If you know me, you know I love farmers markets.
This particular market falls into the category of massive and well-known. It also happens to be pretty damn unique – sprawled within and in between four enormous blimp hangers just outside Riga’s cobbled old town.
Inside each hanger, you’ll find a collection of vendors that seem to be clustered based on what they sell. Butchers in one hanger (set apart from the other three). A fish market in another. A fast-food cafeteria (featuring everything from fried chicken to edamame) and collection of bakers and honey-sellers in another. And the fourth taken up by produce vendors (who also sprawl around and in between the hangers outside).
You’ll find bakeries selling lightly honeyed, crisp treats (labeled cak-cak), row upon row of hand-fermented pickles, and pretty much any seasonal, local produce you can think of.
There’s even a grocery store in one of the hangars if you can’t find what you need from the market vendors.
How to get there
Just outside old town and steps from the main bus station, you’ll find Riga’s Central Market here.
When to go
The market is open daily and is especially bustling on the weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, earlier is best. For lunch in the cafeteria, you’ll need to wait until they open at noon.
What to expect
Fresh produce, fermented vegetables (pickles, cabbage, etc.), honey, cheeses, baked goods, smoked meats, fresh-butchered meats, fish, and prepared food in the cafeteria.
Latvian! Though many vendors speak English (or will happily type your total in to a calculator – no conversation needed).
What (else) to do in Riga, Latvia
Have a multi-course, forest-inspired meal at the fabulous Restauran 3 (psst…you’ll want to book ahead). Enjoy a stroll through old town and the park just north of old town (which is particularly pretty when the leaves start turning in the fall). Take a day trip to Saulkrasti to visit the beach and walk through the well-kept trails in the pine forest. And enjoy the lovely boutique shops just north of old town (like Riija).