Are you planning a trip to Lithuania? That’s great! Moreover, here’s a list of the tastiest traditional Lithuanian dishes, but I have to warn you – it is not easy to resist the Lithuanian cuisine. If you are planning to experience real Lithuania so you have to eat like real Lithuanians.
In our free Travel Planner, you will find a special section for meal planning. So don’t be shy and write down each dish you would like to try during your trip. Our list of the tastiest traditional Lithuanian dishes is divided into sections, in order to make planning easier. For instance, below you will find perfect dishes for Lithuanian breakfast, best traveler’s snacks and much more.
Traveler’s guide: Traditional Lithuanian Dishes
PERFECT LITHUANIAN BREAKFAST
I have to admit – I love Lithuanian cuisine! I really enjoy mornings when all my family is still sleeping and I can prepare for them yummy breakfast. All meals from this section are easy and fast to prepare so no worries – you will spend in the kitchen not more than 15 minutes.
Curd dumplings (Varškėtukai)
Curd dumplings are our favorite. At least once per week, we start the day by eating those little, sweet dumplings. Varškėtukai are made from curd, eggs, flour and a bit of sugar. After preparing the dough, just roll it, cut it into small oval-shaped pieces and put into boiling water for 30 seconds. You can eat Varškėtukai just like this or with a bit of melted butter on the top. Yummy!
Yeast pancakes (Mieliniai blynai)
Puffy and light Lithuanian pancakes are great choice to start the day with. They will keep you full at least until lunch so you can sightsee calmly. Main ingredients are eggs, flour, and milk with the addition of yeast. Recipe for yeast pancakes, as well as many more mouthwatering Lithuanian recipes, you can find in my favorite cookbook: Taste Lithuania
Heart-shaped waffles (Čirviniai blynai)
These waffles are AWE-SOME! Crusty, warm and sweet. Children love them as much as adults so they tend to disappear from a plate in a blink of an eye. To bake heart-shaped waffles you will need a special pan (or mold like this one Heart Shaped Waffles Baking Mold) but you can buy it in most of the supermarkets. After you will try it the first time you won’t be able to stop.
LITHUANIAN SNACKS FOR TRAVELERS
If you ate tasty Lithuanian breakfast but afraid that you might become hungry while sightseeing I have a great solution. Just go ahead and pack one of these best snacks for travelers to your backpack.
Curd snack – Sūrelis
You have to try it at least once while traveling in Lithuania. Curd snack is made of natural or flavored quark with the addition of raisins, chocolate, fruits or jelly what makes it even tastier. You can find sūreliai in refrigerators of all Lithuanian supermarkets. One curd bar costs around 0.20 to 0.50 euro so it is a perfect snack for those traveling on a budget.
Gaidelis – One of the most popular Lithuanian biscuits. They fit perfectly next to the cup of hot tea on a colder day. These cookies are the main ingredient of heavenly tasty Lithuanian cake called tinginys (“lazy one”), but they are great as a simple snack as well.
Vytautas Mineral Water
I know that mineral water is not a snack, but I am aware how important is body hydration. If you sightsee a lot you might need a lot of water and minerals so grab a bottle of Vytautas and keep it always with you. Vytautas mineral water has very strong salty taste as well as Birutė or Borjomi mineral water. Unless you will not be able to drink Vytautas choose Akvilė or Neptunas – these contain minerals as well but have no taste.
Sandwiches with Lithuanian rye bread
For ones who need a lot of energy while exploring, sandwiches will be the perfect snack. In Lithuania, you can find a huge variety of bread, so it might be hard to decide. For the record, darker bread tastes more bitter than white one. Just buy several packages of different species and try – I bet you will find your favorite.
LITHUANIAN DISHES FOR LUNCH
I know that breakfast supposed to be the most nutritious meal of the day but after half of the day spent on exploring you need to eat good lunch. Below you will find a short list of traditional (must-try) Lithuanian dishes.
Cold borscht (Šaltibarščiai)
I have to admit – that’s kinda weird soup for me because it’s… cold. While it is perfect for hot summer days, I wouldn’t advise to eat it during wintertime. It is made of milk kefir, grated beetroots, cucumbers, and chives served with hot potatoes.
Creamy wild mushroom soup served in a bread loaf bowl
It is the best soup I have ever eaten – this is how Lithuania tastes like. Mushroom dishes are the most popular in Dzukia region, not to mention the yearly mushroom collecting championship in the Lithuanian capital of mushrooms – Varėna.
Mushroom soup served in a bread loaf bowl is a perfect combination. A portion costs around 3,5 euro but after you eat your bread bowl I guarantee – you will feel no hunger. Wild mushroom soup will be great for a lunch as well as a dinner.
