Some traditional Lithuanian dishes have so much in common with Jewish cuisine it’s sometimes impossible to trace their origin. Lithuanians bake potato pancakes, Jews make latkes. Stuffed cabbage rolls, meatloaf and potato dishes are all commonplace on the tables of both Lithuanian and Litvak homes.

Today, however, other Jewish dishes popular in Israel have found their way to Vilnius. Bagels, falafels, shakshuka, and hummus are all easy to find in the city’s cafes. Traditionally, Jews prepare their meals following kosher dietary regulations, which you can taste in Vilnius too.

History of the first vegetarian restaurant in Vilnius

In the 1940s, Dieta-Jarska Jadlodajnia, a restaurant owned by Faina Lewand and her husband Lazar Lewand, became the first vegetarian restaurant in the city when it opened its door on Vokiečių St. 14. Even famous artist Marc Chagall dined there and left his greeting in the restaurant’s guestbook. In 1938, Faina Lewando published a book entitled The Great Book of Vegetables: over 400 delicious recipes. The book had disappeared for decades and was not published again until 1995, when someone discovered it and donated it to the Jewish YIVO Institute in New York. Now, everyone can cook recipes from the past at home using the cookbook, which has been published in various languages.

Where to sample Jewish cuisine?

Beigelių krautuvėlė

This project is a way for the Lithuanian Jewish Community to promote tolerance. Every day except Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, this quaint eatery bakes fresh bagels and loaves of bread. Baked goods aside, Beigeliu krautuvele is also the best place to taste traditional Jewish spreads, soups, and shakshuka.

Location: Pylimo 4

Fire Place

The shakshuka from the wood-burning oven in the morning will make your day. For a light snack, order a hummus platter or a Sabich sandwich stuffed with fried eggplants, vegetables, greens and a hard-boiled egg seasoned with sesame seeds.

Location: Šeimyniškių 17
Facebook: @pitarijafireplace


Fresh bagels with a variety of toppings – from classic with cream cheese and salmon, to vegan versions or even sweet ones.

Location: Pylimo 58 & Literatų 7
Facebook: @Beigelistai

Worth to check

Worth to check

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Paupys Market: a journey of flavours
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