Don’t wait for next Saturday to relax, socialise and get out of your work mode. If you’re not feeling like getting ready for a dressy dinner date, how about a snug supper with a glass of red instead? Winter tends to elevate our cravings for hearty food, cuddly jumpers, and the company of our loved ones.
Here are the top 3 restaurants to go for dinner in Vilnius that are perfect for a casual yet cosy evening on a Monday, Friday or any other time in between. Bon appétit!
On Pylimo street, there’s a tucked away gastronomic gem Gaspar’s. When you enter the restaurant, the first thing you’ll notice is the light, minimalistic and aesthetically pleasing interior. Even though I’d say this place is the ‘fanciest’ on the list, you won’t feel obliged to correspond to the dress code because it’s non-existent as the ambience is very casual and light-hearted.
Their menu is a fusion of modern Indian and European cuisines which is a rare combo to find in Vilnius. The menu focuses on dishes like chicken tikka, curry, and mixed bean masala. Pretty much every recipe has a surprising chef’s twist to it. Like that wouldn’t be enough, matching the food perfectly, the restaurant’s wine list consists of well-selected bottles.
Located only a couple of minutes away from the Town Hall, the restaurant Kitchen draws customers in to taste its multinational cuisine in a space that has a traditional Nordic touch to it—especially the interior and the furniture. Look up, and you’ll see a beautifully decorated black ceiling which gives the room a little extra oomph. My favourite spot to dine there is on the petite balcony, but for obvious reasons that wouldn’t be the smartest decision in the middle of February.
“How much?” is an often asked question, but in the Kitchen, the reaction is positive as the prices are reasonable. I tend to always order the fried goat’s cheese salad or the risotto with forest mushrooms—both dishes have easily won me over. The place also has a decent selection of wines, but for connoisseurs, the list might be too predictable. To avoid waiting in the queue, pre-book a table in advance as it gets busy even on a weekday.
Keep on walking along the historically famous street of Stikliai and stop at the house number 18, hence the name of the restaurant. Bistro 18 is a popular place for a romantic meal or on the contrary, a casual business dinner. Due to its cellar-type interior, it’s not difficult to recognise that you’re in the midst of the old town of Vilnius.
Start your meal with french onion soup, then move on to duck breast which is served perfectly ‘rose’ as it simply dissolves on the tongue together with the complimentary sweet, sweet garnish (I say it twice because it’s that good). I haven’t tried half of the dishes on the menu, but I have heard various opinions about them. So what’s the verdict? You have to go and taste it for yourself.
Photo credit: Gaspar’s, Kitchen and Inna Felker