The Michelin Guide

What is the Michelin Guide and What Do the Stars Mean?

The Michelin Guide awards restaurants between one and three stars, and they are coveted. Getting one, or one more, can create a legend; losing one can result in significant heartbreak.

The Guide itself says that “certain establishments deserve to be brought to your attention” because of the quality of the cuisine served. Since the Michelin Guide started out as a guide to road-touring, the stars are not only associated with quality, but with driving value.

3 stars means the restaurant merits a special trip. The food, wine, decor and service will be exceptional and you should expect to pay and you should probably leave the kids at home. There were 20 3 star restaurants in the 1995 Michelin Guide and there are considerably more today.

2 stars indicates the restaurant deserves a detour. Everything will be top-notch, if not perfect, and you should not expect a bargain.

1 star means that if its on your way, you should stop. For the kind of restaurant it is, a one star establishment should serve very good food in a pleasant environment. But, the Guide warns readers not to compare the very-fancy “de luxe” restaurant that has one star to a simpler restaurant “where you can appreciate fine food at a reasonable price.” From the 1995 Michelin Guide (red).

What Is The Michelin Guide?

Most drivers have probably heard of the Michelin guides. This guide provides drivers around the world what services to expect in every route they take. The services can be car mechanics, petrol stations and hotels.

This information is very useful to new drivers or even experienced drivers in a new route. How did Michelin Company get in the business of providing guides to drivers around the world? What is the story behind it? The guide has now transformed the hotels and restaurants business. Let us take a trip down memory lane.

How The Michelin Guide Came to be

When you first read the title, you expected me to talk about tires and mechanical stuff. I completely understand, Michelin is a famous brand in the tire industry. Originally, the Michelin guide was meant to be used as a marketing strategy. To market their tires and propose different mechanical and refilling services to drivers en route.

The authors of this guide included something that is very important to drivers, and it totally changed the guide. Food services are very vital in any route. This guide is changing the hotel industry. It is now considered as an authoritative guide in the mining industry.

The story dates back to the year 1900. This is when the first guide was published by two brothers who had a rubber factory. They manufactured tires for cars and bicycles. The two men are Andre and Edouard Michelin. The original guide was meant for about 300 motorists around Clermont, France. As stated earlier, it was meant as a marketing ploy. To entice more drivers to buy more cars and by extension, more tires.

The idea behind this was to encourage drivers to tour more dining hotels and in the process wear out their tires. This Michelin guide was a good marketing strategy. The original guides were given to motorists free of charge. But as the number of cars rose, probably due to increasing demand. The number of guides increased drastically to keep up. It eventually spilled over to different countries across the world.

Restaurant ratings

Production of the Michelin guides stopped in the year 1920, during World War 1. Restaurant ratings were introduced during this time. In 1926, the first specific star ratings for France’s dining establishments was introduced. After a few years, the 3 stars Michelin ratings took over. Here is what the stars meant at the time.

  • 1 star– a good restaurant
  • 2 stars– excellent foods
  • 3 stars– exceptional food and cuisine

In the end, the guide becomes an integral part of traveling that people willingly paid for it. To get the latest restaurant ratings. The cover changed from blue to red. The guide was so marketable that Michelin employed inspectors to rate the restaurants.

These inspectors were actually former chefs. The publication was actually relied upon by tourists as a guide to the best hotels. The Michelin guide actually spilled out of France and into the neighboring countries in Europe. It gained a massive following with readers making recommendations on how to improve accuracy.

Fast forward

The guide now covers more than 20 countries with 14 editions. It covers the hotel sector in these countries. They diversified it a bit, to cover hotels and GOURMET RESTAURANTS that offer excellent foods at a moderate price. This has really increased the scope of the Michelin guide in the culinary sector.

By 2005, it was available in the American cities of Chicago and New York. So stiff is the guide increasing competition in this sector that in 2003, a French chef shot himself. This was due to speculations that his restaurant could lose its 3-star ratings. That’s according to the

Though the Michelin guide is now almost 117 years old, it is more famous than ever. More and more people depend on it for information on the latest restaurants and the kind of food offered. The authors went ahead and published the green guide edition specifically for tourists. Some restaurants have disputed their rating methods. Terming it an unfair business practice.

