Traditional Latvian food culture is dominated by typical Russian and Eastern European dishes, using a lot of potatoes, cabbage, beef, pork, and fish, served in big portions. Riga also offers countless opportunities to try international favourites, from American steakhouses to Indian veggie food, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, or Ukrainian specialities.
Visitors must try Riga's famous Black Balsam, a thick and black yet smooth and velvety alcoholic liqueur. This 45 per cent alcoholic drink is said to cure sore throats as well as hangovers. The exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, but basic ingredients include ginger, oak bark, bitter orange peel, and cognac.