My Favorite Brunch Spots in Vilnius
Welcome back to my little corner of the internet, Into the Forests I Go!
If you've been a friend of mine for a while, you know I love creating weekly menus. And if you're local to Lithuania, you may even have received a dinner invite to my home: I love cooking for friends.
I didn't learn how to truly cook until I met The Scientist in 2016 - thanks to his guidance, even! - and it's become a pretty enjoyable activity for me as the years have passed. If it were up to him, we'd be eating grilled cheese once a week, but I take a lot of chances in the kitchen on different cuisines and recipes. Variety is the spice of life, you know?
But sometimes, I'm just not in the mood to cook - especially since I'm not a huge breakfast eater.
And that's where today's blog post comes in: brunch.
I'm sharing my favorite brunch places in Vilnius so you can experience them for yourselves. Let's just jump in. ;)
Baleboste - At the time of writing, this amazing Jewish restaurant hasn't even been open for a month cycle, but it's at the top of my list. Why? Well, I've only been patiently waiting for this place to exist my entire tenure in Lithuania. Yes, there's a great Jewish bakery on Pylimo serving bagels, challah, hummus, and more, but Baleboste has taken Litvak (Lithuanian Jewish) cuisine one step further with Litvak-specific dishes and typical Ashkenazi Jewish foods. For instance, I tried something new (to me!) called imberlach, a delicacy made from dried carrots and ginger, and I was introduced to flaumen cimes (beef stew with dried plums), among a few other curious recipes. (Menu below!) Their pastrami bagel was insanely good, and I'm certain I'll be back for brunch as soon as possible. The best part is that my friend (pictured!) and I recognized a friendly face in the kitchen: a warm, welcoming woman who helped us make Rosh Hashanah challah back in September. This, my friends, is a good sign that Baleboste has the heart to go along with its flavorful dishes. Bonus: it's right near Halės turgus, so you can people-watch or shop after your meal.
Lola - If you ask my husband for his favorite brunch spot in town, it'll definitely be Lola - and I get why. They've got a solid menu with eggs benedict, fluffy French toast, shakshuka, and more, and even though there's always a line to get in, the servers and kitchen staff are on top of it. Steve likes to say that he appreciates the American-style service (friendlier wait staff!), and I agree that even though the food is flavorful and savory, the best part is how smooth the place feels overall. Lola looks like it walked right into Piet Mondrian's 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' and came out as a reliable brunch spot. Another bonus: they've got an unexpectedly delicious killer matcha latte.
San Diego - Y'all already know I'm a huge San Diego fan for their hot sauce collection alone, but they've recently stepped it up with their monthly brunch menus. Just last week, they offered chicken 'n waffles, eggs benedict, avocado toast, shrimp tostadas, and more. As a Southerner, the chicken 'n waffles is reason enough for me to show my face here, but San Diego is one of the main hang-out spots for our little friend group regardless of the menu. Go here!
My Friend's House - You most likely won't get an invite here (unless you're a visiting friend!), but my last favorite brunch spot in Vilnius is... at a friend's house. We stay for hours and hours, laughing about Lord only knows what, making and bringing food and drinks, moseying along into the late afternoon. If you have a close friend group, you probably do something similar - and I have to say, it provides an entirely different vibe from eating out in Vilnius. It's safe to say my friends and I bring our inside jokes with us wherever we go, but they really shine at home - especially with arepas, smiling dogs, and loads of hot sauce.
How about you? Do you have a favorite brunch spot in Vilnius? I'm always looking for more. :)
As per usual, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon!