Michelin Restaurants in Latvia: Exclusive Interviews with Chefs

10 min.
Dec 29, 2023 11:50:37 AM

In November 2023, the gastronomic scene of Latvia underwent a complete change: the prestigious Michelin Guide entered the country, announcing the 26 best-rated restaurants. This list includes one Michelin star, three Michelin Bib Gourmand awards, and 22 additional recommended establishments, among which there is a green star for sustainable practices.

Such a success is now desired by an increasing number of restaurants. However, what truly determines this international recognition, and what emotions arise upon receiving it?

Thus, six Latvian restaurants featured in the prestigious Michelin listing – Chef's Corner, 3 pavāru restorāns, TAILS, Barents, Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar, and COD – share their experiences in exclusive interviews for Tablein guide.

Michelin Guide-featured restaurants in Latvia

Chefs Corner - Riga II

Chef's Corner
Jeruzalemes iela 5, Riga

"To be featured in the Michelin Guide is a great honour and a great responsibility at the same time. The feelings are good, the invested work has paid off, but on the other hand, it is only the beginning. We will definitely not stop, as the goal is the stars," assured the Chef's Corner team, led by celebrated chef Reinis Strazdiņš (photo below).

Chef Reinis Strazdiņš at Chef's Corner

This high-end European restaurant has already gained fame in the local Latvian guide, and with Michelin, international recognition has also come. According to the restaurant manager, Elviss Niklass, this achievement should be attributed to the continuous search for the highest quality products, the chef's ambitions, the team's dedication, and the number of hours invested.

Chefs corner - Riga

The restaurant's menu is designed to meet the most diverse taste preferences. While the emphasis is on steaks crafted from globally sourced premium cuts, gourmet vegetarian alternatives are also consistently available. No matter the choice, with each option, the Chef's Corner philosophy lies in simplicity: “Everything should be as simple as possible. Good products speak for themselves. In fact, the main task of our chef is not to spoil what nature has created.”

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
Modern cuisine, Meats & Grills
Chef's Corner head chef:
Reinis Strazdiņš
Chef recommends:
„Wild venison! We collaborate with hunting collectives from Kurzeme, so the game comes to us straight from the forest. Upon receiving it, we keep the meat in a dry ager to eliminate excess water, concentrate the flavours, and make it more tender.“

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3 pavāru restorāns 3

3 pavāru restorāns
Torņa iela 4, Riga

"We find ourselves in a state of disbelief, making it challenging to articulate our emotions. Nonetheless, we are steadfast in our commitment to carrying out all responsibilities. The restaurant's focus will remain on the preparation, service, and care extended to the guests, staff, as well as suppliers. While it is undeniably a significant honour to have been selected, our response is characterized by an unwavering dedication to consistently deliver our best efforts," spoke the team of 3 pavāru restorāns, literally translated as 3 Chefs restaurant.

3 pavāru restorāns - šefas Pāvels Skopa

At the helm of this culinary expedition, featured by the Michelin Guide, is Chef Pāvels Skopa (photo above), a true captain steering the ship through uncharted waters toward new heights of accomplishment and exciting challenges. “With his guidance, we navigate the culinary seas with passion and precision, eagerly embracing the journey ahead,” said the restaurant representatives.

3 pavāru restorāns7

Through daily teamwork and unwavering dedication, coupled with a relentless commitment to hard work, 3 pavāru restorāns embodies the essence of the restaurant's slogan: “The good must grow”. Thus, the crew takes pride in meticulous attention to detail, allowing them to consistently elevate standards and contribute to ongoing success, such as being featured in the Michelin Guide.

“Our journey has been a constant evolution, guided by a core principle: unyielding inspiration drawn from our guests. We not only listen intently to their preferences but also craft culinary creations with their desires in mind. Striving to diminish any culinary ego, this pursuit remains an ongoing challenge – one that fuels our commitment to continuous improvement and an unwavering dedication to the satisfaction of those who dine with us,” the restaurant transparently opened up its philosophy.

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
Modern seasonal Latvian cuisine
3 pavāru restorāns head chef:
Pāvels Skopa
Chef recommends:
"The set menu, a relatively recent addition, is a testament to the restaurant's culinary philosophy that embraces the ever-changing seasons and local treasures. Crafted with the finest ingredients nature has to offer, it is a dynamic reflection of the environment around us, brought to the table. The selection not only captures the essence of the seasons but also showcases the richness of local product treasures."