The Michelin Guide Now

The Michelin guide has evolved. Today it covers more restaurants and countries than in the past. There is room for growth, as the population increases, so does the number of restaurants and dining establishments. It is a good guide for tourists visiting foreign countries. It has also promoted creativity in the culinary sector, with each establishment competing for a 3-star rating. This is the short history of the Michelin guide and how it is changing the food and drink industry.

List of Michelin Starred Restaurants in North America 2019

The Michelin Guide has ranked all of the most exciting dining spots around the world for us to know and visit and has just released it’s 2019 list.

The Michelin Guide is represented as: One-star, which means the restaurant is “an excellent restaurant in its level,” two stars, which means a restaurant has cuisine that’s worth a detour, and three stars rating means that the cooking is exceptional and worth a special journey.

The United States now has 15 gourmet restaurants that the Michelin Guide has rewarded three stars making 2019 the first time that America has this number of three-star restaurants ever!

Hers the list of all Michelin starred Gourmet restaurants in North America and how they are classified:


A total of 22 restaurants in Chicago were awarded the Michelin stars in 2019 down from 25 in 2018. The only newcomer on this years list was Temporis, a dining spot in West Town which has 11-course meals in a 20-seat dining area.

Heres the full list of Chicago’s starred gourmet restaurants below.

Three Star Michelin

  1. Alinea

Two Star Michelin

  1. Acadia
  2. Oriole
  3. Smyth

One Star Michelin

  1. Band of Bohemia
  2. Blackbird
  3. Boka
  4. Dusek’s (Board & Beer)
  5. EL Ideas
  6. Elizabeth
  7. Elske
  8. Entente
  9. Everest
  10. Goosefoot
  11. North Pond
  12. Parachute
  13. Roister
  14. Schwa
  15. Sepia
  16. Spiaggia
  17. Temporis
  18. Topolobampo

New York City

A total of 74 restaurants in the City That Never Sleeps were awarded the Michelin stars in 2019. The list has added 16 new gourmet restaurants this year.

Heres the full list of New York City’s starred restaurants below.

Three Star Michelin

  1. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
  2. Eleven Madison Park
  3. Le Bernardin
  4. Masa
  5. Per Se

Two Star Michelin

  1. Aquavit
  2. Aska
  3. Atera
  4. Blanca
  5. Daniel
  6. Gabriel Kreuther
  7. Ichimura at Uchū
  8. Jean-Georges
  9. Jungsik
  10. Ko
  11. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
  12. Marea
  13. Sushi Ginza Onodera
  14. Tetsu Basement

One Star Michelin

  1. The Modern
  2. Agern
  3. Ai Fiori
  4. Aldea
  5. Atomix
  6. Babbo
  7. Bar Uchū
  8. Bâtard
  9. Blue Hill
  10. Bouley at Home
  11. Café Boulud
  12. Café China
  13. Carbone m
  14. Casa Enríque
  15. Casa Mono
  16. Caviar Russe
  17. Contra
  18. Cote
  19. Del Posto
  20. Faro
  21. Gotham Bar and Grill
  22. Gramercy Tavern
  23. Günter Seeger NY
  24. Hirohisa
  25. Jeju Noodle Bar
  26. Jewel Bako
  27. Junoon
  28. Kajitsu
  29. Kanoyama
  30. Kosaka
  31. Kyo Ya
  32. L’Appart
  33. Le Coucou
  34. Le Grill de Joël Robuchon
  35. Meadowsweet
  36. NixNoda
  37. NoMad
  38. Okuda
  39. Oxomoco
  40. Peter Luger
  41. Satsuki
  42. Sushi Amane
  43. Sushi Inoue
  44. Sushi Nakazawa
  45. Sushi Noz
  46. Sushi Yasuda
  47. Tempura Matsui
  48. The Clocktower
  49. The Finch
  50. The Musket Room
  51. The River Café
  52. Tuome
  53. Uncle Boons
  54. Wallsé
  55. ZZ’s Clam Bar

San Fransico

Nearly 60 restaurants across San Fransico were awarded the acclaimed one-, two- or three Michelin stars.

The 2019 San Francisco Michelin Guide added eight three-Michelin-starred restaurants, making the San Fransisco Bay Area the most three starred city in the United States.

