Since Eastern European and Baltic cuisine seems fairly heavily centred on meat and potatoes, it’s understandable to think that finding vegan food in Lithuania would be a major challenge. However, Vilnius is possibly the best city in the Baltics for a variety of vegan cafes and restaurants and is very vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
While some countries struggle to understand the concept of vegan (or, in my case, ‘no lactose’ or ‘no dairy’), Lithuania is easily ahead of the crowd with their understanding of dietary requirements. You can even find vegan versions of traditional Lithuanian foods so no need to miss out on that classic Baltic cuisine!
Vilnius is easily my favourite Baltic city (and possibly my favourite city in general, although I am slightly biased since my family is originally from Lithuania) and I love the food scene there. They adore their coffee, the beer options are extensive and they are certainly on the instagrammable cafe trend! I have included all my favourite vegan and vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants below, as well as the few I haven’t yet been to (watch this space! I’m back next month so maybe there will be even more recommendations…). Enjoy the delicious food of Lithuania and fall in love with vegan Vilnius!
Vegan Restaurants in Vilnius
I’ll start with the ‘exclusively vegan’ restaurants, which (as someone who is severely lactose intolerant) are my favourite places as I don’t have to worry whatsoever about any possible contamination.
RoseHip Vegan Bistro
I really wanted to go back to RoseHip a second time on my most recent trip because šaltibarščiai is THE BEST in hot weather.
Šaltibarščiai: (pronounced ‘shall-tee-bar-shee’) a cold beetroot soup popular in summer. Translated literally as ‘cold borscht’, this chilled soup is made from marinated beetroot (giving it that Pepto Bismol-esque colour) and kefir (replaced with soy yoghurt in most vegan versions). Traditionally served with half an egg, vegan versions will usually substitute with tofu or serve without. You will also be served hot potatoes on the side, add them to the soup as you eat!
RoseHip Bistro is, so far, the only restaurant I have found that offers a vegan šaltibarščiai – if you have found another then please let me know!! Šaltibarščiai is probably my favourite food in summer as it’s so refreshing and a great way to cool down, plus it’s a good way to get one of your 5-a-day. Don’t be surprised by the colour (emphasised by the pink lighting in the restaurant too), the vibrant pink is due to the marinated beets. The more Pepto Bismol it looks, the better marinated the beetroot is! RoseHip replaces the traditional egg with tofu (I think it’s grilled tofu) and, instead of the classic boiled potatoes, they serve it with plain potato wedges. I quite enjoyed the change though!
Read my article on foods you have to try when in Lithuania! Luckily, you can now find vegan versions of most of these traditional dishes so don’t miss out.
RoseHip also offers a whole variety of other food, including burgers, buddha bowls, loaded potatoes (basically a jacket potato/baked potato and yes, it’s truly LOADED), salads and sandwiches. There are also a few desserts (the brownie looked delicious) on the menu and they have a variety of teas, coffees, smoothies and also alcoholic drinks. The burgers are around €7-8 and the bowls and loaded potatoes a little less, around €5-7. It’s pretty standard pricing for Vilnius and not much more than a non-vegan spot!
Nearby landmarks: Vilnius Cathedral/Cathedral Square, Pilies Gatvė
RoseHip Vegan Bistro, Barboros Radvilaitės gatvė 7, 01124
This spot comes up as soon as you search for vegan food in Vilnius and for good reason! This small restaurant is a true vegan gem and definitely a great spot for food, whether you’re vegan or not. We went for dinner one day and actually ended up coming back two days later for the ‘chicken’ nuggets (soya nuggets) because they were so good!
Gyvas Baras offers a fairly small menu but what they do offer, they do well! There are a variety of burgers, snacks, ‘main dishes’ and salads. I opted for the seitan burger, which I’d never had before so I wasn’t too sure what I would think of it. Spoiler: it was delicious! They also offer a jackfruit burger (aka the vegan pulled pork) as well as a tofu burger, a ‘no fish’ burger and tempeh burger. One of their salads even includes vegan feta, which I haven’t seen on too many menus before.