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Tails 3

Antonijas iela 6a, Riga

"We are truly proud and happy to be part of the Michelin Guide. Our restaurant is pleased to offer guests a new experience in a journey of flavours," said the members of TAILS – a distinctive seafood dining destination in Riga, which was recently featured in the prestigious gastronomic listing.

Tails 2

When asked about the key factors for this achievement, the crew was open: 'We would say that everything together has had an impact – from food to service and tireless work 24/7 with our great team. Also, the interior that demonstrates a refined sense of aesthetics inspired by the Baltic Sea coast."

Led by Chef Vladislavs Vainovskis, the restaurant's cuisine combines different methods that explore fish and seafood in an exciting new way. Yet, the speciality here is implementing the dry-ageing processes, when fish is aged for several days to weeks, transforming its texture and adding a remarkable depth to the flavour.

Tails 1

Guests can feel a unique and welcoming atmosphere in the three halls of TAILS restaurant: the raw bar counter opposite the open kitchen, also known as the Chef’s table, the banquet hall, and the classic dining room. Yet, according to the Michelin Guide inspectors, "the raw bar counter really is the place to sit to make the most of the experience."

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
TAILS head chef:
Vladislavs Vainovskis
Chef recommends:
"Dry-aged fish specialities, along with our grilled octopus served with caramelized butter, nuts as well as lime segments that create an excellent combination of taste and texture."

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Barents 4

Smilšu iela 3, Riga

"It is a great honour and a privilege to be featured in the Michelin Guide. However, this recognition is for something we have done in the past. Thus, at the same time, it provides an opportunity to look into the future and see what needs to be improved," said Dzintars Kristovskis, head chef at Barents restaurant.

Barents 2

According to him, dedication was the main aspect, which led to this prestigious recognition. Most, if not all, restaurant team members have committed their lives to the culinary. As well chef himself spends 70% of his working time in the Barent‘s kitchen. And, when everything is curated to precision, overall quality is something that doesn’t go unnoticed.

Barents 1

Barents is a dual-card modern cuisine restaurant. The à la carte here is crafted for everyone to choose from and features time-tested dishes that certain guests come back for again and again. The tasting menu, on the other hand, focuses on sustainability, utilizing and re-using every bit of trim and leftover to extract the richest flavour.

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
Modern cuisine
Barents head chef:
Dzintars Kristovskis
Chef recommends:
"It depends – if you prefer a more classic approach, then the à la carte would be the most reasonable option. If you're feeling adventurous, go for the tasting menu."

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Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar 3

Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar
Mazā smilšu iela 2/4, Riga

Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar is a hidden gem located next door to the Barents restaurant, also featured in the Michelin Guide. Here, the same chef, Dzintars Kristovskis, works his magic. "The bar goes for a simpler approach with the same kitchen team behind it and the same quality of ingredients," the kitchen master compares the two.

Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar 4

The main reason Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar earned a spot in the Michelin Guide? According to Kristovskis, it's all about the team's genuine dedication to culinary excellence and their sense of responsibility towards work.

This bar radiates an old-world European charm and treats guests with a selection from well-crafted classics to signature cocktails with a uniquely Nordic twist. "We invite you to enjoy a pre-theatre or post-dinner cocktail or just come to celebrate in style," says the team.

Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar 2

According to the Michelin Guide's review of Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar, "the seafood platter here is a feast for the eyes, but don’t overlook the delicious snacks such as crab broth or dumplings. The fish burger is also worth ordering – and be sure to save room for a rum-soaked baba for dessert. Naturally, you should start and end with some cocktails from their thoughtfully curated selection."

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
Seafood, Cocktails
Barents Cocktail & Seafood Bar head chef: Dzintars Kristovskis
Chef recommends:
„Burgers are a must.“

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Tērbatas iela 45, Riga

"It feels fair; hard work should pay off," COD representatives radiated a sense of justified pride. According to the restaurant's crew, the key element for this achievement was the dedicated team itself: a driving force behind the gastronomic excellence led by Chef Arturs Taskans (photo below).

COD - šefas Arturs Taskans 1

COD, featured in the Michelin Guide, is now not only an internationally recognized modern Japanese cuisine & cocktail bar but also the very first restaurant in Latvia that offered authentic Japanese gastronomy in an elegant contemporary setting.


This curated culinary haven thrives on the synergy between the authentic cuisine from the Land of the Rising Sun and modern influences. "We strive to shine a new light on traditional dishes and are integrating local produce as well as flavours into our culinary creations," said the COD team.

Michelin Category: Michelin-selected
Contemporary Japanese cuisine
COD Chef:
Arturs Taskans
Chef recommends:
"Barley pot with mushrooms, cream cheese and bonito."

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