Eat, Drink, Dance...!

  • Dining:


Trattoria Del Popolo

Tel. +371 67 35 05 59
09.00 - 24.00
One of the most visited new Italian restaurants in Riga. The popularity could be explained by the Italian trattoria ambience and the cuisine, which could be described as not so simple approach to basically simple Italian meals, but still keeping “for people” (del popolo) concept price and atmosphere wise. Carefully picked Italian wine selection and small wine cellar makes the place an expert in the fi eld. CR: Fellini orange/beef soup, monk fish fillet.

Address: Jana Street 8
www.delpopolo.lv


Fīlings [Feeling]

A bowtie wearing maitre d', a new red, white and black interior and live music - what more can you ask for? Really good food and service, actually, which is just what you get in this lively restaurant on Doma laukums. As well as a top breakfast and business lunch spot, it's also a good place to sample affordable Latvian favourites like blood sausage, lampreys and pork knuckle. And later, if you're 'fīling' frisky, the nightclub downstairs let's you swing till the dawn breaks.

Address: Smilsu Street 1/3
www.fiilings.lv


Alus Sēta [Lido Group]

Located just off the Dome square, this joint is pretty rowdy and bubbling over with Latvian youth. Self-service, heavy Latvian style food. A variety of local beer on tap.

Address: Tirgonu Street 6


Zilā Govs [The Blue Cow]

A blue cow is a mythical Latvian cow breed. The elegant taverna-style restaurant which is named after it, specializes in creative Latvian cuisine. 100% biological Latvian products and of course meat, aged 25-40 days in a special room—the restaurant’s pride. It is a nice option to try out local food in a sophisticated yet traditional manner.

CR: Quince-marinated pork tenderloin with hemp-butter breadcrumb crust served with pearl-barley risotto and sauteed spinach.

Address: Meistaru Street 21

www.zila-govs.lv


Rozengrāls

If the giant wine casks on Old Riga’s narrowest street don’t get your attention, the people in funny costumes certainly will. The city’s only authentic medieval restaurant is already a hit with locals and tourists alike and with good reason. The candlelit cellar, already mentioned in ancient writings as early as 1293, was once used for special events by the town hall. Today it serves only food available hundreds of years ago, hence the absence of potatoes and tomatoes. Giant portions of delicious cuisine including pork, wild game and local fish are available as well as unique drinks that once graced the tables of both nobles and peasants.

Address: Rozena Street 1
www.rozengrals.lv


  • Clubs:


Amber Night

Descend into the depths of the Reval Hotel Latvija, to find this sleek, stylish nightclub designed with an over 25 crowd in mind. Listen to Top 40 from the past three decades while you sip expertly poured cocktails served at two different bars. Hit the dance floor, relax on gold and black couches in the main hall or occupy one of the tables in the back that have built-in champagne buckets that change colour every few seconds.

Address: Elizabetes Street 55 (Reval Hotel Latvija)
www.ambernight.lv


Club Essential

This vibrant hotspot is not another typical boring Riga techno club. In fact, it’s quite stylish offering a funky chill out room and several distinct areas on two levels which are all a part of the action surrounding the central dance floor. The music is fast-paced and progressive which is what you’d expect given the talented DJs it imports from around Europe each weekend.

Address: Skolas Street 2
www.essential.lv


Godvil

Just look for the Godvil logo (a halo with horns) on the top of the clock tower of this converted factory. If it weren’t for the Russian pop music, one might think they’ve stumbled into a Vegas club for the well heeled. A long bar and dozens of tables surround a central stage and dance floor where live pop acts, usually from the former USSR, perform. Above you’ll find another floor with a VIP section, more private tables, smoking areas and a classy cigar parlour encased in glass. Popular with Russian-speakers and people who can afford to pay 5Ls for a whiskey and coke. Take tram N°6 from Barona to the VEF stop.

Address: Brivibas Street 214b
www.godvil.lv


Opium Dance

Its name conjures up images of hordes of entranced people swaying along to soothing music, but Opium Dance is actually a relatively small candlelit cocktail lounge on the edge of Old Riga. Its motto ‘style and music’ might be a bit ambitious, but the drinks are fairly cheap and the Opium Dance beer (a Czech lager of unknown appellation) is tasty, so it might just warrant a visit. VIPs can opt for Champagne and white table clothes in a private room.