The sweet potato fries are delicious, although not the classic crispy ones but rather more ‘skin on’ fries. Either way, yummy! I have already sung the praises of the soya nuggets… but seriously, TRY THEM. Gyvas Baras also has some ‘main dishes’, such as a no meat steak and a stew. The menu does change (seasonally, I believe) and the main dishes seem to vary.
They don’t have an actual drinks menu, but rather are like a pub in the aspect of you can go up to the bar and see what they have there. There are a variety of beers, wines, soft drinks and they also had a grapefruit cider on tap when we went. Definitely a great dinner spot!
Nearby landmarks: Vilnius University (ish), they are located in an area full of restaurants, cafes and bars!
Gyvas Baras, Trakų gatvė 11, 01132
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Vilnius
When I say vegan-friendly here, I mean ‘offer exclusively vegan options while serving non-vegan food’. Many places in Vilnius will also offer the choice to make something vegan, but these restaurants have specifically vegan dishes on the menu.
One of the two main bagel shops in Vilnius, Beigelistai has two outlets in the city. One is located in Halės Turgus (Hales Market) and the other on Literatu gatvė (Literary Street), not far from Užupis. There are some bagels on the menu that are marked as vegan (Zatar spices, hummus, peanut butter and possibly a few others) and the option to ‘vegan-ise’ some of the others.
They are also very knowledgable as to the ingredients, so when I wanted one of them but needed it lactose-free, they could assure me it would definitely be okay for me. And it was delicious!
Beigelistai also has coffee options with soy milk (like pretty much everywhere in Vilnius, to be honest), and I mention this solely because they make an excellent soya iced latte.
Beigelistai, Literatų gatvė 7, 01125
Halės Turgus, Pylimo gatvė 58, 01136
ZATAR Falafel & Hummus
A great place if you’re feeling a healthy lunch or dinner! They, surprisingly, offer falafel and hummus in a variety of ways, including sandwiches/pittas, salads and a ‘platter’ type dish. I opted for the falafel and hummus plate and it was pretty good – falafel, hummus, pita bread, olives, couscous and salad. The drinks they offer are bio lemonades (the blackcurrant was very pleasant), kombucha and non-alcoholic beer.
The only thing that annoyed me is that all the plates and cutlery were disposable (although these seemed to be biodegradable) and the glass for my drink was plastic. Otherwise, the food was great and everything is marked vegan or not (there is a vegan mayo which is an excellent choice for sauce). ZATAR also stays open late so is a good spot for late night snacking or even after going to a bar/club (open until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays).
ZATAR Falafel & Hummus, Vokiečių gatvė 9, 01130
I actually haven’t been here since 2016 but reading all the reviews makes me confident that they are still serving excellent food! While not entirely vegan, Vegafe is a vegetarian restaurant that works on ayurvedic principles and does offer a fair amount of vegan options.
One notable vegan option that I haven’t seen anywhere else is the vegan kibinas. Kibinai are a Karaim pastry (plural: kibinai, singular: kibinas, a place that serves kibinai: kibininė) that is often compared to the Cornish pasty. These pastries are stuffed with different fillings, with the traditional filling being mutton and onion. Vegafe offers vegan versions for both the savoury and sweet kibinai and, so far, this is the only place I’ve found that does vegan kibinai!
Most commonly found in Trakai, kibinai are a traditional Karaim pastry. The Karaim people (also known as Crimean Karaites) are an ethnic minority originally from Crimea and a branch of the Karaites relocated to Trakai when Grand Duke Vytautas wanted them to build a town and serve as the guard for his castle there in the 13th century.
Vegafe, Totorių gatvė 3, 01121
Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Cafes in Vilnius
As well as the more ‘meal’ spots, Vilnius is also home to some excellent vegan cafes or cafes with many vegan choices. I haven’t actually found anywhere that doesn’t offer soy milk or another non-dairy milk for lattes, so if you’re just wanting a decent coffee then there are lots of places for that. The following cafes have a variety of vegan cakes and desserts on offer and are great spots to get to know vegan Vilnius!
Okay, I may or may not be mildly obsessed with this place. I’m pretty sure I have come here every single time I’ve been to Vilnius… and the awesome thing is they seem to be getting more vegan options each time I visit! They don’t just offer doughnuts, but also pancakes, bagels and salads. The coffee is great and you can also get *drumroll* freakshakes. They have five non-vegan options and one vegan option… IT. IS. AMAZING.
