Part 2 Vilnius, Lithuania
We took the Eurolines bus (€17) from Riga to Vilnius. It took four hours, and with free wifi the time went by relatively quickly. The hotel we stayed in was the Artagonist hotel that had Lithuanian art pieces in every room (you can see ours below that hung over the bed), and the hotel was nice and central. Their breakfast had good options like muesli, dried fruit, fruit, nuts, peanut butter, jams, bread, coffee, and soya milk-although they had no soya yoghurt while we were there.
I preferred Vilnius to Riga, it was quieter with less tourists and less stag parties! Again we did the free walking tour, and were taken around the major sights of Vilnius. Vilnius is gorgeous, and there is a republic called Uzupis (means beyond the river), where they even have their own president and army.
From the photos below you can see some of the controversial street art in Vilnius, including the famous Trump and Putin piece.
We also went to a Cat Cafe in Vilnius, and it was really nice. The cats seemed to be happy and played around, or slept (and there you were not allowed to touch them). They only had the vegetable spring rolls to eat for vegans, but we decided to just get tea and a smoothie (€2.99 per person).
We also took the bus to Trakai Castle, and the castle and setting were beautiful. The bus (€1.80/way/person) was easy to take, and you can buy the ticket from the driver. However, check the change as the bus driver mistakingly short changed us, but when I told him (a few times) he did give me the rest of the money. There are lots of different buses, some take 30 minutes in a nice air con bus, or it takes 40-60 minutes in a run down bus with string holding the door. Lucky pick. From the bus station to Trakai castle there is a 30 minute walk, and the train station (if you prefer to take the train) is an extra 5-10 minutes away.
The food in Vilnius was surprisingly really good!
Raw 42 unfortunately the kitchen was closed, so we tried the energy fig ball (€2) and squash/raspberry cake (€3), they tasted really good.
Gyvas Baras we got our orders at different times (10 minutes in between) but the wait was worth it! We tried the soya burger (€5-6), sweet potato fried (€4), beetroot falafel (€4), chocolate lava cake with raspberry ice cream (€4). The falafel were huge and delicious, and the sweet potato fries were some of the best I have ever had!
Vegafe this place was so amazing we went twice! The first time we got the pea dumplings (€5.50), squash/carrot salad (€3.50), cheese steak (8), and apple/banana pie (€1.80, although on Sunday after 8pm it was €1.15). The pea dumplings were amazing! Also the staff is extremely friendly!
The second time we got falafel, pumpkin gnocchi, celeriac fries with tomato salsa. The pumpkin gnocchi is amazing with sage butter, I am still dreaming about this gnocchi!
Holy Donut The donuts are amazing, we tried the chocolate and pistachio (€1.45)!!
Zatar we tried the falafel plate (€5.30) and the falafel and guacamole pita (€4.50). The falafel were very deep fried which I did not enjoy. The pita was good and the salad was nice, but I would not go here again-there are better falafel out there.
Alive the food was really good here, fine vegan dining at its best. The restaurant was under-staffed because they did not expect so many customers on a Monday night, so we spent 2.5 hours there, but the staff were lovely and gave us free desserts and a glass of wine. We started with bread and sun-dried tomato paste, pea soup with cashew cream for starters (€5). For mains we tried king oyster mushroom with truffle (€17) and tempeh with strawberry (€14). For desserts we had the chocolate spheres (€5). The food was really really good here, the best was the chocolate spheres!
PS Most of the prices listed are accurate, where I have given an estimate is because I lost the receipt/cannot remember but I have given a ballpark amount.