Address: Valnu Street 18 (entrance from Aspazijas Street)

www.cafeopium.lv


PUSH>

Two Swedes and two locals have put their years of club experience together to open this huge venue only a block away from the Freedom Monument in the Vērmanes Park. Popular house music and international DJs entertain a crowd of Riga’s 25+ beautiful people while go-go girls dance above the bottles of the central bar. Nearly 22km of fiber optic cable in the chandelier and elsewhere set the mood with changing lights and drinks are ‘tax-free’ before midnight, meaning 21% cheaper. You can also hit the casino on the 2nd floor.

Address: Terbatas Street 2 (entrance from Merkela Street)

www.push.lv


  • Bars:


Pharmacy Bar [Krogs Aptieka]

After presiding over a staple of the Washington DC nightlife scene for several years, American-Latvian Kristaps Krēsliņš has decided to open yet another Pharmacy Bar, but this time in the Latvian capital. Medieval brick walls, medicinal tinctures and scales, tables embedded with capsules and pills and painted silhouettes of old-fashioned bottles on two floors are a clever combination of old and new and the perfect backdrop for a night of cocktails and beers. The bar also provides a summer terrace, a smoking courtyard and a jukebox that offers anything from Johnny Cash and Bob Marley to the Pixies and Rammstein.

Address: Maza Miesnieku Street 1


Rīgas Balzams

Frequented by day by diplomats and embassy staff who work in the Jacob’s Barracks, this bar/restaurant provides a warm, intimate setting a few steep steps from the old city wall. Named after the national drink of Latvia, Balzams offers far more than just potent elixirs. The atmosphere is convivial in the evenings, with well-heeled locals having a good time with cocktails made from the bitter black herbal liquor which is actually better than it sounds when mixed with something else. The black gold known as Guinness is also available.

Address: Torna Street 4 (Jēkaba Kazarmas)


Radio Bar

This cocktail bar and nightclub offers a cavernous interior with stylish furniture, old school radio dial decorations and private booths and niches. The cocktails are good, the music leans toward alternative, house and hip-hop and the 'ice taps' might just make the mass-produced Cēsu beer more palatable, but its location near Dome Square also ensures high prices that are often hard to swallow.

Address: Skunu Street 17 (entrance from Zirgu Street)
www.radiobar.lv


Skyline Bar

A visit to the Skyline Bar has become a mandatory stop on the well-travelled tourist routes of Riga and this fact is reflected in its largely foreign clientele. The views are spectacular and the retro interior of shag carpeting, comfortable couches and an abundance of pillows is warm and inviting. Getting one of the coveted seats by the windows is often a chore, but it’s worth the effort. The wait staff can be a little lethargic, but perhaps it’s due to the altitude. Tapas and sandwiches also available.

Address: Elizabetes Street 55 (Reval Hotel Latvija - 26th floor)


  • Live Music:


Četri Balti Krekli

Ultra-Latvians raised on folk songs and beer find their way to this restaurant/club when they want to hear nothing but familiar rock and quality live performances. Bring a well-versed native to point out famous writers and artists, who often find inspiration under the brick ceiling. White shirts aren't required, but no matter how much you smile at the bouncer, you won't get in wearing trainers.

Address: Vecpilsetas Street 12
www.krekli.lv


  • Pubs:


Bon Vivant

Solid wood furniture, a cosy atmosphere and assorted Benelux decorations aren't the only things that make this place an authentic Belgian beer bar. A whole page of the menu is dedicated to steamed mussels, sausages are ordered by the half metre and tasty brews from the Low Countries are served in their proper glasses. The delicious cuisine isn't cheap, but Europeans expect nothing less from Brussels.

Address: Marstalu Street 8
www.bon-vivant.lv


Victory Pub

As our faces registered the sight of dark red walls and matching curtains the friendly waitress confided in us that she also thought the interior was reminiscent of a tart’s boudoir, but she assured us that the food and drink were just fine. A menu of standard cuisine including 6Ls steaks and a cheap lunch special are available as well as a digital jukebox and a smoking room with a pool table and dartboard. A dozen or so different beers can be had here for around 2Ls, but at least one beer is usually on sale for under 1Ls which certainly attracted our attention.

Address: Tirgonu Street 10
www.victorypub.lv