Seriously, save room for it because you need to try this glorious vegan shake of awesomeness. *drools*
There are a variety of vegan doughnuts, such as the ‘3D šokoladas’ (dark chocolate topping, dark chocolate crumb and a strawberry), ‘Teisinga’ (dark chocolate topping and chopped pistachios) and their apple fritters. It’s a great place for brunch or an afternoon snack – other brunch options include a vegan porridge, vegan bagels (including the ‘Peaceful’ which has hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, rucola and pine nuts), salads and avocado toast.
Holy Donut, Vokiečių gatvę 9, 01130 (yes, it’s basically next door to ZATAR and Sugamour)
All hail all-vegan cafes! I didn’t realise this cafe was 100% vegan until I started asking whether each cake was vegan… and the barista pointed out that they are ALL vegan. MIND. BLOWN.
NB: Oops, turns out it’s not totally vegan as some of the sandwiches and soups are vegetarian and not vegan. However, ALL of the cakes and desserts are vegan!
I enjoyed a delicious chocolate cake that tasted like it contained all of the cream and chocolate known to man – but, magically, totally vegan. I kept thinking I’d get ill from the lactose because it definitely tasted like a completely dairy-full cake! The next time I’m back in Vilnius, I definitely have to go and try some of the other cakes because if this one was that good, the others must be just as great. The brownies looked absolutely drool-worthy as well!
PS: I ordered a ‘šalta kava‘ (iced coffee) but was accidentally served ‘šalta kakava‘ (iced cacao/chocolate) – very similar in Lithuanian! I tried the šalta kakava before I realised it was the wrong order… it was absolutely delicious and tasted quite like a chocolate milkshake. I will definitely (actually) order it next time when I’m not in a coffee mood! The šalta kava was also excellent.
Chaika, Totorių gatvė 7, 01121 (just down the street from Vegafe!)
Chaika Cafe No. 2, Pylimo gatvė 21B, 01141
With their main branch just a few doors along from ZATAR and Holy Donut, Sugamour is located in a central area for cafes and restaurants. Bringing the ‘instagrammable cafe’ vibe with their seasonally changing flower facade, they are branded as a ‘dessert boutique’.
While the majority of the desserts aren’t vegan, there are a few vegan options and they have plant milk available for their coffee and other drinks. Some of the meal options (salads and so on) are vegan or can be made vegan and they have one vegan ice cream option as well.
Sugamour, Vokiečių gatvė 11, 01130
Sugamour, B. Radvilaitės gatvė 8, 01143
There are so many options for vegan food in Vilnius that you are definitely spoilt for choice! Plus, if you don’t want to go out to eat and just want to order in, pretty much every single restaurant on this list is on Wolt. Wolt is Vilnius’ answer to Deliveroo or UberEats and has a huge variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from – use the code FLYAWAY for free delivery on your next three orders!
Download Wolt here: iOS, Android (Wolt also operates in Kaunas and Klaipėda, as well as in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Latvia, Norway, Georgia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Croatia, Israel and Serbia)
There are a few other places that I haven’t visited but I have heard are good for vegan and vegetarian dishes – Botanique is located on Totorių gatvė, very close to Chaika and Vegafe. They do lots of salads, pasta and soups as well as vegan desserts; the reviews look very complimentary so I’m going to have to visit next time I’m in Vilnius!
Another spot for vegan baked goodies, as well as raw smoothies, is The Urban Garden, located on Jono Basanavičiaus gatvė 3. I’m also hoping that Planeta, a cafe that is attached to a cinema in the city, will bring back their bakery section! They used to do delicious vegan tinginys (the only place in the city that I’d found – tinginys is a classic Lithuanian cake) but apparently only do tea and coffee now and no more food.
I hope this list has given you a lot of food-lust and shown just how many vegan options there are in Vilnius! ‘Vegan Vilnius’ definitely has lots of choice, including for enjoying traditional Lithuanian cuisine without the meat and dairy.
Have you been to any of these cafes and restaurants in Vilnius? Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations!
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