What You Have to Eat While Visiting Lithuania

What to eat in Lithuania

Every time I travel or move to a new destination, I am always curious about what to eat. I want to know the local specialty foods, wines, and liquor. Tasting the local food is just as important as seeing the sights, in my opinion. We lived in Lithuania for two years, and tried all the food. Here is a list of what to eat when visiting the beautiful, Baltic destination of Lithuania.

What to eat in Lithuania

 

Those of you who follow us regularly know that my husband is Lithuanian so I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in the small but gorgeous country and taste the local foods from border to border. So join me in a culinary adventure around Lithuania!


What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Potato dumplings – cepelinai: I actually have to have one (or three) every summer when we go home for a visit. Cepeliani are boiled potato dumplings stuffed with seasoned minced meat. They are topped with sour cream and bacon sauce. Yes, bacon!

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

My fave way to eat them is when they are one-day old, split in half, and pan-fried, because I love adding some more fatty goodness to this already amazing meal! Lay in it, roll on it, we love it!

What to eat in Lithuania

 

Potato pancakes – bulviniai blynaiOhhh, potatoes and more potatoes! Lithuania loves potatoes and, well, so do I! It is my carb-addicted body’s dream country! They have many kinds of potato pancakes, but my faves are pancakes stuffed with minced meat with a sour cream-bacon sauce over the top! Yes, more bacon! You will just die!

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Fried bread with garlic and cheese – kepta duona: This is the best thing since sliced bread! It’s on most Lithuanian menus in the appetizer or beer/snacks section. It’s fried bread covered in garlic and cheese sauce. You eat it with a toothpick, or, in my case, with both hands so I can get more of it before my kids do. This is a must when traveling to Lithuania.

What to Eat in Lithuania

Pickled herring – silkė: This is another thing that I have to eat every time we go home. We have tried it all over the world, but it never tastes like it does in Lithuania. This is herring fish that is caught right off the shore of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea. It is pickled with spices and onions and served cold with boiled potatoes, fresh onions, and sour cream. It is salty and sour, and the cream compliments it and brings it all together in a melody of flavors in your mouth. If you see it on the menu, give it a try. Okay, okay, I know it’s not potatoes or bacon, but it’s really good.

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Cheese salad – pikantiškos salotos: One of the first times I was ever in Lithuania, my sister-in-law said I should try this salad. Salad?! “Who wants to eat a salad?!” I thought. Do I look like I eat salad?! “Hmmm…” I thought, “Could this be any good?” But, I trusted her and thank goodness I did! There is no salad at all! It’s cheese, local cheese, and mayonnaise and garlic… some people put veggies, cucumbers, or peas, and even some eggs in it – just try some. Afterward, you can come back and thank me.

What to Eat in Lithuania

Grilled meat kabobs – Šašlykai – pronounced shas-leek-ay: These are the bomb! These are pork or beef, your choice, marinated overnight in a mayo and spicy sauce then grilled over an open flame and are the best piece of meat to ever hit your mouth. If you are so lucky to get invited to a family BBQ, these will definitely be on the menu. My brother-in-law loves to make these for us, and we eat them every time we arrive in Lithuania! Many restaurants also carry them, and now that you have stuffed yourself full of carbs, try these one night as a delicious potato detox.

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Beet soup – šaltibarščiai – pronounced shal-tea-bur-shay: First, you can’t miss it because it is NEON PINK. My kids call it “bubblegum soup” because it is the color of pink bubble gum. This is a staple of all Lithuanian kitchens and although it looks weird, it’s good. It is made with pickled beets, eggs, cucumbers, buttermilk, and dill. It is served cold and you find it very often, all over, during the summer months. It is served with a dollop of sour cream and warm, boiled potatoes. If in Lithuania, do as the Lithuanians!

 

What to eat in Lithuania

Dumplings – koldūnai: Pronounced kal-dune-ay, these are similar to perogies from Poland but better!

What to Eat in Lithuania

They can come with meat, and sour cream and bacon sauce, too! My favorite is with fresh fruit inside. You know it’s good if I prefer fruit over bacon.

What to Eat in Lithuania

My mother-in-law made the best koldūnai stuffed with blueberries, and then we eat the yogurt or fresh creme on top. Can you say holy shit balls?! It’s like a religious experience; they are that good.

When you are done eating these, your mouth is purple, so don’t plan on looking for a date until you brush your purple teeth.

What to Eat in Lithuania

Black bread – ruginė duona: As much as I love Lithuanian food, this is one thing that I’m not fond of – maybe it’s too healthy for me. The dark black bread is just too thick and dense for my taste; however, it’s a staple of Lithuanian food and you won’t find it quite like this anywhere in the world. My husband eats it like it’s his last meal and would sleep with it under his pillow at night if he could.

If you’re a dark bread fan, you will love this! Don’t tell my husband that I don’t like the bread; he will be heartbroken. Try some! You might like it.

