Vilnius, which celebrates its gastronomical scene with events like Pink Soup Fest, has made it to a prestigious La Liste guide—two of its fine dining restaurants are among the world’s top-ranking establishments for 2023. Nineteen18 and Džiaugsmas represent seasonal cuisine with respect to the country’s farmland roots and gastro heritage.
May 26, 2023. The gastro scene in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is peaking—two of its fine dining restaurants, Džiaugsmas and Nineteen18, have been named among the top restaurants in the world in 2023 by the prestigious La Liste guide. The selected restaurants are the first ones in Lithuania and two of five restaurants in the Baltic countries to make the list.
La Liste ranking lists the world’s best restaurants based on trusted reviews of the restaurants in local guidebooks and publications and customer ratings. The best-voted Vilnius’ restaurants reflect Lithuanian chefs’ respect for seasonal ingredients and passion for reimagining old recipes to delight modern tastes. Džiaugsmas, set up in the heart of the city, offers flavor-bursting treats from fresh, organic, and locally grown produce. Martynas Praškevičius, one of the country’s top-ranking chefs, is committed to adapting the menu to best highlight seasonal Lithuanian delicacies.
Nineteen18, an intimate restaurant nestled in the historical food court Senators’ Passage, celebrates local gastro heritage with an innovative tasting menu. The ingredients that come from farms nearby into the hands of a seasoned chef Andrius Kubilius are put in the spotlight through preservation techniques like fermentation and pickling—one of the key food trends this year.
Celebrating national gastro pride
Just recently, Vilnius’ thriving gastro ecosystem that fuses multicultural flavors with beloved Lithuanian tastes has been given an honorary gift for all of its achievements—three real stars in the constellation Fornax. At the same time, Vilnius offers its residents and visitors the chance to explore historical cuisine recreated specifically for its 700th anniversary year. Several of the capital’s restaurants invite the foodies on a journey to Vilnius’ past, enticing them with dishes like bread soup or Jerusalem kugel and the stories surrounding them.
On June 10th, Vilnius will be celebrating one of the most iconic dishes of Lithuanian cuisine—cold beetroot soup. Pink Soup Fest will tease the festivalgoers with multiple variations of the brightly-colored dish and urge everyone to partake in an activity as wild as the dish itself—dress up like soup’s ingredients and slide down the Bastion hill straight into an artificial bowl.
There are many variations of the recipe—with yogurt, quail eggs, or sparkling mineral water. However, the one that packs a punch follows a fail-safe classic recipe: marinated beetroots, grated cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, diced dills and spring onions, kefir, and a dash of salt are combined together in a bowl. Best served cold with a side of hot potatoes.