Latvian cuisine is incredibly simple. All the meals everyone can easily cook at home. The main ingredients are potato, cottage cheese, berries, speck, and caraway (as a spice). Latvian cuisine can be very different, starting from the traditional dishes, dishes, that people cook at home and the high Latvian cuisine that is served in the restaurants. Some of the meals are very similar to Russian, Estonian and Lithuanian cuisines. So I decided not to describe each traditional meal and just give you the coordinates of the best places to try Latvian food.
And here is the list of Latvian Food, that you won’t find in any other must-try lists but it is preferred by locals.
10 must-try food in Latvian cuisine
1.Summer berry soup
This meal you won’t find in any list of Latvian traditional meals. However, this dessert will be in almost every summer menu of many restaurants. The recipe is super plain: it is a blended strawberry (or a mix of berries) with an ice-cream ball.
Why I have added it to the list of traditional Latvian food? Because one friend told me that this berry soup design copies the Latvian flag, so it’s like a Caprese salat for Italy.
2. Cold beet soup (Aukstā zupa)
This is my absolute favorite item of the summer season as it is super refreshing. The ingredients are beetroots, cucumbers, dill, boiled eggs, and kefir. The soup is very easy to cook at home.
3. Sweet rye bread
You won’t taste this kind of bread anywhere. And it is very tasty and unique. I love the combination of sweet and sour bread with salmon, butter, and salat.
4. Jāņi Cheese
In Latvia, there is one of the biggest varieties of cheeses with many many flavors. But the very traditional and historical is Jani cheese with caraway.
5. Rye Bread Pudding
It is also called “bread soup”. This is a dessert. You will find it on any dessert menu of traditional restaurants. The ingredients are sweet rye bread, apples, cinnamon, raisins, plums, cranberries, and whipped cream. The mixture is very soft. so you eat the pudding as a soup.
6. Biezpiena plātsmaize
This is a curd pie. Ingredients: Butter, eggs, flour, sugar, raisins, and curd. People cook it at home as a breakfast and also you can find a curd pie in any supermarket, bakery or kiosk as a sweet snack.
7. Black Balsam
The most popular alcoholic drink in the country. Riga Balsam is a herbal liqueur and has a medicinal flavor. People drink it as a separate liqueur and can add it to the tea. Also, this is one of the best souvenirs that you can bring back home.
You can buy Balsam in any supermarket but the most authentical and tourist place to try it is a Black Magic Bar at Kaļķu iela 10. Here they serve the liqueur in a very stylish way with chocolate, ice-cream, blackcurrant juice and so on.
8. Grenadine tea
This is a hot non-alcoholic drink that can be find in any cafe in Latvia. Basically this is a hot tea with a grenadine syrup (pomegranate).
9. Speck pastries
Speck is a type of smoked bacon made from pork belly. These pastries with speck are sold in any Latvian supermarket and are very popular among locals.
One more Latvian dessert and one more Latvian flag meal. Bubert is a true Latvian National food. It is a semolina pudding with berry jelly. You won’t find it in high-class restaurants. But for sure there will be a Bubert dessert in Lido.