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Kabeliai Vilnius Europe: Your Guide to the Coolest Street Food in Lithuania An Introduction to Kabeliai, Vilnius' Famous Street Food Hey there, foodie traveler! Have you been dreaming of discovering authentic Lithuanian cuisine but don't know where to start? Look no further than Vilnius, Lithuania's capital city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with history, culture—and seriously delicious food.
In particular, the bohemian district of Užupis is a hidden gem for anyone looking to dive into the local food scene.
On the main drag of Vilniaus gatvė, you'll find Kabeliai Užupis, an open-air food court featuring 11 different vendors slinging everything from kebabs and crepes to craft beer and coffee.
This is street food paradise, people, and the perfect place to sample a variety of traditional Lithuanian fare like cepelinai potato dumplings, fried bread with garlic butter, and šaltibarščiai cold beetroot soup.
The atmosphere is lively, the prices are affordable, and the food is downright drool-worthy.
If you only have time to visit one place to get a taste of authentic Vilnius, make it Kabeliai Užupis.
Your taste buds will thank you.
The History and Origins of the Kabeliai Sausage When in Vilnius, you have to try the famous Kabeliai, fried or baked dough sticks usually topped with garlic, cheese, or cinnamon sugar.
Kabeliai are Lithuania’s version of churros or beignets and a popular cheap treat.
Head to Town Hall Square where vendors sell Kabeliai from food carts.
You’ll spot them easily - just follow your nose to the aroma of fried dough and garlic! Kabeliai come in both sweet and savory varieties.
For something salty, order Kabeliai su česnaku - fried sticks topped with grated garlic, salt, and parsley.
Or for a sweeter snack, get Kabeliai su cinamonu - fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar.
To eat like a local, dip your Kabeliai in a mug of cold Kefir or buttermilk.
The tart, creamy drink balances perfectly with the warm, fried dough.
Other traditional toppings for Kabeliai include cheese, jam, chocolate or dulce de leche.
Kabeliai make a great cheap snack or light lunch on the go.
A few sticks usually cost around 2 to 3 Euros.
They’re fried up fresh right in front of you, so the dough will be light and airy, never greasy.
Kabeliai may be simple street fare, but they showcase the Lithuanian love of comfort food - and once you’ve tried them, you’ll see why Kabeliai have become such an institution in Vilnius.
Dig in and enjoy this delicious piece of Vilnius food culture! Kabeliai are the perfect introduction to traditional Lithuanian cuisine.
Where to Find the Best Kabeliai Stands in Vilnius The Kabeliai sausage has been a staple of Lithuanian cuisine for centuries.
Originally made from pork, beef, or lamb and stuffed into natural casings, today the pork variety reigns supreme.
A tasty tradition Kabeliai sausages date back to the 16th century, when Lithuanian nobles would hunt game in the forests and needed a way to preserve the meat.
Smoking and drying the sausages allowed them to be stored for long periods.
Peasants later adopted the technique, using more available meats like pork and beef.
Over time, the Kabeliai sausage became a symbol of Lithuanian culture and pride.
Today, the most prized Kabeliai sausages still use old family recipes and natural casings, though some commercial operations have switched to artificial ones.
For the authentic taste of Lithuania, seek out traditionally-made sausages from local butchers or at farmers markets.
The perfect pairing No meal featuring Kabeliai sausages is complete without a side of fried potatoes or sauerkraut and an ice-cold Lithuanian beer.
The savory, garlicky flavor of the sausages pairs beautifully with starchy, salty, and sour flavors.
Mustard, pickles, and dark bread also make excellent accompaniments.
For a classic Lithuanian lunch, try Kabeliai sausages with fried potatoes, sauerkraut, mustard, and a pint of Švyturys or Kalnapilis beer.
Na zdrowie—to your health! The hearty, satisfying fare will fuel you up for exploring all the sights and sounds of Vilnius.
What Goes Into Making Authentic Kabeliai Sausages Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a food lover's paradise.
While the city has a vibrant fine dining scene, the real gems are the kabeliai stands dotting the Old Town.
Kabeliai are fried potato dumplings, similar to potato pancakes, served with sour cream, bacon, cheese, or mushrooms.
They make a perfect quick meal or snack on the go.
Gedimino 9 This unassuming stand near the Gediminas Tower in Upper Town Square is a local institution.
They’ve been frying up kabeliai for over 50 years, using old family recipes and techniques.
The dumplings are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with a perfect balance of potato and dough.
Top it off with fried onions, bacon, and sour cream for a heavenly combination of flavors and textures.
Senamiesčio Krautuvėlė Tucked away on a cobbled side street, this tiny shop is easy to miss but worth seeking out.
They make classic kabeliai as well as innovative variations with different fillings like beef, lamb, or pumpkin.
Their mushroom kabeliai are legendary, filled with porcini, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms sautéd in garlic and herbs.
Everything is made fresh to order, so you may have to wait a few minutes, but it’s well worth it.
lt This food cart on Gedimino Prospektas offers high-quality kabeliai at an affordable price.
They use local, organic potatoes and high oleic sunflower oil for frying.
In addition to classic toppings, they offer unique flavors like honey mustard, chili garlic, and truffle mayonnaise.
They’re open late, until 2 am on weekends, making them a popular spot for a post-bar snack.
Vilnius’ kabeliai stands provide a taste of authentic Lithuanian street food in a fun, casual setting.
Soak in the atmosphere, chat with the locals, and enjoy this Lithuanian delicacy.
Your taste buds will thank you.
Other Must-Try Lithuanian Street Foods in Vilnius To make authentic Kabeliai sausages, several important ingredients and steps are required.
High-Quality Meat The base of Kabeliai sausages is premium pork shoulder meat and pork belly fat.
The meat should have a good amount of fat marbling to keep the sausages juicy.
The pork is minced, or ground, and mixed with the belly fat, also minced.
Using meat from heritage pig breeds like Mangalitsa or Lithuanian White pigs will provide lots of flavor.
Natural Casings The minced meat mixture is stuffed into natural pork intestines, also called casings.
The casings are thoroughly cleaned and prepared before stuffing.
Natural casings provide the classic shape, snap, and slightly chewy texture that Kabeliai sausages are known for.
Synthetic casings won’t produce the same authentic result.
Herbs and Spices A blend of dried herbs like marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns provide aromatic and savory notes.
Fresh or dried garlic adds punch.
For a bit of sweetness, sometimes dried fruit like plums or apples are included.
The herbs and spices are mixed right into the minced meat.
Fermentation The sausages are hung to ferment at a cool temperature.
The natural microbes present on the meat and casings break down the ingredients, developing the distinctive tangy and savory flavor.
The sausages are usually fermented for a few days up to a couple of weeks.
Fermentation also helps preserve the sausages naturally.
Smoking (Optional) Some Kabeliai sausages are smoked after fermentation, using hardwoods like oak or cherry.
Smoking further enhances the flavor and preservative power.
Whether or not to smoke the sausages comes down to personal taste—both are considered authentic.
The careful selection of high-quality, natural ingredients and the time-honored techniques of stuffing, fermenting, and sometimes smoking all go into creating the wonderful Kabeliai sausages that Lithuania is known for.
With some patience, you can make a batch of your own authentic Kabeliai sausages at home.


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