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Visually handicapped and deaf people work in the canteen.

Silence during lunch time.

The location is hard to find.

Big tables if you want to have lunch with a group.

A lot of artificial flowers.

Sincere concern of a cook: „How come you’re not eating soup? That is not healthy.
A worker with plates with lunch dishes running among tables.

Long, but quickly moving queue on lunchtime.

Barely heard music.

Freshly made carrot juices.

Examples of folk art (i.e. wicker lampshades).

No tray system – all dishes are served to your table.
Vintage interior.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

Disco for people over 30 on weekends and disco style attributes in the canteen.

Two huge palms near the window.

Enormous picture on the wall. Painted poppies could open a discussion about a landscape painting.

Background music (only Russian).

A corner bar with all facilities.

Lots of tables at the windows.
Microwave oven – you can use it to warm up your own food.

Company store selling sweets at the same place.

Easy to read sign of WC – you will never have to ask for the way.

A smell of chocolate and cheap candies (and somehow cheap portions of ice-cream too).

Fan-page on the Internet.

Sophisticated food that one won't find in other canteens (escalopes, Chicken Kiev, etc.).
Vintage interior.

Long conveyer for dirty dishes.

The students in the canteen are open for discussions about physics, law, economics or communication science.

A microwave oven for heating food you brought from home (though heating your food is not allowed, but when the staff doesn't see...)

Radio announcing about the situation on the roads for drivers.

No queues in the canteen during lectures.
Funny carved heart shaped chairs.

Great combination of colours! Yellow walls match blue artificial flowers.

Low door, so everyone has to lean over to enter the canteen.

Fresh coffee and an espresso machine!

A sink to wash hands.

A coatrack.
Barred windows and interior.

Unique composition of daylight lamps.

Flower shop with a great variety of plants from all over the world. In addition, a great variety of wrapping paper.

Old-fashioned bar near the canteen with the same workers as in the canteen.

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch.

Surprisingly pleasant smell of flowers mixed with freshly mashed potatoes.
Very talkative canteen worker.

Most of the things in the canteen are marked with „Vilniaus degtinė“ logos.

Everything is new.

Canteen is full of flowers. Orchids included.

Various types of dishes, even after lunch time.

Cosy interior.
Unexpected location for a canteen – a dormitory between skyscrapers.

Colourful carpet on the wall.

Young diners.

Exceptional service for newcomers.

Food portions with a little bit extra.

School kids, who willingly show you the way to canteen.
Enormous work of ceramics on the wall.

Red colour that makes a place look mysterious.

80’s style corner bar with glossy lamps and curved lines.

Flowers everywhere.

Students and quite intelectual discussions among them.

Head spinning corridors with old squeaky floors.

Young diners.

Eating in the canteen felt like sitting in a sauna.

Painting on the wall and cleanliness.

Architecturally interesting building for a walk after lunch.

Impressive pink walls.
Availability of alcohol.

Great window view.

Enormous mirror near the exit.

Lithuanian soap operas on LCD TV (it is also possible to see the view of the other canteen hall on the TV).

White tablecloths that enrich the dining experience.

Awarded a Diploma for good service.
Furniture, walls and interior details that remind of the Soviet times.

A long table always served for the banquet.

A male cook in the kitchen.

Soft and nice music.

Special enclosed corridor for the queue. Very interesting thing.

Conveyer for dirty dishes.
One won’t find two identical plates in the canteen.

If you are in a hurry, you can eat your quick lunch sitting at the bar.

If you are bored, you could try guessing the names of the plants at the windows of the canteen. I guess that would take you at least a week.

A coat rack.

A good location in a center of the city.

Air conditioning system (though, it was not working on my visit day).

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About canteens

On the tray: canteens

Vilnius canteen culture in short.

Many windows in Vilnius Old Town have the same new white plastic frames. It is just one example of the blind ambition to destroy everything that is old. Pizzas which cost a few Litas and kebabs full of mayonnaise are also new things, just like those frames... But they are hardly better than the old ones.
The Soviet period is the painful past that we are trying totally to erase. But erasing the past is not a feature of conscious humankind.

Canteens belong to the Soviet period. They will never be found again as unique. Moreover, you could refer to canteens as small-time machines which take you back to the 20th century. Nowadays these places have become both a sub-cultural issue and the proof of confrontation with the dominant fast food culture.

Not everyone can remember the Soviet canteens in a good way. Some of us couldn't stand the idea of going back to the canteens and using the aluminium forks, as well as the odd smell of the food. However, there is also the other side of that issue. First of all, sincere service-women who usually work in the same canteens all their lives. Secondly, there is a menu that has not been changed for 50 years, authentic atmosphere and interiors too. In the Soviet Union the canteens were based on the ideology. They were nourishing people and became a great part of mass culture. Today the canteens have been confronting the restaurants. They do not have any modern traditions of toadyism or a need to please clients. Therefore, the canteens unconsciously form opposite moral values. An immediate relation with the staff and food cooking in front of the customers nowadays have become exotic. These small authentic museums are the only eating places which haven't changed since Lithuania declared the independence of the country.


What is the real canteen just in few words.

A canteen is a place to eat, usually located at schools, in the factories or other places where a lot of people work, visit, etc. The system is easily recognized here: there is the sink to wash your hands, odd and old-fashioned interiors, a tray to carry your lunch (also a self-service system most of the time), talkative workers who take your order, traditional drinks on the menu - a glass of compote a window for dishes, , a mirror near the entrance. Here the real life begins during lunchtime. Then hundreds of customers are being fed. Customers usually have their favourite dishes, and different canteens in town are famous for some special dishes or exclusive cutlet titles.