Astorija: (J-3) Didžioji 35/2, tel. 236-0840. Open:12-24. A fabulous little bar inside the Radisson, serving some of the best draught beer in Lithuania. Pricey, but still cheaper than anything youll find in the West.
Bix: (D-5) Etmonų 6, tel. 262-7791. Open:11-02; Thu., Fri., Sat. 11-05. The bar that was founded by and named after a once-notorious local rock band remains better than many. It can get a bit boisterous in the main bar area, especially during the weekend, and so taking a break with the pool tables upstairs may be a better option.
Brodvėjus: (J-2) Mėsinių 4, tel. 210-7208. Open:12-05; Sun. 12-02. Two bars and a dancehall, skinny local babes and the occasional tipsy car mechanic from Iceland all await you in a firm favorite location thats kept up its standards without being overly pretentious. In keeping with their eclectic style, classical music concerts are staged most Sunday evenings. Recommended if time is short in the city and you need something everyone will like.
The Globe: (F-4) Bernadinų 8/8, tel. 266-58 85. Open:11-24. Reassuringly expensive and brimming with well-behaved foreigners, find this welcome retreat with its large sofas and (gasp) thoughtful staff tucked away upstairs in the equally wonderful Shakespeare Hotel.
Fashionbar: (C-4) Trakų 2, tel. 243-0777. Open:07:30-01, Thu.-Sat. 07:30-06, Sun. 09-24. The current favored watering hole of the citys wannabe überslick, its cheaper to subscribe to Fashion TV and watch it at home with a takeaway lager, but thats somehow missing the point. Variety is the spice of life, and as theres nothing quite like this anywhere else in town it should be applauded for its unique take on life.
Iki Aušros: (D-5) Aušros Vartų 15, tel. 8610-04131. Open:19-02; Fri.-Sat. 19-04. If you thought the bill at The Globe was pocket money then try spending a few hours in here. Featuring strip club prices without having to lie to the wife about where youve been, Vilnius original cocktail bar is where the cream of the cream come to relax and enjoy the ambience, juggling barmen and illuminated ice cubes in your drinks to boot.
Literatu Svetaine: (G-2) Gedimino 1, tel. 261-1889. Open:11-24; Fri., Sat. 11-03. The long-awaited reopening of one of this magazines favorite conservative watering holes reveals the kind of facelift youd expect to see on the bastard child of Barbarella and a Moscow hairdresser. Glitzy kitsch madness for fruity people tipping fizzy drinks down their designer throats. Horrifying and very welcome indeed.
Paparazzi: (G-1) Totorių 3, tel. 212-0135. Open:17-03. Fri, Sat 17-06. Another welcome addition to the capital, this time in the shape of a cocktail lounge complete with great décor and a well-heeled clientele. Excellent for after-work drinks, post-club intimacy or just spending the entire evening knocking back fancy booze in a glorious atmosphere, you could easily fool yourself into thinking you were drinking in Milan.
Prospekto Pub: (G-2) Gedimino 2, tel. 262-2019. Not to be confused with the dreadful downstairs
Kukabara, Prospekto Pub is precisely what you get if you put two of the citys most famous expat haunts into paper bag and shake hard. Thankfully, they mixed the good bits with the good bits and came up with a music venue with a Wild West bar attached. Excellent for a beer after work or large groups of tourists due to the sheer size of the place.
SkyBar: (B-4) Konstitucijos 20 (inside the Reval Hotel
Lietuva), tel. 272-6272. Open:16-01; Fri., Sat. 16-02:30. Wow! Picture-perfect views of Vilnius. A must for tourists, even recommended as a first stop to get your bearings straight before you explore the rest of the capital. Beside great views, they also offer a fine selection of cocktails and snacks.
The PUB: (I-2) Dominikonų 9, tel. 261-8393. Open:11-02; Fri.,
Sat. 11-05. The brainchild of a group of professional English drinkers
is now in local hands, but retains much of its original British bar
style. Two areas in which to drink, plus a fairly respectable menu and
a large clubish area out the back which also doubles as the citys
only pub quiz venue once a month.
Trečias Brolis: (F-2) Sirvido 6, tel. 261-2404. Open:10-04; Fri. 10-05. The Third Brother is located in the Writers Union building just behind the Central Post Office. Enter through the heavy door and head to the left of the elegant staircase to discover where Lithuanias hard-drinking, chain-smoking, hard-up writers come to argue and brawl. Drunken dancing daily. All the faded glory of Soviet days gone by that you might be looking for. An experience.
Avilys: (G-2) Gedimino 5, tel. 212-1900. Open:11-01. Popular with locals, expats and tourists alike, the word Avilys is Lithuanian for beehive, which as well as being a play on words that can be translated as meaning a buzzing place for good friends also refers to whats on offer inside. The delicious home-brew beer for example features one
(medaus) made from honey, which is also used in the food (try the beer ice-cream). Great fun for groups not least because of the great towers of beer they also sell.
Būsi Trečias: (G-1) Totorių 18, tel. 231-2698. Open:11-23. A comfortable ground floor bar that wouldnt be out of place in some of the more eccentric areas of London, and a monster upstairs space to compliment, but notable really for the beer they brew on the premises. For those who need to know these things, būsi trečias means youll be the third, which is a local way of saying that luck isnt on your side.
What's to Drink
Lithuania's beer market is not considered as strong as Estonia's or
Latvia's. Nevertheless, there are some local brews that can compete with very good foreign
beers. The most popular among them are Utenos and Kalnapilis.
Lithuania is also a great place for vodka. The best brand is
But as with its northern neighbors, Lithuania has its own set of liqueurs
to spring on unsuspecting travelers. Some favorites are the strong honey liqueur Krupnikas,
as well as the multi-fruit-based liqueurs, such as Palanga or Dainava.
Overall, the choice of liqueurs is much wider in Lithuania than in Estonia or Latvia.
Midus, or mead, is a magical, potent honey concoction. Another good drink
is gira, which is made from grains and flavored with fruits. Also worth trying is kveisas,
a beer-like drink made from fermented birch sap.
There are also some nice wines produced in Lithuania, many by a
winery in Anyksciai district. Their specialty is fruit wine.