There’s not a big chance you’ll spend your free evening in Kaunas bored in a hotel room. The streets in the central part of the city, both Old town and New town, are lined up cafes, bars and restaurants. A handful of new spots have opened recently, so we recently set off on a kaunastic pub crawl – you’re welcome to follow it or pick your favourites!
The first new spot we visited is called Špunka, a name well recognised by craft beer aficionados in Vilnius. It’s the first pub of the chain in Kaunas, located in a tiny basement on Kurpių street. Some ten years ago, the country’s first whisky bar opened there, so the location is well-known for local night owls. An impressive amount of beers on tap as well as a generous selection of bottled drinks is available at the bar. The snacks menu is very decent, too, our favourites being cheese fries. We loved the industrial soundtrack on Friday night – it nicely contrasts with the medieval red brick arches.
Another exciting new place awaits at the Old town’s main road – Vilniaus street. It’s called Kadagys, which means juniper in English, and we believe you’ve already guessed who the star of the bar is. It’s gin, and the super-narrow establishment offers an impressive amount of 63 different varieties of the drink. The bartenders are well equipped with knowledge and insights, so they’ll help you navigate in the menu.
Our final stop of the night was Vytautas/Kęstutis, a place that should win in the contest of the most Lithuanian bar names if such a contest existed! Located in the Kaunas Cultural Centre, the bar borrowed the names of two streets intersecting at the corner of the building. Both Vytautas and Kęstutis were Lithuanian grand dukes centuries ago; these are very popular boy names in Lithuania.
The bar is the least you could expect of an establishment of a municipality cultural centre. Its interior is minimal yet chic, corresponding to the interwar architecture style the building represents. The cultural centre recently received a long-awaited renovation, and opening a trendy bar was most definitely in the agenda of the operators. The venue offers a selection of wines and other drinks, as well as a food menu inviting to travel around the world. From beef tartare to buddha bowl, including a nice selection of savoury snacks – Vytautas/Kęstutis offers it all. Expect quality DJ music, often vinyl-only, on weekend nights.
For more bars and cafes to visit while in our city, check our Kaunas Taste Map. It’s available online and in tourism-friendly places around Kaunas.