If you love good Italian food, you will be pleased to know Italy is not the only place in Europe you need to visit to get your fix. While Italian dishes are loved worldwide, there are still some places where good Italian food doesn’t exist. Luckily, Lithuania is not one of those places.
I was recently given the opportunity to spend six weeks in Vilnius, the capital city and hub of Lithuania. I was nervous at first when I started to think about what I was going to eat while I was away, being that I am not only a strict vegetarian, but I am also one of the worlds pickiest eaters. I do, however, love good Italian food. So, I was happily surprised when I arrived in Vilnius and saw first hand the amount of delicious Italian restaurants that call this beautiful city home.
Should you find yourself in this Baltic state and craving a delicious Italian dish, check out these three restaurants as I guarantee they will never disappoint…
This small authentic Italian restaurant sits tucked away on a quiet back road in Vilnius’ Old Town district. While its menu aims to bring out the flavors and scents of the ancient restaurants in Florence, the restaurant’s decor brings out the colors and the magic of the Chianti Hills. The ambience of the restaurant was warm and inviting and the menu had a wonderful selection of delicious, inexpensive options. We started our meal with each of us ordering a glass of wine and two appetizers. We chose the marinated olives and an order of the toasted bruschetta. Our waitress was kind, attentive and knowledgeable on the menu. We never waited long for anything we ordered. When it came time to choose a meal, I opted for the Bucatini with pan-fried garlic, extra virgin olive oil and chili pepper which I thoroughly enjoyed. My co-worker opted to try something a bit more adventurous and ordered the Pan-fried duck breast with caramelized orange and Cointreau liquor sauce. So far, that has been his favorite meal here in Lithuania.
This quaint little Italian restaurant sits on a corner in the heart of Old Town, Vilnius and has been serving the people of Lithuania authentic Italian meals since 1999. It’s comfortable seating and calm, relaxing atmosphere is perfect for a fancy dinner date or a girls night out. Their menu consists of several delicious, Italian dishes and has something for everybody, including vegetarians! For dinner, the restaurant offers the “business dinner menu,” a booklet full of many exquisite meals and an array of genuine Italian wines. I chose the vegetarian penne pasta which was delectable and paired nicely with a glass of Pino Grigio. While the pricing was a bit more expensive than some of the other Italian restaurants in the area, it was worth it, as my co-worker and I enjoyed every bite. For dessert, their Irish Coffee hit the spot perfectly. This is a place I will definitely be visiting again and highly recommend to anyone visiting Old Town.
TerraVino is housed in a perfectly restored warehouse also in the heart of Vilnius’ Old Town district. The restaurants interior is much more modern and quirky than many of the other dining establishments in the area, but it still remains both warm and inviting. I really enjoyed the creative aspects of the interior, like the cheese graters they have turned into light fixtures hanging from the ceilings above the tables. The menu is great, offering authentic Italian dishes suitable for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. I dined on the Neapolietiška pasta, which was totally vegetarian and delicious! They have a wall spanning the length of the restaurant offering a large variety of wines for you to enjoy. The prices are reasonable and the service was great. I would definitely put this on your list of places to try if you find yourself hungry in Vilnius. I promise you will not be disappointed.
“Life is a combination of magic and pasta” – Federico Fellini