Vilnius city view from Gediminas castle tower

Vilnius city view from Gediminas castle tower

Great bars, restaurants and cafes in Vilnius, Lithuania

Falstaff tells you how and where to get started on your culinary journey around Vilnius.

There aren’t many destinations that do not garner the attention of gourmets and self-professed foodies, with big city capitals like Tokyo and Paris always able to offer great dining experiences. There are also second-tier sister cities, like Gothenburg, which can rival the big names, but if you are looking for a lesser-known culinary destination, you should consider Vilnius.

The capital city of Lithuania is not hyped up as a culinary powerhouse by questionable ‘best of’ lists, but if you have the pleasure of visiting Vilnius, you will not be disappointed as an oenophile or foodie. This year proves to be the best time to visit (if you do need another reason to do so), with the city celebrating its 700th anniversary.

The milestone celebration has already begun, with the city hosting a series of summer events, music festivals and arts and culture programs for all those who want to party in the Baltics. In-between touring the city’s Baroque architectural wonders, taking strolls around the UNESCO World Heritage site Old-Town, and participating in the 700th-anniversary celebrations, be sure to check out some of the bars, restaurants and eateries around town.

Here are a few to get you started on your culinary journey around Vilnius.


Some consider Dziaugsmas as one of the pioneers of the “fine-dining” movement in Vilnius and the restaurant easily rates as a must-visit place if you are interested in learning about Lithuanian cuisine. Chef Martynas Praskevicious is one of the country’s best chefs and works with Lithuanian producers to bring out the best in his award-winning dishes. Cod beignets with tarragon and beef tartare are favourites, but seasonality plays a large role at Dziaugsmas, so you never know what you might get.

  • Dziaugsmas
  • Address: Vilniaus g. 28, 01144 Vilnius, Lithuania



If you like combining fine art with high-quality dining, then you must visit Gastronomika for one of the poshest experiences when in Vilnius. Only open for dinner, the restaurant is headed up by one of Lithuania’s celebrity chefs, Liutauro Ceprackas, who has an excellent handle on ‘Michelin-worthy’ dishes. Chef Arnos Petronis is the one executing Liutauro’s recipes to perfection, and the young team of chefs in the kitchen should be proud of what they are doing. Despite not having a sommelier, the wine pairings are well done, but be sure to save room for perfectly-crafted desserts by pastry chef Jekaterina Zvonkuviene. Remember to admire the art work surrounding you in the dining room, with works by Lithuanian artists Agne Kisonaite and Antanas Sutkaus, as well as contemporary glass art by Remigijus Kriukis.

Old Town of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania.
Old Town of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania.


You’ll normally find Amandus full of hungry diners and bursting with life, the venue owned by chef Deivydas Praspaliauskas a joyous place for travellers to see where Lithuanians dine for special family occasions. There is something endearing about the restaurant and how Chef Deivydas runs the show: dinner is strictly at 7pm and all dinners are served at the same time – strange and unheard of, but it works. A mix combining Lithuanian and Nordic cuisine, Amandus is a great spot where you will be treated well and eat well too, a trait that is in Deivydas’s DNA as a dedicated Lithuanian chef flying the country’s gastronomic flag.

  • Amandus
  • Užupio g. 22, 01201 Vilnius, Lithuania



Nineteen18 is a spot where all the cool kids are hanging out these days in Vilnius. Located in an upscale food ‘hall’, the restaurant is the perfect place for solo diners. Take your pick at ordering a la carte, but I recommend going for the Chef’s Table dining experience for a full view of the open kitchen and having the opportunity to banter with Chef Andrius Kubilius. Things are not what they seem at Nineteen18 when it comes to its recipes and creative dishes, but it is definitely enjoyable.

  • Nineteen18
  • Dominikonų g. 11, 01131 Vilnius, Lithuania


Ertlio Namas

This is not your conventional fine-dining experience – you come to Ertlio Namas to learn about the history of Lithuanian food and how the country arrived at eating certain products. The servers are very energetic, friendly and spirited in sharing Lithuanian history, best represented by the dishes created by Chef Tomas Rimydis. There is a lot of care in the dishes and Chef Tomas does a great job bringing sometimes medieval dishes in a tasty manner – it is not easy romanticising food eaten in the 18th-century but at Ertlio Namas, it is enjoyable and tasty.


Breakfast is a big deal in Vilnius – they have a great cafe culture which rivals many of the great cities. It is hard to find a traditional, old-school bakery in Vilnius but surprisingly European pastry shops are quite common in the capital city. The best has to be Grudas – wonderful pastries to rival Parisian boulangeries (yes, really!), strong coffee and, above all, excellent friendly service from both mother and daughter duo: the perfect spot when the sun is shining in Vilnius.

  • Grudas
  • Dominikonų g. 11, 01131 Vilnius, Lithuania



You cannot go to Vilnius and not eat traditional Lithuanian food – it is a rite of passage. With the Old-Town being filled with wonderful traditional eateries which are surprisingly not touristy like other European cities, Loky’s is my favourite place for Lithuanian home cooked meals. Go for the large dumplings called Cepelinai, order the summer borscht soup, and definitely be sure to have a glass or two of Lithuanian stout beer – you won’t be disappointed.

  • Loky’s
  • Stiklių g. 8, 01131 Vilnius, Lithuania



Telegrafas may be located in the Kempinski Hotel, but the dining experience is well-worth breaking your rule of “not eating in a hotel restaurant” – there really is nothing wrong with an excellent wine menu paired with thoughtful dishes. You have a wonderful view of the Cathedral, excellent service (which lingers well into breakfast and may just be one of the best brekkies you can get in the city) and, of course, dishes using high-quality produce from all corners of the world: French scallops, New Zealand Lamb loin and Caviar: Motra Finest Sterlet and Finest Osetra are just some of the choices you have.

  • Telegrafas
  • Universiteto g. 14, 01122 Vilnius, Lithuania



Lithuanians might not have a good handle on producing wine but when it comes to strong, intense and serious cocktails, they know what they are doing. Apoteka comes highly recommended by locals and is worth a detour or late-night drink when in Vilnius. The drinks come hard and strong, yet they are creative, playful and unique, under the watchful eye and creation of some pretty competent mixologists. Cheers!

  • Apoteka
  • Visų Šventųjų g. 5, 01306 Vilnius, Lithuania
Apoteka, Vilnius.
photo provided
Apoteka, Vilnius.

Pacai Restaurant and Bar

Located in the Pacai Hotel – a historical mansion dating back to the 18th-century – the restaurant is unassumingly modern and cool. There are no dumplings or ‘pink’ soup here but interesting Nordic meets Asian flavours, which work well. Icelandic chef Arnor Bjarkason knows what he is doing – forging the best seasonal produce from local farmers, Mother Earth (forest, ocean and fields) like a true hunter/gathering taking you on a journey across the Baltics. More than 200 wines to choose from too, so why not indulge a little at Pacai Restaurant, which seems only fitting in this designer hotel?

Pacai Restaurant, Vilnius.
photo provided
Pacai Restaurant, Vilnius.
Michelle Tchea
Michelle Tchea
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