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2021-11-29 08:25:32


DINING -> Restaurants
By Anatol Steven. 09.02.2011

Meistaru 21 , Riga Email:
Working hours: Mon-Sun 12 - 24

Old-school meat lovers with big appetites should head straight to this place. Old-school meat lovers with big appetites should head straight to the Livonija restaurant in the Old Town.

Appropriately situated next door to the historic Great Guild, it serves up huge medieval plates of food that would satisfy the appetites of the most portly dukes, duchesses, queens and kings.
Now under new management, heavy furniture recently carved from mighty trees has been heaved in, the menu improved and the interior decoration altered.
To find this rather elusive subterranean dining hall, first head to Livu Square. On the western side of the square – on the far side if you’re coming from the direction of the Hotel de Rome – the entrance is a courtyard roughly halfway across, oftentimes guarded by a welcoming monk in a hooded cloak. A weaving passage will then bring you to a doorway where you turn left and descend some stairs. Watch out for the uneven top step, which may be dimply lit at night.
In the restaurant, which is atmospherically housed in a vaulted brick cellar directly beneath the Blue Cow steakhouse, a medieval ambiance is created with throne-like seating, grilles on the windows and chandelier lighting. The owners say that Riga’s old city wall runs along one side of the restaurant.
A compass recreated from ancient maps with inscriptions in Latin has been hand-painted on the floor. Crest-embroidered tapestries and banners adorn the walls, lit up in the candlelight. You can almost feel the presence of the laird of the manor, at least in spirit. This could once have been a secret meeting place for the powerful merchants of the Great Guild, plotting their trading strategies and forging bonds over strong drink.
Order a tankard of Latvian beer, some of which has been infused with ginger, cinnamon and honey, and drink to the melodies of traditional Latvian folksong. The speakers look slightly out of place, being the only visible modern technology in the room besides the carefully hidden radiators.
The feast of food, when it arrives, could satisfy a dragon. Filling dishes such as the oven-roasted ribs and the honey-glazed pork chop, each for under 10 euros, come with heaps of mashed potato and garnish. Other vegetables can be ordered additionally. The pike fillet is the best of the fish selection.
If by then end of the meal you feel the need to fill that last tiny space in your bulging stomach, the apple strudel should do it. Then ask the waitress to call a cab to carry you back to the hotel – even if it’s just round the corner.