Our 40 Favorite Michelin Star Restaurants In The US, Ranked

The Michelin Guide, which started in 1900 as a simple handbook for travelers, has since morphed into one of the most authoritative guides in the restaurant business. Critics travel the world sampling the creations of various chefs, awarding one, two, or three stars to exceptional restaurants, or taking them away from those who have come up short. Winning or losing a Michelin star is a big deal for any establishment, to the point where some famous chefs don't want Michelin stars at all, finding that maintaining a star can be too stressful while losing one can be downright devastating.

Yet this guide remains formidably useful for any traveler who wants good food in a new place but doesn't know where to find it. The Michelin Guide was designed to help with that exact problem, but it is not the be-all and end-all. Other guides exist, but they don't quite carry the gravity or name recognition that Michelin does. So with that in mind, the following list presents a selection of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the U.S., ranked by taking into consideration a wide range of lists, sources, and personal tastes.

40. The Den at Azabu Miami Beach

There's something deeply satisfying about the feeling of exclusivity you get when you enter a private space within a restaurant, or a hole-in-the-wall venue only a lucky few actually know about. That's what it feels like to dine at The Den, located within the Azabu restaurant, which itself is in The Stanton Hotel in Miami Beach. This omakase experience is delivered by Tokyo-trained chefs who are great at cooking but won't always explain what they're putting before you. Highlights include the wild sea bream with sake sauce and ginger as well as anything from the seasonal dish section, but desserts can be hit or miss.

39. Rose's Luxury

This Washington, D.C. restaurant by Aaron Silverman, of Pineapple & Pearls, is more casual and approachable than its counterpart, though with one Michelin star rather than two. But the more relaxed atmosphere means the restaurant draws people of all types, from business folks to families with small children. The menu is equally varied, ranging from American-style buttermilk biscuits to caramelized cauliflower with Greek yogurt to miso-glazed short-rib in the style of Nobu and Joel Robuchon. Certainly worth a visit if you're not in the mood for the glitz and glamor or Pineapple & Pearls.

38. Atera

Atera may be good, but it is no El Bulli, the legendary restaurant in Spain that won best restaurant in the world multiple times on the eponymous list before it closed in 2011. Atera's executive chef, Ronny Emborg, was trained there, and brought much of his experience to this place, while also injecting his own touch into his dishes. This touch, which specializes in sensory dining, expertly blends smells and sounds, and not just flavor and texture, into the culinary experience.

37. Melisse

Citrin, in Santa Monica, is an excellent restaurant, but even better is Melisse, located at the back of Citrin and accessible through a side entrance. Both are run by chef Josiah Citrin, but Melisse stands out because of its bold flavors and ability to seamlessly fit classic French culinary training into modern expectations. Highlights include the mandarin tomato soup with an unexpected strawberry sorbet, and the duck "Rouennaise" with chanterelle mushrooms, cherry, and milk bread.

36. Commis

This Oakland, California restaurant may be relaxed, but given the high caliber of the food and the sophisticated surroundings, Commis is not exactly casual. The same can be said for the food, which draws on chef/owner James Syhabout's Thai and Chinese roots to perform a number of culinary wonders, including turning a relaxed asparagus into a sophisticated poached vegetable with charred lemon granité. Speaking of poached, don't miss Syhabout's signature slow-poached egg yolk with onion-malt cream.

35. Yoshino

This 10-seater in New York City feels more like a bona fide speakeasy than a chef's counter. The door is unmarked and you must wait for someone to come and let you in after you ring the somewhat hidden doorbell. That is not where the exclusivity ends. At more than $500 per person, which includes service but not drinks, the price is prohibitive for most. But if you have the means, then by all means, enjoy the 20-course omakase dinner, including possibly the best nigiri you've ever had.

34. Minibar

This delightful and sophisticated spot in Washington D.C. only seats 12 guests at a time, so getting reservations can be tricky. Once you're in, you'll be treated to a decidedly Japanese experience despite the fact that chef José Andrés is Spanish. This, in fact, may be the genesis of certain fusion dishes like the powdered seaweed taco filled with Iberian pork and tomatillo. Or perhaps the world's only soy chicharrón, a typical Spanish fried pork belly dish.

33. Estela

New York City has no shortage of good restaurants, so it's not easy to make it onto the list of top eateries. Estela stands firmly and proudly on that list. This small, intimate bistro serves new American fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and each meal is packed with consistently delicious options such as ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino, or Wagyu steak with Taleggio cheese. The menu is constantly changing, so you might not find those exact options, but something just as good will be there to replace them.

