Kaunas, Lithuania has just been voted the European Capital of Culture for 2022! In Kaunas, visitors can expect fun food experiences, from sinking their teeth into Lithuanian spurga to savoring unique flavor combinations at White Guide rated restaurants. Read on to plan your culinary journey to Kaunas.
Restaurant, Northern European, $$$
Courtesy of Uoksas/Photography by Robertas Daškevičius
Listed in the White Guide for Top 30 Restaurants in the Baltics 2017, Uoksas is sure to please with their creative cuisine. Their a la carte menu features some incredible flavor combinations, with dishes such as steamed buns with pork belly, fermented beetroot and honey, lamb shank, and grilled mackerel with bulgur wheat, black pudding and pears. Uoksas also has a four-course and six-course tasting menu for the reasonable price of 25 EUR and 30 EUR, respectively. All dishes incorporate seasonal, local produce.
This newly opened restaurant has quickly become a favorite in Kaunas. Their food is simple, delicious, and features only the finest ingredients. They aim to provide gourmet food in a relaxed, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. Their menu changes often, but some of their staple dishes include oysters and salmon tartar.
This traditional spurga (a special Lithuanian doughnut) restaurant is a complete 360 from the two previously mentioned restaurants, however, the food is so highly rated and culturally nostalgic that it deserves recognition. As the name might lead you to believe, Spurgine serves fried doughnuts full of savory meats and vegetable, or sweet combinations.
Hop Doc is a bistro and gastropub serving soups, salads, burgers, fish and chips, and bagel sandwiches. Their daily lunch special of soup and a sandwich is very affordable at just 3.90 EUR, making this a great spot for budget travelers and students alike. Hop Doc also has an impressive selection of beers.
This restaurant, located on the grounds of the stunning Pazaislis Monastery, is an excellent choice for some fancier affair. Monte Pacis serves breakfast and dinner, with a la carte dining as well as four and six dish tasting menus. Wine lovers will be happy to learn that Monte Pacis also has one of the largest wine lists in all of Lithuania, with much of their wine coming from various monastery vineyards across Europe.
Located in the Kaunas Hotel on the popular Laisves aleja, Restaurant 55° prepares Lithuanian and international cuisine. Their menu features a wide selection of salads, as well as traditional Lithuanian dishes such as cepelinai, potato pancakes, and herring. They also serve a breakfast buffet in the mornings.
Senieji Rusiai is located in a bright and beautiful basement with exposed brick walls and historic detailing. The menu features European options such as caramelized duck breast, roast lamb, and zucchini pancakes. They also offer a rather large selection of delicious desserts to finish your meal on a sweet note.
Gurme is an excellent option for those exploring the old town of Kaunas, as their food is fresh and delicious. A highlight at Gurme is their wine and food pairings, meant to allow you to relax and enjoy your meal. Dishes include salads, soups, seafood, and meat dishes all prepared using locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Restoranas Siesta serves delicious soups, such as Hungarian goulash and cream of carrot soup, as well as other heartier dishes. Restoranas Siesta is very family-friendly and has a kids menu with numerous healthy dishes that will make both child and parents very happy. With their beautiful grounds and interior, Restoranas Siesta is also a great option for special celebrations or parties.
Co-run by a British ex-pat and Lithuania’s version of Martha Stewart — Beata Nicholson — Jurgis ir Drakonas serves excellent salads and pizzas. On the menu visitors can find special dishes created by Nicholson such as Beata’s Salad with mango, feta cheese, and prosciutto. Do be sure to save room for a scoop of their incredible ice cream!