Whether early in the morning, in the mid-afternoon, or after a nice evening meal, nothing says va-va-voom to your body like a nice cup of coffee. Made even nicer when enjoyed in tasteful surroundings as part of a heart-warming Vilnius city holiday break. It is with this in mind that I introduce you, dear Vilnius visitor, to my top four picks for an interesting and delicious Lithuanian coffee. Yes, from the sublime to the ridiculous they are all here! Read on for my suggestions.
No. 1 – For the adventurous coffee-lover – Café Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories
Just a short walk uphill from the infamous Egg of the New Town, the coffee connoisseur will find a most delightful coffee shop called Crooked Nose, on Šaltinių gatve 20-17. The fairly modern exterior hides an extremely modern interior, complete with specially designed furniture and interesting plant-life.
Photo: Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories
The coffee is also very modern as well! They roast their own coffee beans in an oven which you can see in the shop, and the staff even give you the excellent option of smelling the roast before you buy. There are also several different ways that you can have your coffee prepared including the ‘Crooked Drip’, ‘Syphon’ and ‘Cold Press’. Something for even the most sophisticated caffeine-head!
No. 2 – For the coffee-drinking book worm – Mint Vinetu
Situated on Šv. Ignoto g. 16, this place is half café, half book store, half library. Here in comfortable surroundings you can indulge your taste buds and your brain at the same time. Although they don’t do meals, there is a nice range of drinks to indulge in and four walls jam-packed full of first-class reading material.
What’s great about Mint Vinetu, apart from the coffee, is that there are books in various languages, Lithuanian, English, French, Spanish and more, so even if you don’t take your own, you can always find something to read there; and books are also available to buy. Plus they host a range of book-themed events which you can find by checking their website. If you’re lucky there might even be someone playing the piano while you’re inside!
No. 3 – For those who eat cake, and like their cakes spectacular – Ali Šokoladinė
It’s a posh cake shop and the cakes are hot to trot. Mmmm mmm it’s Ali Šokoladinė on Vilniaus gatvė 31. This place is a mecca for the full-fat cake-lover. And before I go any further, I think you’d better see what I mean.
Photo: Ali Šokoladinė. Facebook
I know what you’re thinking: you’re wondering what they taste like. That’s part of the appeal. Every cake looks and tastes so different to the next that I recommend getting two or three just to mix up the flavours. Although it feels wrong to slice into and destroy such a delicate design I can assure you that with each mouthful the guilt will melt away! Some cakes are more firm, some are more squishy, and some are somewhere in-between. Either way, it’s a great place to relax for part of the day. And the interior is pretty chic too.
No. 4 – For the art-loving coffee fan – Elska Coffee
Photo: Elska coffee. TripAdvisor
You might like cakes, you might like cleverly made coffee, you might also like to read a good book as you drink your cup; but you might also like art. Well this last place does all four. Elska, on Pamėnkalnio gatve 1, has the perfect relaxed environment to sit and read, an excellent variety of cakes and snacks, some delicious coffees and hot drinks; and an art gallery attached. Yeah, that’s right; it has it all!
If you don’t feel like eating or drinking anything then you are quite welcome to just enter the art gallery and have a walk around for free. The space is not huge, but there are always interesting exhibitions that change very quickly. What you see there one week may well be gone the next! Don’t worry though, it’s always something interesting. And if you happen to arrive on the opening night of an exhibition you can also enjoy a nice glass of wine!