Michelin star. For many chefs, the highest way of appreciating their work. The Michelin Guide features the best restaurants you can find. When a restaurant receives a Michelin star, it’s not just an award for exceptional cuisine, but also recognition of the dedication of the chef, the efforts of his team and the exciting experience he offers diners.
- Types of awards in the Michelin Guide
- Who has a Michelin star in the Czech Republic?
- How much does a meal in a Michelin restaurant cost?
- Czech candidates for Michelin 2024
- Michelin questions and answers
Types of awards in the Michelin Guide
Michelin is prominently associated with stars, but there are more types of awards. Restaurants can be awarded:
- Three stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” (137 restaurants worldwide)
- Two stars: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour.” (489 restaurants worldwide)
- One star: “High-quality cooking in its category.” (2,811 restaurants worldwide)
- Bib Gourmand: “Excellent value for money.” (3,400 restaurants worldwide)
- Merely being mentioned in the guide without any star or Bib indicates an exceptional restaurant. There are most of these in the guide.
In 2020, Michelin introduced the green star award, which signifies a restaurant that exceptionally respects sustainable gastronomy. The green star is “additional”, so you can encounter three-star restaurants that have a fourth green star (there are 31 of this specific combination worldwide, and a total of 458 restaurants worldwide1 have a green star). On my travels, I most often head to restaurants marked with Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Who has a Michelin star in the Czech Republic?
In the Czech Republic, in 2023, two restaurants have one Michelin star, both are in Prague. These are the Field restaurant (head chef Radek Kašpárek, also known from the TV show MasterChef Česko) and La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise (head chef Oldřich Sahajdák).
Another five Prague restaurants received the Michelin Bib:
- Dejvická 34 – Italian cuisine, head chef Tomáš Černý, participated in the Czech TV show Pohlreich’s Best Restaurant
- Divinis – an Italian restaurant of the famous Zdeněk Pohlreich, head chef Miro Čornanin
- Na Kopci – Czech and French cuisine, head chef Tomáš Vlk
- The Eatery – Czech cuisine in a modern concept, head chef Pavel Býček
The fifth restaurant holding the Michelin Bib award is Eska. However, its premises were recently divided into a smaller Eska and a new restaurant Štangl. The original rating was effectively given to another establishment.
Another twenty Prague restaurants are included in the Czech Michelin guide:
- Aromi – Italian cuisine, head chef Miroslav Grusz
- Benjamin – modern cuisine, head chef Jakub Červenka
- Bockem – Czech cuisine, head chef Ondřej Kynčl
- Café Imperial – Czech cuisine, the second restaurant on the list by Zdeněk Pohlreich, head chef Michal Pšenička
- Casa De Carli – Italian cuisine, head chef Matteo de Carli
- CottoCrudo – Italian cuisine, head chef Marco Veneruso
- Grand Cru – modern cuisine, head chef Svatopluk Hemmer
- Kampa Park – modern cuisine, head chef Marek Raditsch
- La Finestra – Italian cuisine, head chef Roman Kintler
- La Veranda – Mediterranean cuisine
- Monarch – steakhouse, head chef Miroslav Vintrich
- Portfolio – modern cuisine, head chef Tomáš Císařovský
- Pot au Feu – French cuisine, head chef Jan Kracík
- QQ Asian Kitchen – Asian cuisine, head chefs Nyoman Purnata and Lee Chang
- Salabka – modern cuisine, winner of the Czech TV show Pohlreich’s Best Restaurant, head chef Petr Kunc
- Taro – Asian cuisine, head chef Khanh Ta
- Výčep – Czech cuisine, head chef Jiří Hrachový
- Yamato – Japanese cuisine, head chef Marek Hora
- V Zátiší – modern cuisine, head chef Marek Šáda
Who awards Michelin stars?
Listing and awarding of the Michelin star is decided by Michelin inspectors who visit restaurants anonymously and pay for everything themselves. Thus, the award cannot be “bought”; restaurants must earn it. On the other hand, currently, many countries’ governments subsidize the Michelin Guide. The work of the inspectors is financially demanding, and the revenue from the sale of the printed version no longer covers the costs. However, it’s such a prestigious rating that being in the guide is simply worth it. This has been shown by studies commissioned by some countries. Michelin restaurants place the country in the developed world and bring additional finances associated with gastro-tourism.
How much does a meal in a Michelin restaurant cost?
The system of one to three stars and the Bib Gourmand award also categorize restaurants by price. For example, a four-course tasting menu in the restaurant Na Kopci (awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand) can be purchased for 1050 CZK (approx. 42 EUR). The main course for lunch at my favorite restaurant Výčep costs 295 CZK (approx. 12 EUR). A three-course lunch menu at the V Zátiší restaurant costs 595 CZK (approx. 24 EUR). For this price, guests receive perfect food and quality service. Is it too much or too little? Everyone must form their own opinion. Compared to abroad, these Czech prices are still lower than in “non-Michelin” restaurants in Western Europe.
