Riga Ultimate Travel Guide 2019

May / 2019 by
1 0
Riga Ultimate Travel Guide 2019

There has been told that Riga is similar to Paris. Definitely, there is something that catches up everyone. Sometimes people just don’t know what treasures are hiding those small streets.

Despite Soviet-era architecture, the Latvian capital is a place where East-meets Western features. People travel and bring the best what they see in other countries, transforming it differently – in Riga style.

We want to appreciate not only beauty of Old Town but charm of specific places where people do what they love in the most excellent level. Have an insider look to top places to go in Riga.

From hipster insider spots till high-class local venues. Here are a few of our favorite Riga haunts…

Love&Be Bold

Where to eat?

MAX CEKOT KITCHEN

A place which defines the essence of “slow food”.

Max Cekot Kitchen is located in Torņakalns. Jelgavas Street contains many industrial territories and buildings. Behind one of those massive brick walls hides a spectacular kitchen of chef Max Cekot. At first sight, entering Max Cekot Kitchen we can feel contrast between industrial environment outside and modest elegance in the interior of this place.

It is not a coincidence that Max Cekot called his place a kitchen, not a restaurant. The most important task to him is to make guest feel like he would be at home eating dinner with good old friends. Open chefs kitchen makes familiar sense between professional team and guests. Everyone can feel free to watch the creative process of each meal preparing and have a nice talk with chief itself.

The concept and cuisine of Max Cekot Kitchen are unique and we can say that Riga has a whole new niche in local restaurant scene. Chief offers finely selected set menu with options for different people and diets. Basically, when you come to Max Cekot Kitchen, all you have to do is tell whether you want alcoholic drinks and do you eat meat. Chief will take care of everything else.

We love the connection which is made between guests and kitchen professional team. Just as in business, relationships and life trust sometimes is more important than anything else.

CENTRAL GASTRO MARKET

Riga Central Market has always been a place for many different kinds of people. Sometimes the negative image prevailed. Slowly Riga Central Market is trying change this feature moving forwards more modern type of marketplace.

Opening of Central Gastro Market is the first step making this place more attractive both to locals and tourists. Gastronomy pavilion has changed its concept by offering not only confectionery and bakery products but also wide range of international and local street food in more than 20 dining venues and 2 bars.

This place is new and super cool. We believe that after a while Riga Central Market will me as modern as big European marketplaces. For now there are still some things which you have to note before going there. Firstly, watch for your bag, wallet and other important things. Society in this place is still very diverse so it is better to give an extra attention to such kind of things. And, secondly, on weekends Central Gastro Market is full of people so probably you have to wait 30-35 minutes for your meal to be ready. However, if that is not a problem and you are ready for some lazy Saturday, you already know where you have to go.

PIENS

Legendary nightlife venue Piens is still on-top today. During the day you can enjoy some nice lunch here while in the night you can be part of crazy party with techno rhythms. Briāna Street is becoming like an informal creative quarter here in Riga. That’s why if you seek for something more alternative than typical Old Riga parties, Piens is definitely a place you been looking for.

Photo by Pienskafe

Photo by Pienskafe

HERBĀRIJS

Herbārijs is a concept bar+cafe of the roof terrace of Galleria Riga. We would like to complement the interior of Herbārijs. Because it is a perfect place to take Instagram pictures or maybe even photo shoots. The place really resembles a big greenhouse with many natural plants. Also here you can enjoy a panoramic view of beautiful Riga.

All menu of Herbārijs is made using healthy and fresh ingredients. A big choice of smoothies and cocktails. However, food choice for vegetarians and vegans is limited because most of main courses contain meat.

Photo by herbarijs

Photo by herbarijs

Photo by herbarijs

ZIVJU LETE

Restaurant Zivju Lete is a place for those who are in love with seafood and everything which is related to sea motive. Maybe for someone this place will remind of that lovely vacation at Sardinia where seafood was served every day. However, you don’t need to travel that far to enjoy all of it because here in Riga Zivju Lete offers full fish-based cuisine. A must-go place for all seafood lovers. Because here you can have both traditional seafood dishes and also some delicacies like oysters or Argentina shrimps.

Besides tasty seafood we would like to highlight the interior of Zivju Lete. Ship design elements, natural wooden furniture and artistic drawings on walls give this place a unique personality.

Photo by zivjulete

Photo by zivjulete

Photo by zivjulete

MR FOX

If you have a dilemma deciding where to get tasty and healthy breakfast, restaurant Mr Fox maybe could solve this problem for you. Buckwheat waffles are our top-pick for breakfast here. And here you can have options for lunch also. Besides most ingredients in lunch dishes you can add optionally. That’s why Mr Fox is a great option for those who don’t like to hurry and want to take a bit longer lunch break.

