Riga: 21.11.2023, MICHELIN unveiled its inaugural selection of restaurants for The MICHELIN Guide Latvia (85 pictures)

The first MICHELIN Guide to Latvia has been launched (85 pictures)

• The inaugural selection of The MICHELIN Guide Latvia has been revealed today, highlighting the best restaurants across the country

• The selection features 26 establishments: one awarded One MICHELIN Star for its top quality cuisine and three awarded a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand for their good value menus

• One restaurant receives a MICHELIN Green Star for its commitment to sustainability

• Three MICHELIN Special Awards are presented to highlight talented professionals

Today, 21.11.2023, MICHELIN unveiled its inaugural selection of restaurants for The MICHELIN Guide Latvia.

The Guide recommends a total of 26 restaurants: 19 located within Riga and 7 situated outside of the capital. This includes 1 One Star restaurant, 3 Bib Gourmand restaurants and 22 other recommended restaurants – one of which is highlighted with a MICHELIN Green Star.

“We are delighted to welcome Latvia to The MICHELIN Guide family,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The MICHELIN Guides. “This is the second Baltic country to feature in our selections, and it joins The MICHELIN Guide collection with one MICHELIN Star restaurant and three MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurants. What is great to see is that there is a host of home-grown talent here – with many establishments personally owned by local chefs and proudly run by friendly, enthusiastic teams. Traditional recipes and flavours tend to lead the way, and generously proportioned dishes feature prime quality produce. Our inspectors have enjoyed exploring the country and look forward to seeing the selection go from strength to strength.”

One restaurant is awarded One MICHELIN Star
MICHELIN Stars are awarded to restaurants offering outstanding cooking, taking into account five universal criteria: the quality of the ingredients; the harmony of flavours; the mastery of techniques; the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine; and, just as importantly, consistency both across the entire menu and over time.
Max Cekot Kitchen is the first restaurant in Latvia to receive One MICHELIN Star.

This sophisticated restaurant sits within a red-brick former warehouse in an industrial area on the edge of the city. The eponymous Chef-Owner, Max Cekot, has designed everything himself, from the stylish open kitchen to the furniture and the crockery. Numerous elements make up each of the original dishes on his creative surprise menu, with sweet, savoury and acidic flavours all balancing one another, and delicious sauces bringing each dish together perfectly. He still gives a nod to Latvia’s culinary roots though, with some traditional recipes and flavours making an appearance in dishes like grey peas with oyster, pomelo and kohlrabi. Home-grown ingredients are often a feature and Max finishes many of his dishes tableside, so guests will likely find him beside them preparing, say, a pesto of herbs and leaves from their kitchen garden to go with the bread.

Three restaurants are awarded a Bib Gourmand
Three of Riga’s restaurants receive a Bib Gourmand – The MICHELIN Guide’s distinction for good quality, good value cooking.

Milda is an unassuming-looking restaurant with warm service and a great value menu. Here, traditional recipes from Latvia and neighbouring Lithuania take the lead, but the dishes have a light, modern touch and contemporary presentation. The dumplings – be it the Latvian pelmeni or Lithuanian cepelinai – are a hit.
Shōyu is a tiny little shop serving classic ramen dishes comprising homemade noodles, rich, full-flavoured broth and a range of different ingredients. Rice bowls are available too, along with starters that are great to share. Service is sweet and the room has an appealing buzz.

Snatch completes Riga’s Bib Gourmand trio. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and faux-industrial styling, it’s one the capital’s most stylish spots. The authentic Italian cooking features some terrific homemade pastas; the staff are bright and breezy; and the upbeat soundtrack and bespoke cocktail list help contribute to the lively mood.

22 restaurants are added to the main selection
22 restaurants join those mentioned above to complete the Latvia 2024 selection.

From those set in the historic Old Town to those beside the river, these cover a diverse selection of styles. There are some overlooking gardens and parks (Whitehouse and Ferma), as well as one where you can walk straight in from the beach (36.Line); one is located in an old fire station (Kest), another in a former barracks (3 Chefs) and a third in a working brewery (Zoltners); then there’s chic, seasonal summer hotspot Aqua Luna, with its pumping music, club atmosphere and river views.

See below for the full list.

