10 Awesome Things to Eat on a Baltic Cruise

by John Roberts

10 Awesome Things to Eat on a Baltic Cruise

by John Roberts

The best way to sink your teeth into a cultural experience is to, well, actually taste what a country has to offer. A cruise to the Baltic region conveys you to some of the world's most unique flavors and food traditions, so fire up your appetites and try these local specialties. (Note: Some dishes are seasonal.)

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Russian blinis / iSock.com / Ivinst
Räksmörgås
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Räksmörgås

Port: Stockholm, Sweden 

The Dish: Räksmörgås is piles of baby shrimp, dollops of mayo, dill, boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, and fish roe on toasted bread. Open-faced sandwiches are a Swedish favorite, and this one tops them all.

Where to Get it: Melanders Fisk (Söderhallarna, 312) is a favorite of locals. This eatery serves up a sandwich filled with prawns, along with a salad.

Port: Stockholm, Sweden 

The Dish: Räksmörgås is piles of baby shrimp, dollops of mayo, dill, boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, and fish roe on toasted bread. Open-faced sandwiches are a Swedish favorite, and this one tops them all.

Where to Get it: Melanders Fisk (Söderhallarna, 312) is a favorite of locals. This eatery serves up a sandwich filled with prawns, along with a salad.

Stroopwafels
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Stroopwafels

Port: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Dish: Stroopwafels are two thin cookies that surround a layer of thick caramel.

Where to Get it: You can buy packaged stroopwafels all over town, but it's worth seeking out freshly made confections. Lanskroon (Singel, 385) is a favorite of locals. This bakery serves up the (if you're lucky, still warm from the iron) waffle sandwiches in its tearoom, and to go.

Port: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Dish: Stroopwafels are two thin cookies that surround a layer of thick caramel.

Where to Get it: You can buy packaged stroopwafels all over town, but it's worth seeking out freshly made confections. Lanskroon (Singel, 385) is a favorite of locals. This bakery serves up the (if you're lucky, still warm from the iron) waffle sandwiches in its tearoom, and to go.

Blini and caviar
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Blini 

Port: St. Petersburg, Russia

The Dish: Blini are crepe-like Russian pancakes that are filled with sweet jams, meats, mushrooms, or caviar.

Where to Get it: Russkie Blini (Gagarinskaya Street, 13) serves up traditional (and cheap) blini in a staid, quiet, and efficient manner — giving it a charm that's uniquely Russian.

Port: St. Petersburg, Russia

The Dish: Blini are crepe-like Russian pancakes that are filled with sweet jams, meats, mushrooms, or caviar.

Where to Get it: Russkie Blini (Gagarinskaya Street, 13) serves up traditional (and cheap) blini in a staid, quiet, and efficient manner — giving it a charm that's uniquely Russian.

Smoked sausage
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Smoked Sausages

Port: Riga, Latvia

The Dish: Smoked sausages are a staple for Latvians, who enjoy a wide variety including duck, deer, pork, and boar. For dessert try biguzis, a black bread pudding with whipped cream and berries.

Where to Get it: Peter's Brewhouse (Skarnu, 9) crafts its own beers. And what goes better with sausages?

Port: Riga, Latvia

The Dish: Smoked sausages are a staple for Latvians, who enjoy a wide variety including duck, deer, pork, and boar. For dessert try biguzis, a black bread pudding with whipped cream and berries.

Where to Get it: Peter's Brewhouse (Skarnu, 9) crafts its own beers. And what goes better with sausages?

Pierogi
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Pierogi 

Port: Gdansk, Poland

The Dish: Pierogi are everywhere in Gdansk and make handy grab-and-go meals. These sweet- or savory-filled pockets of dough are stuffed with potato, meats, cheese, fruits, or sauerkraut. Top your pillow of goodness with butter, onions, or sour cream.

Where to Get it: Join the crowds at Pierogarnia Mandu (Kaprow, 19 D) and watch them make your dumpling from scratch.

Port: Gdansk, Poland

The Dish: Pierogi are everywhere in Gdansk and make handy grab-and-go meals. These sweet- or savory-filled pockets of dough are stuffed with potato, meats, cheese, fruits, or sauerkraut. Top your pillow of goodness with butter, onions, or sour cream.

