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Shopping and Eating in Riga

Shopping in Riga

Shopping in Riga is fun, not least because there is a good selection of international brands at nice prices. Another thing is that the stores are close to each other, so you can use the forces inside the stores and not between them.

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Of local goods, Riga and Latvia are known for wood crafts, such as cutlery. Also woolen clothes such as sweaters and socks with Latvian symbols are a specialty. Riga and Latvia are also known for liqueur. One specialty is Black Conditioner. This is drank by the locals in many varieties.

Shopping in Riga

Should you bring a souvenir home, amber is a safe choice. Amber is also called "Baltic Gold". NB! Make sure you get hold of an original product. Amber is petrified resin, often with insects and spiders encased. They are 20 to 50 million years old and are pressed together into "gems" with a glowing color. In the old days, people believed that amber provided strength, fortune and calming power to their owners.

If you do not care about souvenirs or local products, we can tell you that all international brands can be found in Riga.

All areas of Riga have their own market. The biggest is right at the main train station. It is called Central market and is located in large hangars that were built in the 1930s and which would accommodate space ships. The market is among the largest in Europe. It is an experience to see the trade in vegetables, fruits, flowers, meat and fish. You will find the center on the south side of the river, between the bus station and the train station.

There are many shopping malls and hypermarkets in Riga. Here's a selection of the best:

Stockmann and Origo in Riga

The large and well-known Finnish shopping mall chain Stockmann is located in Riga and is open from 0900 - 2200. You get all kinds of products at Stockmann, but the main emphasis of goods is clothing, fashion and perfume. You will also find great restaurants and tailor services here. The address is Janvara Iela 8.

The Origo shopping center is right next to Stockman and is huge with all kinds of shops. The hallmark of the center is a solid bell tower.

Alfa Centrs and Domina Shopping Center in Riga

Perhaps the biggest center in Riga is (at least) Norwegian and is called Alfa Centrs. The address is Brivibas gatve 372.

Another large and popular shopping center is Domina. The address of Domina Shopping Center is Ieriku Iela 3. This is a few kilometers northeast of the Old Town center.

Spice

Spice has established itself in Lielirbes Iela. The motto is to offer something for everyone. The center is far from the city center, and we recommend that you take bus 22A from the National Theater or taxi across the river towards the airport. The mall is open from 5 p.m. 1000 to 2200. Spice has palm trees indoors, large Lidor restaurant and many shops, and we guarantee you will stay there for a few hours.

Clothing in Riga
The Spanish chain Zara has a cozy shop on the street Terbata's Iela 30. This street is north of the Freedom Monument. The street also has several other good shops.

Crafts and jewelry in Riga
If you are going to buy crafts, the Griezi shop on the street Maza Miesnieku 1 is a good alternative. Here you will find beautiful linen, wooden utensils, woolen clothes and jewelry made of different materials. This store has more style than most similar craft shops in Riga.

There are several antique shops in Riga and you can make very good finds here. We recommend the shop Antiqua, located at Valdemara 20. Here you can buy paintings, furniture, porcelain, books, postcards, old coins and much more.

People in Riga (yes throughout Latvia) love sweets. In the old town you will find sweets manufacturer Laima, which has a number of outlets, for example in the street Smilsu 16 and in Miera 22. At Laima you can get guided tours and tastings.

Eating in Riga

The restaurants in Riga are known for good quality and low prices. As in all major European cities, you will also find outdoor restaurants, cafes and bars. Prices are approx. half of what we are used to paying in Scandinavia, and sometimes even lower.

Once in Latvia, eat a real Latvian meal: pork, potatoes and huge portions are typical. Grilled and smoked fish are also common. The cheapest local restaurants have the appearance of being fast food restaurants and often offer Russian food such as pancakes and a Russian kebab variant. The food here is normally better than the one you get at fast food restaurants in Western Europe. Tips are becoming more and more common in Latvia, and it is normal to give 10% of the bill in tips after a nice restaurant visit in Riga.

Everyone loves tea in Riga!

People in Riga love to drink tea, for both pleasure and health. Several tea houses have emerged in recent years. We recommend the Apsare and Zen Tea House, where talented waiters prepare your tea. The location is superb, right by the St. Peters Church in Kungu Iela Street. You can enjoy the cup of tea in quiet and homely surroundings on the ground floor or lay down on the downstairs mattresses.

Another choice is Tea Club Gija, on the street 1a Strelnieku Iela. The interior is Moroccan inspired. Here you can relax on a couch, listen to quiet music and feel peace with yourself. Choose from Chinese, Indian and Moroccan teas. There is also free internet access. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place is open until 10 p.m. 0500 at night (morning).

A selection of restaurants in Riga

Riga has several very good restaurants and you can get a mix of food that is both east and west oriented. You will find Armenian, Russian and Georgian restaurants. Also good Thai restaurants, sushi bars and pizza restaurants can be found in Riga. Normal price is between 5 and 10 lvs (60 to 120 NOK) for a main course.

The most exclusive restaurants are usually associated with the most expensive hotels. The Piramida Restaurant at the Ridzene Hotel and the Seasons Restaurant at the Grand Palace Hotel are among the very best. Main courses here cost from 7 lvs (85 kroner).

We can also recommend restaurants in the old town. One suggestion is the Japanese restaurant Sumo in Kungu Iela 8. Specialties are shushi, noodles, bird and red meat served with good beer or good wine in a pleasant atmosphere. Sumo is a small and charming restaurant. For the more economically conscious we can recommend the Italian restaurant Pomodoro, (located in the street Vecpilsetas Iela), which has traditional Italian dishes and very good pizzas. And we also got very good service!

Specialty and concept restaurants in Riga

Try the Lido restaurants. They belong to a chain that serves varied buffet with local food. You get soups, salads, fruits and desserts. Order the main course (if you want it) next door. Shashlik and grilled salmon are the favorites of most people. Don't be surprised if the price is under $ 50 for all dishes together.


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