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blind date:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saulėtekis, Vilnius

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Saulėtekio al. 9
"Saulėtekis" is a district of faculties, dorms and real student life. I guess Physics students there had discovered a time machine to take visitors to the students' canteen that truly reminds of the times of our parents youth. No repair or change for some decades was made. The next stop is the year 1989.











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.

The canteen in Saulėtekis was closed soon after I had visited. Back then, in the springtime, it was quite empty as students were having their exams. Usually it was full and you even had to fight for a place at a table.

I took a tray and headed to the stall with pots with painted writings on them and an old stove. I decided to order chicken roast and cold beetroot soup (lt. šaltibarščiai), a common choice of food in the canteen.

When I looked around, I saw a nice forest through the window, some ceramic works hanging on the wall, red brick walls and a whole plant farm: from ferns to palms.

I sat at the table with a glass cover on it and a flyer of an event caught my attention for a moment (the event will take place in October!). Anyway, I started eating my lunch - chicken roast cooked with bones. And cold borshch is cooked differently all the time - from rich with ingredients to watery or cooked with home made curdled milk. One thing I knew for sure - cold soup in „Saulėtekis" was really refreshing.

I also noticed that neither the interior nor the facilities had changed since the opening. Perhaps you wouldn't come here very often for lunch, but if you miss some vintage atmosphere - you are very welcome.


As students sitting next to me said, they were visiting this canteen only when there was no other choice. Usually they would buy buns and a cup of tea.


Compote with apples was simple, traditional. The taste that was easy to identify.

Lunch price: 10,8 Lt

Administratorė Laura

How many years have you been working in this canteen?
A couple of years now.
How did you start working here?
Well, I am a biologist. I am just here to help my husband.
Are you in charge of this canteen?
I should be referred to as a production manager, but I would rather say that I work as an administrator.
So you have never worked in canteen business before?
That's right.
So one could say that this canteen is a family business?
Yes, that is how it worked out.
Could you give us some history of this canteen?
The canteen hasn't changed since the opening. This building was built about 30 years ago. You could check that reading the history of the university. These chairs and tables haven't changed since then. However, we are going to make a big repair - we will close for that in the end of April.
I would like to ask about the structure of this canteen. How many people here?
Up to 15 people. It depends.
Could you describe the everyday schedule of the canteen?
First the cooks come, around 6-7 a.m. They prepare the food...
And when do you decide the menu?
Cooks check what to order, they discuss. As the same diners come every day, they would get bored if we didn't change the menu. Though young people now are used to cafes, so sometimes they come and say: "oh, yesterday you had these delicious cepelinai, why don't you have it today?"
What is the most popular dish here?
Well, it depends. It depends on visitors. Well, cepelinai are finished really fast. And balandėliai (a cabbage roll with meat), too.
Do you know why exactly these dishes?
Perhaps it's because of the price. Cepelinai are quite cheap, filling and greasy. Well, a traditional dish. Plus, people don't cook cepelinai every day at home. But in the canteen you can get it. At home you can fry some meat, but to make cepelinai is more complicated. The same goes with balandėliai.
And what about your customers? Are they mostly students?
Yes, students, part-time students and lecturers.
How many people do have their lunch here at a time?
Well, I don't know. Not that many.
But now we see a lot of people here in the canteen...
Well, this canteen is also like a reading-room. Students installed wireless Internet here.
You are working with students, so there should be some great stories that happened in the canteen...
Students like to push tables together, and chairs too. For example, this chair used to be in the other side of the canteen last week, and now you see it here.
What do you like to do on your free time?
I like riding a horse in Belmontas.
Did you respond to a recession in some way? Did you take any decisions related to the situation?
Well, for now we are trying to not change anything. We also tried to keep the same salaries. Anyway, after some time this canteen will be closed and people will be left without work at all... Later I guess there will be a competition for running this place. It is difficult to predict what it is going to be here instead of this canteen. Maybe "Čili pica"?
And for how long have these cooks been working here?
Some of them have been working here since the opening, for about 30 years. Some dishes are even left the same since then, for example, buns or the pie „Magdė". As far as I know, you can't get it anywhere else anymore.
Do they eat lots of buns?
Yes, students eat only buns. A bun and a cup of tea. Perhaps because of the recession. Maybe they try to save some money. I guess they come here just for a quick bite and have a normal lunch at home. Now lecturers and part-time students eat here more often - people, who earn some money. And only some students eat here. They usually just take a bun and some tea.

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