Riga Restaurant Reviews: Lido

27 July, 2016

Riga Restaurant Reviews: Lido

This week my parents and my youngest sister are in Riga with me for a week, and it is proving to be an eye opening experience! Having lived in St. Petersburg before, coming to Riga felt very regular for me. Riga of course differs in its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture that stretches across any avenue you’ll find here, and the signs in Latvian create a sharp contrast to the “Russian Venice”. But overall I took the layout, culture and feel of city in stride and didn’t marvel at its unique culture and character.

Having them here though has shown me just how amazing this city is, and in the same stroke has given me a lot of new inspiration for things students coming here should know. And since I really like food…. (I mean who doesn’t)

If you’re looking for a nice place to eat legitimate, non-expensive, but well made Latvian/Russian/Eastern European food, the Latvian chain, cafeteria style restaurant “Lido” is the place to go. Yesterday I took my family here because I figured it would be an easy, simple lunch that wasn’t too expensive, but they couldn’t stop talking about how it was basically comfort food advertised as the norm. Offering various grains and starches, a variety of salad options, Latvian soups, desserts and of course, kotlety and other varieties of meat dishes, there are tons of combinations for any day. And while it’s not super expensive (maybe 6 euros for a side, a main dish and a drink) the food is really high quality. Cooked right in front of the guests, the food also comes in relatively large portions and the servers are really friendly.

That “cooked right in front of you” setup is especially useful when you don’t know how to say words in Russian like “Pork Shank”, or you’re not really sure what something is but it looks AMAZING.

There are three different locations in Riga, all differing in size but offering the same types of food. I’ve listed them with short monikers to distinguish one from another:

  • Small Lido (in old town): Tirgoņu iela 6, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
  • Medium Lido (a bit further from old town): Elizabetes iela 65, Riga (this one is right next to the school)
  • Big Lido (Recreation Center): Krasta iela 76 Riga, LV-1019, Latvia

 If you’re looking for suggestions, the potato straws (aka fries) are to DIE for, and basically any meat option you get will be both satisfyingly savory and filling. I either go with the beefsteak (for the sauce that comes with it too), or the chicken fillet.

If you’re in Riga, this restaurant is definitely a must visit.

Mark Kennedy, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Riga

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Posted by Mark Kennedy

Всем Привет! My name is Mark Kennedy, and I’m currently studying Russian at the Liden and Denz Language Center in Riga, Latvia! To say I’m excited to be here is a severe understatement. Currently I'm going into my fourth year at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where I'm enrolled as a dual-degree candidate, earning two degrees in Russian Language and Literature, and French Horn Performance. I started my study of Russian during a two-year mission for my church in St. Petersburg, Russia. Probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! My language learning started off as kind of a trial by fire: with only 12 weeks of training beforehand, I was thrown into Russia and expected (to attempt, at least) to hold full on conversations with people. In the beginning it wasn’t pretty, but the sink or swim mentality of it all forced me to work hard from the start, and motivated me to really overcome any issues I had quickly. Combined with a personally guided plan of language study and some study materials, I came to love the language and the Russian people a TON! Two years later and I’m still studying it… Outside of Russian language, my French Horn degree keeps me busy. Favorite composer is probably Richard Strauss, and my favorite symphonic work is The Rite of Spring Suite by Stravinsky. (Debussy Piano pieces are my favorite non-symphonic works). I’m also into basically anything arts related: singing, dancing, listening to Maroon 5, drawing Sharpie art, going to art exhibits, going to orchestra concerts, etc. In terms of sports, I was a collegiate rower for the University of Michigan in 2011-2012, when we won the National Champions Team Trophy, and I play Ultimate Frisbee. I’m excited for this opportunity to write for Liden & Denz, and to share my enthusiasm and excitement about Riga and the Russian language!

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