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Stuffed pastry pockets – kibinia: These are hot pockets before hot pockets were cool. They are the original fast food and are delicious! Flaky pastry outside with seasoned minced meat inside and baked in the oven. Ohh la la!  You can dip them in a nice, hearty broth, and they come with many different things inside. My kids’ favorite is chocolate, but whatever your poison may be, try them when in Lithuania.

Smoked pig fat – lašiniai: If you have ever visited a Lithuanian family, I know that they have tried to get you to eat some pig fat on black bread. No, really – I know it’s a fact, and if you are not from there you got grossed out! The first time I saw it I was like “Ummm… it’s just fat?” Think of bacon with no meat; just fat. After I thought about it, the fat is the best part of the bacon, so this could not be all bad, right?! The Lithuanians smoke the fat, season it, then slice it very thin and eat it. I ate it and now have an ongoing relationship with this glistening block of fat! Listen, until you’ve had it, you can’t really judge me for eating fat! I have some in my kitchen right now. Swear!

What to Eat in Lithuania

 

Branch cake – Šakotis: This is the craziest-looking thing you have ever seen! It’s shaped like a tree with branches. It’s normally eaten on special occasions like weddings or holidays. Me? I will eat it anytime I see it. It’s half-cake, half-cookie – and like many deserts in Europe it is not overly sweet. Our agent actually brought us some to Germany this year, and it was dipped in chocolate. Oh my goodness – I licked the plastic it came in, and the plate, when it was gone. You won’t find this at any restaurant. You will have to find a local pastry shop, or they are often at the grocery stores. Either way, it is worth tracking down and stuffing in your face before you have to get back on the plane.

 

Where to Stay in Vilnius:

What to Eat in Lithuania

Our Favorite place to stay when in town is Vilnius Center Apartment – Embassy. We stayed in there one bedroom apartment that slept 4, plus a baby cot. The apartment was fully stocked and had a nice kitchenette perfect for our family.The apartments are locally owned by a super nice Lithuanian family who are very helpful and easy to work with! We booked it though Booking.com.



Booking.com

What to Eat in Lithuania

What to do In Lithuania! 

Need some ideas on what to do while in Lithuania, check out all of our articles on Lithuania. Check out Viator.com for the best tours and ideas. MY recommendations for foodies is The Lithuanian Food Tour.

What to Eat in Lithuania

Lithuania has great Beer and they also make some pretty good wine! SO I would check out the Beer Tour, and Wine and Cheese Tasting of Local Wine and Cheeses.

What to Eat in Lithuania

Also check out the Vilnius Walking Tour to get the best of Vilnius!

I hope you get a chance to visit Lithuania and taste it’s amazing food, for cool spots to hang out even the Huffington Post has Lithuanian on it’s radar.

– Stacey

 

Please be advised that Baskets Life Travel is an affiliate partner of travel sites to bring you the best prices, locations, hotels, car rental and flight options.  If you click on a link we could receive payment, goods, or compensation.  We only promote travel we have personally used our selves, and we know you will love too. All opinions are our own. 

 

 

 

35 Comments

  • Reply February 17, 2017

    Ria (@lifeinbigtent)

    Will save it for my friend who will come to Vilnius next month :) The funniest thing, how you wrote pronouncation of "šaltibarščiai", especially for Lithuanian native speaker :D
    • Reply February 17, 2017

      BasketsLife

      Thank you for reading - well it is the best way to get an English speaker to pronounce is close enough to others to understand it LOL
  • Reply February 17, 2017

    Blissful Shades

    My mouth is watering as I scroll through this blog post! Lithuania looks amazing!
  • Reply February 16, 2017

    miriam

    I am angry now after this hihihi I have a colleague from there and I have the chance to tried this week the dumpling potatoes, also some strong shots :P they are super tasty!
  • I've never had this kind of food but I would love to visit the country of Lithuania. Those potato dishes look divine!! Yum!! I would have to be a vegetarian in counties like this. ;)
  • Reply February 14, 2017

    Joan Torres

    These cuisine looks delicious! I will be honest with you but during my visit in Lithuania I didn't eat any of these dishes! It was many years ago. I went there with to visit a friend, a local one. But he only took me out for eating pizza and of course, to sooo many bars. If I ever visit him again, I will definitely show him your article and tell him that I want to eat all this! The potato pacnkackes look amazing by the way :)
    • Reply February 17, 2017

      BasketsLife

      Oh He is bad LOL ! Did he eat ketchup on his Pizza - many of our friends from Lithuania eat Ketchup on their pizza now my kids do it LOL
  • Reply February 14, 2017

    alwaysagringa

    I love trying new foods when traveling and Lithuania looks like it has a lot of interesting dishes that I have never heard of!
  • Reply February 14, 2017

    Tara

    Okay, so I think I would weigh a million pounds if I lived in Lithuania! It all sounds divine, though, especially since it is way past my supper time. I am also a huge potato fan, so I'm sure Lithuania and I would get along just fine!
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Gallivant Girl

