Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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Beer restaurant on Gedimino pr. in Vilnius …. plus ça change

One of the first restaurants we visited in Vilnius over 10 years ago was the beer restaurant on Gedimino pr. not far from the cathedral square. You couldn’t miss it with the statue in the entrance. Was it the pagan beer goddess Ragutiene?

You had to go down the steps, past the microbrewery paraphernalia on your left to enter the main room with smaller side rooms off to the left where we preferred to eat, usually at lunch time.

Not only did it serve a great range of beer from its microbrewery but also good food including beer soup!


We also liked the ambience with all the beer posters on the walls in the side room.

The main room is big and one evening we were there hosted a NATO conference meal for delegates at the Lietuva Hotel (now Radisson Blue) along the riverside (somewhere we used to stay until we found the Shakespeare Hotel in the Old Town). I’ve never seen so many top brass, gold braid and fancy hats.

There are so many restaurants to choose from in Vilnius so we don’t notice until a few years later that it had changed its name to Prie Katedros i.e. near the cathedral. Fortunately it was still serving the same kind of food and beer.



Then last year a new sign appeared: “Craft and Draft” obviously cashing in on the demand for craft beer. And all the signage was in English, a trend I noticed in a few places in the city.

I also noticed the statue had disappeared – perhaps too raunchy for the artisans crafting the beer. A shame really and I didn’t get a chance to check if the food is still as good. Perhaps next time?


My earlier posts on beer

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Goodbye Piccolo Canopi and sėkmės

You’ve probably gathered from my last post that we like our food in Lithuania. And one of our favourite places was the little cafe round the corner from the Shakespeare Hotel in Vilnius, Piccolo Canopi. I hadn’t been to Vilnius for a couple of years but a fellow blogger posted a review in February this year so I knew it was still there.p1010244

The cafe was opened in October 2010 by Tadas and Karolina Zukauskais and it coincided with Tadas’s birthday. So as I was there in October I thought I’d pop in and wish him happy birthday as my colleague did on a previous trip when I couldn’t make it.

p1030937But it wasn’t there! Gone. Replaced by a linen shop.

The lovely lady who ran the shop, Ūla, didn’t know where they had gone. But she was happy to tell me that she and her Ukrainian husband Vitaly were planning to move to the UK. So everyone’s moving.

Wherever you have gone , Tadas, Karolina and the twins, Good luck for the future. I enjoyed your lovely restaurant and appreciated your kindness.

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Now what’s Lithuanian for another bottle of Gran Coronas………………….

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)


I observed this gentleman at a restaurant in Vilnius, he seemed to be brushing up on his Lithuanian whilst indulging himself in a very fine steak and a bottle of Miguel Torres excellent Gran Coronas red wine. Obviously a man of erudition and taste……………and most certainly English!

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Happy Birthday Piccolo Canopi (and Tadas)

On our visits to Vilnius over the last few years my colleague and I have stayed at the Shakespeare Hotel on Bernadiniu Street, just off the bottom end of Pilies Street in the Old Town. And we can’t recommend it highly enough.

P1010330A couple of years ago, as we wandered out of the hotel along Bernadiniu street towards Uzupis, we noticed a new restaurant, Piccolo Canopi, just a couple of minutes from our hotel.

P1010240We called in to check it out and there were Tadas and Karolina, the young couple who owned it, happy to tell us the origins of the restaurant which had been featured in the local press as the restaurant which cost almost nothing to set up.

They did it as a project and it was successful so they kept it going.

P1010244 P1010243 P1010242It’s not a large restaurant and doesn’t sell alcohol but what it does is serve fresh food made from scratch and freshly squeezed juice.

P1010246P1010249The menu varies and the last time we ate there in June 2013 they’d just re-opened at lunchtime (having taken time out to produce twins).

They had also started opening for breakfast that very week.P1010245

It’s a great place to eat, fresh food at reasonable prices. Perfect for small parties it seems particularly popular with women.

And Tadas and Karolina are the nicest people you could hope to meet. A couple of years ago when I was recuperating from a car accident I limped in feeling sorry for myself and although they had finished serving they gave me a drink and even offered to give me a lift if I needed to go anywhere.

So happy third birthday “Little Hooves” (and there is a story about where the name came from but I don’t want to embarrass Karolina) and happy birthday Tadas!

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I saw this unusual sign in the vicinity of the Belmontas restaurant, a converted water mill on the River Vilnia or Vilnele about 4km outside Vilnius.

Frogs are viewed differently; in some cultures they bring harm, in others good luck.

I’m not sure what they signify in Lithuania. Perhaps it’s a warning to people who suffer from ranidaphobia or batrachophobia.

SAM_0308But these frogs hanging around on Pilies g. don’t look like they would be a problem.