No matter if you are a blue-collar worker, a freelancer, a businessman or a tourist, a pub is the place to finish off a day well spent. While there’s plenty to choose from in Kaunas, ranging from cheap student pubs to high-end restaurants that happen to serve beer as well, we believe a person needs something he or she can trust. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six places we can recommend with our eyes closed. The list can of course be continued – in fact, we’d love to and we hope to! Don't forget to share your impressions on social media and tag them #kaunastic. Oh, and there are two words you need to know - alus (beer) and į sveikatą (cheers).
A. Mickevičiaus g. 35
Opened in the end of 2015 in a small blue wooden villa, the craft pub immediately became ‘own’ and ‘local’ for a safe amount of people. It’s a real beer pub with a handful of other drinks on the menu (those lucky to be there are really worth it, by the way) and a small yet confident choice of snacks. But first, beer. That’s the essential place to get your fix of Dundulis, one of the most prolific microbreweries in the country. Tastings are frequent so if you hop in and find a dozen people silently swirling their glasses, don’t hesitate to join them. It’s not a sect.
Great music swinging from free jazz to futuresque indie is yet another thing we love about the pub. No wonder as its name, meaning something curvy and echoed, comes from a podcast called VINGIU DUBINGIU that was broadcast a few years ago.
P.S. There's a petition floating around for the pub to be also open on Mondays.
Rotušės a. 3
Mon-Thu 4pm-2am, Fri-Sun 4pm-4am
There are approximately 15 food and drink places in the Town Hall Square, and Klimas is the one for beer aficionados. The pub, itself less than 1 year old, presents you a history much longer than that. Petras Klimas was a famous interwar diplomat, author, historian, and one of the twenty signatories of the Act of Independence of Lithuania (you can stroll along his villa in Žaliakalnis), hence the name. ‘As real as the sound of vinyl’, claims the pub, and vinyls do spin there every weekend. A great selection on tap, as well, including the only prosecco tap in town. Their flagship beer is Genys, made in a trending Kaunas-based microbrewery.
P.S. Sunday is usually the official Kaunas staff night!
M. Daukšos g. 29
Sun-Mon 3pm-9pm, Tue-Wed 3pm-12am, Thu-Sat 3pm-1am
One might wonder how does a pub as small as a gap between two houses can boast such a large and at the same time niche selection on tap. One wonders and then spends 15 minutes wondering what to get. One then sits in peace with himself. The same ritual can be repeated every week, as that's how fast the tap selection is changing. Expect the unexpected – a detoxicating IPA or a small batch (or a case – the bottle selection is magnificent, too) sent directly from Poland, Norway, Japan, Denmark or Iceland. It’s obvious the formula is working quite well as NISHA has just opened a joint in the capital, too. We, of course, prefer the kaunastic version we gently call ‘our little beer library’. The team, however, calls it a perspective of a bar.
M. Daukšos g. 23
Mon-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am, Sun 12pm-10pm
Just a few steps from NISHA, HOP DOC is what the name suggests. True beer professionals will kindly offer you what they have best on tap or bottled, and they won’t leave your stomach unattended. Who could have thought a brioche bun, a tuna steak and a slice of pineapple fit so well together? The secret is probably in the pint that is always served first.
Vilniaus g. 34
Sun-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am
As the rest of the pubs we’ve listed only offer what their (micro)breweries of choice make, AVILYS, or The Beehive, has gone one step further. It produces its own honey beer (hence the name) and has been doing that for ages. Raw, unpasteurized, light or semi light. If you are really into the liquid we’re talking about you can even visit the microbrewery itself. AVILYS is also a restaurant and a pretty fine one, if you please. That’s the place you’d take your family to for a special occasion, for sure.
THE PUB (also known as THE HOG, OLD MEN or KAUNO ALUS)
Birštono g. 8
It’s one of the very few pubs in galaxy that have no official name. None whatsoever. There are at least three colloquial ones, though. The Hog comes from the head of the animal hanging inside, Old Men probably has something to do with the average age of customers, and the last name is written outside – but it is NOT the official name, mind you. Of course Kauno Alus beer is on tap, together with Biržų Alus – those are the two old school Lithuanian breweries.
The best thing about the pub is that it’s open earlier than most of us start the working day (7:30am!) and is closed at 10pm sharp. Very sharp. It’s a true working class pub, serving those in need, and serving them cheap. Bring a fiver and you’ll end up buying drinks for others, even snacks (do try the hunters cheese or the boiled peas). It’s dirt cheap, we’re telling you (a pint costs around 70 eurocents), but there’s nothing else dirty about the pub. The staff is very nice and friendly, and the regular crowd only take care about their own business, unless you really want to talk to them.