Cepelinai are big, potatoes dumplings filled with meat or curd, boiled in water and served with crackling-and-sour cream sauce – in the other words, the best Lithuanian dish ever. After all, the tastiest and traditional zeppelins you can eat in Forto Dvaras restaurants.
As you may guess, the name of the Zeppelins is not accidentally linked to the Zeppelin aircraft – it’s because of their shape, but… After all, the Cepelinai are older than the aircraft that appeared in the Lithuanian sky only during the First World War, so they had to have a different name. At the beginning they were called Didžkukuliai – even now you can meet with this name quite often.
Assuming that you will eat real Lithuanian dishes you might want to drink Lithuanian soft drink as well. Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage made of black rye bread. Personally, I do not like Kvass but all of my family love it. So first smell it, then just try it and at once you will know are you a Gira-person or not, you cannot fake it.
Grated potato pudding with chicken fillet (Kugelis)
Potatoes have become an essential ingredient of many dishes, as a result, it is hard to imagine Lithuanian cuisine without them. Grated potato pudding with chicken fillet is one of the most popular Lithuanian dishes, so you should try it while traveling in Lithuania.
These traditional pastries are very popular not only in Trakai but also in whole Lithuania. You can get them almost anywhere, together with a vegetable broth kibinai make a perfect traditional Lithuanian meal. Classical kibinai are filled with mutton and onion, but the choice is wide. For instance, in Kibinai Bakery “Senoji Kibininė” (Vilniaus g.12, Vilnius) you can find more than 20 types of kibinai. I have to admit that I love the most these with spinach and curd filling, as well as chocolate ones.
BEST LITHUANIAN DESSERTS
Tree cake (Šakotis)
Šakotis shape resembles a tree and the name means “cake with branches”. It is one of the most popular confectionery products, which must necessarily be on the table during a traditional Lithuanian wedding. The basic ingredient of the cake are eggs – it takes about 30 to 50 eggs per kilogram of flour. In addition, butter, sugar or honey, and sour cream are added.
Lazy cake (Tinginys)
Certainly, This is my favorite one among desserts and cakes. The preparation of “Lazy one” does not require much energy – besides you do not have to bake it. As a result, made of biscuits, butter, sugar, cocoa and condensed milk “Lazy cake” is easy and fast to prepare.
Hundred-leaves cake (Šimtalapis)
The name means “cake made of a hundred leaves”. Although it looks complicated, it is easy to make at home. The cake has several layers and poppy-seeds filling. Delicate and perfect for any occasion!
LITHUANIAN DISHES FOR DINNER
As you probably noticed, Lithuanian dishes are quite heavy and fat. For dinner, I tried to choose a bit lighter food, though it wasn’t an easy task.
Sour cream butter served with hot potatoes (Kastinys)
Samogitian kastinys in addition to hot potatoes is the best thing ever. You can get it in Lithuanian supermarkets (for example in Maxima, Rimi or Norfa) next to butter and sour cream. Lithuanian sour cream butter is a bit spicy, creamy and delicious.
Layered herring (Silkė pataluose)
First of all, herring is one of the most popular ingredients of traditional Lithuanian dishes, besides potatoes and sour cream. In the Baltic States, you will find many different ways of serving herring, for instance, pickled herring, herring with onion, with nuts or fried carrot and much more. After all layered herring is a must on Christmas table, weddings, and any family meeting.
Traditional dumplings with meat (Koldūnai su mėsa)
Koldūnai are small dumplings with meat filling – in most of the cases they are boiled in water, but you can find fried ones as well. These one-bite dumplings are soft, tasty and very Lithuanian. Yummy!
LITHUANIAN BEER SNACKS
After all day of sightseeing, you deserve to have a great evening in a pub with a mug of Lithuanian beer and try one of the tastiest Lithuanian snacks.
Stripes of hot-smoked pig ears (Karštai Rūkytų Ausų Juostelės)
Hot-smoked pig ears are a snack only for tough ones unless you will not know what you are eating. I admit – I have never tried it and not planning to do that, but there is a lot of Lithuanian people who cannot imagine a glass of beer without this snack.
Samogitian breadsticks with cheese dip (Žemaitiškos duonos lazdelės su sūrio padažu)
Definitely, breadsticks should be the first thing which you order after entering Lithuanian pub. Additionally, on the plate, you will find a clove of garlic (to rub the breadstick before eating) and cheese dip. Generally speaking, this one is the tastiest Lithuanian snack EVER! Make sure to eat it while fresh and hot.
Peas with cracklings (Žirniai su spirgučiais)
Peas with crackings is a really heavy snack however it fits perfectly with a glass of cold Lithuanian beer. The best peas with cracklings you can eat in Pubs of real beer by Šnekutis in Vilnius.
So, let me know in the comments below which of the traditional Lithuanian dishes you are planning to try during your trip.