Cake with sweet cream inside

The country offers plenty of varieties of bread, milk products, ice cream, sweets loose sweets, made by Laima etc. In the open air markets of Riga, Liepaja and other cities and towns, the local fruits, vegetables and mushrooms are a great option, such as freshly picked wild strawberries or blueberries from the forests, or some big strawberries, apples, rhubarb pie and a crunch made of fresh stalks straight from the garden. This is, of course, available mainly in summer and autumn season.

Latvian cuisine comes from its peasant culture, and is based on crops that grow in Latvia's maritime, temperate climate. Rye, wheat, oat, peas, beets, and potatoes are the staples; smoked bacon, sausage, and other pork products are favourites, smoked and raw fish is common. Many types of food are flavoured with caraway seeds, especially cheese and bread. A cheese similar to smoked gouda, but softer, is the cheapest and, arguably, tastiest variety. Latvian rye bread is heavy and flavourful, and goes well with hearty Latvian meals like pea soup, potatoes, and schnitzels. Restaurants in larger cities often offer stews in clay pots.

Latvian cuisine is typical of northern countries, especially close to Finland; it's high on butter, fat, and grains, low on spice except for caraway and black pepper. If you are from the Mediterranean, you might find it bland, but if you come from England or the Midwestern US, you're not likely to have trouble getting used to it.

A more exotic Latvian dish is a sweet soup made from rye bread maizes zupa.

Black bread is extremely important part of Latvian food. There are many types of black breads and they are believed to be much healthier and better than white bread.

Latvia is much richer in milk products than an average Western country. Try Biezpiena sieriņš - a curd snack with sweet taste. Many types are available, the most popular being Karums and Baltais. Try the dessert Maizes zupa bread soup, made of black bread and fruits. Taste the Biešu zupa red beetroot soup.

Any Latvian would tell you that chocolate of Laima, the local sweets factory, is much better than Belgian chocolate. Laima offers not just chocolate, but also konfektes - candies of different types, sold by grams and kilos and the price is about €8 per kilo. The best candies are Rudzupuķe, Lācītis Ķepainītis, Serenāde, Vētras putns, Rīts, Soho, Sarkanā magone, Vāverīte etc. An assortment in a nice box can also be a nice gift to friends who stayed home. Try Zefirs - a soft marshmallow-type sweet. Gotiņa cow in the diminutive is a famous milk candy. The Emihls Gustavs chocolate factory in Riga is more exclusive and they make little sculptures of different shapes of chocolate, but it is a bit pricy.

It is important to know that in Latvia the whole concept and meaning of words Cafeteria Kafejnica, Canteen Ednica and Restaurant Restorans are different than in other countries. A Cafeteria or Kafejnica is not just a coffee shop. Usually you can have all meals that you would probably expect in a restaurant. The difference is that in Kafejnica you sometimes bring your food to your table yourself. However, some Kafejnicas have waiters, but these are then something in between of Kafejnica and Restorans. Restorans is usually a more or less top class place. Ednica is a canteen of schools, universities, factories etc. They are very cheap, but sometimes have limited access.

Some specific food in this area:


Specific dairy product vegetarian


Thickened stewed fruit usually cherry or rhubarb served for dessert vegetarian


Buckwheat, eaten as main course

Skabeti kaposti



Bacon and onion wrapped in a thin-ish yeast dough. a real classic of latvian cuisine.

Other mentionable food and dishes:

Smoked cheese

Goes very well with wine

Biezpiena sierins

( - curd actually, but with sweet taste

Frikadelu zupa

Meatball soup

Biesu zupa

Red colored beetroot soup vegetarian and non-vegetarian


Salad with sour cream salad olivier, usually non-vegetarian


Meatballs served with potatoes

Gailenu merce

Chanterelles sauce in sour cream, usually served with potatoes vegetarian

Siļķe ar biezpienu

Herring served with cottage cheese


old name- once braised chuck, ground with celery, onions and wrapped in a crepe and resauteed.