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Moscow became the first city in the post-Soviet space to be included in the Michelin Red Guide.

A solemn ceremony of awarding Michelin stars to Moscow restaurateurs took place in the Zaryadye Concert Hall. Congratulated them Sergei Sobyanin.

“There are a lot of stars in Moscow, but there have not been any Michelin stars yet, I congratulate you on this event. Congratulations, Moscow! Moscow has great gastronomic historical roots, the chronicle begins with a solid dinner between two princes who were sitting right here on the banks of the Moskva River. Apparently, we had a good walk, because hundreds of years later we know about this, and it was with this event that the chronicle of Moscow began, ”Sergei Sobyanin said.

Moscow became the first city in the post-Soviet space to be included in the Michelin Red Guide, the most famous and influential restaurant rating in the world.

The Michelin Restaurant Guide announced its arrival on the Russian market on December 21, 2020. After that, experts from the organization visited Moscow to select restaurants worthy of Michelin stars – they will be included in the first edition of the Michelin Red Guide dedicated to the Russian capital.

At the same time, the fact of mentioning a restaurant in the Michelin guide even without being awarded a star is a recognition of the chef’s skill and a serious impetus to the commercial success of the institution. The publication of the Michelin Red Guide is an incentive for the development of gastronomic tourism as one of the most promising types of travel.

“I am very grateful to Michelin for drawing attention to our city, to our wonderful restaurants. This is especially important during this period, when a pandemic is raging in the world and the restaurant business, public catering, and the hospitality industry are in a difficult economic situation. This is a great moral support, ”said the Moscow Mayor.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tasting food and getting to know gastronomic traditions is one of the top travel experiences. More than 80 percent of tourists consider visiting restaurants, cafes, markets and other gastronomic places an important part of learning about the local culture.

In recent years, food tourism has been gaining more and more popularity among travelers. This encourages cities and regions to invest in catering and related entertainment and hospitality industries such as markets, festivals and food courts.

The world of Moscow gastronomy

Moscow is the largest center of Russian gastronomy and the keeper of the centuries-old traditions of national cuisine. Sergei Sobyanin noted that many Russian gastronomic traditions were lost during the Soviet era, but over the past 10 years, cafes and restaurants in Moscow have reached the level of the best establishments in the capitals of the world. According to the Mayor of Moscow, this is part of a strategy to create an international city open to people. In addition, in the capital, you can taste the cuisine not only of the regions of Russia, but also of almost any country.

In 2021, two Moscow establishments were included in the list 50 best restaurants in the world… White Rabbit restaurant (3 Smolenskaya Square) took 25th place, and Twins Garden (8 Strastnoy Boulevard) – 30th.

Today, the city has 18 thousand catering establishments with 817 thousand seats, including 15.6 thousand public network establishments and about 2.4 thousand office and work canteens. In recent years, their number has increased approximately threefold – in 2009 there were about six thousand public institutions.

In Moscow, there is an institution of any level – from inexpensive eateries to fashionable restaurants. For example, it is here that the “highest” restaurant in Europe, Ruski, is located, located in the Moscow International Business Center “Moscow City” (tower “OKO”) at a height of 354 meters.

It is difficult to imagine the capital without summer verandas, an indispensable attribute of many restaurants. The atmosphere of summer street Moscow is created by 3377 summer verandas. Compared to 2011, the number of summer cafes has more than doubled, at that time there were 1282 of them.

Public catering has long gone beyond the historic center. A large number of cafes and restaurants work in the districts, they are visited by local residents.

“I am grateful to the investors who continue to invest in the development of the Moscow restaurant business. I am grateful to the excellent chefs who continue to work for the benefit of Moscow, for the benefit of their business. I am grateful to the hundreds of thousands of people who work at Moscow catering establishments. Thank you very much for the courage and the joy that you give to Muscovites, ”added Sergei Sobyanin.

Gastronomic quarters

New and traditional gastronomic districts are becoming points of attraction – striking sights on the map of the capital for citizens and tourists. Among such places are Kamergersky lane, Pyatnitskaya, Trubnaya and Bolshaya Nikitskaya streets, Kuznetsky Most street, Sretenka and Bolshaya Dmitrovka.

A landmark event for the city was the creation of gastronomic clusters, such as the “Depo” on Lesnaya Street. This is the largest food court in Europe. Moscow markets have become the most important gastronomic centers: historical ones like Danilovsky or Usachevsky, and new ones – more than 30 year-round fairs in residential areas of Moscow.

“Ordinary Moscow markets have begun to turn into gastronomic centers. Whole streets are becoming gastronomic districts. The number of restaurants in Moscow has tripled, the number of street cafes has doubled, ”said Sergei Sobyanin.

In the markets, you can buy fresh farm products and delicacies, have a bite to eat at the food court, take part in culinary workshops or tastings. Popular network formats coexist with small eateries and gastro startups, where visitors can taste both culinary hits and interesting author’s novelties.

Michelin Restaurant Guide

The Michelin Le Guide Rouge has been published in France since 1900. The first guide was written by André Michelin, one of the founders of the famous French tire company.

It was originally a simple list – a list of places that the motoring traveler would find useful, such as hotels, repair shops, eateries, and parking lots. In 1926, the guide began to award stars to gourmet restaurants. Initially, there was only one star, but after five years, two and three stars appeared in the hierarchy.

Since then, the evaluation criteria have remained unchanged and are a trade secret of Michelin. In this case, the main criterion is the cuisine, and the atmosphere, service and pricing policy are secondary. In addition, the experts of the red guide do not pay attention to fashionable establishments without author’s cuisine. Sometimes stars are assigned not to restaurants, but to chefs, who can take the award with them when they decide to change jobs.


One star indicates that the menu has high quality cuisine worthy of a restaurant visit. Two stars give restaurants where the cuisine is so good that you can change the planned travel itinerary for the sake of it. Three stars are the highest recognition; restaurants deserve them, for the sake of which it is worth visiting a particular city.

For 120 years, thanks to its independence, value system and unchanging methodology, the Michelin restaurant guide has become the world’s most authoritative expert in the field of gastronomic recommendations.

The selection of establishments for the guide is strictly confidential. The expert guide – secret tasters – travel incognito and draw up a detailed account of each establishment. On the basis of such reports, a gastronomic rating is created. The final decision on getting the restaurant into the guide is made at the head office in Paris.

Today, in addition to stars, Michelin experts use several more marks to evaluate restaurants:

– the Bib Gourmand symbol (named after Bibendum, the official logo of the Michelin Group) denotes establishments with good food at affordable prices;

– a sign with a fork, knife and plate denotes restaurants that simply serve good food made from fresh ingredients;

– crossed fork and spoon (from one icon to five) indicate the level of quality and convenience of the restaurant – from comfortable enough to luxurious;

– green star in the form of a four-leaf clover – for establishments advocating for responsible consumption, awarded to restaurants with environmentally friendly working methods.

In addition to France, today the guide is present in more than 30 countries of the world, including a number of European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux – one guide for three countries), Great Britain and Ireland (one guide for two countries), Germany, Spain and Portugal (one guide per three countries), Italy and Switzerland.

There are separate guides for Paris, London and the main cities of Europe, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka (one guide for two cities), Hong Kong and Macau (one guide for two cities).

The Michelin Guide contains information on more than 16,700 carefully selected establishments – from bistros to gourmet restaurants.

The arrival of the Michelin Red Guide to Moscow is a landmark event for the restaurant industry, which is a recognition of the high quality of Moscow cuisine. It will open up the city from a new perspective both for tourists and for Muscovites themselves. The capital of Russia is taking another important step towards becoming one of the global tourism centers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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