MICHELIN stars and the MICHELIN Guide have arrived in Estonia!

Source: Renee Altrov, Visit Estonia

MICHELIN stars and the MICHELIN Guide have arrived in Estonia!

The MICHELIN Guide is the most internationally renowned, prestigious and longest-recognised restaurant recognition system that Estonia has been waiting to be on for years. At the end of May, the quality label that is almost the restaurant equivalent of the Oscars will arrive in Estonia, the first of the Baltic states.

It all started more than 100 years ago in 1889, in the small French town of Clermont-Ferrand, where brothers André and Édouard Michelin founded their world-famous tyre company. They had a clear vision of the French car industry, at a time when there were less than 3000 cars on the roads of France. To help drivers, the Michelin brothers created a small red restaurant guide that had information on how to change tyres and where to refuel, eat and rest. After seeing the growing interest in the restaurant category, the brothers recruited a team of evaluators who visited restaurants anonymously.

In 1926, they introduced a star rating system, initially with only one star. Five years later, the scale was upped to three stars.

Thanks to its practicality, independence and high standards, the MICHELIN Guide has become a bestseller and its ratings are still one of the most authoritative sources when choosing travel destinations and restaurants.

Photo by: Kerli Sosi, Visit Estonia

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.

How do you get on the MICHELIN Guide?

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.

The best restaurants are announced every year. The highest recognition is the MICHELIN star, which restaurants can earn up to three of. If a restaurant does not get a star but is still great, it will be highlighted in the Guide in one of two categories. These categories are:

  • BIB GOURMAND: good restaurant, delicious food at a fair price;
  • MICHELIN Green Star: restaurants which are the most committed to a more sustainable gastronomy.

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. In the restaurants, the inspectors look for the following: the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the ability to combine tastes, the individuality of the chef, the consistency of high culinary standards – both throughout the menu and over time.

In Estonia, MICHELIN inspectors have already started visiting restaurants, so now all you have to do is keep your fingers crossed and wait until 25 May, when all the restaurants that have earned a place on the MICHELIN Guide will be announced in Tallinn.

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 city 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 kitchen and its young and vibrant chefs.

Last updated : 07.04.2022

In category: Food & Drink & Nightlife