Illustration author - Inga Gilė

Taste the authentic Lithuania flavours

Gastronomic experiences have become a key component of any trip. An evening in Georgia is unimaginable without a glass of local wine. Italy is famous for its outstanding pizza, while the most emblematic dish in Spain is paella. And it would be simply unforgivable to visit Belgium without trying its chocolate, reputedly the best in the world. So, what enticing flavours can foreign guests expect to discover while visiting Lithuania?

With the help of experts and over 10,000 Lithuanians - who voted in a poll to select the Lithuanian dishes that should be included in a national menu - we have put together a 3-day menu for taste-hunting tourists. The 15 most popular dishes have made it onto the menu and become part of the Lithuanian gastronomic experience. They will take pride of place on the menus of restaurants across Lithuania.

Participating restaurants will be offering the perfect menus for a one-day or three-day visit – these restaurants will be marked with the national menu label. This means that fans of Lithuanian cuisine and food tourists will be able to easily find the perfect places to taste Lithuania’s favourite dishes and drinks. Here’s the full 15-dish menu, which is perfect for a 3-day visit.

The map of Lithuanian flavours


ŠALTIBARŠČIAI (cold beetroot soup) Voted: 84% Every summer Lithuania goes pink as Šaltibarščiai, a bright pink cold soup made from natural local products (cucumbers, beetroot, herbs and kefir) finds its way onto sun-drenched tables. Šaltibarščiai is considered by some to be the most visually attractive cold soup in the world, so be sure to take a pic.
FRIED BREAD WITH CHEESE Voted: 46% Lithuanians are black bread champions. On average, every Lithuanian eats 110 kg of black bread a year! Sliced in strips, deep fried in oil and then dipped in a cheese and mayonnaise sauce, this black bread becomes a moreish snack, and goes perfectly with locally-brewed beer.
CEPELINAI (meat-filled potato dumplings) Voted: 72% This dish, which is made from grated potatoes shaped into the form of a zeppelin and then filled with meat and served with bacon rind, is a heavy-weight of Lithuanian cuisine in every sense. Although Cepelinai only became part of the Lithuanian diet in the 20th century, they have become an integral part of the meals served in homes and restaurants across Lithuania.
ŠAKOTIS (tree-cake) Voted: 68% Sharing this tall spiked cake is a tradition at Lithuanian celebrations. It is cooked by adding batter to a rotating spit over an open fire, and there is even a Šakotis Museum in Lithuania (the only such museum in the world) where you can have a try at making one for yourself.
GIRA (kvass) Voted: 55% Brown bread crust is used to produce this fermented drink, which is surprisingly refreshing and not too sweet. In Lithuania you can also try Gira produced from apples, caraway seeds, bilberries, strawberries and other berries.

Lithuania in a plate: taste experiences on the fourth and fifth days

Researchers and experts of cuisine history have completed additional menus for those who were inspired to have more gastronomic adventures in Lithuania after the dishes from the first three days of the national menu. Dishes included in the menus deserve attention as they take us back to the times when the gastronomic identity of Lithuania just started to form. Taste history: exceptional dishes from royalty’s kitchen and the legacy of ethnic minorities are on the table today.