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What is a Michelin Star Restaurant?

What is a Michelin Star Restaurant?

Michelin Stars are not given out lightly to restaurants, and receiving one means that your restaurant meets the highest-quality standard. Being awarded a Michelin Star as a restaurant is comparable to a football team winning a Super Bowl ring. There are over 750,000 restaurants in the world, yet only 2,817 of them are Michelin Star restaurants.

As the popularity of Michelin Star restaurants grew, a thorough and detailed rating system was created, prompting trained and nameless Michelin Inspectors to travel around the world every year inspecting restaurants to see if they meet their standards. Restaurants that meet the standard are awarded stars and visited by tens of thousands of people due to their status.



The Rating System

When some people hear about a Michelin Star restaurant, they tend to only think about the quality that it has to offer. However, the rating system is more advanced than a single star; restaurants can be awarded one, two, or three stars depending on what the inspectors find. With each star having a travel component, we will break it down for you as we cover each star count. 

These stars are awarded to restaurants that serve any type of cuisine from sushi to Italian, Vietnamese, Indian, and more. A large majority of Michelin Star restaurants tend to be found in larger cities like New York City, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, and Beijing, to name a few. 


One Star Restaurants

Although one star is the lowest rating available for a Michelin Star restaurant, it still holds a lot of weight. The star shows that the restaurant has high-quality food worth stopping by for if you are in the area. There are over 2,000 one-star Michelin restaurants throughout the world.

A few examples of one-star restaurants are:

  • Komi – serves Greek and Italian-inspired dishes in Washington, DC. Michelle and Barack Obama had visited Komi before it was awarded its star in 2018. 
  • La Dune du Château de Sable – a restaurant that serves modern cuisine in Porspoder, France, and received their Michelin Star back in 2016.  
  • Jeju Noodle Bar – a restaurant located in New York, NY that serves Korean cuisine such as wagyu ramyun and toro ssam bap. This comfortable restaurant received its star in 2019.

Two Star Restaurants

While two Michelin Stars is the middle of the rating scale, the quality of food these restaurants provide is exceptional. The two stars mean that the restaurant has excellent cooking and is worth taking a detour to experience. There are close to 460 two-star Michelin restaurants worldwide, with France having the most as a country. 

Some examples of two-star restaurants are:

  • Acadia – offers contemporary American cuisine in Chicago, IL. They are mostly known for their black sesame custard with koji ice cream and received their second star in 2015. 
  • Vila Joya – located in Albufeira, Portugal, this restaurant offers market cuisine and innovative dishes. This restaurant has had its stars for a while after being awarded its first one in 1995 and its second star in 1999.
  • Alchemist – known for their innovative cuisine, this restaurant is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Alchemist famously got its two stars in early 2020 after being open for only seven months.

Three-Star Restaurants

Three Michelin Stars is the best rating possible, and the meaning of the stars shows it. Three stars mean that the food served is exceptional and worth taking a special journey for if you are a fan of high-quality food and experiences. 

A few examples of three-star restaurants are:

  • Le Bernardin - a French seafood restaurant in the New York Metropolitan Area of NYC. They have had their three stars for fifteen years now. 
  • El Celler de Can Roca – a traditional Catalan restaurant located in Girona, Spain. This restaurant has had its stars for twelve years now.
  • Sushi Shikon – a well-known sushi restaurant located in Hong Kong, and they received their stars seven years ago now. 

Visiting a Michelin Star Restaurant

If you are ever interested in checking out a Michelin Star restaurant, you can search through the Michelin Guide to find a restaurant near you or one you can visit on your next trip. The Michelin Guide has a complete list of one, two, and three-star rated restaurants around the world to make your search easy.

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