This time let’s make a virtual brunch in Vilnius. Let’s start with the markets, where you can find tasty and fresh Lithuanian strawberries and some traditional Jewish food - the Beigels. Later on let’s take a look at the fanciest market in Vilnius, where you can feel the Southern Europe's atmosphere. For the last stop - explore the market with Lithuanian cheeses and Italian wines. Some of the markets are popular every day, especially in the mornings, when we need some fresh eggs or berries for our pancakes. Other ones are perfect for Sunday's brunch with families and friends. For sure, all the smells and tasty views can dizzy your head, but it is something unique, colorful and loud - the best markets in Vilnius.
The Halės turgus (in Lithuanian turgus means market) is the oldest and largest market in the whole city. It was constructed in 1906 and till now it offers various types of traditional Lithuanian food. So if you miss strawberries and apples tasty as from your grandma - that’s the place to find it. The Halės market is located in the city center near the train station, so it is a perfect stop for some traditional Lithuanian food while discovering the city. From white homemade cheese, (perfectly suits with honey - one of the oldest desserts in Lithuania) and tasty pastries with all kinds of fillings, to fresh vegetables and meat. Also, there is one more ”worth to see” spot - the ”Beigelistai” breakfast & brunch restaurant. This restaurant is offering traditional Polish Jewish food - beigels. According to the L. Rosten's book ”The Joys of Yiddish”(1985), Beigels were created in 1600 in Krakow, Poland, as a gift for the women in childbirth. The shape of the beigels reminds a ring or a circle, and till nowadays these pastries are popular in Europe and America. Coming back from the nice beigels stories to our virtual brunch tour, there are more lovely places in Vilnius with fresh farmers' products - the Tymo market (where is also happening the Open Kitchen festival) and the Kalvarijų market on a different side of the city.
Moving on from the traditional Lithuanian markets to the more fancy and modern one - the Uptown bazaar. This market is not only the place to buy some vegetables or meat from the first hands, but there is also much more - various restaurants, cafes, and bars. This place is perfect for some evening drinks with colleagues, before going home for dinner with just bought fish from the Southern Europe. The thing that is quite new in Lithuania, but common in some other countries, is that you can try different foods before buying it. It reminds me of some small Portuguese markets, and it is great to have something similar in Vilnius.
The Benedict market is a gourmet market, where you can eat your late Sunday’s breakfast and enjoy some nice food from all over Europe. Although it can be similar to the Uptown bazaar, this market has some particularites. The location is surprising, because we are used to have this kind of places somewhere in the city center, but not with the Benedict market. Of course, Vilnius is a small capital, and almost everything is near the city’s center, but this market is located in the Fabijoniškės district - not the most popular one. But it does not mean that it is hard to reach it - from the city’s center it is about 10 minutes ride with the public transport. While the Uptown bazaar is more specific with restaurants and cafes, the Benedict market is offering fresh fish, meat, vegetables, homemade ice creams and pies, nuts and sweets from Lithuania, and the whole world. One more reason why is worth to go there is its architecture - for sure it reminds you of some Southern European cities, with its tiles similar to traditional Spanish and Portuguese azulejo (white and blue painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework). So, if you want to spend a nice weekend afternoon or morning, buying and trying some tasty goodness and feeling some pleasant uproar around you - this gourmet market is for that.
I hope that with this virtual tour you have got the idea that, in Vilnius, you can find either traditional food from lovely villages and farms, or to feel some southern countries vibes while drinking Aperol Spritz and eating prosciutto. So, for now, let’s finish our tour about unique, colorful and loud - the best markets in Vilnius, and let’s make some real brunch in Vilnius soon.
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