April 18, 2024

World’s Top Cold Soup Gets Its Own Festival in Vilnius: What to Expect This Year?

Vilnius Pink Soup Fest, a festival designed specifically to celebrate Lithuania’s iconic summertime delicacy cold pink soup, is returning to Vilnius on June 1st. Visitors will have the chance to try the world’s top cold soup and its numerous renditions, slide down into a giant artificial soup bowl, and partake in a variety of other pink-themed activities.

April 18, 2024 – Vilnius, Lithuania. The pink extravaganza will once again sweep over Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on June 1. The vibrant Vilnius Pink Soup Fest returns to the city for the second time to celebrate the country’s iconic cold pink soup šaltibarščiai with an array of delectable treats and immersive experiences for visitors from around the globe. Last year’s event drew an enthusiastic crowd of 15,000 eager to indulge in pink-hued delicacies, soup-themed activities, and unparalleled gastronomical experiences.

Just in time for the festival, the Lithuanian pink soup was voted the best cold soup in the world by the Taste Atlas. The Lithuanian summertime treat triumphed over renowned contenders from other countries, like the Spanish gazpacho and porra antequerana, or the Bulgarian tarator.

Set up in Tymas Market, next to the bohemian district and a self-proclaimed Republic Užupis, the 2024 edition of the Vilnius Pink Soup Fest will officially kick-start the summer season in the city. With over 100 partners onboard, including restaurants, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, guides, businesses, performers, and various communities, attendees can expect a wide selection of šaltibarščiai-inspired delicacies, drinks, and souvenirs.

Like the last time, the festival will revolve around all things pink, entertaining the visitors with the chance to go restaurant-hoping and sampling unique renditions of the soup and sliding into a giant faux soup bowl down the Bastion Hill which unveils the panoramic views of Užupis. Theme matters, so the visitors are urged to upgrade their wardrobes with pink accents to fully embrace the spirit of cold pink soup, and even the best costume contest will take place.

Gastronomical experiences aside, the Vilnius Pink Soup Fest will offer a diverse lineup of other activities like creative workshops and live musical performances. Since the festival is family-friendly, dedicated spaces will cater to children and adolescents.

The festival is a testament to Vilnius’ thriving gastronomical scene. The capital’s residents and guests can pick from numerous restaurants that offer a culinary journey through various cuisines ranging from traditional Lithuanian to Lebanese, Indian, French, Japanese, and others. Restaurants like Džiaugsmas and Nineteen 18 have gained global recognition and are featured among the world’s best restaurants in prestigious ratings such as La Liste. Those inclined to create their own dishes from scratch can head out to Senators’ Passage, a 400-year-old mansion, which offers a selection of farm-grown seasonal produce, artisanal bread, cheese, wine, and everything necessary for devising a gourmet feast in one’s home.

Tradition ingrained in culinary expertise

Although the cold pink soup is easy to throw together, the complexity of its savory taste makes everyday ingredients shine in a new light. The chilled dish features beetroots, cucumbers, fresh dills, eggs, and buttermilk with hot potatoes on the side. Neon pink in color, the soup is a refreshing treat during heatwaves and an enticing introduction to the country’s culinary heritage and exclusive flavor combinations for overseas guests.

Lokys, a family-owned restaurant in the Old Town that will be participating in the festival, preserves Lithuanian cuisine traditions and its historical setting — the restaurant’s premises are set up in a medieval merchant’s house. Lokys transforms ancient recipes with modern technologies and seasonal ingredients, like the forest bounty.

Rita Keršulytė-Ryčkova, the restaurant’s chef, says the cold pink soup is an inherent part of Lithuanian culinary history while the fest is one of the most colorful festivities in the city and a fitting start for the summer season.

“Cold pink soup is the taste of childhood, home, and real summer. For me, the dish is an irreplaceable summertime treat for when you want something refreshing yet filling,” the chef adds.

As Lokys is one of the recommended restaurants to try out the world’s most delicious cold soup, the establishment’s version of the dish together with a pink amuse-bouche featuring smoked catfish mousse will be available for festival attendees.

More information about the Vilnius Pink Soup Fest is available here.