Kūkotava is where to go if you want to feel like a local enjoying a treat while the world passes by outside. In Latvian, Kūkotava literally means “cake shop” – an apt name for a place that specializes in freshly baked desserts.
The bakery is located north-east of Riga’s historic center in a neighbourhood that is frequented far more by locals than tourists. A short 15 minute walk will bring you to this quaint café, where you’ll be stumped for choice. The selection is vast with an array of meringues, cookies, pastries, and cakes. Some savoury pastries even adorn the bakery display. Moreover, beautiful full size cakes are also available in store should you need one in Riga (I dunno, maybe you’ll be in the mood for a whole cake!).
I visited Kūkotava because I read that their homemade honey cake was delicious and ever since discovering medovnik (Czech honey cake) about 6 years ago, I’ve been hooked. When I’m on holiday, all eating norms go out the window and things like cake for second breakfast happen (#sorrynotsorry). Following a lovely dish of poached eggs for breakfast at Riits, I popped into Kūkotava because it was too close to miss! The medus kūka (honey cake) was lovely: fresh, soft, and oh so rich. It was such a hefty portion of layered cream and honey sponge that I was nearly defeated. Nearly. I still finished the whole piece. Don’t doubt me, not even for a second. For the record though, I did skip lunch thanks to this sweet cake.
Kūkotava has plenty of seating inside, coffee and tea, and a line of sight straight into the bakery’s prep kitchen where staff are busy with their doughy craft. For a taste of Latvia and for a moment of sugary calm, Kūkotava is the place to be.