Photo by mrfox_lv

Photo by mrfox_lv

SIĻĶĪTES UN DILLĪTES

Seafood in Latvian style – check! In Siļķītes un dillītes you may not find such goods as oysters or traditional French Bouillabaisse but is it important? For Latvians herring on rye-bread sometimes can be better than anything else in this world. Because happiness doesn’t need that much effort.

 

Here we guarantee big portions and most likely the best fish & chips that you have ever been tested.

 

Siļķītes un dillītes is located in fish pavilion of Riga Central Market.

Photo by juliaturanova

For a tourist this place may seem as a small cultural shock. However, in all this environment you can see a small part of Latvian mentality. Simplicity and true cordiality are those values which we sometimes try to hide from others.

9 GRĀDI

Buffet 9. grādi is located on Alfreda Kalniņa Street. Ironically they describe themselves as a place with the most simple, democratic and cheapest food. Here you will find traditional local cuisine which was very popular in Soviet times like soup solyanka, rye-bread with Russian cheese on top of it or limonade Tarhuns. For Latvians and those who come from ex-Soviet Union countries these dishes will remind of childhood. Thats why if you want to look ironically at Soviet times or experience nostalgic memories, this place is your top destination.

Photo by hasanli_isi

Photo by marienemarie

Photo by yoba364

Where to go to have a drink?

MINOX

We are very happy that New Teika is becoming like a small Manhattan with bars and cool places at top of residential buildings. In big cities such concept is an ordinary thing but here in Riga it’s a fresh call for us. In fourteen floor of high-rise building “Teodors” recently was opened a new and modern cocktail bar (if you are new in this district, it may be a challenge at first to find this place).

Recently we noticed a new positive trend in Riga. Finally, cocktail culture has reached us. There have been opened many chick and elegant bars which specialize specifically in making traditional cocktails in a new way.

It is important for a person that his cocktail is well-prepared and has unique taste nuances.

We are glad that in Riga are people which introduce society with this new culture and show high-class professionalism in this field.

A true cocktail and life lovers opened previously mentioned bar in New Teika – Minox. We want to highlight this place not only for its concept but also for chick, art-deco inspired interior and well-made cocktails which you can try here. These both things interact with each other. It is always nice that interior is not just beautiful but it has its own “personality”, Minox definitely has one.

All those who like to eat and drink visually will live this place. Both cocktails and details of Minox interior are made like a small artwork. This place design is made like an art-deco style adaptation to 21st century with also some themes of jungle. The interplay between black and rose gold elements give this place a rich elegant look. Just as it is in interior, tropical nuances can be noticed in cocktails also. Taste boquete in drinks is inspired by Mexican and Central America exotic tastes.

So next time when you are planning a nice evening with friends maybe Minox is the right place to go? Cool cocktails and remarkable view of Riga center are guaranteed.

BAR XIII

Concept and interior of bar XIII is inspired by “metropolitan” feel of London bars.

Vintage and tasteful mixture of different styles are here from head to toes. For example, elements of 1960s Berlin and the “Rīdzene” Hotel bar of the late 1980s with its catchy copper/amber  tone light fixtures. Bar XIII is a place where you can feel the best traditions of internation cocktail culture. Besides talented chef Reinis Strazdiņš will make sure that you won’t leave this place hungry because here you can have a fine dine also.

Photo by xiiibar

Photo by xiiibar

Photo by xiiibar

Photo by xiiibar

CLOUD NINE

If you want to taste excellent cocktails and feel like Marilyn Monroe sipping Martini in classic New Your bar, CLOUD NINE will be a place for you. We guarantee that their choice of cocktails and high service level won’t leave you disappointed.

Name of this place already tells that here you will feel like in heaven.  In CLOUD NINE you also can have a nice dinner. The chef, who has worked at the Michelin restaurant in France, will surprise your taste buds, while drinks afterward will take care of good mood. BOLD favorite cocktail here is a Sex On the Floor which is CLOUD NINE variation of its traditional version. This place has everything you need for a perfect evening.

Photo by cloudninelv

Photo by cloudninelv

Photo by cloudninelv

MODERNISTS

Modernists is a champagne bar and shop which was opened by architect Mārtiņš Pīlēns and stylist Santa Pīlēna. The interior and concept of this place perfectly describe their author sense of style and vision of life. Modernists also is made like a showroom with interior pieces made by world-known designers. Exquisite pieces and overall concept may leave a bit snobby impression about this place. But it is only like that at a first sight because actually Modernist has a cozy atmosphere and you feel like entering at its owner’s personal house not at champagne bar.

