Pastry Delights in Riga

Pastry Delights in Riga
12 June 2024

Nowadays, pastry delights in Riga have taken over the city, with the opening of new cafés. It is well known that among various cities around Europe, each takes pride in their baked specialties. Not surprisingly, Riga has long joined its European sisters in this trend. Today, Latvia’s capital city is a great destination for those with a sweet tooth! Here, are three of my personal favorites:

Eklēri (Pistachio éclairs)

Pastry Delights in Riga

A pistachio éclair from a local bakery

It’s no surprise that Latvians enjoy the well known French éclair among several other pastry delights in Riga. While window shopping throughout Riga, you will most certainly give in to this sweet treat. Nicely placed among several other specialties, Eklēri is irresistible to any fan of desserts. As you hesitate to choose between dozens of pastries, a miracle takes place. You will undoubtedly fall for its minty green glaze. Despite what the French might have to say on this topic, I will always stand by the Eklēri of Riga.

Speķa pīradīziņi (Bread rolls)

Pastry Delights in Riga

Latvian bread rolls

For those in need of a savory snack, this personal favorite is certainly for you! While it’s recipe might differ among Latvian families, Speķa pīradīziņi,also simply known as pīragī, always makes an appearance at any special occasion. Although they are often small, do not underestimate the great power of Speķa pīradīziņi! You can easily identify them by their crescent-shape and bacon filling. Among other popular ingredients for this Latvian pastry you can find them stuffed with fish, cabbage or cottage cheese. This makes them ideal for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. I’d only suggest translating the name of the pastry before purchasing one at Riga’s various bakeries. Funnily enough, I was taken by surprise when tasting my first pīragīi. Overcome at first by its sweet taste, the bacon was surely unexpected!

Sierra kuka (Sieriņš)

Pastry Delights in Riga

Latvian cheesecake with matcha and vanilla

As we all know, Riga’s coffee shops are also great places to try out more modern pastry delights. A big café lover myself, I recently tried out my luck with Motto’s specialties and I did not regret it! Although not obvious at first bite, they take inspiration from Sieriņš. You can find these candies, popular for their soft and sweet flavor at any Latvian supermarket. The matcha and pistachio combination will definitely leave you wanting more!

So, if you’re looking for a sweet treat between your Russian language classes, not a single one of Riga’s specialties will disappoint you!

Elena Balan is currently a student at Liden and Denz, Riga

These images were taken by Elena Balan

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