Vilnius Café Guide 2020 Edition
Are you visiting Vilnius and want to find the best specialty coffee cafés in town? Then make sure not to miss this blog where I introduce the best cafés in Vilnius! Vilnius has been booming in recent years in specialty coffee cafés and new ones are popping up all the time in various locations. Let's see what are the best specialty coffee cafés in Vilnius!
BREW. SPECIALTY COFFEE
BREW - specialty coffee roastery in Vilnius since 2015. First opened in the old town, near MO museum (Pylimo location), and in 2020 they opened new roastery and café in new part of town – Naujamiestis (Algirdo location). Both places already got their regulars and both places are suited for those remote workers.
BREW offers different kinds of freshly roasted beans for espresso and filter coffee. From interesting espresso to full-fat or milk alternative lattes and flat whites, matcha or chai to cold brews and full-bodied Aeropress coffees. They offer even smoothes as well as sparkling wines. One will also find cool breakfast options (think cinammon buns with pistachio cream and liofilized raspberies), freshly-made sandwiches and toasts, baked goods, superfood smothies & bowls. Vegetarians, vegans and meat-lovers will be satisfied for sure.
- Roastery - YES
- Food – oh yes, worth checking only for those cinnamon buns with pistachio cream.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – They co-crafted coffee kombucha with makers of Būk Čia kombucha in Vilnius. Limited edition. And they do organise cuppings of their coffee selection from time to time.
- Address: Algirdo g. 38, also on Pylimo g. 19
It‘s a small, cosy, family-owned coffee shop in Monmartre of Vilnius – Užupis. They serve Taste Map Roaster‘s coffees and they are passionate all about coffee, chocolate and good taste. Locals and tourists can enjoy espresso or brew bar coffees, tea, cascara, matcha/chai or turmeric latte, milkshake or freshly pressed juice. Affogato with home-made icecream is a dream-come-true to be enjoyed while soaking in the view of the Užupis Angel. Or another dream would be a piece of Šakotis (traditional cake) – a rare find on any cafes menu preferably enjoyed with long black or a filter coffee brewed with Hario v60.
- Roastery - No
- Food – avocado toast and hummus toast and traditional lithuanian cakes – lazy cake, napoleon and Šakotis along with french classical croissant.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – They make their own chocolate pralines and chocolate (5-6 different bars) as well as great icecream throughout the year (more flavors during the summer, of course). They also serve the most traditional Lithuanian treat – tree cake/christmas tree cake aka Šakotis (which is absolute favorite and you barely find it in cafes). Also they have their own Barista School for beginners, which is great.
- Address: Užupio g. 9, Vilnius 01201
A new independent specialty coffee place in town – a bit from the center, in a charming residential area of Žvėrynas. The place was created by three experienced coffee guys – under the name of Kavos Broliai, or simply Coffee Brothers, who source the beans from small, non commercial farms, roast the beans, serve both espresso and filter coffees, love design and jazz and are also very crating and socially-responsible.
The cafe is small, yet cozy with gramophone playing once you enter the premises and of course, a great cups of coffee. There‘s no set menu: they roast what they have, but you one can expect to find coffees at least from Ethiopia, Kenya, Costa Rica.
The thing is that cafe is open only till 3 pm – so good coffee deserves a dedicated time, right? Plan ahead to dive into this freshly roasted seasonal coffee heaven.
- Roastery – YES - Kavos Broliai were roasting since 2017
- Food – only few cakes
- Outdoor seating – NO
- Anything else – They offer coffee subscritptions (one a month you get 3*300 g of coffee) – how cool is that?! ALSO, since the guys close at 3 pm, their working day is not over – they do coffee tastings with education and practise for small groups – awesome, right?
- Address: Vytauto g. 35, Vilnius 08119
CROOKED NOSE & COFFEE STORIES
The Inventor of Bro (made out of wood and linen), coffee enthusiast Emanuelis Ryklys have started his coffee journey-business around eight years ago. All started from roasting 100 packs of coffee for Christmas fair in his kitchen to a minimalistic cafe in Vilnius old town.
Crooked nose is dedicated to slow coffee, thus only filtered coffee is on the meniu, from Aeropress, Chemex and Bro to Syphon and Nel Drip. Cascara from Ethiopia is a bonus as well. There‘s only real cups, thus if you want to take away, please, bring your own reusable cup. You can also shop for unique ceramics if you like the cups at the Crooked nose cafe. Neighbors are happy when Emanuelis is roasting coffee – the aroma is incredible, and I bet it stretches down the street. Emanuelis has also written the first lithuanian book dedicated to coffee – Tebunie Kava by Dvi Tylos publishing house. It‘s an easy read about all things coffee: fundamentals, current new, coffee making tools, discoveries and inspirations.