In the 2019 guide, five new one-star distinctions were awarded to restaurants: Madcap, Nico, Protégé, Bar Crenn and Birdsong.

Heres the full list of San Francisco’s starred restaurants below:

Three Star Michelin

  1. Atelier Crenn
  2. Benu
  3. Manresa
  4. Quince
  5. Saison
  6. SingleThread
  7. The French Laundry
  8. The Restaurant at Meadowood

Two Star Michelin

  1. Acquerello
  2. Baumé
  3. Californios
  4. Coi
  5. Commis
  6. Lazy Bear

One Star Michelin

  1. Al’s Place
  2. Aster
  3. Auberge du Soleil
  4. Bar Crenn
  5. Birdsong
  6. Bouchon
  7. Campton Place
  8. Chez TJ
  9. Commonwealth
  10. Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
  11. Gary Danko
  12. Hashiri
  13. In Situ
  14. jū-ni
  15. Keiko à Nob Hill
  16. Kenzo
  17. Kin Khao
  18. Kinjo
  19. La Toque
  20. Lord Stanley
  21. Luce
  22. Madcap
  23. Madera
  24. Madrona Manor
  25. Michael Mina
  26. Mister Jiu’s
  27. Mourad
  28. Nico
  29. Octavia
  30. Omakase
  31. Plumed Horse
  32. Protégé
  33. Rasa
  34. Rich Table
  35. Sons & Daughters
  36. SPQR
  37. Spruce
  38. State Bird Provisions
  39. Sushi Yoshizumi
  40. The Progress
  41. The Village Pub
  42. Wako
  43. Wakuriya

Washington DC

A total of 16 gourmet restaurants in Washington, DC have earned the deeply desired Michelin stars. In 2019, Washington DC has finally acquired its first three-star restaurant ever: The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia.

Two new gourmet restaurants earned one star this year: Ryan Ratino’s Bresca and chef Robert Wiedmaier’s Siren by RW.

Heres the full list of Washington DC’s Michelin starred gourmet restaurants:

Three Star Michelin

  1. The Inn at Little Washington

Two Star Michelin

  1. MiniBar
  2. Pineapple and Pearls

One Star Michelin

  1. Blue Duck Tavern
  2. Bresca
  3. Fiola
  4. Kinship
  5. Komi
  6. Masseria
  7. Métier
  8. Plume
  9. Rose’s Luxury
  10. Sushi Taro
  11. Tail Up Goat
  12. The Dabney
  13. Siren by RW

Michelin Guide Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What is the Michelin Guide?

A: The Michelin Guide is an annual guidebook that rates restaurants and hotels in various cities across the world. It was first published by the French tire company Michelin in 1900 as a way to encourage people to drive more and use up their tires, but it has since become one of the most respected authorities on fine dining.

Q: How are restaurants rated in the Michelin Guide?

A: The ratings in the Michelin Guide are given based on a rigorous evaluation process conducted by anonymous Michelin inspectors. These inspectors are trained to evaluate restaurants based on several criteria, including the quality of the ingredients used, the skill of the chefs, the consistency of the food, and the overall dining experience.

Q: What do the Michelin stars represent?

A: The ratings in the Michelin Guide are given in the form of stars, with one star denoting “a very good restaurant,” two stars indicating “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and three stars representing “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”

Q: How does a restaurant receive a Michelin star?

A: Receiving a Michelin star is considered a great honor in the culinary world and can greatly increase a restaurant’s prestige and business. However, the exact criteria used by Michelin inspectors to award stars is kept confidential.

Q: Does the Michelin Guide only rate fine dining restaurants?

A: No, the Michelin Guide is not just limited to fine dining restaurants, but also includes more casual eateries such as bistros, cafes, and street food vendors.

Q: Is the Michelin Guide only available in French?

A: No, the Michelin Guide is available in several languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese.

Q: Is the Michelin Guide only available in Europe?

A: No, the Michelin Guide covers several cities and countries across the world, including the United States, Asia, and South America.

Q: Can I trust the ratings in the Michelin Guide?

A: The Michelin Guide is considered a trusted authority on fine dining, but as with any subjective evaluation, there may be some disagreement or subjectivity in the ratings. Nonetheless, the guide is respected in the culinary world for its rigorous evaluation process and anonymity of its inspectors.