As a testament to the ease of finding vegan food in Vilnius, let me start by saying; I was full basically the whole time I was there. Pleasantly so for the most part, but uncomfortably so a couple of times too, because I have limited self control where food is concerned.
For Lithuania may not have struck me as a hub of vegan food opportunity, but the capital certainly delivered for all things meat and dairy free. Finding places to eat was easy, and because it’s pretty small, you don’t have to commence an expedition just to get across to somewhere with vegan options, which can happen in larger cities. Obviously it’s nearly always worth it, but still – keeping the outdoor time to small doses is more pleasant when it’s as cold as it was in Vilnius when I was there.
As always, these are just the places I found and enjoyed; obviously I don’t live in Vilnius and am not an authority on the city’s restaurants, but as I find vegan food recommendations for lots of cities few and far between even if the availability of vegan food is the opposite, I like to note down where I’ve eaten in a post.
It’s not a particularly extensive list, but we were only actually there for one full day, so I’d say that we did an excellent job of having three dinners over the course of a two night stay. Kudos to me, please. There are six places in particular that I would recommend, and for lack of any more logical way to do it I’ve broken them into brunch/lunch and dinner.
The name suggests somewhere focusing purely on sweet treats – and it does have an excellent and very visually appealing range of those – but their breakfast and lunch offering is great too. Not everything is vegan but there is a decent amount of choice (porridges, bagels, breakfasts) and the middle shelf when we were there was home to several great vegan donut options. We actually went here both mornings we awoke in Vilnius, because it wasn’t too far from our apartment and because having had a pastry from them one morning, I was keen to try the avocado toast the next. Sadly there wasn’t a third morning with which to sample the vegan American pancakes…
We only popped here for a cup of something warming (it was a festive but uncomfortable minus three outside) but ended up snacking on cookies too, since they were perched on the counter in a jar. Whilst warming up I had a good peruse of the menu on the wall and lamented not having time to try the tofu and beets or jackfruit and caramelised onion sandwich – or, indeed, one of their selection of vegan cheesecakes, cakes and other desserts, all of which looked wonderful.
This is the most wonderful lunch spot; I find lots of cities tend to have a really good falafel place and this is surely Vilnius’, close to the centre and with beautiful decor. My falafel and roasted aubergine pitta was stuffed with meaty (not literally, obviously) aubergine, flavourful salad and houmous, and warm, gently spiced falafel. The portions are enormous, so prepare to get a little bit messy or grab some cutlery.
THESE PIZZAS, guys. You must go here, vegan or not – the vegan toppings I had were incredible but the menu includes meat and dairy so it would be a good choice for a group with mixed eating choices. This was our final meal in the city and a great note to end on; a houmous plate to share and then two enormous pizzas (one each, just to be clear). Mine had vegan sausage, gherkins and vegan cheese; I probably should have spent longer taking a decent photo but I was eager to get stuck in. It was dreamlike.
This is one of those places that seems to have been partially designed for Instagram purposes, but luckily for them the food is good enough to warrant mentioning it for more than just the decor (which is, admittedly, very nice). I went for the pulled jackfruit here and the menu is filled with the likes of burgers, salads, fish and chips, and desserts. May I also advise you to ensure you eat the side salad garnish on the dishes that are not a salad; I don’t know what the dressing was, but it was excellent.
Gyvas Baras was one of the first places we had made a note of to eat at, and as the afternoon was wearing on by the time we arrived in the city, we paid them a visit on our first night a few hours later. It’s got the feel of a dark, quirky pub and is entirely veggie in a very forthright way (by which I mean, there’s a drawing of a cow saying the words ‘don’t eat my tits’ on the menu. Quite.). Vegan and veggie burgers, tofu nuggets, chips, onion rings, and various other delicious beige foods can be found on the menu and the local beer is cheap. I can’t decide whether the service was very strange or very friendly or a bit of both, but I enjoyed myself and would recommend.
My travel diary for Vilnius is here, should you be more interested in what we did and where we stayed while there. Until next time x