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The Latvian Lunchroom

Home > Adelaide > Bakeries | Brunch | Cafes | Food and Wine | Markets
by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published July 4th 2015
What's on the Menu?
Adelaide is home to restaurants from many nationalities. Each country's cuisine is like a taste of home for many expatriates and their extended families. For those who have not had the opportunity to travel far and wide, it is also a chance to try new foods and tastes.

The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market
The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market


With the new addition of The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central market, Adelaidians can now sample authentic Latvian cuisine. This is a place that not only features the cuisine of Latvia, but also the culture and customs.

The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market
The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market


The word on the street and further afield alerted me that there was a Latvian place at the market to discover. Having a family connection to Latvian culture, I was curious whether this place would live up to expectations.

Latvians love their cakes
Latvians love their cakes


The food, decor and program here have highlighted Latvia and its heritage to a tee. This little eating-place is near the Grote street entrance. It is compact in size and quite intimate, but more than makes up for this with an economical menu. The impression of the food is of home cooking and very fresh ingredients. Their wild mushroom menu options are exceptionally well done. All the food is presented in a simple way, which is very authentic. This is a no fuss and frills experience (except on special occasions).

Birch champagne at The Latvian Lunchroom
Birch champagne at The Latvian Lunchroom


Latvian Cuisine
The Baltic flavour on the menu is everywhere. I know people who cross town for their pirags. Pirags are little yeast pastries which are filled with bacon, onion and pepper. They are very bite size and a great starter for a meal, even breakfast. There is a hunter's breakfast for $9 with fried potatoes, fried egg and bacon. The gatherer's breakfast includes mushrooms and a dill gherkin. Or try the deluxe Baltic breakfast.

Delicious wild mushrooms and red cabbage at The Latvian Lunchroom
Delicious wild mushrooms and red cabbage at The Latvian Lunchroom


Latvian staples on the menu include sauerkraut, dill gherkins, potato salads and lots of dill. They have a great range of open sandwiches and delicious snack plates. Drinks include plunger coffee and teas. There are Latvian beers and for special occasions birch champagne. Latvia is home to many beautiful birch forests and the birch extract is added to champagne for the most divine bubbles. Mulled wine is also on the menu. The classic Latvian liqueur the Black Balsam is available here. This is a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur made with many different natural ingredients mixed in pure vodka, a very potent liqueur and an acquired taste.

Strudel on the Jani Day Lunch Menu
Strudel on the Jani Day Lunch Menu


Latvians love their cakes too, with black forest, honey cakes and strudels to tempt. Plus berries and fruit flans in season.

Looking down on Riga in Latvia
Looking down on Riga in Latvia


Latvian Culture
The lunchroom has information on Latvia, some of it is written in Latvian. There is a sense that this is a little haven on the other side of the world for Baltic food to come to the fore. Latvia is a small country of just over two millions people in Northern Europe that borders Estonia and Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. It is one of the three Baltic States. It used the Latvian lats as its currency until this was replaced by the Euro on 1 January 2014.

Jani Day Lunch Menu
Jani Day Lunch Menu


Jani Day
Jani day is an ancient celebration in Latvia and a big event for all Latvians. It is celebrated on midsummer. The summer solstice is also the time of the birthday of St. John, which is celebrated on 24 June by the Roman Catholic Church. Jani is Latvian for John. The Jāņi day that is celebrated today in Latvia is a four-day holiday and an opportunity to reflect on the beliefs and actions of their ancestors. It's also a way to cleanse the soul and body with song, and a time to dance, eat, drink and be merry. Celebrations go on day and night. The Latvian Lunchroom hosted their own Jani day lunches, which were a great success. A special set menu was a highlight with a wonderful communal atmosphere at the table and in the market.

The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market
The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market


The Latvian Lunchroom caters for a varied population of people. The times I have been there it has had office workers, students, market regulars and many of the Latvian community stopping by. Inga is the proprietor, with a list of bakers and cooks who make this a go to destination for so many in a short space of time. The Latvian lunchroom opened in March 2015, but is already going from strength to strength. Following the success of the Jani day lunches, they are now offering set menu lunches on a Wednesday.

Proprietor Inga and baker Valda Burleigh
Proprietor Inga and baker Valda Burleigh


For more information on this hotspot of Latvian heritage and fine wholesome food, check out their Facebook page.

The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market
The Latvian Lunchroom at the Adelaide Central Market
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Why? Try Latvian Cuisine
When: Tue: 7:00 am - 5:30 pm Thu: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm Fri: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm Sat: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Adelaide Central Market 44 – 60 Gouger Street, Adelaide 5000
Your Comment
Excellent article.Never tried food from Latvia.Must give it a go.I imagine it is a little bit similar to food eaten in Poland,where I once spent 3 weeks.They use dill a lot there as well.
by noelp (score: 3|1166) 869 days ago
With all those cakes, I can see a serious calorie consumption issue about to arise !
by Steve Hudson (score: 3|1240) 868 days ago
Sounds worth a visit, thanks Jenny.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|10450) 870 days ago
I went to eat right after I read this article last Friday! It was absolutely worth trying! I like their Riga Burger, which is only $9! Thanks for sharing~~
by YAN (score: 0|6) 863 days ago
My fiancée, half Latvian herself, and I had lunch there early in the week: superb! Filling, tasty-as and well-priced. The staff were all friendly, happy and knowledgeable (good management!) A wonderful dining and cultural experience - highly recommended! Alistair and Heather xxx Paldies!
by alist (score: 0|2) 578 days ago
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