- Important to note the working hours: Thursday-Saturday from 10:00 to 4 pm. Sundays are for tastings.
- Roastery - YES
- Food – no, but there‘s „Patorė Sesės“ bakery next door.
- Outdoor seating – YES, few tables
- Anything else – Emanuelis does plenty of tastings of coffees he roasts, gourmet tasting when matching coffee with various foods AND he started hosting small size roasting classes (i finished one as well – what a pleasure and flow of information it was). All events are held on Sundays.
- Address - Šaltinių g. 20, Vilnius 03213
- Website and e-shop
A light, playful, enchanting caffe of Italian hospitality and spirit, owned by two former bank marketing managers – Ramunė and Julija. Italala name derives from Italy of course and „lala“ means happiness, good mood, easy living. One would ask why Italy and Italian vibe? Ramunė and Julija wanted a specialty coffee bar with italian spirit: specialty coffee from Ditta Artigianale roastery, warm service, sincere attention to clients, cosy atmosphere and tasty cornettos, tiramisu, gelato and panacotta veramente. And they have it all – the most wonderful thing is that you will meet the owners at the counter almost each day!!!! If not Ramune or Julija, then Julija’s daughter, head barista Goda, who won Lithuanian Barista Championship in Vilnius Coffee Festival 2019. Goda and the team creates seasonal drinks that you want to try, be it Levander Latte, Apple pie or Mucca latte, to various Cold Brew variations. On the menu: espresso bar with around ten different specialty coffees, roasted in Florence, or pour over coffees, made with Chemex, Aeropress, V60, homemade lemonade or green cocktails, affogato, spritz, frappe or matcha/chaga latte. Their working hours might surprise: Monday-Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, Friday – 8 am to 9 pm, Saturday- 9 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm. Lithuanians like to have their coffee or tea even late in the evening, so why not, while swinging on the famous Italala swings, overlooking Vokiečių street.
- Roastery - NO
- Food – Yeah, fresh baked cornetti with spreads, panini for lunch, aperitivo for the evening and many seasonal cakes (carrot or apple or plum), biscotti, cannolo, lime cake and cheesecake, brownie of course and chia pudding and not forget to mention wonderful panna cotta and tiramisu.
- Outdoor seating –YES
- Anything else – Home made Italian gelato. My favorite – simple vanilla gelato that reminds me the of ice cream my grandma used to make. Thank you, ladies. There‘s usually five different flavors.
- Address - Vokiečių g. 1, Vilnius 01130
A unique, urban, creative cafe, located in Naujamiestis, loft neighbourhood where the owners, super talented photographers - Vytenis and Ieva - used to live. It‘s a place where you can sit for hours (on one of those leather armchairs or sofa) and be entertained: listen to great music and eat all day, while working or observing people or neighbors/local come and go, secretly listen to peoples‘ chats. Or if lucky, you can meet the owners‘ dog, or better put, the symbol of the place: the dog is in the center of the Backstage Cafe logo. Backstage people are on a hunt for best coffee farms, best lots of specialty coffee. All their coffees are available for purchase on the spot.
Their coffee menu is huge from hot to cold options: espresso options vary from americano with milk to rosemary latte or rose late, brew bar consists of filter coffee, V60, Aeropress and Chemex as options. In tea they also have wide selection, including famous matcha latte and berry drink. Summer options are exciting: iced rose latte, creamy cappuccino, cold brews, iced green or black tea, iced cacao, kombucha or lemonade.
Last time I visited Backstage Cafe, their head barista Goda treated me with wonderful Bolivian coffee from two of Rodriguez farms from Samalpata region. It was both chocolatey and greipfruty and a very fragrant cup of coffee. I strongly encourage you to try out their seasonal coffees with lime pie or cinnamon buns. The wonderful baked goods and tasty breakfast and lunch options comes from the kitchen upstairs, all freshly made.
- Roastery - YES
- Food – AMAZING food all day – MADE ON THE PREMISES and suited for vegans, vegetarians, kids. Breakfast options: omelette, curd pancakes, oat porridge, lunch: hummus with pita, seasonal soup, beef kofta, warm salad with burrata, stir fry, cashew masala and wraps. BUT their BRUNCHES are to die for: turkish eggs, shakshuka, avo toast, croque madam, Asian omelette, eggs benedict or royale, curd pancakes with homemade caramel and brioche with hazelnut cream and ice cream.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – They do care about our planet's resources: offering discounts for coffee if you come with your own container/old coffee bag – all the neighbors are using it, lovely indeed. Bonus vol. 2 - if you come with your own cup or mug – here‘s your discount as well.