One restaurant is highlighted with a MICHELIN Green Star
The MICHELIN Green Star highlights restaurants within The MICHELIN Guide selections which are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their practices regarding sustainable gastronomy. These restaurants offer dining experiences that combine culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments and are a source of inspiration both for keen foodies and the hospitality industry as a whole.

The first Latvian restaurant to be awarded a MICHELIN Green Star is Pavāru māja, which sits within a former maternity hospital on the edge of Līgatne village. Here, guests are encouraged to relax in their lovely nature observation garden – a place to sit back, listen and watch – before taking time to really savour their meal. The restaurant’s raised beds and foraging trips provide the kitchen with vegetables and herbs, while the rest of their produce is locally sourced. The 4 courses lunch and 6 courses dinner are informed by what’s available each day.

Three MICHELIN Special Awards are presented
The MICHELIN Special Awards are given to outstanding individuals who, thanks to their infinite passion and considerable skills, can make a restaurant experience unforgettable.

This year's winners are:
Service Award – Māris Jansons and his team at Kest in Cēsis, who impressed The MICHELIN Guide Inspectors with their natural warmth and enthusiasm. Here, the tables are set around a central kitchen and, from this vantage point, Māris oversees everything. His young team are charm personified and achieve the delicate balance of being attentive yet not overbearing. They carefully explain each dish with pride and passion and ensure that the time taken over the tasting menu is thoroughly enjoyable.

Sommelier Award – Ivo Orlovs at TAURO in Riga, for his knowledgeable and personable approach. As guests enter the room, the floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed cellar promises wine will play a key role in their meal, and Ivo’s passionate approach really brings it to life. He enthusiastically presents several options, extolling the virtues of each and, refreshingly, also giving the prices. Some top players form part of the 300+ bins here. His suggestions are well-thought-through, and he has a sincere desire to enrich the experiences of TAURO’s diners.

Young Chef Award – Nils Ģēvele at Ferma in Riga, for his wonderful show of skill, passion and maturity in his role as Head Chef. He keenly sources top quality produce, and his cooking shows great respect for these ingredients, allowing him to create dishes that belie their visual simplicity by exhibiting great depth of flavour and texture. As well as ensuring the smooth running of the kitchen, he also provides great encouragement and inspiration to his team.
The full selection of the Latvia MICHELIN Guide is available free of charge on the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The restaurant selection is completed by the MICHELIN Guide hotel selection, which highlights the most unique and exciting places to stay in Latvia and throughout the world.

Every hotel in the Guide is chosen for its extraordinary style, service, and character, with options for all budgets, and each hotel can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app.

The MICHELIN Guide is a benchmark in gastronomy. Now it’s setting a new standard for hotels. Visit the MICHELIN Guide website www.guide.michelin.com , or download the free app for iOS and Android, to discover every restaurant in the selection and book an unforgettable hotel.

The MICHELIN Guide Latvia 2024 at a glance:
26 recommended establishments including:
- 1 One MICHELIN Star restaurant
- 3 MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurants
- 22 other MICHELIN-selected restaurants
- 1 MICHELIN Green Star restaurant


One MICHELIN Star restaurant - Max Cekot Kitchen

MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurants
- Milda
- Shōyu
- Snatch

MICHELIN - selected restaurants
- 36.Line (Jūrmala)
- 3 Chefs (Rīga)
- Akustika (Valmiera)
- Aqua Luna (Rīga)
- Barents (Rīga)
- Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar (Rīga)
- Chef's Corner (Rīga)
- COD (Rīga)
- Entresol (Rīga)
- Ferma (Rīga)
- H.E. Vanadziņš (Cēsis)
- JOHN (Rīga)
- Kest (Cēsis)
- Le Dome (Rīga)
- MO (Liepāja)
- Neiburgs (Rīga)
- Pavāru māja + «MICHELIN Green Star restaurant» (Līgatne)
- Riviera (Rīga)
- Tails (Rīga)
- TAURO (Rīga)
- Whitehouse (Rīga)
- ZOLTNERS (Tērvete)

About MICHELIN
MICHELIN, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to sustainably enhancing its clients’ mobility; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services, and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps, and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, MICHELIN is present in 175 countries, has 132,200 employees and operates 67 tire production facilities which together produced around 167 million tires in 2022. (www.MICHELIN.com)


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