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With the help of a jury made up of experienced foreign chefs, the best restaurants in Latvia last year have been ranked for the third year in a row, with the title of Ekselence Best Restaurant in Latvia 2015 going to restaurant Vincents. Bibliotēka No.1 restorāns placed second and restaurant Muusu a respectable third.

Ekselence 30 Best Restaurants in Latvia are determined according to an internationally-accepted practice – first an online poll of local journalists, gourmets and restaurant experts was organized to find out their favorite restaurants, and every one of these restaurants was then assessed in terms of food, beverage, service, and atmosphere. After the results were collated, the international jury got down to work, which this year was made up of 14 experienced professionals from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, and Norway.

The jury visited each restaurant to formulate their opinion. Every restaurant could earn a maximum of 200 points – 80 points for food, 50 for service, 40 for beverages and 30 for the venue atmosphere.

Compared to 2014, there are 10 newcomers on the „list of Ekselence Best Restaurants in Latvia 2015. “That’s one third of the best restaurants ranking, which attests to the healthy development of the industry. It is important for us not to stand put but to carry on with what we have started,” says Normunds Norenbergs, the initiator of the project. He is happy that foreign chefs included in the jury had a high opinion of Latvian restaurants and said they wished to return to Latvia in the future.

“We go to a restaurant to experience a surprise. While enjoying gastronomic delights made by culinary experts, which often are comparable to real works of art, we are feeling a sense of great joy and celebration. This year, Latvia’s best restaurants have surprised the international jury with their characteristic hospitality and quality service, as well as great imagination, virtuoso combinations of flavors, and waiting staff’s skills at serving the food, all of which are on par with the current culinary trends in the world. I congratulate all thirty restaurants that have been included in the list, particularly the newcomers, and wish them to continue striving for excellence,” said Normunds Staņēvičs, Chairman of the Board at JSC Rīgas piena kombināts (Food Union Group), the general sponsor of the Ekselence 30 Best Restaurants in Latvia competition.

The jury included Jouni Toivanen (Michelin chef, Finland), Sonja Fruhsammer (Michelin restaurant Fruhsammer chef, Germany), Pelle Andersen (Director of the Food Organization of Denmark, Denmark), Sampo Kantele (chef, lecturer at Helsinki Culinary School), Tonis Siigur (restaurant NOA chef, Estonia), Terje Ommundsen (restaurant Plah chef, Norway), Antonio Colaianni (Michelin restaurant Mesa chef, Switzerland), Charlotte Stougaard Negendahl (Michelin chef, Denmark), Arto Koskelo (restaurant critic, Finland), Anton Bjurh (Michelin restaurant Gastrologik chef, Sweden), Per Mandrup (World Association of Chefs Societies, Vice Chairman of the Culinary Competition Committee, A level judge, Denmark), Martti Siimann (owner of Oko, Noa, Tuljak restaurants, Estonia), Peter Fruhsammer (chef, sommelier, Germany), Tommy Raanti (chef, Norwegian Culinary Institute, Norway).

“Riga has been promoted as the gastronomic capital of the Baltics for five years already, and we can see that the quality of service at local restaurants and the skills of local chefs have been getting better every year. The involvement of an international jury, the high marks they gave and their words of praise prove once again that we follow global trends and that we, too, have restaurants whose quality is on par with the international level,” adds Riga Tourism Development Bureau’s Chairwoman of the Board Vita Jermoloviča.

During the award ceremony at Aldaris Museum, the winners of several special prizes were also announced – the title of the Best New Live Rīga Restaurant 2015 went to restaurant 3, while the Ekselence Best Dessert 2015 prize was won, just as in 2014, by restaurant Vincents. Restaurant MUUSU took Aldaris Special Award for the most impressive progress.

Aldaris Communications Director Laura Krastiņa: “Restaurants play a very important role in popularizing quality beer culture everywhere in the world, and we see increasingly often in Latvia also that restaurants put a lot of thought into the ranges of beer brands they serve. We hope that this trend will continue, and the best restaurants of Latvia will get involved in educating local beer lovers about different new beer brands, as well as what beer goes best with a particular dish.”

Jānis Vanags, airBaltic Corporate Communications Vice-President: “airBaltic brings to Riga travelers from 60 destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Middle East, and C.I.S. countries. Our passengers not only contribute to the economic development of Latvia and account for 3% of Latvia’s gross domestic product – the gastronomic experience of Latvia is also important to them.”

Restaurants cannot nominate themselves for the competition as the ranking represents independent industry assessment, made possible thanks to the general sponsor Ekselence as well as support provided by Live Rīga, airBaltic and Aldaris.


1. Vincents
2. Bibliotēka No. 1 restorāns
3. Muusu
4. 3 pavāru restorāns Tam labam būs augt
5. Riviera
6. Kaļķu vārti
7. 36. līnija
8. Ostas skati
9. Koya
10. Vīna studijas restorāns
11. Le Dome
12. Kolonāde. Mūsu stāsti…
13. Valtera restorāns
14. Locale
15. Bergs
16. International
17. Portofino
18. Valmiermuižas vēstniecība
19. Kilimanjaro
20. Goldingen room
21. Elements
22. Dikļu pils
23. Monterosso
24. Neiburgs
25. Tinto
26. Mercato
27. Zoste
28. Kasha gourmet
29. Mute
30. Olive Oil Trading co.

Additional information:
Normunds Norenbergs, telephone: + 371 26175148

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