One thing that continually impresses me about Riga is its exceptional café scene. First-time visitors to the city might be surprised to find craft coffee, delectable pastries, and free WIFI at nearly every turn. But with so many outstanding options, how can you choose? After sipping and eating my way across the city, these are what I consider to be the best cafes in Riga.
- A.L.L. Cappuccino
- Art Café Sienna
- Cafeterius Riga
- Conta Coffee
- Crumble Cake
- Mr. Fox
- Rocket Bean
- Vilhelms Ķuze
A.L.L. Cappuccino was the first coffee bar I visited in Riga and, nearly a decade later, it’s still going strong. The towering foam peaks of yesteryear have been replaced with modern latte art, but the coffee is still as delicious as ever.
Art Café Sienna
Art Café Sienna exudes old world charm, with its elegant antique furnishings and courteous waitstaff. The windowsills are stacked high with vintage art books and white gloves are available should you wish to flip through one. Prices here are a little high, but it’s a lovely way to treat yourself after admiring the beautiful Art Nouveaux buildings in the neighborhood.
Central Riga has become packed with dining options in the last few years. One of my favorites is Cafeterius Riga with its cozy window nooks. I followed the advice of the friendly gal behind the counter and tried the homemade Riga Black Balsam currant cake. I encourage everyone to do the same – it’s fabulous! Quiches, salads, and sandwiches are also available.
Conta is the new kid on the block, and a worthy addition to Riga’s coffee scene. The beans come from The Barn, one of the best roasters in Berlin, and the drinks are brewed with the highest standards. Its convenient Old Town location make it the perfect spot for a midmorning sightseeing break.
My current favorite Old Town café is Crumble Cake. The charming interior and friendly staff always make me smile. You will want to linger here over a piece of delicious homemade cake, assuming you can find a seat at this popular spot. I recommend the dark chocolate and cherry filling!
A made-up Latvian word that means “cake place,” Kūkotava is a Riga institution. The café interior has been given an elegant French-inspired makeover, matching the beauty of its wonderful cakes, pies, and pastries. Kūkotava has recently expanded into the space next door, offering salads and sandwiches, though I’ve not tried these yet.
When I asked for Riga café recommendations before my most recent trip back to the city, nearly everyone who responded told me to head straight to Mīkla. And it’s easy to see why. The pastries here are next level! The coffee is also excellent. Mīkla currently has two locations in Riga, and the one of Dzirnavu iela is so popular it might be hard to find a seat.
The menu at Mr. Fox proves that food can be both healthy and delicious. Salads and Buddha bowls feature whole grains, organic produce, and I like that you can customize most dishes to suit your tastes. Vegan and gluten-free options are plentiful, though you can also add chicken, fish, and eggs.
Parunāsim is the self-proclaimed “most romantic café in Riga” thanks to its hidden location and cozy interior. (Look for it down an alleyway, in between the medieval St. Jacob’s Church and knitting shop Hobbywool.) Parunāsim’s luscious pies and cakes pair equally well with cappuccino and Prosecco.
Not really convenient to the tourist side of town, Pietura is popular with locals and well-worth seeking out. I was first taken there by a Latvian food blogger and we were both impressed by the fresh food and large portion sizes.
Since its grand opening in 2015, Rocket Bean has skyrocketed (see what I did there?) to top café status thanks to its fantastic coffee and bright convivial atmosphere. The coffee beans are sourced from around the world and roasted on site. According to Rocket Bean’s owner, “coffee is like bread: it’s better when it’s fresh out of the oven.” Couldn’t agree more! You can also order excellent food to enjoy with your latte.
If you are looking for Italian-style coffee in Riga, head to Strada. Beans are roasted onsite and the knowledgeable baristas can make recommendations based on your tastes and mood. Even better are Strada’s desserts – the strawberry cake was so good I considered having another slice!
In 1910, Vilhelms Ķuze opened a confection shop in Riga and soon became one of the city’s largest chocolate producers. While Vilhelms was killed in a Soviet labor camp in 1941, his name – and his chocolate – lives on at the charming Vilhelms Ķuze café. Here you can sample chocolate truffles, marzipan figures, assorted cakes, and pastries in vintage 1930s style. V. Ķuze also has the best hot chocolate in Riga!
Planning to visit the Latvian Gallery of Art? Then nearby Zvaigzne Cafe is an excellent stop for lunch or a coffee break. There is usually a salad, soup, and meat dish on the daily menu, along with a tempting assortment of cakes.
Which do you think are the best cafes in Riga?
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