The inaugural MICHELIN Guide Latvia 2024 was launched today. It features 26 restaurants spread across the country – 19 situated within Riga and 7 located outside of the capital – and includes one restaurant honoured with One MICHELIN Star, three restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand, and one restaurant highlighted with a MICHELIN Green Star for sustainability.
As with all MICHELIN Guide restaurant selections around the globe, the independent and anonymous Michelin inspectors evaluated Latvia's restaurants taking into consideration five criteria:
- The quality of the ingredients
- The mastery of culinary techniques
- The harmony of flavours
- The personality of the chef as expressed in the dishes
- Consistency across the entire menu and over time
One MICHELIN Star
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.
MICHELIN Bib Gourmand
The MICHELIN Bib Gourmand award highlights good quality, good value cooking. Three restaurants in the capital, Riga, join the selection with this distinction.
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 join the main selection :
Aqua Luna, Riga
Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar, Riga
Chef's Corner, Riga
H.E. Vanadziņš, Cēsis
Le Dome, Riga
Pavāru māja, Līgatne (Awarded a MICHELIN Green Star)
3 Chefs, Riga
MICHELIN Green Star
The MICHELIN Green Star highlights restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices. They hold themselves accountable for both their ethical and environmental standards, and work with sustainable producers and suppliers to avoid waste and reduce non-recyclable materials from their supply chain.
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 course lunch and 6 course dinner are informed by what’s available each day.
Three Special Awards were also presented. They went to:
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.
View the Full Selection on the Free App
The full listings for the inaugural Latvian restaurant selection are available on The MICHELIN Guide website and on the free iOS and Android apps.
The restaurants are joined by The MICHELIN Guide hotel selection, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in Riga and throughout the world. Each hotel in the selection has been chosen by The MICHELIN Guide experts for its extraordinary style, service and personality – with options for all budgets – and each can be booked directly through The MICHELIN Guide website and app.
Congratulations to all those selected as part of the first MICHELIN Guide Latvia!