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2016-11-02 Back to list

The Most Kaunastic Vegan Spot of All (And a Few More)

What about pumpkin dumplings with sage sauce or some couscous lasagne with zucchini and tofu? Mushroom cutlets or spinach pancakes? Don’t forget to leave some space for some sugar-free cake or vegan pastries.

As the World Vegan Day is now over and everyone’s stomachs are full of falafels and other treats, we’ve decided to invite you to a very #kaunastic vegan place that couldn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Welcome to Arbatinė!

KVK 9865 1024x683Photo by Rokas Tenys / Kas Vyksta Kaune

Arbatinė, literally ‘The Tea House’, is very centrally located on Laisvės avenue – right next door to the Kaunas municipality, Central Post Office and the State Musical Theatre (all of which are of course points of interest), to be precise. That’s one of the reasons vegan tourists from all around the world choose to come here after their long walks around Kaunas. The other is, of course, the food. But we’ll get to that later.

KVK 9807 1 1024x683Photo by Rokas Tenys / Kas Vyksta Kaune

The cafe opened its doors in 1997 in the premises of a pharmacy that will be celebrating its 50th birthday next year (see picture above). The ‘Vilties’ (‘Hope’) pharmacy used to be much bigger and busier in Soviet times – of course, there were less pharmacies in general at that time, and this particular one also produced medicine. Arbatinė now occupies what used to be a pharmacy laboratory. After all, our food also has to be our medicine, as Hippocrates once said. 

A term that could be used to describe Arbatinė is ‘hand-made’. The interior is a collection of various bits and pieces from past eras, and everything on the menu is made right here, right now, and very often grown by farmers in Lithuania. No prefabricated or frozen materials! And… have we mentioned it’s vegetarian/vegan?

There are dozens of mouth-watering menu items to choose from, and, interestingly enough, you won’t be able to find them in trendy vegan recipe books or vegan restaurants around the world. Everything is trusted, tested and experienced by a lot of people that have been coming to Arbatinė since day one. They're bringing their kids and grandkids, too!

KVK 9888 2 1024x683Photo by Rokas Tenys / Kas Vyksta Kaune


Feeling hungry already? What about pumpkin dumplings with sage sauce or some couscous lasagne with zucchini and tofu? Mushroom cutlets or spinach pancakes? Don’t forget to leave some space for some sugar-free cake or vegan pastries. Of course, you can get them to go! But we suggest you sit down and have them with a cup of black buckwheat tea, as the large windows of Arbatinė are perfect for people-spotting.

Arbatinė (Laisvės al. 100) is open 8AM-8PM Mon-Fri and 11AM-7PM Sat-Sun. 

KVK 9860 1024x683Photo by Rokas Tenys / Kas Vyksta Kaune

Of course there are a lot of other vegan / vegetarian options in Kaunas. Here are some that we can gladly recommend.Be sure to check out the two locations of Radharanė (full of ayurvedic love and warmth) in the Old town and in Laisvės avenue.

Moksha, opened in Vasario 16-osios g. 6 by a Kerala-born Binish Kuruvilla, is among our favourites, too, and its Indian-Thai fusion menu is also carnivore-friendly.

For falafels, go to a revolutionary place Antras aukštas in Šančiai, Prancūzų g. 12 (they have vegan pizza, too!), and an otherwise especially 'meaty' Georgian place called Iberia near the Town Hall (Muitinės g. 1) also makes them surprisingly well.

Holy Donut, a sweet spot near the Historical Presidential Palace (Vilniaus g. 37), will lure you with their vegan donuts – dangerously delicious!

Žalia Pupa (Laisvės al. 87) is a tiny spot very popular on lunch hours that offers falafels, pakoras, comfort soups and other green goodies. There’s another spot of the same branch dedicated for smoothies right across Laisvės avenue.

... have a good and healthy meal! Don't forget to tag it #kaunastic if you're into food photography. 

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