    I actually had a great time in Lithuania as a vegetarian, and was pleasantly surprised by the food on offer. Obviously I missed out on all the meat and fish dishes you mention, but I loved the potato dumplings!
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    kidsandcompass

    Love the sound of all those potatoes and cheese! I might be able to tempt my daughter to try the beet soup as she loves anything pink! The pastry pockets look just like Cornish pasties.
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Leah Walker (@L_e_a_h)

    Alright, all of this looks great (potato pancakes, especially), but you can keep the pickled herring and beet soup. I'd try it, but I don't think I'd like it. :-)
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Lara Dunning

    I've not heard of black bread. What gives it the dark color? I like dark brown bread, like molasses bread, but I'm not a fan of rye bread. Some of these look super tasty, and others I'd have to push myself, but I would try! You never know what you are going to end up liking!
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Vicki Garside

    I'm with you on the love for potatoes! Potato Dumplings and Pancakes sound awesome, and a cheese salad? Cheese is my favorite food group and if I could have a salad made out of it I would more than likely be the size of a house if I lived in Lithuania - but I would be incredibly happy!
  • Reply February 13, 2017

    chikinensis

    Wow! Those surely are interesting eats in Lithuania! Full of carbs, but hey, who cares! Food is life! Would love to do a gastronomy tour of Lithuania one day! :)
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Brianna

    I think that I was meant to be Lithuanian! All of thos food sounds so good. Potatoes, bread, cheese. Yes yes yes!
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Elisa

    I am from Europe but these food proposals look very exotic to me! I am not very adventurous when it comes to food but I would definitely try the kebab, the kibinia (kind of samosas?) and the potato pancakes
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    The Roaming Renegades.com

    We visited Lithuania last year, absolutely loved it, we tried the fried bread and black bread as well as the beat soup! Different but really tasty!
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    zeefash

    omg! the cheese salad!! that just sounds so bad that it has to be good! the smoked pig fat?! loads of the food here sound like heart attack inducing meals, but for the sake of 'research' I feel like I should def try each of them out...just for the sake of 'research' ;)
    • Reply February 17, 2017

      BasketsLife

      Right Cheese Salad so much better than Lettuce LOL
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Elena Nemets

    Making a note for myself - do not visit Lithuania while dieting :)))))))))))))))))))))) This all looks tasty!
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Jenna Kvidt

    Yum! Lots of these sound great! I would especially love to try the potato pancakes, the fried bread with garlic and cheese, the kebabs and the potato dumplings. The cheese salad sounds quite interesting, too!
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Jenn and Ed Coleman

    Potato pancakes filled with mince meat and bacon gravy - super yum. I wonder if Ed would like that for valentines day. It sounds a lot better than black bread with pork fat, I think that is for day after St Patricks Day breakfast.
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Indrani

    Lithuania does have a good spread on its food platter. The potato variations are amazing. I would prefer the meat kebabs of lamb though. And the beet soup looks utterly nutritious, I am going to try making it with the ingredients you mentioned.
  • Reply February 12, 2017

    Rhonda Albom

    Wow, this all looks amazing. I love the concept of the cheese "salad", although I think it would be too much cheese for me. The branch cake looks intriguing.
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Yury Santos

    As I began to read the article i thought it would be easy to pick and choose 1 or 2 things I'd like to try someday but then I realized it ALL looks sooooo good! You've made my mouth water, thanks! lol
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Leratoxx

    All that food really looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Revati Victor

    We almost contemplated Lithuania while booking our spring trip to Europe. The dumplings look so different from the ones we ate in Prague.
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    dyeyzel

    this is what i always wanted to do, try out local foods. Anyway the foods posted look tasty. Hope I'd get a chance to try those foods
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Joanna

    In Romania we also have the pig's fat and we call it slanina. It's so good eaten with raw onions and bread. I would love to go to Lithuania and try the food, I can see a lot of tempting dishes in your list. I think the first on my list would be the potato pancakes, especially when topped with bacon and sour cream.
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    travellingslacker

    Great to find a new cuisine... potato dumbplings look great, probably because I love potatoes anyway. The bett soup is too pink, almost looks like some icecream... lol
  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Nikki The Traveling Ginger

    OOh it all sounds and looks delicious? Which one is your ultimate favorite? What is the national dish of Lithuania? I do a blog series on cooking food from every country around the world - what should it be for Lithuania?
  • Oh yum! Those food are so yummy looking that I want to actually taste each one. I am particularly intrigued about the cheese salad. I mean, how cheesy can it get, right? :) The stuffed pocket is quite similar to our empanada where we put sweetened minced meat of beef or chicken with some raisins, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Reply February 10, 2017

    mackinawroad

    Yum- I love beer soup! And am also a huge fan of potatoes :)
  • Reply February 10, 2017

    youngandundecided

    I find myself being more and more adventurous with food while I'm travelling! Some of this still looks a bit scary to me, but some of it looks amazing! Will definitely remember these if I ever make it to lithuania

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