Long, narrow and filled with wedding stores, vintage parlours, and hipster bars – the unique charm of Avotu street is undeniable. It starts at the crossroads of Čaka and Blaumaņa street and meanders all the way to the Grīziņkalns. A former workers' district, Grīziņkalns is experiencing a slow rebirth.
This place Doesn't Need a Name
At the beginning of Avotu street resides this breakfast café-cum-cocktail bar. Their breakfast menu features classics with a sophisticated twist such as French Toast, oatmeal and PBJ alongside more unorthodox morning plates like baked potatoes with truffle oil and grilled cheese sandwich infused with Bloody Marry. When the day melts into evening, the place turns into a bar that also serves an extensive list of dishes – from pasta to tacos and burgers. When it comes to drinks – the fans of Negroni will not be disappointed.
- Avotu iela 4
- +371 28013660
Founded in a former cork factory, this Art Centre is worth taking a detour to adjacent Lāčplēša street. It’s the home of Zuzāns collection – the largest private collection of Latvian art, which spans from the 19th century. Zuzeum also features a lovely store, café and a rooftop terrace that frequently hosts events during the warm months.
- Lāčplēša iela 101
- +371 28385748
This little bar of the microbrewer Nurme resides in the middle of Avotu street. Apart from the extensive collection of their own hoppy drinks and ciders, here you can also taste and buy tipples from other local microbreweries such as Malduguns, Contra and Hoplaa.
- Avotu iela 53
- +371 20 001 903
Set in an industrial courtyard, this bar has become an extended living room for many young Rigans. While technically not on Avotu, but E. Birznieka-Upīša street, it's well worth the detour. Laska Bar frequently hosts DJ sets, concerts and stand-up comedy open mic nights.
- Birznieka-Upīša iela 8b
- +371 29 139 062
Beloved by the local joggers, families and dog owners, the park features a children playground, designated area for dogs as well as skate park. There's also a statue that remainds of the park's previous title – it was named in an honour of the 1905 Revolution. The park was a focal gathering point during the uprising against the Russian Empire.
Grīziņkalns park is not only famous for its picturesque lanes. It's also the Place where Ghetto Games takes place. What started as street basketball tournaments has grown into street culture movement and this laid-back burger join Ghetto Pietura is one of its brainchildren.
- Pērnavas iela 42
- 26 487 882
One of the city's most charming parks. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the park has a large fountain that's frequented by the smallest city dwellers during the summer. There's also a basketball field, a fenced area for dogs and a playground for the kids. Today the historical pavilion building is reimagined into a relaxed café.
The neighbourhood has a notable collection of wooden buildings. One significant example of this architecture is the building at Krasotaju 12. Today the building houses an institution Koka Rīga that's devoted to preserving Riga's wooden architectural heritage. Koka Rīga often hosts exhibitions, workshops and other events.
- Krāsotāju iela 12
This is another reason why carnivores pilgrimage to Avotu street. As the name notes, here, the main dish is the local speciality karbonāde – a Latvian answer to Wiener schnitzel. Served with all the traditional trimmings – boiled-cooked glossy gold potatoes, a bit of salad for the conscience and a dill dip. Not to steal this quintessentially Latvian gastronomical experience from the plant-based eaters, the same portion also comes with a karbonāde made of courgette. There are also options for cheese lovers and pescatarians.
- Lienes iela 10
- +371 25 771 155
Downtown sports quarter
The largest playground in Riga resides on the way from the city centre to Grīziņkalns. The playground’s design was inspired by the cityscape - here one can find the Old Town, as well as the towers of Pārdaugava. During the summertime, a water fountain offers a splash of refreshment. The park is suitable for pre-school children as well as older kids. There is also a spacious and well-equipped skatepark on site.
- Kr. Barona iela 116a