Riga has so many excellent dining options that it can be hard to choose between them. My original list of the city’s top restaurants – which you can find here – skews towards high-end establishments. But good food doesn’t always have to be expensive! This guide will help you find some of the best cheap eats in Riga, as well as some mid-range spots that didn’t quite make it into the top tier.
- Big Bad Bagels
- Indian Raja
- La Kanna
- Zivju Lete
Big Bad Bagels
Having previously lived in Manhattan, I was skeptical when a bagel café opened in Riga. But Big Bad Bagels nails it! The bagels are dense and chewy while the toppings live up to the Latvian standard of freshness. My favorite sandwich is “Bacon in Mexico,” which comes loaded with cream cheese, guacamole, bacon, and a fried egg. YUM!
With its rustic atmosphere and mismatched antiques, Fazenda feels as welcoming as Grandma’s house. The budget-friendly menu of soups, salads, and pastas makes this one of my favorite spots for lunch in Riga. And I always end the meal with a slice of marzipan ice cream cake. It’s the best dessert in town!
Think you can’t get good kebab or falafel in Riga? Think again! This popular eatery next door to the Swedish Embassy turns out tasty Turkish fare, from lavash wraps to heaping platters of falafel and iskender kebab. Thanks to its convenient location, Foodbox is packed come lunchtime. An outdoor terrace is open during warmer months, and delivery is also an option.
Spicy food can be hard to come by in Riga, which is surprising since it can be a great way to warm up on a chilly Baltic night. Thankfully, Indian Raja turns up the heat with some truly fiery curries. Some of the dishes are so hot that the Latvian waitresses will actually warn you against ordering them! Don’t listen.
The definition of cozy, Istaba is like having dinner at a good friend’s house. There is no menu here. Instead, you’ll choose from the meat and fish options of the day (given as beef, duck, salmon, etc.) and the chef does the rest. Your meal begins with fresh bread and assorted dips and spreads, then a salad of greens and cheese. The proteins will come with a generous helping of family-style vegetable side dishes. If you have any room left, the marzipan cake is a refreshing way to end!
It might look fancy, but La Kanna has one of the most affordable business lunches in Riga. As of 2023, a soup or salad plus the main dish of the day costs less than €10. On weekends, La Kanna offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast/brunch for €20.
If you want to experience authentic Latvian home cooking, your best bet is to head to one of the many LIDO restaurants located around Riga. Don’t be put off by the cafeteria-style atmosphere – the food here is delicious, and the affordable prices mean you can sample many different items without breaking the bank. Simply grab a tray and fill it with as much as you can carry. You can’t get more budget friendly than LIDO.
Indulge your weekend brunch fantasies at Mākonis with its all-you-can eat waffles and tasty cocktails. During the week, you’ll find a decent selection of burgers, salads, and pastas.
Singh’s was opened in 2015 by Indian businessmen living in Riga. Apparently unsatisfied with the Indian food on offer, they hired chefs from their native Panjab region and set up a restaurant of their own. The result is delicious and authentic dishes served in a chic setting. Should the spices set your mouth aflame, you can douse the fire with one of Singh’s refreshing cocktails.
In 2012, a world-traveling coupled opened a bistro to share some of the recipes they collected along the way. These include a rotating cast of soups, stews, and curries ranging from mild to make-you-cry spicy. The menu changes daily, and vegetarian and vegan options are usually available. You can order full or super affordable half portions; both are served with rice or naan bread and a heaping pile of cilantro.
Seafood reigns supreme at Zivju Lete, or Fish Counter. The owners were inspired by Latvia’s fishing heritage, which you can see in both the décor and menu. Local specialties such as fried sprats and pickled herring are served alongside more international fare like risotto with prawns. I recommend the fish & chips with a crisp Latvian apple cider.
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