Every nationality has its own breakfast traditions and while we would prefer that everyone adopt a Bavarian meal of veal sausages and beer to start their day, locals seem to favour eating ham and cheese on rye, some variation on an oatmeal theme or, worse still, a bowl of cottage cheese to get their juices flowing in the morning. Naturally, given the frugal nature of Latvians this most important meal of the day is usually ‘enjoyed’ at home. However, those bearded hipsters that we on occasion take pleasure in maligning have embraced that most slothful and unhealthy of western culinary rituals – brunch – and for once we’d love to give them a sloppy wet kiss on their fuzzy faces despite the stubble burn it might leave on our delicate mugs. Being lazy, gluttonous souls ourselves, we relish the opportunity to spend countless hours on a Saturday or Sunday imbibing an alcoholic beverage (or three) in between trips to the food buffet without attracting scorn from loved ones, neighbours or complete strangers.
Thankfully, it seems that those arty millennials can do no wrong in the eyes of most Rigans as brunch has become something of a local phenomenon here judging by the number of people without reservations who get turned away at local cafés each weekend. Yes, we highly recommend you call ahead to the following places as this unique combination of idleness and overindulgence is taking the city by storm. The average brunch will cost you around €15/person without drinks. Here then are some of our favourites. Labu apetīti!
BIBLIOTĒKA No1 Restorāns: When only the finest gourmet cuisine will do this upmarket restaurant with views of the Vērmanes Park won’t disappoint. Brunch costs €35 (including a glass of Champagne) and is available Sundays from 11:00 - 16:00. For reservations call (+371) 20 22 50 00.
Charlestons: This casual restaurant is one of Riga's best brunch options. A big buffet of hot and cold food awaits you and children can draw, watch cartoons or do other supervised activities in the kids’ room. Brunch costs €16.50 (not including alcoholic beverages), children 7 - 12 years of age €8.25 and is available Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 - 15:00. For reservations, which we strongly recommend, call (+371) 67 77 05 73.
Spārnos: This cosy restaurant has a slight advantage over its competitors as it officially calls itself a brunch café and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets every day. Its weekend brunch, however, is still its most popular attraction and includes all of the usual eggs and bacon as well as quite a few healthy options including soups and salads. Brunch costs €15 (not including alcoholic beverages) and is available Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 - 16:00. For reservations call (+371) 22 00 22 97.