When one considers Latvia’s 50-year stretch behind the Iron Curtain, it’s hard to find a silver lining, yet after lots of brainstorming we’ve come up with something that’s difficult to deny. Close economic and political ties between far off lands such as Latvia and let’s say Georgia and Armenia led to the discovery of the shashlik. Eastern Europe’s answer to barbecue is what most Westerners would call a shish kebab. In short, if you impale pretty much any kind of meat or vegetable on a skewer and then grill it over coals or an open flame then it’s a shashlik by local standards. The LIDO chain of Latvian restaurants grills a good shashlik and so does Paddy Whelan’s in Old Riga, but if you’re up for an adventure then head over to Mežaparks to Šašliki Mangaļos for old school chunks of chicken, pork or lamb (but bring cash!).