Photo by modernists_lv

Photo by modernists_lv

Photo by modernists_lv

ALĶĪMIĶIS

Luckily, times when people drank beer only in small, dark underground bars are passed away. Now beer can be served with care and accurateness like whiskey, wine or any other classic drink.

Also in Riga you can experience the best of modern beer culture. Our favorite here is a place called Alķīmiķis which works as a beer brewery and also restaurant. Design lovers will love this place’s old-fashioned interior with industrial details. Also beer bottle labels here are made like a small artwork. Each of them has a witty design which compliments the bouquet of beer flavor or explains the backstory of its taste.

Photo by alkimikis

Photo by alkimikis

Where to buy the coolest things?

BOLD Concept Store

And now a little bit about BOLD 🙂

It is very important for us to be authentic and have a particular personal style. We want you to feel the positive and open vibe around us by industrial environment with a touch of luxury and artsy feel. This is our vision of life and things around us. By that is also inspired our concept – to give you the best of Baltic design.

BOLD offers customers wide range of best quality and most exclusive examples of Baltic product design, created by talented niche designers, focusing on slow fashion, sustainability and attention to the detail. Our customers are truly spoilt with choice and being able to pick slow fashion, home, interior items and decors from over 70 designer-created collections.

In a short time period BOLD has become the biggest design concept store in the Baltic States. We want to go further by offering you not only the best pieces of Baltic designers but also an exclusive selection of Russia, France, Ukraine and Georgia brands.

That’s why if you walk along Tērbata Street visit us and get positive vibes with best Eastern region design. And don’t forget about BOLD DACHA. In the summer season we also have a store in Latvia biggest resort city – Jurmala, Dzintaru prospekts 1. Beach, waves and best design pieces are on your way!

IMAGEHOUSE

Imagehouse offers a combined design concept with interior design + high fashion + cafe. This is a creative shopping experience with a selection from internationally known interior design brands such as Tom Dixon, Minotti or Poliform. But if you feel that fashion is your call here you can have dessert for your eyes with Carven, MM6 or Walk of Shame collections. We are truly happy that legendary brands are now more available in Riga.

STAG

If you think it is hard to find in Riga a good man’s clothing you should definitely visit STAG.

This place offers selection of internationally known contemporary fashion brands like AMI, SLOWEAR, DRIES VAN NOTEN and many others. All pieces in this store combine current trends and concept of slow fashion. STAG creative team will help you choose the “right” clothing if you feel a little bit lost in here. We love personal attitude and time which is dedicated to every client.

Photo by stagstore

Photo by stagstore

BANG BANG

Bang Bang is for those who want to feel urban spirit in their everyday life. Everyone who love rides with skateboard or bike this place is must-go destination. Besides tasty coffee here you can find wide selection of Nike, Vans, Dr Martens and many other brands. Bang Bang are for those who feel young in their body and mind.

Photo by bangbangshop

BRŪKLENE

Nowadays concept shop-coffee is nothing new. Actually it has become a quite common thing. However, the concept of Brūklene is coffee-streetstyle-bicycles and its a new thing. We love hipsteric and open-minded vibe which flows in this place. Everyone who loves cycling and active lifestyle must definitely visit Brūklene.

You can be even a beginner in cycling because friendly workshop guys will tell you everything you need to know about bikes. Feel free to ask anything, even if that something is a technical issue with your bicycle because they will help you out.

Photo by brukleneshop

Photo by brukleneshop

Photo by brukleneshop

MR PAGE

Book store Mr Page reminds us how powerful, meaningful and beautiful a book can be.

In this place you will find niche books, magazines and all kind of small things for meaningful and qualitative leisure. It has been told that traveling and books are the best things where to invest money. Part of it is true so why not do that?

Photo by vilkibooks

MANILLA

Manilla is a small and beautiful shop in the center of Riga. It is like an oasis for those who love paper and all kind of small things.

In Manilla you can buy all you need for calligraphy and also get inspiration to start doing something creative by yourself. All pieces in this place are carefully selected and none of them are coincidence. As a result, each thing has its aesthetic value. In Manilla you really need to start controlling yourself otherwise you will buy everything here. Each thing seems special here.

Photo by manillalv

Photo by manillalv

Photo by manillalv

Where to go to seek the culture?

