Want to know more about Latvian food and cuisine? Latvia is a country that’s not so famous for it’s local food, however, there are several food, drinks, and sweets that are fun to taste during your stay.
Here you can read more about Latvian food and its traditional dishes:
Table of Contents
When it comes to Latvian food, you simply have to taste a piragi. Piragi is a bread roll filled with minced meat, bacon, cabbage, or cheese and is eaten as a snack.
You can find these at bakeries all across Latvia, it’s a favorite among the locals.
This dish is not originally Latvian, but it’s still very popular to eat in the country. It’s small dumplings filled with minced meat, vegetables, or cheese. They’re served fried, or in a broth with a dollop of sour cream.
If you’re looking for a yummy dish to eat in Latvia, then this is a perfect choice!
Pork is a big part of the Latvian cuisine, and therefore is it a must to taste this dish. Karbonade is like a schnitzel where the pork is pounded flat and fried in breadcrumbs.
In Latvia it’s served with creamy mushrooms and dill seasoned potatoes.
Dark rye bread
Dark rye bread is popular in Latvia and is eaten with almost every meal. It’s eaten for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There are different types of rye bread available to buy at the supermarkets and bakeries in Latvia, where dark rye break and sweet sourdough rye bread are two of the most popular.
Rasol is a local potato salad with meat or fish (usually herring), potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and different kinds of vegetables. It’s all mixed together with some mayonnaise and sour cream.
There are several versions of the Rasol salad throughout Latvia. Some recipes even include ingredients like beetroot, apples, and dill.
In Latvia they sure love their soups – they eat it all year round no matter the weather. It’s common to eat before a main course, but can also be eaten as a main course itself.
One of the weirdest soups you can taste in Latvia is the maizes zupa, also known as the Latvian bread soup in English. It’s a dessert soup made from black bread, fruit, and cream.
During the cold winter months in Latvia the locals love to eat stewed sauerkraut. This is a dish that’s common to find at Latvian Christmas markets.
It’s made of fermented cabbage that can be both sweet, salty, or sour depending on how it’s made. The sauerkraut is stewed with onions and cubed pork belly and is served smoking hot, usually together with some boiled potatoes and smoked sausage.
Beetroot soup is very popular to eat in Latvia. Like you can hear on the name, it’s made of beetroots.
The soup can be served both hot and cold, depending on how you like it. The cold beetroot soup is made from beets, kefir, cucumber, eggs, and different kinds of herbs.
It’s actually quite tasty, so make sure to taste it while you’re in the country.
Latvia is located next to the Baltic Sea, and therefore fish is common to eat. Fishermen in villages along the coast have been smoking fish for centuries with different kinds of wood.
The wood have a big impact on the smoky flavor of the fish – alder, birch, and maple wood are the most popular to use. When traveling along the coast of Latvia, make sure to try this local Latvian food.
Grey peas with speck
This is a dish that’s considered to be the national dish of Latvia. It’s a popular Latvian food to eat during Christmas and New Years, it’s said to bring good luck and fortune when eating up all the peas.
The peas are soaked before being boiled, and is then stewed with fried onions and cubes of speck. It’s a popular meal to eat during the cold winter months in Latvia.
Beef and onion stew
Another classic is “sīpolu sitenis”, which is a stew made from beef and onion. It’s usually served with a side sallad.
If you like stews, then this is definitely a dish that you should taste during your stay in Latvia.
“Mellenu klimpas” – blueberry soup with dumplings
This is a dish that’s most commonly served as a dessert, however, it can be served for breakfast or as a snack as well. It’s a sweet soup made of blueberries, potato starch, sugar, and lemon. Before being served, it’s topped with some dumplings made of wheat flour, milk, egg yolks, and sugar.
It’s a unique dish when it comes to Latvian food, so make sure to taste it if you see it on a menu somewhere.
View this post on Instagram
More about Latvian food
Peas, beetroots, cabbage, potatoes, pork, oats, rye, and wheat are staples in the Latvian cuisine. Latvian food is usually made with lots of butter.
Black pepper, dill, grains, and seed are also common to use in Latvian food.
Meat is common in main dishes, but fish is also common due to the location next to the Baltic Sea. Both raw and smoked fish is popular to eat in Latvia.
The people of Latvia usually eat three meals a day. They start with a light breakfast of sandwiches or an omelette, usually together with a glass of milk. They eat lunch around 3 pm, which is the main meal of the day. Sometimes the locals eat both appetizers, entrées, and desserts for lunch.
Supper is the last meal of the day. Some people choose a lighter dinner, and some end the day with another big meal.
What’s the national dish in Latvia?
The national dish in Latvia is grey peas with speck, also known as pelēkie zirņi ar speķi.
- Honey cake
- Latvian bread soup
- Gingerbread cookies
- Biezpienmaize – Latvian cheesecake
- Cielavina Cake
View this post on Instagram
- Riga’s Black Balsam
- Local beer (Aldaris, Bauskas, Cēsu, Uzavas, Tumšais, Gaišais)
- Fuit juices from wild berries
- Latvian wine (Sabile)
- Clique (vodka)
Christmas food in Latvia
In Latvia they eat the main Christmas family meal on the 25th of December. A traditional Latvian Christmas dinner usually consists of 12 different dishes.
Some of the most classic Christmas food in Latvia include roasted pork, carp, boiled or roasted potatoes, grey peas, stewed sauerkraut, pig snout, gingerbread, and sweet roots.
Do you have more questions about Latvian food and cuisine? Leave a comment below!