The MICHELIN Guide – the most internationally renowned and prestigious restaurant recognition system – has arrived in Estonia, the first of the Baltic states. After visits from anonymous inspectors, 31 restaurants in Estonia have earned a place on the MICHELIN Guide. Among those, two received a coveted MICHELIN star.
The following restaurants each received one MICHELIN Star. These restaurants have been recognized for top-quality ingredients and dishes with distinct flavours that are carefully prepared to a consistently high standard.
Want to take a closer look at these two restaurants? Read about Estonia's first MICHELIN Stars.
The Bib Gourmand category recognizes good quality, good value cooking. "Bibs" are awarded for simple yet skillful cooking for under €40.
For a closer look at these five restaurants, head to our piece on "Estonia's MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurants."
The MICHELIN Green Star highlights role-model establishments actively committed to sustainable gastronomy.
Whether through their locavore approach, their efforts to reduce the restaurant's ecological footprint, their initiatives to recycle food waste, grow their own vegetables and herbs or educate their guests about a more eco-responsible vision of gastronomy, these restaurants are a true source of inspiration for gourmets and restaurateurs alike. Head over to our article on Estonia's MICHELIN Green Star recipients for a deeper dive into the eco-friendly practices at these two restaurants.
In addition to the restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Star or Bib Gourmand, the other restaurants in the MICHELIN Guide Estonia selection celebrate a wide variety of culinary styles spread throughout the country.
"Estonia is one of those countries that our inspectors have been scrutinising with curiosity for several years. After many months spent crisscrossing the country, from Tallinn to Tartu, from Mäeküla to Kloogaranna, they discovered a teeming culinary scene, full of quality establishments and diverse cuisine. Highlighting talented chefs and professionals who play on both classic Estonian and international repertoires, this first selection of restaurants is a wonderful invitation to discover a fascinating gastronomic destination," said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides.
Having MICHELIN in Estonia is a great recognition of our restaurant landscape. It shows that the Estonian culinary scene, which is not yet well known in the world, has been enriched by a strong food tradition that takes influence from the best of world cuisine. Estonian master chefs are highly skilled, ensuring that the dishes offered in Estonian restaurants are special and of high quality.
Currently, the MICHELIN Guide has reached nearly 40 countries on four continents, recommending more than 15,000 restaurants of which about a fifth are star-rated restaurants.
Recognition is based on independent evaluations that take place every year and that can change the restaurants' positions or remove them altogether.
MICHELIN inspectors are always anonymous, they do not introduce themselves to the restaurant and they pay for the food themselves. While dining at the restaurants, inspectors look for the following: the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the ability to combine tastes, the individuality of the chef, and the consistency of high culinary standards – both throughout the menu and over time.
Set within the Gulf of Finland, in the heart of the Baltic region, Estonia connects the cultural dots between Scandinavia, Central, and Eastern Europe. Estonia's UNESCO world heritage capital Tallinn which boasts one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe -, forests and bogs - which cover three-quarters of the country -, 2222 islands, over 3,800 km of coastline, and a number of lakes offer together an enormous amount of charm and ancient history, shaping a very interesting culinary scene. The taste for diversity, artisan products, and local ingredients also exert a distinct influence on Estonian gastronomy and its young and vibrant chefs.
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