Where to Get it: Join the crowds at Pierogarnia Mandu (Kaprow, 19 D) and watch them make your dumpling from scratch.

Schnitzel
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Schnitzel

Port: Kiel, Germany

The Dish: Schnitzel is a traditional German specialty made with pork pounded thin, then breaded and fried. It's different from wiener schnitzel from Austria, which is made with veal.

Where to Get it: Das Wirtshaus (Holstenstrasse, 88) gets busy because it offers a wide range of traditional German fare, plus a large selection of good beers.

Port: Kiel, Germany

The Dish: Schnitzel is a traditional German specialty made with pork pounded thin, then breaded and fried. It's different from wiener schnitzel from Austria, which is made with veal.

Where to Get it: Das Wirtshaus (Holstenstrasse, 88) gets busy because it offers a wide range of traditional German fare, plus a large selection of good beers.

Stegt flaesk
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Stegt Flaesk

Port: Copenhagen, Denmark

The Dish: Stegt flaesk (crispy pork with parsley sauce) is a beloved Danish entrée that tastes as good as it sounds. This centuries-old recipe calls for fried pork, but the thinly sliced pork bellies can be oven-cooked and served with potatoes and parsley.

Where to Get it: Restaurant Parnas (Lille Kongensgade, 16) is located in the heart of the old town and can feel a bit touristy, but it does offer hearty Danish food in a lively setting.

Port: Copenhagen, Denmark

The Dish: Stegt flaesk (crispy pork with parsley sauce) is a beloved Danish entrée that tastes as good as it sounds. This centuries-old recipe calls for fried pork, but the thinly sliced pork bellies can be oven-cooked and served with potatoes and parsley.

Where to Get it: Restaurant Parnas (Lille Kongensgade, 16) is located in the heart of the old town and can feel a bit touristy, but it does offer hearty Danish food in a lively setting.

Beef Stroganoff
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Beef Stroganoff

Port: St. Petersburg, Russia

The Dish: Beef Stroganoff is named for the noble family, and blends sliced beef in a sour cream sauce served with dill and mashed potatoes.

Where to Get it: Severyanin (Stolyarny Lane, 18) features elegant Russian decor that transports you back a century, and the menu is full of classic recipes.

Port: St. Petersburg, Russia

The Dish: Beef Stroganoff is named for the noble family, and blends sliced beef in a sour cream sauce served with dill and mashed potatoes.

Where to Get it: Severyanin (Stolyarny Lane, 18) features elegant Russian decor that transports you back a century, and the menu is full of classic recipes.

Poronkaristys
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Poronkaristys

Port: Helsinki, Finland

The Dish: Poronkaristys (sauteed reindeer) is a traditional dish made from the steak of the animal that's abundant in the northern province of Lapland. It's a lean, healthy meat that any steak-eater will find delicious.

Where to Get it: KuuKuu (Museokatu, 17) serves it with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and pickled cucumbers.

Port: Helsinki, Finland

The Dish: Poronkaristys (sauteed reindeer) is a traditional dish made from the steak of the animal that's abundant in the northern province of Lapland. It's a lean, healthy meat that any steak-eater will find delicious.

Where to Get it: KuuKuu (Museokatu, 17) serves it with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and pickled cucumbers.

Cepelinai
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Cepelinai

Port: Klaipeda, Lithuania

The Dish: Cepelinai is the national dish of Lithuania. These meat-, cheese-, or vegetable-filled dumplings made of grated potatoes are named for their resemblance to the similarly oval Zeppelin airships.

Where to Get it: Stora Antis (Tiltu Street, 6) is a charming restaurant with friendly staffers serving traditional Eastern European fare — and it's always crowded.

Port: Klaipeda, Lithuania

The Dish: Cepelinai is the national dish of Lithuania. These meat-, cheese-, or vegetable-filled dumplings made of grated potatoes are named for their resemblance to the similarly oval Zeppelin airships.

Where to Get it: Stora Antis (Tiltu Street, 6) is a charming restaurant with friendly staffers serving traditional Eastern European fare — and it's always crowded.

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