Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Vegan in Vilnius

My previous trip to the Baltic states - in 2011, to the Latvian capital of Riga - didn't yield many vegan dining options. So, when I visited Vilnius, Lithuania a couple of weeks ago, I was curious about the food that awaited me. I found mostly very good things; I hadn't really done any research beforehand and instead just let myself be surprised.

What you see above are raw Thai rolls - rice paper stuffed with various veggies and, of course, drizzled in peanut sauce. It's so easy to feel gross and scurvy-like when you're travelling, so while I'm not a raw food person, I really appreciated the onslaught of green, additive-free things here.

I returned to Raw42 for lunch just before I caught my bus home. I had been intending to try the borscht but instead opted for the raw lasagne, craving something that I knew would sustain me for the long way back. This was by far the priciest restaurant I went to Vilnius - I paid about 12€ for a meal including a drink - but that's not more than I'd shell out for a good dinner in Berlin.

Lithuanian for "place", Vieta appeared to be primarily a bar that also offered vegetarian food. I got the tofu steak and salad, as well as a vegan strawberry milkshake. A very filling little lunch spot nestled right into the Old Town!

I can't say I was thrilled with my experience here... the vibe was just quite weird and impersonal. There was also a lot of stuff that they were out of when I asked about it, which was disappointing. In the end, I went for the momos, which tasted good enough and were presented very nicely.

Jurgis ir drakonas
I went to "George and the Dragon" on my last night for what I'd heard would be a wonderful pizza experience, and that's exactly what it was. There were at least two pizza options on the menu where if you paid 1€ extra, you'd get vegan cheese. And I mean, just look at that pizza: Romaine lettuce, walnuts, sundried tomatoes, perfect puffy dough.

In addition, the service was very friendly and the atmosphere warm, The owner offered me a complimentary scoop of ice cream and when I said I was vegan, she brought me a really tasty sorbet. This place is not to be missed!