New Michelin Awards 18 Stars To California Restaurants

Fine dining enthusiasts, get ready to explore California's top eateries. Following a ceremony held at Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum, the Michelin Guide has just unveiled the restaurants worthy of a star — or in some cases, even three. A symbol of quality for diners and one of validation for restaurateurs and chefs, being recognized by the Michelin Guide is no small feat. Enriching the culinary scene, these are the top eateries joining the ranks of California's very best.

If you've ever wondered how restaurants make Michelin's cut, you're not alone. Essentially, establishments are anonymously evaluated by seasoned Michelin Star inspectors based on key criteria such as the use of quality ingredients, mastery of techniques, and harmony of flavors, along with the culinary personality of a chef's dishes, and even consistency over the course of multiple visits. Since the prestigious dining guide is updated on an annual basis, this means that restaurants always have the potential to lose or gain a star. That said, restaurants might even gain a designation for their commitment to sustainability (Green Star) or for their value-driven offerings. When it comes to what inspectors discovered in California, the list is ample.

"California can definitely be looked at as the culinary powerhouse," says International Director of the Michelin Guides, Gwendal Poullennec (via Forbes). "The unique California food scene also has a distinct flavor, and you have a real, local culinary identity. The California chefs are also world influencers and trendsetters in terms of sustainable gastronomy."

The newest additions to Cali's culinary landscape

Kicking things off, San Diego's Addison is the newest addition to the three Michelin Star club. Previously holding two stars, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the achievement is especially notable as Addison is the first restaurant in the U.S. to receive a third star since 2019. Praised for its exceptionally stunning small plates of globally-inspired, yet totally Californian cuisine, Addison owes its success to the creativity of Chef and Director William Bradley along with the establishment's very talented team. However, this wasn't the only restaurant spotlighted.

While no new restaurants in the Golden State were given two-star status, the LA Times notes that the eateries awarded double stars in 2021 maintained them. In contrast, there were a whole host of establishments granted one star. In Los Angeles, the Michelin Guide recognized Camphor, Gwen, Sushi Kaneyoshi, Hatchet Hall, Manzake, 715, Citrin, and Kato, whereas the San Francisco eateries repping one star include Nisei, San Ho Won, Osito, and Ssal. Plus, Sonoma's Cyrus, Napa-based Press, Caruso's in Montecito, and The Restaurant at Justin in Paso Robles also gained one star — Caruso's and The Restaurant at Justin were also honored with a Green Star for their practices dedicated to sustainability.

Last but not least, the Michelin Guide also revealed Bib Gourmand recipients, such as All Day Baby, Flavors from Afar, Pijja Palace, Chulita, Ipoh Kopitiam, Moo's Craft Barbecue, Pizzeria Bianco, Lalibela, and Saffy's and the currently-closed, Caboco, shares TimeOut.