This was, by far, my favourite place in Riga. From the moment I set foot inside the door and descended the steps, I knew I had found something special. Folkklubs is an underground wonder, full of awesome food, amazing drinks and an electric atmosphere. I was hooked.
During our quick visit to Riga we ended up visiting Folkklubs twice, and, had we had more time, we would have visited it even more! It just had everything we wanted from a bar/restaurant. It was packed with locals, had an amazing atmosphere, live music, incredible food and a very extensive drinks list, including more Latvian beers than you could imagine!
From the outside it again, does not look like much however, once you descend the steps and feel your senses awaken to the sounds and smells, your first impression goes out the window. After walking along a dark hallway lined with oversized chairs (I am still not 100% sure what that is about) you walk out into a hub of activity. The first seating area you reach has a small bar and loads of large sofas and seating areas for those after more of a social drink, if you turn left through an arch way towards a large, open fire, you stumble across the main bar area that is rather large and even more seating, this time in more of a table format.
If you take a quick left again, instead of heading to the bar, there is a small alcove/corridor that leads to yet another room, packed with more tables and chairs. The place is huge! There is such an electric atmosphere and open airiness about the place that you completely forget that you are actually underground.
On the two occasions we visited (a Sunday early evening and a Monday night) it was packed to the rafters, it took a few loops to locate a spare table and both times, I think we just got very lucky! It is clearly very popular! People also appear to be in for the long haul, with large groups of locals working their way through the extensive beer menu and munching on beer snacks.
On our first visit, we were just visiting for some per dinner drinks but after seeing the amazing food go past us, we decided to order some Latvian garlic bread. I am not even exaggerating here, this was the best garlic bread I have ever eaten in my life. It was just incredible and I feel that if I try and describe it, it just wont do it justice, but trust me, if you are ever in Riga, you have to try their garlic bread, you will be massively missing out otherwise!
On our second visit, we stayed for dinner, as we had fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with Folkklubs and nowhere else would do! We luckily found a table in the ‘off shoot’ room as I am calling it, but it was still packed with locals and we were very lucky to stumble across the table when we did!
To start with I ordered the potato and cheese pancakes and they were delicious. They were served with sour cream and jam, random I know. I am still not sure if it was starter or a dessert and my taste buds were somewhat confused, but who cares, it tasted amazing!
Chris went for the Pate and he really enjoyed it, so much so it took him a matter of minutes to devour the large chunk of pate on his plate!
For the main event, I went for the stew and it was delicious!! it was so so yummy, I was devouring it even though it was piping hot, I just couldn’t help myself! It was topped with melted cheese and packed with meat, potatoes and veg. It also came with a side of my fave, Latvian garlic bread. It was pretty much my dream meal if I am honest! Chris went for the Latvian meatballs served on a bed of baked potatoes, which he also devoured pretty quickly, so I am guessing it was also a winner!
Unfortunately, we were way to stuffed for dessert, Latvians do very, very generous portions! So instead, we carried on drinking our drinks and soaking up the atmosphere. When the time came for us to leave I felt genuinely sad, I had come to love Folkklubs and I knew we wouldn’t have chance to visit again on our last day. I will forever have fond memories of this little gem in the heart of Riga.