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Ekselence 30 Best Restaurants in Latvia 2016

Three best restaurants in Latvia – Vincents, Bibliotēka No.1 and Restorāns 3. Three best new restaurants in Latvia – Ferma, Entresol, COD. Five newcomers to the list of 30 best restaurants – Restorāns 3, Zoltners, Rocket Bean Roastery, Laivas and Mio.

For the fourth consecutive year, renowned international experts have chosen the best Latvian restaurants and awarded the coveted Ekselence Best Latvian Restaurant 2016 title to Vincents. Bibliotēka No.1 is the prestigious runner-up and Restorāns 3, which is one of the five newcomers on the list of 30 best restaurants, has been ranked third. Ferma, Entresol and COD have been named last year’s best new restaurants.

The Ekselence 30 Best Restaurants in Latvia 2016 competition took place in two rounds. In the first round, HoReCa industry professionals chose the best restaurants according to their opinion in an online vote, and after these results were tallied, an international jury, which included experienced professionals from Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Italy and Norway, took over. Some members of the jury arrived in Latvia for the second straight year already, recognizing that the restaurants have achieved significant progress compared to a year before. “The Latvian restaurants have an enormous potential,” seasoned restaurant critic and journalist Brent Christensen said after his stay in Latvia. He praised the diversity of Latvia’s restaurants and also the performance of Latvia’s leading chefs.

As they toured the restaurants, the jury gave each restaurant points for food, drinks, service and atmosphere. The maximum score a restaurant could get was 200 points – 80 points for food; 50 points for service; 40 points for drinks and 30 points for atmosphere at the restaurant. Compared to the year before, five newcomers were added to the Ekselence 30 Best Latvian Restaurants list. “This is not a small number, because making it to the list of the best is not easy at all. More and more restaurateurs realize that they cannot stay stuck because competition is stiff and others are breathing down their necks. The restaurants have to keep developing and move ahead,” says the project’s initiator Normunds Norenbergs.

“I am very pleased that drawing up the Ekselence 30 Best Latvian Restaurants list is becoming an increasingly awaited and significant event in the life of our gastronomic culture. It is quite significant that this year the international jury has given an even more credit not only to the food made at our restaurants, but also their service quality, because it is just as important as an excellent dessert at the end of a meal. I congratulate all the winners and wish them not only to keep their position, but also to achieve even higher results next year,” says Normunds Staņēvičs, Food Union Group’s Vice-President for Strategy and Business Development.

Winners of various nominations and special prizes were also announced during the awards ceremony at Dizaina Fabrika as guests enjoyed delicious Ekselence ice cream desserts, the new blackcurrant-flavored stout brewed by Lielvarde Alus and snacks from the Eksports restaurant. The year of 2016 turned out fairly successful for the Ferma restaurant which scooped two awards in special categories. The restaurant won both the Gemoss nomination as the Best New Latvian Restaurant in 2016 and the Food Union’s Ekselence Best Dessert 2016 award.

Pastaiga magazine presented its award for courage to the Ferma restaurant and its chef Māris Astičs. But Restorāns 3 won the Lielvardes Alus Breakthrough award for the fastest rise on the 2016 list. Latvia’s national carrier airBaltic, meanwhile, traditionally emphasizes the significance of regional restaurants and presented an award to the Zoltners restaurant as the Best Restaurant of the Region.

Commenting on the new restaurants’ performance, one of the jury members, Michelin chef Albin Wessman of Sweden said that he was surprised by the positive trends he observed at the new restaurants and that he was sure they would represent very strong competition to the others next year.

Restaurants are not eligible to nominate themselves for the Ekselence Best Latvian Restaurant 2016 competition, because this is an independent evaluation of the industry, which can take place thanks to the support of its chief sponsor Ekselence, as well as sponsors Lielvardes Alus, Gemoss and airBaltic.


1) Vincents
2) Bibliotēka No.1 Restorāns
3) Restorāns 3 (newcomer)
4) Riviera
5) Muusu
6) 36. line
7) Bergs
8) 3 pavāru restorāns Tam labam būs augt
9) Le Dome
10) Dikļi Palace Restaurant
11) Valtera restorāns
12) Ostas skati
13) Locale
14) Koya
15) Kolonāde. Mūsu stāsti…
16) Valmiermuižas alus vēstniecība Rīgā
17) Vīna studijas restorāns
18) Zoltners (newcomer)
19) Kaļķu vārti
20) Rocket Bean Roastery (newcomer)
21) Mute
22) Laivas (newcomer)
23) Portofino
24) International Riga
25) Monterosso
26) Forest
27) Olive Oil Restorāns
28) Mio (newcomer)
29) Neiburgs
30) Kasha Gourmet


1) Ferma
2) Entresol
3) COD

About Ekselence 30 Best Latvian Restaurants 2016
The Ekselence 30 Best Latvian Restaurants list has been drawn up for the fourth consecutive year already in order to draw public attention to Latvia’s restaurant culture, highlight the restaurants’ quality and promote their attendance. Latvia’s best restaurants are determined in two rounds. In the first round, a HoReCa vote is held in which restaurant representatives provide their opinion about their colleagues. In the second round, the restaurants are evaluated by international experts – Michelin-level chefs from various European countries who make individual visits to the restaurants. The composition of the jury is kept secret until the awards ceremony, which this year will take place in Riga in February. The project is being implemented in partnership with Ekselence, Lielvardes Alus, Gemoss, airBaltic and Pastaiga.

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