There are so many great restaurants in Kaunas, Lithuania that you won’t want to miss on your trip to the city. Some of the best Lithuanian meals that I’ve had in Lithuania have been in Kaunas (especially the Kugelis!).
If you are spending a bit of time in the city, be sure to check out my guide on all the best things to do here.
This list includes top-notch Lithuanian restaurants as well as the best international spots that I’ve tried during my many trips to Kaunas.
Best Restaurants in Kaunas
These are the best restaurants in Kaunas that I’ve enjoyed during my multiple trips to the city. This list will no doubt grow as I explore it even more. But for those visiting the city for the first time, this should easily fulfill more than a week’s worth of eating in Kaunas!
At the bottom of each recommendation is a link to the location on Google. I like to pin the best restaurants in Kaunas to my Google Maps so I can open the app whenever I get hungry and find the nearest place. That way you’re never stuck somewhere wondering where the best local restaurant is!
1. Restoranas Bernelių Smuklė
There are a few locations of this place around Lithuania, but it originated here in Kaunas and the food is much better here than in Vilnius in my humble opinion.
I return to this place on every trip to Kaunas because of the Kugelis. Kugelis is a Jewish dish made of potatoes that have been grated up and cooked with some sort of fat. In this case, pork meat. It is topped with a huge ladle of sour cream and lots of bacon and accompanying bacon fat.
It is not for the faint-hearted (quite literally), but if you are dining with two or more people, this is a delicious dish to share. It is decadent and creamy. When I first tried it I was convinced it must be made with tons of cream and butter. But I have since learned now to make it and know it’s all about that pork fat.
A few other dishes on the menu here that are exceptional are the veal stew, the cepelinai (Lithuania’s national dish!), and the potato sausage. They also make their own kvass in-house.
2. Medžiotojų užeiga (Hunter’s Inn)
For something hearty and traditional, don’t miss a dinner at the Hunter’s Inn. This restaurant is located right in the main square of the old town in a historical building which no doubt has not changed much since it opened nearly 100 years ago.
They serve game meat, as the name suggests. You’ll find venison, wild boar, pheasant, and other less popular meats on the menu as well as some more traditional beef and pork for those that don’t like that gamey flavor.
They have slow-roasted joints of meat paired with crispy potatoes. There are stews that will warm you up on a cold Lithuanian evening. They have a really nice local beer selection and a full bar menu for those that don’t like beer.
This is a truly wonderful experience and one of the best restaurants in Lithuania to experience traditional cooking.
3. Senis ir Jūra
Senis ir Jūra means the Old Man and the Sea, after the Hemmingway novel. They were one of the first to bring excellent seafood dishes to this landlocked city and they are doing it with a flourish.
It is perhaps one of the more upscale restaurants in town, but it is still relatively affordable when compared to restaurants of this caliber in other cities around Europe.
You’ll find everything from shrimp and mussels, to oysters, octopus, and grilled fish. They stick to a lot of traditional seafood cooking styles from around this region like curing and smoking, but there are also some fantastic grilled options and soups on the menu.
4. Baking Mad
I am forever in search of a great burger and I have found one of the best at Baking Mad.
I avoided coming here despite it being recommended to me many times because it is a themed restaurant. Baking Mad is covered with Breaking Bad (the TV show) paraphernalia. There is a mural of Walter White on the wall. There are chemistry beakers around the place. There is a mannequin in the yellow hazmat suit at the entrance.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Breaking Bad as much as the next gal, but could they be kitschy AND be making good burgers?
The answer is very much yes. These burgers are thick and juicy and perfectly cooked. They are packed to the brim and the patty comes all of the ways to the edge of the brioche bun so there are no bites without the burger.
They also have a great selection of local craft beer and cider on draft. They have a fully stocked bar with a fun cocktail menu (Breaking Bad-themed cocktails are also quite delicious).
For a light Lithuanian-style lunch, this is a great place to head in the summertime. It’s mostly an outdoor patio area in the same building as the local Folk Museum, but the food here is wonderful.
I particularly like coming here in summer for one of Lithuania’s most beloved dishes, Šaltibarščiai or cold borscht. Made with beetroot and kefir, this doesn’t sound or really look particularly appetizing. But on a hot summer’s day, nothing tastes better than this earthy, sour, chilled soup.
Kaunas’, and indeed, one of Lithuania’s best fine-dining restaurants. Uoksas focuses on traditional and seasonal ingredients like mushrooms, locally sourced meats, foraged herbs, and the humble potato to create a modern and delicious tasting menu that foodies won’t want to miss.
