When it comes to Eastern European cuisine, most people would first think of goulash (Hungarian dish of potatoes and stewed beef), Polish dumplings or cabbage meat rolls. But there is more to Eastern European food than these commonly-known ones. Here, we flip through the prestigious red guide to pick out the Michelin-starred restaurants in Eastern Europe that span a diversity of cuisines from modern to traditional.
La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise
Haštalská 18, 110 00 Praha
This intimate L-shaped restaurant is hidden away in a historic building, down narrow lanes. Choose between two tasting menus: the six-course option is inspired by the refined Czech cuisine of Marie B Svobodová's 19C cookery school. Cooking is precise, innovative and flavourful, and the service is charming.
Štepánská 40, 110 00 Praha
An intimate, semi-circular restaurant dominated by an art deco mural of dancing Manhattan couples by Tamara de Lempicka. Choose 'hot' or 'cold' tasting dishes from an international menu; well-presented, creative, contemporary cooking uses top ingredients. There's a good choice of wines and staff are attentive.
U Milosrdných 12, 110 00 Prague
Two friends run this chic restaurant, which has a warm, intimate feel. An eye-catching mural by artist Jakub Matuška is projected overhead and the Scandinavian style cooking is equally contemporary. Alongside wine pairings they offer non-alcoholic drink matches such as tomato, cucumber and chilli juice.
Vörösmarty Square 7-8, Pest 1051
Right in the heart of the city is this glamorous restaurant, where you sit on gilt chairs under sparkling chandeliers, surrounded by onyx adornments. Highly skilled, detailed cooking keeps classical Hungarian flavours to the fore but also presents some interesting modern twists. On Saturdays, only the tasting menus are served. Service is assured and formal.
Costes and Costes Downtown
Costes, Ráday utca 4, Pest 1092 ／Costes Downtown, Vigyázó Ferenc utca 5, Budapest 1051
Costes is a sophisticated restaurant with immaculately dressed tables, run by a confident, experienced service team. The talented chef uses modern techniques and a deft touch to produce accomplished, innovative dishes with clear flavours. Most diners choose the 4-7 course set menus and their interesting wine pairings.
The more informal sister to Costes sits within the Prestige hotel and has chic bistro styling and a friendly atmosphere; ask to be seated in one of the booths. Refined modern dishes follow the seasons and feature excellent texture and flavour combinations. They offer a good value business lunch.
Sas utca 3, Pest 1051
Bustling wine-orientated restaurant close to the Basilica. The fortnightly menu features well-executed dishes with an elaborate modern style and subtle Hungarian influences. Top ingredients are sourced from the surrounding countries. 48 of the 200 wines are offered by the glass; many are from local producers.
ul. Bielanska 12, 00 085 Warszawa
As with the historic building in which it is housed, this formal restaurant connects tradition with modernity. Of the 3 set menus, most opt for the 7 course dinner to best experience cooking that is innovative, creative and at times theatrical, but also underpinned by classic Polish flavours.
ul. Agrykola 1, 00 460 Warszawa
An eco-style building on the edge of the park houses this intimate restaurant with its glass teardrops and tiled concrete sculptures. The menu is called the 'calendar of nature' and showcases foraged herbs and flowers. Ambitious, innovative dishes are full of colour and the Polish spirit matches are a must.