ZUZEUM

Latvian art life awaits a new fresh thing. Soon in Riga, Lāčplēša Street 101 will be opened a new art centre Zuzeum. “Zaigas Gailes birojs” project envisions starting construction at the rear of Zuzeum with the new volume of the depository of the Zuzāns Collection. During this period in old Cork fabric hall will be held exhibitions and other events. Also the reconstruction of the historical building and construction of the sculpture garden will take place in the second phase of the project.

However, we don’t have to wait reconstruction to be finished. Because the building of the art centre is already open to different public and private events.

One of them Zuzeum 101 magazine “I Cry in Museums” was launched on April 23. Zuzeum 101 is the youth program of the forthcoming Zuzeum Art Centre. In that way we can see a new positive trend coming up – young people are becoming more and more interested in art and culture.

In the future, the programme of art centre Zuzeum will include permanent and changing art exhibitions, lectures, seminars, concerts, theatre performances and film screenings. While all these cool things are baking, let’s stay updated and see what else awaits us here.

Photo by zuzeum

Photo by zuzeum

Photo by zuzeum

KIM?

KIM? or “kas ir māksla?” (in English “what is art?”) in a contemporary art centre. Here you can enjoy exhibitions, lectures, discussions and many other art research related activities. If you want to know something more about contemporary art processes, this place is for you. Moreover KIM? is a home for talented Latvian and internationally known artist exhibitions.

Photo by kim_cac

Photo by kim_cac

Where to go to enjoy some good time?

ĀGENSKALNA MARKETPLACE

Opened since 1898, Āgenskalna market is one of the biggest and oldest marketplace in Riga. Besides it has a status of a national cultural monument. Now the historical building is under restoration process. Therefore the market takes place outside the territory, which brings together local farmers, homemade producers and craftsmen. Also lea traders arrive on Sundays.

In January 2018 market was closed, because of bad condition the building was. Now revitalisation has started, which is lead by Kalnciema square creative team. The market is opened whole week, except Mondays. On the weekends it gathers the biggest crowd.

Here you can taste loads of local goods and many delicacies. Our favourite here is German ice-cream and Lithuanian halva. All products which you buy here you can taste right away because here are available many tables on spot. Excellent plan for the weekend! Also on weekends there is always a Street Food bus. Lazy Sunday? Sign me up!

On warmer days you can enjoy a diverse cultural life – concerts, creative workshops, discussions, festivals, exhibitions, and many others. Also recently Āgenskalna market has a new tradition. On Sundays flea market is full of tables and boxes where local neighbours, seniors, and kids come to bargain. The market brings together people from the neighbourhood, develops long lasting ideas and makes it modern, inclusive urban environment, cooperate with cultural and educational institutions, city activists and businesses.

We are glad about the development of Āgenskalna marketplace. When historical building will be renovated we are sure that it will mark a new era of Āgenskalns social life.

Photo by atirgus

Photo by atirgus

TALLINAS IELAS KVARTĀLS

One of the youngest members to creative street family is Tallinn Street quarter. From 2018 till 2020 Free Riga organisation got 16 buildings in former sanitary transport bus area. The focus during the beginning phase of the creative quarter is on contemporary art, cultural planning and collaboration. Already now Tallinn Street quarter creative team organizes art exhibitions, lectures and even a flea market.

AUTENTIKA

With its alternative and hipster atmosphere Autentika got an informal creative quarter status. As a result, this place makes its own society. Here everyone will find something relatable for them. For example, on workdays here you can take tasty and healthy lunch but at weekend come and enjoy wild parties with techno and rave rhythms. That’s why stay updated and maybe you will catch some other cool event which will take place in Autentika.

Photo by b2.autentika

Photo by b2.autentika

Photo by b2.autentika

KAŅEPES KULTŪRAS CENTRS

Kaņepas Culture Center gave a second breath to an abandoned building on Skolas Street. Currently, KKC is home to diverse cultural events, promoting activities of young artists, musicians and writers. Bohemian and intelligent society is what makes life KKC so charming.

Recently, a new cinema called Augusts has been opened here. In here you can enjoy a non-commercial, independent and powerful movies. Small room where movies are demonstrated makes an intimate atmosphere. Feeling is like you would watch a movie with close friends.

Photo by kanepeskc

Photo by kanepeskc

SPLENDID PALACE

Splendid Palace is Latvia’s oldest cinema and it is still on. After the reconstruction, Splendid Palace has refreshed its previous look and now historical neo-Baroque facade and neo-Rococo interior is more impressive than ever. Splendid Palace program consists of high-quality author and art house films from Europe and other regions. Most of them have received prizes at world-known film festivals. Thats why this is a great place to go if you like more alternative and conceptual films.

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