Riga Food and Beer Tour

Riga, Latvia is a small city with a lot of fun options for food, drink, and culture. While I was in Riga in November I did a beer tour in the Beer District (they have a beer district!), a food tour to the gigantic Riga Central Market, and an art tour to different museums and galleries.

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The Riga Central Market is made up of many old Zeppelin/blimp hangers and each building holds specific food stalls. There are specific areas for fish, meat, produce, bread and all things pickled.

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All the pickled things we tasted (cucumbers, cabbage, garlic, krauts, beets, and more) were delicious along with some local mustards, jams, bread, and honey.

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We spoke with some locals (through an interpreter) who told us about the history of the food and any stories they had to share. It was a fun experience.The Central Market is an easy way to spend an hour or two. There is a lot both inside and outside of the zeppelin hangers. There were more places on the food tour but this was by far my favorite stop.

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In spite of being under the Iron Curtain for decades, some of the Old World architecture survived. Granted there are some Communist-style block buildings but they are few and far between in the central/more touristy part of Riga.

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Flowers are also a big part of Riga culture. There are flower stands everywhere and having fresh flowers is a big thing here.

Since it was the Women in Travel Summit, we supported a lot of women-run businesses like this art gallery whose photography exhibit featured shots from a youth camp. Riga is pretty progressive but a lot of males we spoke to definitely said some off-handed remarks disparaging women in the workplace. As if we needed a reminder that the world has a long way to go.

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Despite the sour taste of misogyny, the rest everything I experienced in Riga was pretty great. From wine to architecture, the small city of Riga has a lot to offer.

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My last night in Riga before heading off to Vienna, I spent with a fun group walking through the beer district trying all sorts of beers and beer snacks.

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Riga is not a very crowded place during the week in the off-season. Most of the breweries were about half full so we got a some good service.

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And of course we had a lot of pickled snacks.

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Mostly it was cool to see parts of Riga, mostly deserted, that were not anywhere near the touristy spots.

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On my very last day in Riga, the sun finally came out! Yay!

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I had yet to get a good photo of the cutest little restaurant in Old Town. 10 other tourists and I worked together to stay out of the way while taking our own shots. Restaurant 1221 supposedly has really good food (although pricey for Riga).

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I’m very happy with my decision to attend the Women in Travel Summit in Riga because I got to explore a great Baltic city I never would have traveled to otherwise. Someday if you make it to this part of the world, hop on a cheap Air Baltic flight and check out Riga for a few days, tasting all the beer and get to daily steps in walking around the charming Old Town.

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