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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Hi everyone! Welcome to Riga, the wonderful capital city of Latvia! We adored our time in this stunning Baltic country, where historic architecture meets modern innovation - with plenty of lush parks and fascinating monuments in between. I really fell in love with Riga's Old Town, especially all of the black cat imagery that originates from the traditional tales of the Cat House!

We found so much to love here in Riga - and one of these top things was the food! In our coming blogs you'll learn about some of the incredible places that we ate vegan here in Riga, as well as our second vegan eat in the city: Kartupeļu pankūkas (Potato pancakes!). But today's focus is a really eye-catching dish, and something that we were very curious about, despite having absolutely no idea what to expect! That's right: it's aukstā zupa!

But wait, what exactly are Kartupeļu pankūkas?

Kartupeļu pankūkas are a basic yet delicious comfort food from Latvia. Originally made popular because they were quick, cheap, and easy to make - whilst also being extremely warming and delicious - these beloved potato pancakes are now served in cafes, restaurants, and at street stalls across the country too. So its not too hard to get your fix of kartupeļu pankūkas!

However, are they suitable for vegans? Well the short answer is no. Although these delicious potato pancakes are naturally vegetarian, they are generally not vegan. This is because they are made by grating potatoes, before mixing with flour and egg, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Then a selection of sides are usually served with the kartupeļu pankūkas, with the most common of these being sour cream.

Where did we try vegan kartupeļu pankūkas in Riga?

Our quest to find vegan potato pancakes was a frustrating one, with the first two places that had them on their menu not actually having them in stock! By chance, we came across Ezītis Miglā - a small chain of bars, restaurants and coffee shops here. And what was on their food menu? A whole range of kartupeļu pankūkas, including vegan ones!!

It's worth noting that the food menu is not served at the coffee shops, so make sure you double check that you head to one of their restaurants to get your fill of this dish! And there is a whole lot to love here - including the fact that their name translates as 'hedgehog in the mist', a very cute thing that made my heart warm. This funky restaurant-bar felt like a great place to hang out in the day, with plenty of people working away quietly - we didn't check it out at night, but it seems like it would have been a very cool place to stop by for a drink too.

So come on - tell us all about the kartupeļu pankūkas! How did they taste?

In one word? DELICIOUS! These potato pancakes were so tasty, and we were really impressed by the toppings and sides served with them too. Not only did we have a pot of vegan mayonnaise, there was a plant-based coleslaw, and some mushrooms! We are both massive fans of mushrooms, so this was particularly exciting to us. The chives that were sprinkled on top added an extra boost of colour and flavour to this already simple yet deliciously effective dish.

The potato pancakes themselves were flat and a little like the hash browns that we're big fans of back home - but they felt crispier and maybe a little healthier too. They were slightly oily but still very crunchy, with the fluffy grated potato on the inside creating a yummy variation in texture. Slightly salty, their flavour tasted comforting - this is definitely a dish that I would be obsessed with eating during winter in the Baltics!

How much did the plant-based kartupeļu pankūkas cost - and was it worth it?

The vegan potato pancakes at Ezītis Miglā cost €5.40 per portion: this is approximately £4.67 or $5.69. This was a pretty hearty lunch dish with plenty going on here on the plate, so we thought that was pretty good value for money - we left the restaurant full, and with very satisfied tastebuds!

Though Ezītis Miglā isn't fully plant based, it's a very cool place to hang out, with a couple of vegan choices on the menu - and lots of cosy places to sit and sip a drink too.

Have you tried vegan kartupeļu pankūkas in Latvia? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Riga's sights might make you jump for joy!

Where should I stay?

Riga is a really beautiful city, with plenty of places to stay to suit all tastes and budgets. If you're looking for a hostel atmosphere with a more luxurious feel, check out Blue Bird hostel, where the rooms and amenities are much more bougie than your standard hostel! For a more high octane vibe, The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers offer very sociable accommodation, brightly coloured decor, and a good time for all guests.

Tours & Experiences

If you want to experience the best of Riga, why not join this Riga Old Town walking tour with an expert local guide? With opportunities to try local spirits and hear all about the history that contributed to the incredible city you see before you - and keep an eye out for those black cats!

If that's not for you, check out Riga's most popular tours and activities in the box to the left; from pub crawls to castle visits, there's something for everyone!

Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!

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