SITUATION IN THE TOP 30. This is the first restaurant in the Top 30 list of this year, which opened its doors less than a year ago and already has such an important rating from almost 100 members of the Good Food Academy.


Head chefMartynas Maciulevičius
Managing directorVija Zanevė
Type of cuisineSpanish cuisine
Working hoursVII - IV (11 am – 11 pm), V – VI (11 am – 1 am)
AddressDidžioji str. 3, Vilnius
Capacity (seated)75 seats
Average hot dish price25 Eur, cold dishes – 10 Eur
BreakfastYes (VI-VII 11 am – 4 pm)
Business lunchYes (I-V 11 am – 3 pm)
Dog friendlysmall dog friendly

Place in No.

RESTAURANT’S STORY BRIEFLY. The owner of the bakery Pinavija, operating on Vilnius street already for eight years, Vija Zanevė, in the very heart of the Old Town of Vilnius, on Didžioji Street, fulfilled the long-cherished idea born in Spain of opening a Spanish cuisine restaurant-market (el mercado eng. market), with predominant casual mood and seductive smells.

RESTAURANT’S UNIQUENESS. There are not many restaurants in Vilnius, where you can find several completely different environments under one roof. On the ground floor, there is an industrial market style space featuring a gastronomic bar, a wine and gourmet product store. On the second floor, you will find a seaside style restaurant with a special playground area for young visitors.

MENU IN BRIEF. According to V. Zanevė, El Mercado menu holds all the best from Spanish cuisine. She herself put together menu of the Spanish culinary specialties, reflecting the idea of a southern cuisine restaurant. Meanwhile, the menu of the restaurant was materialized by the kitchen chef Martynas Maciulevičius. Now El Mercado a la carte menu offers the most delicious and, of course, the most popular dishes from Catalonia, Galicia, Murcia, Andalusia and other Spanish regions.

NEWS. El Mercado has recently opened a very attractive and spacious terrace, which in its size is similar to the terrace of one of the wine bars, well-liked both by Vilnius residents and city visitors.

CULINARY HITS. Seafood paella (2 people) – 28 Eur, seafood fideua (2 people) – 28 Eur, various tapas (patatas bravas, padron peppers, delicious croquettes, squid) – 6-16 Eur.

CHEFS. The owner of the restaurant and the main creator of the menu is a great Spanish cuisine specialist who has perfected her knowledge at prestigious schools such as Le Cordon Bleu in Madrid and Hofmann in Barcelona. Along with her, El Mercado's menu was put together and fully realized by experienced former chef of Sofa de Pancho restaurant, Martynas Maciulevičius. Having taken chef’s position in the new place, Martynas often travels to different regions of Spain for few days long traineeships.

SPACE. In the premises of El Mercado, located between the T'iana restaurant representing the Mediterranean region and the French Institute of Culture, for decades there was nothing more than a few tons of dust and rubbish. Vija and her team had to put a lot of effort and work to turn the bare walls into a representative, stylish, two completely different types of space.