Vilnius is the kind of place that will make a vegan scream out “YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS!! This is how you do vegan food! Take note, other cities, Valletta, I’m looking at you.” I’m not kidding, guys, Vilnius knows how to do vegan food and it knows how to do it well.
There’s something so right about Eastern Europe and veganism. Forget all those rumours about goose blood soup and pickled beetroot being the only vegetables – I blame the book ‘Everything is Illuminated’. Eastern Europe isn’t anything like that, especially not the Baltic States. They are up-to-date with food trends and always showing off with fresh, organic, vegan meals in hip, modern locations. Oh, and I didn’t even mention the best part yet. Lithuania is cheap. Where else could you buy home made vegan cakes for 23¢ or a five course fine dining experience for €30? Nowhere but Vilnius. Enough rambling and let me tell you about my favourite places in this fabulous city.
ALIVEIf you love exotic, expensive flavours, you’ll love Alive. It’s a modern, fine dining restaurant located just outside of old town. The entire menu is vegan, including their wide collection of alcoholic drinks, but they’re not what makes Alive so spectacular. The food is simply incredible and comes at an affordable price. The menu is definitely on the fancy side, so you won’t expect a simple veggie burger here. Think truffle risotto with apple or a hint of aniseed in the raspberry sorbet on the hot chocolate soufflé and you’re on the right page.Price: €€
Gedimino pr. 31, Vilnius 01104, Lithuania
PlanetaLocated in a former soviet movie theatre turned hipster hangout, Planeta is certainly one of the cooler places in Vilnius. You can watch a short Lithuanian film then chill out with a vegan hot chocolate or crepe and watch the city go by from the windows. Just want a quick vegan snack? That’s okay, too. Planeta do a range of sandwiches with fillings such as “tuna mayo” and “chicken”.Price: €€
A. Vienuolio g. 15, A. Goštauto g. 2, Vilnius 01104, Lithuania
GYVAS BarasFor a true Lithuanian dining experience, or just a cheap place to get a tasty and substantial meal, I’d completely recommend GYVAS Baras. They are proudly vegan with ‘once you meet them you can’t eat them’ pictures all over the walls. The food is something to rave about too, because it’s packed with flavour and has plenty of options on the menu for a range of customers. Want something as simple as a veggie burger? Easily done. What about a vegan kiev dripping in garlic butter? Yes, please!Price: €
Trakų g. 11, Vilnius 01132, Lithuania
HoligansFor a cheaper but still substantial vegetarian meal, head to Holigans, located near the train station. They serve soup of the day, burgers, chips and a wide range of cakes – many of them vegan. It’s a good place to get a hearty meal if you’re passing through Vilnius for a short amount of time on a limited budget.
V. Šopeno g. 10, Vilnius 03210, Lithuania
Holy DonutIf you fancy eating a doughnut as big as your face, Holy Donut is the place for that. Though not technically a vegan eatery, there are a few vegan options amongst their extensive collection. The vegan options may look less exciting than the non-vegan alternatives (see picture below), but don’t think they’re any less flavourful. The vegan ones are so delicious, light and fluffy, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. I enjoyed these doughnuts so much, I bought a second one to eat for breakfast the next day.Price: €€€
Vokiečių g. 9, Vilnius 01130, Lithuania
NamaiMeaning ‘home’ in Lithuanian, Namai is a homely place with plenty of options on the menu for both vegans and vegetarians. With a modern interior, hidden inside a cobbled street in old town, Hamai is one of the most typical Vilnius establishments. Think old, Soviet exterior with a Nordic, Scandinavian feel inside. The food they serve is hearty and healthy with Asian influences and it’s certainly delicious.Price: €€