The MICHELIN Guide: Estonia's first Stars

Source: Lauri Laan, Visit Estonia

The MICHELIN Guide: Estonia's first Stars

The first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Estonia recognizes the progress made in the Estonian culinary scene over the past few decades. After visits from anonymous inspectors, the Guide selected 31 restaurants across the country, from seaside dining to elegant eateries in Estonia's Second City, Tartu. Two of Tallinn's best restaurants were awarded a prestigious MICHELIN Star.

How do restaurants earn a MICHELIN Star?

All MICHELIN-recommended restaurants are chosen based on the quality of their cooking, so inclusion in the guide is a sign of quality in and of itself. Only the best-of-the-best are awarded MICHELIN Stars.

MICHELIN Inspectors travel the world, visiting restaurants in the Guide's 39 destinations. Worldwide travel is essential, as all Inspectors must judge the food using the same reference points – a MICHELIN Star in Tallinn is the same as a MICHELIN Star in Turin or Trondheim. The decision is not made in isolation; several Inspectors eat at a restaurant under consideration before the team comes to a final decision.

When Inspectors decide whether a restaurant is worthy of a star, they take into consideration the following points:

  • The quality of ingredients
  • The harmony of flavors
  • The mastery of techniques
  • The personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine
  • Consistency, both throughout the menu and over repeat visits

A MICHELIN Star is awarded solely for the food on the plate. This means any type of restaurant, formal or informal, specializing in any type of cuisine has the potential to earn a star.

Two Tallinn restaurants earned a coveted MICHELIN Star in the Guide's first-ever Estonian edition. Here's everything you need to know about these two top-notch dining establishments.

180° by Matthias Diether

Noblessner is an up-and-coming hotspot about two kilometers outside Tallinn's Old Town. Named after the two businessmen — Emanuel Nobel and Arthur Lessner — who built a submarine factory here in 1912, this complex features a striking modern building with views over the harbor. This is where you will find Matthias Diether's restaurant — named for the 180° view from its U-shaped open kitchen.

180° by Matthias Diether

Enjoy views of the harbor

Photo by: 180°, Visit Estonia

Start the evening with drinks and an imaginative array of snacks in the bar/lounge with seating arranged around a futuristic fire feature. Then head over to the dining room for the main attraction. A seat at the counter offers close-up views of the kitchen in action, or choose a table with views of the water.

Originally from southern Germany, Matthias earned his first MICHELIN Star in Berlin with his restaurant First Floor. At 180°, he builds on that experience with a range of unique, ambitious dishes. The cuisine stands out due to Matthias's attention to detail and contrasting flavors and textures. Diners can pick between the six-course Matthias' Inspiration/Matthias' Inspiration from the Garden (vegetarian) menu or the four-course Flavours of 180 Degrees. All come with a choice of one of three drink pairings: two wine-based and one non-alcoholic.

The warm, engaging service team helps create a truly relaxed environment making it an enjoyable experience for all.

Attention to detail at 180 Degrees

Photo by: Lauri Laan

NOA Chef's Hall

About 10 kilometers outside of Tallinn, an impressive modern building hugs the coast. Inside you'll find NOA Chef's Hall and sister restaurant NOA (recipient of a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand).

Go through the main door and turn left into an intimate lounge space designed to be the perfect place to enjoy before-dinner drinks and snacks while taking in the stunning sunset over the water. For the main meal, move on to the Scandic-style restaurant adorned with sleek light wood, sheepskins draped over chairs, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

NOA Chef's Hall

Stylish dining with sleek, Scandinavian interior design

Photo by: NOA Chef's Hall, Visit Estonia

Out of the open kitchen come refined dishes executed with skill and confidence. Head Chefs Tõnis Siigur and Roman Sidorov deliver plates to the tables themselves, explaining each one as they arrive. Layers of textures and bold, complex flavors are on display throughout the seven courses.

Fire plays a vital role at NOA Chef's Hall; sit at the counter and feel the heat up close. Foraged and preserved local ingredients also feature here, but quality is the main consideration when it comes to sourcing. Count on luxury ingredients such as Norwegian scallops and Canadian lobster.

Fire features prominently at NOA Chef's Hall.

Photo by: NOA Chef's Hall, Visit Estonia

Choose between two well-selected wine flights to accompany the meal, and take advantage of the sommelier's expert advice. The friendly front-of-house team is proud of the experience they help create, and their enthusiasm makes for a delightful evening.

A visit to either of these two restaurants is just the tip of the iceberg for fine dining in Estonia. The other 29 restaurants awarded a spot in the MICHELIN Guide are spread throughout the country, making it easy to find a gourmet meal wherever you happen to be.

Last updated : 26.08.2022

In category: Tallinn, Food & Drink & Nightlife