The six-course menu is a very reasonable €40 (an additional €30 if you want wine pairings).
You’ll find cured meats, smoked fish, pickled vegetables, and hearty game meats on their autumn and winter menu while you can expect lighter and more herbal fare on their spring and summer menus. Check out their website to read more about their ethos and menu options.
7. Jurgis ir Drakonas
For a great wood-fired pizza, I find I am always drawn to this Lithuanian chain (started by a British husband and his TV-famous Lithuanian wife).
The pizza here is all about that fluffy, crispy, perfectly cooked dough. The topping options vary from traditional margarita or locally sourced pepperoni to interesting tuna or hamburger pizzas. They have meat feast pizzas and vegan pizzas and just about everything in between to suit everyone in the family.
The menu varies slightly depending on the location, so if you’ve been to one in Vilnius, you’ll likely spot different pizza options when you visit the Kaunas branch.
They also have draft beers and seriously delicious homemade lemonade.
Avilys is a local brewery that also serves up some of the best “pub” style food I’ve had in Lithuania. If you want to pair your small-batch beer with pork shank that has been stewing for hours or plump tiger shrimp with a creamy sauce, this is the place to head.
I have been here twice – once to enjoy the beers and their legendary beer snacks (I highly recommend the fried cheese curd) and a second time to have that pork shank. They also have a few vegetarian and vegan options.
Vegans and vegetarians (and vegetable lovers in general) won’t want to miss a meal at Moksha.
They specialize in Asian flavors with everything from Thai curries to Indian-spiced soups on the menu.
The menu changes almost daily with seasonal ingredients at the forefront. In autumn they make delicious pumpkin dishes and in the summertime, you’ll find plenty of fresh salads and wraps.
Each day there are usually three or four menu options and one freshly made dessert available. It’s best to come for lunch or an early brunch because once the menu item is sold out, it’s gone for the day.
10. Vilties vaistinės arbatinė
Another fantastic vegan option and my personal favorite place for a healthy lunch is this cafe. They are the only place in all of Lithuania that I have found doing traditional Lithuanian dishes without cream, meat, or any other dairy products.
Their soups are light and flavorful. The borscht is my personal favorite. They also make creamy mushroom dumplings with coconut milk and fluffy potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
They have vegan desserts as well if you want a sweet treat with one of their strong coffees.
There are a few Georgian restaurants around Kaunas, but this is the place that is always packed with people. Both times I have been, I’ve had to wait for a table at lunchtime (both times were both on a Saturday so that probably didn’t help).
The Chačapuri is perhaps the most famous (and delicious) thing to order here. It’s like a big bread boat filled with cheese and egg. You rip off pieces of the bread around the outside and dip them into the filling.
The other thing I recommend trying here is the soup dumplings. Much like a Chinese soup dumpling, the thin pastry is filled with meat and broth and steamed until cooked.
I was taught to take a bite from the top and let the steam out before tipping the opening into my mouth and enjoying the soup first. Then eat the rest of the dumpling as normal.
12. Višta puode
By day this is a lovely cafe for light lunch, good coffee, and even better pastries. By night, it’s a fantastic seasonally-focused restaurant that specializes in chicken (“višta puode” means chicken in a pot).
They do indeed have plenty of soups and stews, but they also have excellent grilled and baked dishes with crispy chicken skin and healthy side dishes. This is a great place to take the family if you have some picky eaters because they have a really nice selection of basic ingredients done very well.
This is an absolute Kaunas institution. Not much has changed at this place including the staff, the decor, the recipes, or the prices. Don’t expect service with a smile, but you’d be stressed if you were serving a snaking line out the door from open until close each and every day.
The main reason I come back here is for the doughnuts. They sell them so quickly they are almost always fresh out of the oven and still warm as you take your first bite.
The other reason to come here is for the very traditional chicken broth and unsweetened bread on the menu. You get a small mug of rich almost sweet chicken soup and dip in your salty and fluffy bread. It’s a nice mid-afternoon snack or a very light lunch.
Don’t be put off by the line. It moves quickly and is very much worth the wait.
14. Momo Grill
Every local’s favorite restaurant in Kaunas, Momo Grill is definitely one of the most sought-after restaurants in town on a Friday and Saturday night. You definitely need to make a reservation if you plan to come here.
Like most modern places on this list, they focus on seasonal and local ingredients. The food is cooked very well and there are plenty of options on the menu including steaks, pork chops, grilled chicken, and even grilled octopus.
Everything is made from scratch in-house, including their exceptional desserts. Be sure to leave room, because they are without a doubt the most exciting things on the menu here.