- And their own adorable Barista Dominykas is collecting their coffee grounds to be used for special installation for his studies – well thought and well done, Backstage people.
- They bake everything themselves and on the spot and their banoffee and lime pies are so divine, as well as cinnamon buns, brownies or seasonal cakes.
- Address: T.Ševčenkos g. 16h, Vilnius 03229, also opening a cafe-reading room on Vokiečių g. 6 (Vilnius City Museum)
Any guesses what could Elska mean in Icelandic? Love, yes, the most powerful word. Why Icelandic word you might ask? Elska Coffee is facing Icelandic street and is located on busy intersection of two streets. It is super cool to sit and gaze thru those big windows when it is cold, or sit outside once warm and get your dose of vitamin D.
Elska Coffee is a mix of vintage and modern, a great mix need to say and it also has a hipster vibe – thecafe is connected to Pamėnkalnio galerija (Art gallery). If you are creating art, you can exhibit in Elska Coffee as well. Their interior is colorful with different chairs and some colorful accents.
Their espresso bar is all the classics and must-haves. You can also find Kalita Wave and V60 on brew bar and other signature drinks, real good smoothies, cascara tea, fresh orange juice. Since they have so many vegan sweets, they also do have a wide variety of plant-based milks.
Visit Elska Coffee for a good americano and a vegan treat like snickers bar. I especially like that they have an assortment of newspapers which such a rarity these days! Also, another fact worth mentioning – a jewish bagel shop (Beigelių Krautuvėlė), the best one in Vilnius, is nearby on Pylimo street 4. So just in case you are feeling like treating yourself with extremely great carbohydrates, you know a place to go. OR you definitely can try Elska’s unbeatable avocado toast with goat cheese and chili flakes. Yum yum.
- Roastery – NO, they serve Andrito Coffee from Latvia and occasionally Kalve Coffee from Latvia.
- Food – yes, wide selection of toasts, sandwiches, porridges, bowls, omelettes, or just sourdough bread with butter and jam. Really awesome overnight oats, chia or rice pudding and of course - croissants
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else –They make their own sourdough bread, imagine that! And it is the only place, I believe, in Vilnius where you can get edible coffee bar. And awesome addition to coffees – kombucha ON TAP.
- Address: Pamėnkalnio g. 1, Vilnius 01116
A fresh and new addition to Vilnius coffee scene - Coffee Spells opened a year ago with a plan to serve only coffee – no food, no kitchen, no additional staff. Yet, owner Aistė needed to change her plans many times, especially due to pandemic (no more tourists). So, today we live and enjoy another concept of Coffee Spells with a wide array of food to choose from as well as coffee. The place is located on Pylimo street, just in front of a beautiful Vilnius Choral Synagogue. Interior is simple and minimalistic with a few authentic ceilings and pieces uncovered for us to gaze.
Their espresso bar is fully-equipped with espresso as well as ice lattes or americanos with milk. Brew bar also deserves words: from classics of Aeropress, Chemex and V60 to Lithuanian Bro and Israelian Botz. One will delight in cascara, seasonal tea, cocoa or matcha latte – a must in Vilnius these days.
A real gift is to try new filter coffees that Crooked Nose roasts and delivers to the bar – have you ever tried coffee from China or Yemen? This place has that homey, nostalgic feeling, when you sip your coffee gazing thru the windows to synagogue, thinking of the days and times that passed and are spreading butter to your daily bread while taking a bite of hard-boiled egg.
- Roastery – No, they serve Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories coffee
- Food – oh yes, indeed, Greek yoghurt with granola or overnight oats, simple boiled egg with bread and butter, of course, or fried egg with mushroom sauce or Lithuanian classic – curd with honey and nuts. Not forgetting the staples of sourdough toasts with avo, beetroots and goat cheese or PB and banana. If feeling more indulgent, go for rice pasta with nut sauce or Israeli couscous, or veggie bowl. It‘s hard to choose from their pancakes and curd cakes, french toasts and snacks, like baked Camembert with pistachio cream.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – Really great that they make their own cakes on the premises (from cheecake, cinnamon/poppy seed buns to vegan or gluten free cakes). Special Fridays with Atlantic bagels (solds out quickly) or seasonal baked goods (like christmas eve traditional poppy seed cruchy crackers "kūčiukai“), depending on either Lithuanian or Jewish celebrations. I mean, they are in front of the only synagogue in Vilnius, so they really treat the neighbours right. Since they have their own kitchen and chef, they tend to improvise and offer new things weekly.
