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Destinations · Europe · latvia · Riga · Where to eat · A Real Find

Buffet Gauja

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Buffet Gauja

Three triangular tables and two bars in a compact space, and three tables outside in the summer mean that you may have to wait your turn. While the Gauja is a tiny café, it is not to be missed if you are looking for a peek at alternative Riga. The Gauja is one of the city's hot spots for unconventional people. This is where you can almost always find local musicians and artists, who create the special ambience of the evening hours here.
The café's interior is derived from a typical Soviet apartment. Its blue walls, whitewashed ceiling with rounded corners, weak, overhead lamp, conspicuously black electrical outlets and funky furniture and bookshelves are all authentically and typically Soviet. The books on the shelves, the music and the paintings are also from that era. Chess, checkers and dominoes are among the parlour games at hand.
Music has special meaning at the Gauja - here you can get recordings that you can't find anywhere else. The owners have their own recording studio and the Gauja often holds special events for poetry, music and art.
Bear in mind that although it's called a buffet (bufete), the Gauja serves mostly drinks. Named after Latvia's most romantic river, it serves the sorts of snacks that you can cup in your hand like a passing stream - nuts or chips. The pleasing exception is something like a Soviet croque-monsieur, prepared fresh on the spot.
The Brenguļu beer (Brenguļu alus) is a must. It's unpasteurised and comes from the banks of the actual river.
Regulars at the Gauja leave messages for each other on a bulletin board, but this welcoming crowd won't mind if you join in.

Tērbatas iela 56
Open noon to 23:00 every day.
www.bufetegauja.lv

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