What can I say about Riga other than GO! I think it takes its place at the top of my favourite cities list. I had rad so many conflicting reports about Latvia's capital and some do have some truth to them, for example, beware of paying more in some taxies than others, try and avoid the moronic groups of tourists all staring at the same thing at the same time etc but to be honest if you have any nounce (common sense) about you at all you will find your own way around, do some research about great places to go and you will probably like us, have a wonderful time here. The Musuem of occupation should be on your list even if just to be aware of what the people here have been through and of course you have to indulge in a little cafe culture too. The people we encountered were very freindly and helpful (contrary to what we had read), our hotel (The Nordic Bellevue) was a pure delight and Bjørk in concert at Riga Arena was really special.
In terms of being vegan in the city, well, really it wasn't a problem. I contacted the hotel by email in advance and explained we were vegan. We were given our own soya milk each morning and tratedby the chef to a mixture of vegan breakfasts including baked mixed beans and olive oil toast, fried mushroom, potatoes and broccoli which did sound odd fro breakfast but I really enjoyed it and fresh fruit salads. Out in the town we found a lovely pizza place called Il Patio where they were only too happy to make cheeseless pizzas, a japanese restaurant which I cannot recall the name of but it was opposite the hotel had a heap of vegan food on the menu. I sampled around 4 dishes there during our stay including potatoes in black bean sauce and vegetable singapore noodles and all were delicious. Where we could not find vegan dishes we simply asked the waiter and they spoke with the chef and prepared us something with no trouble at all. Indeed on our first night we arrived at 11pm. It was past 12 when we went in search of food having not had a vegan option on the flight. The 4 rooms restaurant in the main square happily made us a fresh vegetable pasta with olive oil and potato wedges with a salad. What more could you ask for?
So all in all this was a wonderful trip. We will certainly return. Next time we will take the children rather than leaving them at home with the folks. There is a beach resort near the town which we did not have time to get to but we will perhaps stay there on our return.
Now it is back to work and play!