jjsint (571) Cambridge, England | March 29, 2017| Updated April 4, 2017
Words cannot express how brilliant this place is. Yes itís touristy and crowded but thatís to be expected. It does the basement bar faux-medieval thing to a íTí. Folk music, piped and live, fills the air. Thereís 30 beers, most if not all Latvian. Some crap, some meh, some outstanding. A great place to boost my low Latvian rates, listen to good music and eat good (cheap) food. I was going to stop in for one or two but this is likely going to be my whole night, or at least most of it. Worth visiting Rīga for.
It is just called Ala and is a regular bar. It gets called a folk club but it is not. It gets called a cellar (Pagrabs) but is more of a cave, which is what Ala means. A wide range of older Latvian beers; a good range of new craft stuff and imports; a lot of good quality cheap food. Stays open to 07.00 on some nights and can be rammed in the evenings, though it had 150 seats minimum across the four stone-clad, much-wooded rooms. A great vibe.
Probably this place is one of the top recommendations in all the guidebooks so it gets pretty crowded every (!) evening but sure is worth it. Great selection of beer, great food, fair prices, often live music.
Gets quite stuffy though.
Probably has the largest range of local beers on tap in town. Almost always something new available. Last time I was there I was amazed to see Aldaris Porteris on tap. Place is not too difficult to find - but itís a long way from the entrance to the actual bar ! Can get crowded and staff can be very good at completely ignoring customers. Quality of food is variable - I try not to eat there any more.