Prices in starred restaurants are, however, higher. A ten-course tasting menu at the Field ⭐ restaurant costs 4,000 CZK (approx. 160 EUR), while a five-course tasting menu at the La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise ⭐ restaurant is priced at 2,450 CZK (approx. 98 EUR)2, which is not a small amount. However, for this price, guests are also purchasing a multi-hour experience. Star-awarded chefs are incredibly creative, and the dishes are often small works of art or are associated with a significant experience (I still remember the dessert “Last Kiss” combined with audio listening and an unconventional way of consumption at the one-star restaurant Vitantonio Lombardo ⭐ in Italian Matera).
In nearby Naples, Italy, you can enjoy a perfect pizza from the Michelin-listed L’antica Pizzeria da Michele for an incredible 5 EUR. In the aforementioned Italy, the price for a tasting menu in a “one-star” starts at about 100 EUR. In France, due to high competition, a three-course evening menu in Bib Gourmand awarded restaurants can cost around 45 EUR, which is again a price you would often pay for a meal in a “regular” restaurant a block away.
Advance reservations in a Michelin restaurant are essential both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Sometimes you might try to walk in without a reservation for lunch (especially at the beginning of opening hours in countries where it’s customary to have lunch later), but success will be more the exception than the rule. Thus, visiting a Michelin establishment requires planning ahead.
Czech candidates for Michelin 2024
Next year, we can expect significant changes and an expansion of the Czech Michelin restaurant list. Michelin should especially venture into the regions, as currently, all awarded establishments are from Prague. And the regions have a lot to offer!
In Prague, potential candidates for another Czech Michelin star include the Vallmo establishment. The restaurant Salabka might also get an award upgrade. Great work is being done at CJ26 and Le Terroir. Time will tell if the newly opened Prague restaurants Marie B and Štangl (both from the same restaurant group, which already has the one-star La Degustation) could also think of an award.
It should be noted that these are just my private tips; there are many more quality establishments.
Michelin questions and answers
- Who is the best chef in the Czech Republic?
According to the expert poll Zlatý kuchař (“Golden Chef”) 2022, the best chef in the Czech Republic is Marek Fichtner (restaurant Red Stag), second is Pavel Býček (restaurant The Eatery), third is Jan Punčochář (restaurant U Matěje). The Michelin Guide appreciates restaurants, not directly chefs.
- Who is the best chef in the world?
According to The Best Chef 2022 ranking, the best chef in the world is Dabiz Muñoz (restaurant DiverXO, Spain), second is René Redzepi (restaurant Noma, Denmark), third is Joan Roca (restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, Spain), fourth is Massimo Bottura (restaurant Osteria Francescana, Italy), fifth is Andoni Luis Aduriz (restaurant Mugaritz, Spain).
- Where does Radek Kašpárek cook?
Radek Kašpárek cooks in the Prague restaurant Field awarded with one Michelin star. Field received a Michelin star in 2016 and has defended it every year since. Radek Kašpárek has been the main judge in the culinary competition MasterChef Czech Republic since 2019.
- Who owns Field?
Field is owned by Radek Kašpárek (head chef, 32%), Miroslav Nosek (Field manager) and investors Martin Ducháček, Libor Winkler and Michal Šaňák (all from RSJ a.s.).
- Where does Přemek Forejt cook?
Přemek Forejt cooks at the Olomouc restaurant Entrée. In my opinion, Entrée is a big candidate for a Michelin star in 2024. He also has a small fashion brand P48. Přemek Forejt has been a judge in the culinary competition MasterChef Czech Republic since 2019.
- Where does Jan Punčochář cook?
Jan Punčochář cooks at the Prague restaurant U Matěje, which specializes in Czech cuisine. Jan Punčochář has been a judge in the culinary competition MasterChef Czech Republic since 2019.
- Why doesn’t Pohlreich have a Michelin star?
The Michelin star is awarded to truly exceptional restaurants. Divinis, owned by Zdeněk Pohlreich, received the Michelin Bib (exceptionally good price/performance ratio). His second restaurant, Café Imperial, is also listed on the Czech Michelin list. Both are awarded by Michelin, but have not yet achieved a star.
- Where is Michelin from?
The Michelin Guide is from France, the first was published in 1900. An updated list is released every year.
- What does a Michelin star look like?
The Michelin star looks like a six-petal flower with round petals. The original design can be found directly on the Michelin Guide website.
- What is Michelin Bib?
Michelin Bib Gourmand is an award given to establishments with an exceptionally good price/performance ratio. In Prague, five establishments have this award, for example, the restaurant Na Kopci. The Bib award logo features the Michelin character Bibendum. It should be noted that the star is a higher award than Bib.
- Who has the most Michelin stars?
French chef Joel Robuchon (more precisely his restaurants) received a total of 31 Michelin stars. Some sources incorrectly state that there were 32. Joel Robuchon passed away in 2018, so unfortunately, it is no longer possible to taste his dishes.
- Who has 3 Michelin stars?
Globally, 137 restaurants have three Michelin stars. Unfortunately, none in the Czech Republic yet. The closest three-star cuisine can be tasted, for example, in Austria (restaurant Amador) or in Germany (a total of 9 restaurants). France has 29 restaurants with three stars, Italy 11.
What’s your opinion on Czech Michelin restaurants? Which establishment would you wish to be awarded?
1) Michelin Guide, September 19, 2023
2) Individual restaurant websites, September 19, 2023