Lithuania’s capital Vilnius is one of Europe’s most underrated destinations. You’ll find charming cobbled streets that wind through its medieval Old Town, a rich cultural history and a delicious mix of both modern and traditional food. While many travelers skip the Baltic states altogether, the ones who do go north east usually only visit Riga or Tallinn, and miss out on this gem. Don’t be one of them!
I’ve been enamored by Northern Europe since I was a teenager. Perhaps it’s the fact that I come from the southern most region of New Zealand, so I find the polar opposite impossibly intriguing. We were lucky enough to spend our week in Lithuania as guests at Tinggly’s Blogger House, a beautiful loft nestled in by the Neris River.
Tinggly Blogger House
Just before I get started on the best vegan eateries and thrift stores, I want to tell you a bit about Tinggly.
Tinggly’s mission is to inspire people to give stories, not stuff. They’re a global gifting solution and they offer thousands of experiences in over 100 countries. Their gift boxes are divided into different sections, for example ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Bucket list’, ‘Rainbow Wedding’, ‘2 Day Getaway’, ‘EuroTrip’, ‘Perfect for Him’ and more!
Just to be transparent, Tinggly haven’t actually asked me to mention them. They hosted and organised our time in Vilnius for free with no strings attached! With that kind of goodwill it’s impossible not to talk about them. We had such a great time, and really value what they are doing.
Now, let’s talk about food and fashion. As a vegan who loves to thrift shop, I explored the city through these lenses and was not disappointed.
VILNIUS VEGAN EATS
There are tons of eateries throughout Vilnius that you can indulge yourself in. I’ve chosen my top five, but as you can see on Happy Cow, there are over forty vegan or vegan friendly places to eat. If you’re staying in accommodation with a kitchen, the supermarket chain IKI is a great place to get all your essentials, and they stock an impressive selection of plant based alternatives. Keep your eyes peeled for their vegan dumplings, rice cream, buckwheat milk and loads more.
If you’re feeling lazy (like we were) you can get cheap, fast and reliable meal delivery from Wolt. We chose Sushi City and loved their avocado maki. It’s not a sustainable choice because it comes in plastic containers, but it’s helpful if you’re in a pinch.
Now let’s discuss Vilnius’ top vegan eateries before we get to the thrift shopping scene, because shopping is no fun on an empty stomach!
Gyvas Baras boasts the proud title of being the first vegan restaurant in Lithuania. I absolutely loved being able to try out the traditional Lithuanian cold beetroot soup, Šaltibarščiai. Traditionally it’s made with eggs and kefir so it was a treat to be able to try the vegan version. I also got the jackfruit burger with sweet potato fries and ‘honey’ mustard sauce, which was all delicious. The staff are very friendly and I appreciated the fun decor, like drawings on the outdoor tables and the indoor artwork.
RoseHip Bistro was our first stop once we arrived Vilnius, and is also fully vegan. It has a two great central locations and an excellent menu including burgers, croissants, smoothies and you can also find a vegan šaltibarščiai here. They have super chic aesthetic that is very instagrammable if that tickles your fancy, and free WiFi. I can recommend the Buckwheat and Pumpkin Buddha Bowl, not only was it all fresh and beautifully presented, but it had vegan feta which was fun to try.
Casa La Familia
If you have a hankering for pizza, look no further than Casa La Familia. It was recommended to us by staff at Tinggly, and as usual locals know best! They have a cool rustic theme and your pizza is made and baked before your eyes in a wood-fire oven. There’s a vegan section of the menu that offers vegan pizzas, and there are also more options that can be veganised. We chose the Mexican and Jack pizzas, which were super tasty and had some of the best vegan cheese we’ve had.
Veggo is one of the nicest vegan stores I’ve been to. We went on a Friday and got a naughty treat haul of vegan jerky, gummy lollies, fudge, chocolate and more. They have a great selection of faux meat & dairy products, including their own plant milks, candies, allergy free goods, zero waste beauty products & pantry items. The staff were helpful and the store itself has a great ambience. They have an online store so you can browse their selection before visiting, or have your order delivered to you within 1-2 days if you’re based in Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia.
I didn’t intend to go to Vieta, but on my way back from thrift shopping I stumbled across it and am glad I did! It’s ironically located right beside Meat Lovers Pub, (maybe it should’ve been named Plant Lovers Pub? 😉 ) It’s a cosy and comfortable vegetarian eatery with decent range of vegan options that are clearly marked on the menu. You’ll find burgers, paninis, salads and appetisers. The staff are lovely and friendly and the meal was made quickly.
VILNIUS THRIFT SHOPPING
Now that you know where to fill your belly and quench your thirst, its time to discover Vilnius’ thrift shopping scene. Luckily for you and me, Vilnius is home to many awesome thrift stores. Most of the city’s thrift stores are part of the Humana chain, but there certainly are other options. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could head to Viskas šeimai which I saw recommended when I was researching but never made it out to.
Humana is a huge chain of thrift stores in Europe that stretches from Sweden to Italy. There are around ten Humana outlets throughout Vilnius city, and even more on the outskirts. I recommend visiting the most central locations first as they have a better selection and the prices are still reasonably low.
Like Humana, Drabužiai 50c also have multiple locations around Vilnius. I went to the Mindaugo g. 14b location, and can recommend it. The store is split over two stories it has a great range. There are a lot of high street brands like Mango, Cheap Monday, H&M, Zara and more. Everything is in great condition, in fact many items still have tags. Just be aware, most items are priced around 7€, not 50 cents 😉
De Zavu Boutique
De’Žavu Vintage Boutique is a little pricer than the Humana stores, but for that you get higher quality, branded clothes. Everything is beautifully laid out, and perfectly colour coordinated. You won’t only find garments, but also some home-ware and chic jewellery. De Zavu is a more relaxed shopping experience as there are less customers than the busier, cheaper stores.
My Thrifty Finds
I always have a list of potential purchases on my phone when I go into thrift stores, so I know what I’m looking for. The most important purchase I wanted to make was some new sandals as my current ones were giving me ridiculous amounts of blisters. I found the New Look sandals in Boutique 50c for €8 and this small crossbody bag in a Humana store for €7, bargains 🙂
Thanks for reading my Vegan Thrift Shopping guide to Vilnius, I hope it was helpful! I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave me a comment.
Interested in reading more Vegan Thrift Shopping guides? Click here to see all my guides to date. If there’s a particular place you’d love to see covered, let me know.
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LESSONS FROM VEGANISM
Are you interested in learning more about veganism? I wrote extensively about how veganism healed my relationship with food in Chapter 3 of my book, Lessons From Veganism. I’ve decided to give this chapter away for free because I want it to reach as many people as possible. I’d love to share more about this journey with you.
Simply click here or the image above, and you’ll be on my Freebies page. There you’ll find Chapter 3, as well as my two self-care e-books, Revamp and Refresh. You can click any of the buttons on that page, fill in your details and check the boxes of the freebies you’d like in the form provided. Then, you’ll receive an email from me with your download link within five minutes.
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