With so many café and restaurant chains coming to Vilnius, it’s always nice to find a place that is independent, somewhere that’s just a little bit special, a bit different. Užupio Klasika has truly got it in spades.
Užupio Klasika. Photo by Julius Bailey-Augalistas

Located in Užupio Street, the short stroll halfway up the hill takes only 10 minutes from the city centre and there you’ll find it, just on the left hand side.

Words can hardly describe this place and how much it means to me. It’s classy and quaint, cosy and intimate, sophisticated without being intimidating. It has an air of grandeur, of nostalgia, of distinction. You will find no riff raff here, just locals enjoying a nice lunch and a glass of wine. It’s not too “touristy”. It’s cultured yet down to earth.

Perched on the hillside, it’s the perfect vantage point to soak up the unique Užupis ambiance and watch the world go by, whether while sitting outside on a summer’s day or nestled inside by the window watching the winter snowflakes fall gently to the ground while you sit there enjoying a beautifully cooked steak and a glass of red wine. Having spent many an evening wiling away the hours in this place over the years, I can think of no better sanctuary from the stresses and strains of life.

Užupio Klasika has a wide variety of tasty dishes on offer, from pork, chicken, beef, rabbit, fish dishes and tasty salads, with set menus starting at around € 11 per person. The wine menu surpasses that of any of Paris’s best restaurants. Užupis makes Montmartre look more like a council estate.

After your meal, why not descend the Montmartre-style steps and take a stroll through Bernardinų Sodas (I still call it Sereikiškių Parkas). If you’re feeling particularly energetic you may wish to climb the steps to the top of the Trijų Kryžių Kalnas (the Hill of Three Crosses).

If I were to choose where to eat my final meal on Earth, it would be at Užupio Klasika. If you get the chance to visit, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

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