Amber – Latvia is rich in amber. Both amber and amber articles are cheap and readily available for sale everywhere, from Old Town streets, to department stores and souvenir shops.
Jewelery – Apart from amber, Latvia offers a wide assortment of beautiful jewellery. Brooches, necklaces, rings, and bracelets abound and many are crafted using ancient Liv designs. Silver is particularly popular in Latvia, as are creatively designed glass adornments.
Handicrafts - Souvenir shops and street-side kiosks offer a wide selection of Latvian crafts. Wooden table accessories made by Latvian artisans are available for sale, as are handmade wicker baskets, ceramic candlesticks, cups, bells, leather wallets, notebooks and photo albums. Quality is generally high and prices are low, so don’t pass by the opportunity to purchase a few items before your departure.
Dzinrars. Yes, the same Dzintars that manufactured perfume and cosmetics at the times when very little of that could be bought still exists! In addition to quality products deservedly called bio-cosmetics for using natural raw materials Dzintars today offers innovative, highly effective products. In short, among those products you can always find a nice gift for yourself, your mother and fashionable friend.
Linen and Wool – Linen is the traditional fabric of Latvia, and quality linen items may be found throughout the country. Particularly popular are tablecloths, hats and blouses. Also, knitted natural wool mittens, socks, gloves, hats and sweaters are available in a variety of traditional and colourful designs. They are quite affordable and provide another opportunity to take home a natural high-quality handmade article. Mittens start at a few Lats, while sweater prices average between 40 and 50 Lats. The highest quality articles are found in a variety of souvenir shops, while kiosks in Livu square or the central market, sell them at much more pleasant prices.
Ogre Jerseys – A wide assortment of high quality Latvian-made clothes are available at moderate prices. Look for them in department stores or on Caka street.
Lauma Lingerie - Lauma is well known in Baltic States and in Russia because of its high quality, modern designs and low prices.
Without a doubt, Riga balsams is Latvia’s most popular liquor. It has a hundred year history, and is made from a secret recipe containing herbs, flowers, juices and various roots. Balzams is sold in 200 ml to 3 litre bottles and prices start at 2 Lats. Balzams, or Black Balzams as it is commonly called, is sold everywhere, and goes excellently with coffee, tea, cola and ice cream, though the more adventurous prefer to drink it straight. While foreigners might find the flavour a bit daunting at first, Riga bars mix the liquor into a variety of creative and highly tasty cocktails which are a must-try.
Beer - Local Latvian beer of almost any brand is of excellent quality, and is considered among the best beer in the world. While Aldaris and Cesis are the most common brands, Latvian beer connoisseurs generally prefer the hard-to-find live-hop Uzavas beer, Bauska or Tervetas. All brands brew both porter and pils varieties. Beer is generally sold either in 0.3 or 0.5 litre glasses. Honey beer (mead) is also popular.
Laima Chocolate – Laima chocolate sells delicious concoctions of all shapes and tastes. Laima’s “Prozit” boxes are popular gift items. Inside, there are chocolate bottles filled with generous amounts of various liquors. These bottles should be sipped and not bitten, so as not to spill the liquor everywhere. There are Laima specialty chocolate shops throughout town. Just follow your nose.
Honey – Bee-keeping in Latvia is a serious industry, with honey sellers operating throughout the main pavilions of the Central Market. These ladies are fiercely proud of their honey varieties, and will let you taste each by providing toothpick samplings. There is a wide-variety of honey flavours in Latvia, which are created by allowing the bees to browse amongst different flowers. Lime blossom honey creates a pale, runny honey with a fragile taste, while the dark buckwheat blossom honey is not for the meek or timid.
Fish – Although fish is available throughout Latvia, a trip to seashore Jurmala provides some of the freshest catches. Fish is also sold in all stores and in the fish pavilion at the central market. Many locals like to eat smoked fish while drinking beer, and you may find a variety of choices in many bars.
Smoked Chicken – Smoked chicken is one of the main edible souvenirs you can take away from Latvia. A variety of smoked chicken is sold in the central market.
Bread – There are over 40 different sorts of delicious bread in Latvia with rye bread leading the gastronomic pack. Many rye bread varieties stay fresh for up to one month, and some are exported to satisfy the taste buds of Latvians and other bread connoisseurs living abroad. Exotic breads stuffed with carrots, sunflower seeds, nuts and dried fruits abound, and in some stores you can find 10 kilogram loafs!
Dairy Products - Karums cream cheese desserts are a Latvian trademark and come in a variety of sweet and delicious flavours. They resemble a small, cold cheesecake, covered in a thin wafer of chocolate instead of a crust. The Latvian diet is focused around dairy, and a variety of delicious cheeses, creams, kefirs, and milks take up a great deal of supermarket shelf space. All are delicious!
Fresh Berries– if you’re lucky to be in Latvia at the end of June or in early July, rush to the market to buy strawberries! Latvia’s cool, wet climate and long summer days let the berries grow juicier and sweeter than in many other places. As the summer progresses, the berries change, but they are all good, from July’s luscious blueberries, to tart gooseberries and currants. Latvian berries are a world apart from those rubbery mass-produced berries lingering on the supermarket shelves of many countries. During the summer, Latvian restaurants and bars sell delicious berry concoctions, including fresh strawberry margaritas and milkshakes.