The trend for Kaunas’ dining scene seems to be sizeable grills and burgers. Virtually every restaurant, it seems, does its own gourmet-style house burger, while ribs, shashlik kebabs and local lamb are often on the menu at places of every description. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but standards vary. In the following pages we try to list the city’s best restaurants.
In any case, the spectrum of dining choices continues to improve in Kaunas and there really are some enjoyable (if not exactly top class) restaurants around, many of which offer a ridiculously good price-quality ratio. The figures in brackets at the end of each of our reviews denote the checked price of an average main course on the menu.
Service also varies, to jarring effect now and then, so be sure to reward polite, pleasant and efficient service to encourage others – and cut back on the tip if it’s not deserved. Beware of saying ‘Thank you’ and nodding when paying the bill, as this can be taken to mean ‘Keep the change’. Keep in mind too that our list of restaurants and cafés is, due to space restraints, not exhaustive. We list places that in our opinion deserve our recommendation or, in rare cases, our recommendation to stay away from. Many more of our objective reviews can be found online at Kaunas.inyourpocket.com. In the meantime, here are some tips depending on what you may be looking for.
Experience the best of Lithuanian cuisine at Forto Dvaras in the Old Town or, in summer, in the quaint garden at Žalias Ratas. For a more upmarket take on nostalgic local recipes, head to the impressive new Višta Puode. For locally sourced ingredients chopped and prepared for delicious international dishes, try ieti.
The popular Motiejaus kepyklėlė makes a super spot for lunch or snacks, especially for its pastries and cakes. There are countless fabulously cheap and cosy cafés in Kaunas, from Green and Spurginė at the eastern end of Laisvės to e/way and CH Chocolaterie at the western edge of the Old Town. Supermarkets large and small sell tasty, fairly fresh eats of all kinds, while the city’s many pizza restaurants do a very decent meal.
Prices are still competitive compared to, say, Scandinavia, so nowhere will have you rapidly assuming damage control when you get your bill. For a special occasion, visit the reliable and innovative restaurant Uoksas, while Dia and Soul are not bad at all for a classy evening meal. Possibly the finest dishes in the land are served a little way out of town, at Monte Pacis in the idyllic lakeshore Pažaislis monastery complex.