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.
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.
All the pickled things we tasted (cucumbers, cabbage, garlic, krauts, beets, and more) were delicious along with some local mustards, jams, bread, and honey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And of course we had a lot of pickled snacks.
Mostly it was cool to see parts of Riga, mostly deserted, that were not anywhere near the touristy spots.
On my very last day in Riga, the sun finally came out! Yay!
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).
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.