For my first meal in Vilnius, Lithuania, I wanted something traditional. My Portuguese friend Pedro, having met me at the bus, was with me for the afternoon and evening. After we’d checked me into a great hostel, we kept an eye out for a good, but affordable place to eat.
The main street through the old city is really nice, but, as you’d expect, the restaurants are touristy and costly. I felt we did well finding Forto Dvaras.
Pilies g. 16, Vilnius
+370 5 261 1070
Rather than stay at street-level, we entered the front door and elected to follow the old stone stairs downward.
The stairway hall was colorful without being gaudy, and I loved the stone walls. Our reward was discovering the large dining area in a fabulous stone cellar!
I loved those steps and the brick walls of the entire interior.
For my introductory meal, I wanted something traditional so we got the Cepelinai (or Zeppelins in English). They are the Lithuanian variation on the dumpling, the Polish Pierogies, the Italian or Austrian gnocchi — only quite large, the size of an adult fist.
Forto Dvaras restaurant serves 28 varieties and many were tempting but we both ordered the Traditional filling. It was a smoked ground meat. It is served with a side cup of a mixture of not-sour sour cream and sautéed onions. You mix this in the cup and pour it over your Cepelinai.
It was quite good and extremely filling. This is sticks to your guts food that really fills you up.
My only regret was that I didn’t return to try some of their other dishes.
Later, when Pedro told his Lithuanian girlfriend what we had for dinner, she made a face. I suspect she frowned up it as peasant food.
Getting to Forto Dvaras
The website for Forto Dvaras is FortoDvaras.lt. However, I can’t get it to load. The restaurant is definitely still open though; a friend from Vilnius told me so in February 2017.
Forto Dvaras is on the same Main Street as Hostelgate, where I was staying, just 1k down the road at the furthest end, toward the river and the large town square.
Here’s the walk from the great Hostelgate to this enjoyable and affordable restaurant.