Every summer, thousands of kitchens, outdoor terraces, cafes and restaurants in Lithuania go pink. Šaltibarščiai, also known as the Pink Soup, is one of the most popular and indeed very refreshing dishes of the hot season. Yes, the soup is cold, and it’s pink. It’s also popular in neighbouring countries, namely Latvia and Poland, but there are some regional nuances.
A little sweet, a little sour, a little salty – call it Lithuanian umami flavour – the traditional base for the Pink Soup is pickled beetroot, kefir (sour milk), cucumber, dill, green onions, hard-boiled egg… But this is where the fun begins. Every cook has its own best recipe of Šaltibarščiai, and some of the most innovative methods include caper, crawfish tails and even raspberry beer. Wondering where to get something like this?
This year, our national tourism development agency Lithuania Travel together with 32 restaurants around the country presented a pink map of some of the sweetest spots to try Šaltibarščiai. There are four kaunastic spots on the map, and we love them all.
The centrally located Višta puode, for example, serves cold buttermilk soup with curd – it might lack the instagrammable pinkness, but the taste takes you to another level. For business lunch, they often offer the classic pink, too!
Uoksas, the creative kitchen of modern Baltic cuisine, praised by Scandinavian travellers, offers deconstructed cold pink soup with sour buttermilk, wild garlic oil, beetroot and lemon thyme sorbet.
Other recommendations in the map include Dia and Momo Grill, but we suggest you don’t stop there and demand Šaltibarščiai everywhere you go. Folkas in the Old Town and Monte Pacis in Pažaislis Monastery usually serve some kaunastic options, while Bernelių užeiga offers traditional Šaltibarščiai.