Your guide to great food at Riga Street Food Festival
I just spent a culinary weekend in Riga together with FantasyDining, Copenhagenjunkie.dk and Cammi.dk. We spent almost a full day at Riga Street Food festival to try out the amazing food. I can only say that I was pleasantly surprised.
The winter edition of this festival took place on the 12 January and was located in Old Town Riga. It was the second year in a row that 15 of Riga’s best restaurants had accepted the challenge of finding the true taste of Latvia, with a twist. All the food was cooked with Latvian ingredients and was designed to wow every kind of taste palette. Join me on this not so ordinary street food market!
When: 12 January 2019
Where: Old Town Riga
Cost: Free (food was around €5 a plate)
Festival area: Located outside in the open air and open between 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The area was filled with festival tents and bonfires, both seating and bar tables for eating while standing. Most tents accepted credit cards.
Bring: Warm clothes, a hungry belly and smiles.
Don’t miss: The salted caramel grilled banana topped with popcorn from Ferma.
The festival area
The area was open between 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and filled three connecting streets with food tents and bon fires. You were able to eat both sitting down and standing up, by different tables. My favourite spot was by the bonfires where people of all ages met to exchange thoughts on the food they were tasting.
A DJ was located on one of the streets to play up beat music for the whole festival to enjoy. We visited the area around two o’clock and the place was already crowded. It might be a good idea to plan your visit so you arrive when the festival area opens, to avoid the long lines to the food tents! All the restaurants had special ways to showcase their food – from big boiling couldrons over open fire to barbecues and amazing decorations. Over all it was a very nice vibe to the festival, with a lot of happy people and great food.
Besides the restaurants, the festival also collaborated with local street art artist KIWIE – to weld together the art of great food with great art. As a street art fan I was very happy to see his colourful creation at the food festival.
The different restaurants
A selection of 15 restaurants were showcasing their most creative dishes at the festival. The food was supposed to have a twist on Latvian cousine and was created especially for the festival. There was something for everyone; from fine dining to tacos. The restaurants I chose to visit was; RAVBurger, Ferma, Kolonade and Tinto. The restaurants all offered varieties of plates; entrees, small plates of main courses and desserts.
I did four food stops at the festival. Four very different restaurants providing four scrumptious dishes! Which one is your favourite?
First stop: RAVBurgers, Centralais Gastro Tirgus
Nothing can go wrong with a medium rare burger with cheese and mushrooms! Such a good burger prepared on the big grill in the tent and enjoyed outside by the bonfires. It was a bit messy, so make sure that you have napkins at hand!
Second stop: Tinto
I didn’t expect to find flamed pancakes at the taco stand, but that is exactly what I did. It was an amazingly good pancake, flamed before my eyes in orange liqueur and served with raspberry jam and condensed milk. I could not be happier. Not sure if was supposed to be a main course or a dessert, but I’ll gladly have it as both!
This is a meatball sausage. Yes, you read that right! Meatball sausage. And it was soooo good! Believe me, I’m from Sweden and I know my meatballs. I’ve never had them like this before though and I was only happily surprised! Meatballs, mushroom gravy and red kale in a nice bun.
Fourth stop: Ferma
As mentioned in the quick guide; this was my favourite stop at the food festival! Grilled banana with salted caramel sauce topped with popcorn! I mean, wow! I haven’t seen or tasted anything like it and it was really a sweet dessert. It was served flaming hot and you had to open it and eat the banana from inside the peel. Both salty and sweet, soft and crunchy at the same time. It was definitely a winner!
Altogether, I had a great experience this cold winter day in Riga. I am already looking forward to the next edition of Riga Street Food Festival. I hope that you also chose to visit this mouthwatering, well organised and free event in the capital of Riga. If you have any questions or thoughts about the festival or this blogpost, feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email.
Want my 4 best recommendations for restaurants in Riga? Check out my blog post 24h to eat in Riga!
Disclaimer: This blogpost was written in paid collaboration with #CulinaryRiga, #LiveRiga, #RigaStories, #RigaStreetFoodFestival, #EnjoyLatvia, #AirBaltic.
All opinions and recommendations are as always my own.
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