, Saturday 12pm to 1am, Sunday 1pm to 8pm. www.facebook.com/GYVAS.baras/
After this extremely disappointing visit, I did some sightseeing (check out my post on the five things you have to do in Vilnius), but I had to buy something for breakfast the next morning. As I couldn’t find anything at the little supermarket close to my Airbnb, I went to Veggo, a vegan store, with the intention of buying some local products. You will find Veggo downstairs in a restaurant which you have to enter. The lady was friendly, and I explained to her that I was primarily looking for breakfast but also for Lithuanian products. I ended up buying granola, chocolate milk, two buckwheat bars, a smoothie, crackers, hummus (own brand), a pâté, and chocolate. Unfortunately, most of these products weren’t Lithuanian, as there isn't a big market for veganism in the Baltic states yet. You have to check out Veggo if you want to cook in Vilnius or want to see what Lithuanian vegans eat.
Totorių g. 3. Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 9pm, Sunday 12pm to 7pm.
The products I had bought at Veggo covered for breakfast and some snacks and, as there was some pasta at my Airbnb, I didn’t have to go out for food twice every day.
Luckily, my second experience with vegan food in Vilnius was much better than the first. On my second day, I decided to go to RoseHip Vegan Bistro. This place was the complete opposite of Gyvas Baras, in almost all aspects. The waiters could have been a bit friendlier, but the food was excellent. I had the pulled jackfruit burger and the golden milk. I loved that they told me the golden milk would take a bit longer because that meant they were making it correctly. It was definitely the best golden milk I’ve ever had. The burger was very flavorful, so unsurprisingly I went back the next day.
This time, I ordered a green tea and the pink hummus bowl, and the dish was just as good as it looks in the picture.
As opposed to the first time I went I still had room for dessert, so I got the panna cotta which was incredibly tasty. I can’t recommend RoseHip Vegan Bistro enough if you’re going to be in Vilnius. The place is always rather full, so you may have to wait a few minutes until you get a table but trust me, it’s going to be worth it.
B. Radvilaitės g. 7. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30am to 10:30pm, Friday to Sunday 11am to 11pm.
Vilnius is a delightful city for a weekend break, and while there are not many vegan places, I enjoyed the food I got from both Veggo and RoseHip Vegan Bistro.
Please let me know in the comments if you’ve had other great vegan food in Lithuania.
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.
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