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Cita Puse

By Anatol Steven. 12.02.2014

Cita Puse

Save to foursquare 11.Novembra krastmala 35, Riga Phone: 2968 8593
Working hours: Mon-Thu 11.00 - 23.00, Fri 11.00 - 05.00, Sat 15.00 - 05.00,



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This lively “bar and art café” has wide windows looking towards the River Daugava, making it sunny and (almost painfully) bright during the day and giving it a special street-lit riverside ambiance at night.

Find the unassuming entrance on the Kalēju Street side of the Latvian Artists’ Union building, which holds free-of-charge daytime exhibitions on two floors – just walk in through the main door and take a look.

The two lads who opened Cita Puse, which translates as “the other side”, spent time working respectively as a cook and a barman before finding the right space for their dream project – a casual eclectically designed bar serving Pellini coffee and tasty slap-up food by day and a party venue for rather more culturally aware people by night.

They imported second-hand household furniture in different colors and styles from Norway, made the bar from pieces of broken doors and decorated the walls with contemporary paintings, most of which are up for sale. It’s a bold prospect putting art worth up to €800 on the walls of a bar that can get pretty rowdy. Above the frames, air ducts stretch unapologetically through the L-shaped room.

The night is always young at Cita Puse, where Friday and Saturday nights stretch well into the early hours. DJs, some of them coming from Lithuania or Russia, spin house, drum’n’bass, electro and soul, with live music taking place once a month or so. Sometimes film loops get screened on the wall.

There are also occasional theme nights, for example exclusively featuring music by Depeche Mode or Red Hot Chili Peppers. A cloakroom and security are on hand, and you may face a small charge to get in.

Saturday is also wine night, with special prices on house wines and a 25% discount on the rest – about ten reds and ten whites.

There are few surprises in the cocktails (€5-€6.40) – margarita, cosmopolitan, piña colada, mojito, etc. But try the “amber miracle”, an amber-colored mix of apple vodka, melon liqueur, Campari and pineapple and lime juice, or “coco aven” with Riga black balsam, apple vodka, Malibu, raspberry syrup and fresh lime. Other drink options include Latvia’s Bauska beer, Leffe Blond and ginger mint tea.

By day, the food is pretty good, served between 11am and 11pm. The cook enjoys his visits to the nearby central market every morning. His burger (€4) has quickly amassed a following, and he also rustles up a fine beefsteak (€8.50), tacos, pastas, Caesar salad and a yummy old-fashioned “Riga salad” with sprats. But Cita Puse is best experienced at weekend nights, which can see upward of a hundred people coming and going.


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