- Address - Pylimo g. 38c, Vilnius 01308
It all started out two years ago, when brothers Aistis and Martynas, went on a mission to spread their knowledge about specialty coffee and educate Lithuanians. Brothers are active consumers who became deeply interested in making coffee as a ritual and wanted to share knowledge as well as tools for making great tasting coffee at home. Kavos Reikalai or coffee affairs is a cafe as well as an e-shop, where you can find coffee gadgets ranging from few euros to several hundred euros.
Won‘t deny – it is one of my favorites places to stop, have a perfect flat white, chat with the brothers or work. The place is perfect for it all. Busy advocates, civil servants or coffee geeks come and go with coffee cups in their hands. The bar is almost in the center, near Gediminas avenue and Lukiškių square. Brothers or their baristas can serve you black and white classics, batch brew ior coffee tonic as well. Of course they have matcha and matcha latte if you ask along with cocoa and tea, cascara and chai oat latte.
- Roastery – No, they sell all Lithuanian roasters coffees along with guests from Latvia (Rocket Bean, Andrito), UK (Mission Coffee Works), Sweden (Johan & Nyström), Poland (Coffee Lab and Hard Beans Coffee Roasters) or Italy (Ditta Artigianale).
- Food – they do serve few high quality lime pie, brownie with goat cheese and raspberries or vegan brownie, passion fruit or raspberry cake and croissants, cookies as a well deserved coffee bar should. Oh Lithuanian Tealure kombucha and great tasting Ice Dunes ice-cream as well.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – Brothers are Lithuanian ambassadors of Minor Figures and many coffees, but also teas (Tea Pigs in particular). They are almost always in the cafe, so feel free to chat up or ask advice on devices or coffee roasters.
- Address - Šermukšnių g. 1, Vilnius 01106
A small coffee shop in Loft area where single origin, sustainable coffee roasters from Cornwall shine. Also, they also have some of the best teas (Waterloo Tea). It was created out of a dream for lovely neighbors, car drivers and office people around, so they could have a slow moment to savour coffee and grab a healthy brekkie or snack. And it is indeed loved by neighbors and coffee lovers. These guys were the first ones to introduce those succulent scandinavian cardamom buns to Vilnius – thanks to them!!! The tradition continues and one can expect those buns only on specific days – to make the waiting more special upon the first bite.
Their coffee menu is also small: espresso based drinks and filter coffees brewed with V60 and Aeropress, along with matcha/turmeric latte, teas, hot chocolate and cold tonic espresso.
- Roastery – No – they offer Yallah Coffee from Cornwall.
- Food – Succulent cardamon and cinnamon buns ONLY Mondays and Thursdays that get sold-out real quickly. Some hearty sandwiches as well as renowned marcipan "potatoes“, bisquits and croissants.
- Outdoor seating – few tables
- Anything else – They are closed Fridays and Sundays. Seasonally, offers are different and mostly handmade: pastries, cups, candles. Or buy grinder, sustainable reusable cup. Their neighbors on the same building, Babarskienės Šakočiai, offers one of the tastiest Šakotis as you can get in Vilnius (over 30 years of experience) – so if you haven’t tried this Lithuanian specialty, here you go, wait no more.
- Address - T. Ševčenkos g. 16I, Vilnius 03111
Photo credit: Sandra Balke
Strange Love is known for locals since 2015. They aim "for personal relationship with coffee“ and what can I say – they have succeeded of serving their freshly roasted coffee with love. Most people drink their coffee for their strolls in Bernardinai Park, or just sitting, sipping freshly roasted coffee with delish vegan dessert in their cosy courtyard or balcony. Minimalistic interior, roastery behind glass wall in cafe and mouth-watering pastries and desserts – do you need more of? I guess that not – folks at Strange Love will greet you sincerely and with love. Besides espresso bar and filter coffees, they are proud of their cold drinks: espresso rose, cold drip or iced aeropress/flatwhite/latte. Their pastry chefs make chocolate mousse or vegan pies, bake poppy seed cakes and croissants and other delicate sweet creations.
Photo credit: Sandra Balke
- Roastery – Yes
- Food – oh yes, say Great Morning to Italian, French and English food, deligh in american pancakes or Lithuanian curd ones, frech baguette or croissant sandwich or try scrambled or silken eggs. For lunch, tasty salads, soups or vegan bowl not to mention their hand-made ravioli with boletus or spinach-ricotta. And so so many sweet things to try.
- Outdoor seating – YES
- Anything else – Besides their freshly roasted coffee, one can order really tasty cakes one click away. Or throw birthday/wedding party at their amazing location just a step away from Bernardinai city park (yap, I was lucky to participate in one event).
- Address - B. Radvilaitės g. 6B, Vilnius 01143