The Top Places to Eat in Riga

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The Latvian capital’s a beautiful mix of great scenery and fun things-to-do. In between sightseeing and exploring you’ll need a well-deserved carb-break, so here are the top picks in the world of Riga restaurants:

International SV

For gorgeous food in small portions this is a winning choice; you can get around 4 dishes per person and try them all out! The cuisine is a mixture of Latvian and Russian, with dishes like lamb and rice soup, and mushroom penne in cheese sauce. The location of this restaurant is excellent; while it’s not actually in the Old Town it’s conveniently situated near the intersection at Miera St and Hospitalu. Both of these streets are interesting, with quaint shops and live music coming from the cafes. It’s also near the Laima Chocolate Factory, well worth a trip for any chocolate lover.

Biblioteka No1 

This renovated library serves delicious food including tagliatelle, creamy pearl barley and cheesy penne all at a very reasonable price. There’s a whole range of sumptuous desserts and interesting flavours (such as the prune ice cream). If you’re going alone then there are plenty of bookshelves with a whole range of literature on, some with stickers saying ‘Stolen from Biblioteka No.1’. If you’re laden down with a handbag the waiter will give you a golf-marker type handbag holder to put on the side of your table, and there’s high security so you know everything will be safe. It’s also near some of the beautiful places in the Old Town such as the Freedom Monument.

Hospitalis

 This one wins all the points in the ‘unusual restaurant’ category. It’s a huge restaurant based on an actual hospital, with all the décor and unusual food you’d imagine. The staff are skeletons, hospital gurneys and doctors, and they flit around the medical room themed restaurant. As well as sitting at a surgery table you can take a seat in the faux dental office, sitting in an actual dental chair. There’s also a gynaecologist’s office and various TV screens showing clips of hospitals. The food at this unusual restaurant has a surprisingly normal menu, with normal European food and lots of salads. There is, however, a “crazy menu”, which you genuinely have to sign a waiver before eating from. It includes entrees like liver-filled quail, designed to look like something that might have been surgically extracted from someone. And although the “normal” menu has traditional foods, expect to eat them with syringes, scalpels and other surgical utensils, as well as drinking your beverages from test tube vials and IV bags.

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