Spurginė, a brilliant Soviet-era doughnut cafeteria in Kanaus, Lithuania
Walking down Laisvės Alėja, Kaunas’s beautiful Parisian-style boulevard, you could quite easily walk by the entrance to Spurginė and not realise the old-school delights that lay within.
There are potted plants either side of the door, smoked glass windows and an exterior painted in a muted beige. The vibe I got was boutique hotel or maybe a day spa, not Soviet-era doughnut cafeteria.
Thankfully, I’d been directed there especially by Aušra and Giedrius. I’d been on their free walking tour the day before and they’d said it was the sort of place I’d love.
They were right.
Stepping through the unassuming door was like stepping back in time.
It was crammed and noisy, with stocky babushkas serving up freshly-made doughnuts for locals crammed along a long bar. There was wood panelling on the wall, a potted plant in the corner and painting of a jaguar looking hungrily at a plate of dough balls.
What’s not to love?
A fellow customer explained how it worked, probably because she didn’t want me to hold up the queue.
The doughnuts were either sweet or savoury – she personally liked the chicken ones and the jam ones – and you could eat in or takeaway. Sweet ones cost €1. Savoury ones €1.25.
There were no spaces at the bar and all the tables were full, so I had to order my chicken doughnut and jam doughnut to go.
At first I was disappointed. It was steamy and warm inside the cafeteria and I ended up eating my doughnuts on a bench outside in a chilly -2°C.
But then it started lightly snowing and it was kind of magical – eating piping hot, freshly made doughnuts as snowflake settled on my nose.
How to visit Spurginė doughnut cafeteria
Where: Laisvės al. 84, 44250 Kaunas, Lithuania
When: 8:30-20:00 (Mon-Fri) 9:00-20-00 (Sat) 10:00-19:00 (Sun)