32. Semma

Before Semma opened in New York City in 2021, there was another Indian restaurant called Rahi, operated by the same restaurateurs, Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya. Although we mourn its loss, we welcome the advent of Semma, headed by acclaimed chef Vijay Kumar. This is the team's first restaurant that focuses entirely on South Indian cuisine, which Mazumdar told Eater is an attempt to "demystify what Indian cuisine has been." Strike out of your comfort zone in terms of Indian food and order the sprouted mung beans, coconut, and smoked chili, a favorite childhood snack of the chef.

31. State Bird Provisions

When State Bird Provisions first opened in San Francisco in 2012, it was nigh on impossible to get a table. Online reservations would disappear within seconds of being posted, and extremely long lines for walk-ins formed out the door a good two hours before opening time. Since then, and especially since an expansion in 2013, it has become a little easier to get a table. Now, more diners can pay reasonable prices for these delicious creations, most of which are small plates wheeled past the table on a cart, from which diners order food directly.

30. Oyster Oyster

Oyster Oyster has been a great spot for a meal in Washington D.C. since it opened in 2020, but now that its very own Rob Rubba has won the 2023 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef, it's likely to draw more crowds, even despite the absence of meat on the menu. The focus on local, fresh ingredients sourced from sustainable farms or nearby wildlands means that the dishes are bound to be packed with flavor and nutrients that will leave you feeling satisfied during the meal and healthy for the rest of the day.

29. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

For such a large city, Miami doesn't have a lot of Michelin-starred restaurants, but if L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is one of them, then one is enough. The low-lit setting is luxurious and intimate, creating the perfect space in which to enjoy sophisticated French-inspired creations. Diners can feast on a carefully curated tasting menu, or hand-pick items off the a la carte menu, which includes Joel Robuchon specialties like organic crispy poached egg served with caviar and smoked salmon.

28. Oriole

Oriole has come out swinging after a renovation in 2021. The space is modern industrial with an understated elegance, which stands in contrast to the food, which although just as elegant, has nothing understated to speak of. The color and flavor combinations are bright and strong yet balanced, with standouts like raw yellow amberjack in apple broth and New Zealand langoustine served with tapioca, melon, and warm coconut broth. A dinner at Oriole has nothing to envy other major Chicago culinary institutions. 

27. Pineapple & Pearls

Pineapple & Pearls, a land of dinner jackets and odes to the legendary Studio 54 nightclub in New York, is the kind of place you go to see and be seen, which is probably why you can find some great, show-stopping cocktails here. Don't miss the tableside absinthe cocktail made with apricot liqueur and Champagne. But even if you're not into the social scene, you can still enjoy a delicious meal here, and you may especially enjoy the beet- and saffron-infused crepes served with caviar and lemon crème fraîche.

26. Ever

For years it was hard for any Chicago restaurant to get out from under the shadow of Alinea, but that has changed, and Ever is proof. The chef, Curtis Duffy, earned three stars at his previous restaurant, Grace, which was also in Chicago, and he's well on his way to earning a third one at Ever as well. The plush decor stands out for being comfortable and creative, but the food is still the main draw, and it's not the kind of stuff you can make at home. For instance, the chef's signature dish is a thinly sliced hamachi fish that has been frozen in liquid nitrogen.

25. The Four Horsemen

This Brooklyn establishment is widely considered a wine bar, and you'll quickly see why as soon as you take a look at the wine menu. Not only is the selection vast, but it specializes in natural and organic wines that aren't bogged down with sediment or unwanted fizziness. But the place can more than hold its own in the culinary department, too, and the crowds who flock here day in and day out know this full well. Chef Nick Curtola is particularly adept at using yuzu in surprising and delicious ways, while any dish he makes without it will be just as satisfying.

24. n/naka

Chef Niki Nakayama knows how to marry the Japanese traditions she was raised on to her own, personal style. The result is utter grace, in both flavor and presentation. But you will not find a tasting menu here. What n/naka, in Los Angeles, offers is what's known as a Kaiseki, which is a multi-course Japanese dinner. Whether you opt for the Modern Kaiseki or the Vegetarian Tasting, you'll get thirteen courses made with seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown or raised in California, and one of which may include the spaghetti with abalone, pickled cod roe, and black truffle, which is the only dish that never gets booted from the menu.

23. Hayato

If you like to see how the sausage is made, or the miso-glazed black cod in this case, this is the place to go. This Los Angeles restaurant only offers one seating per night, so reservations aren't normally easy to get, but if you can snag one, you'll find that the food, and the show, are worth the effort. Aside from eating delicious food, the most entertaining part of your evening will in fact be the opportunity to watch raw ingredients get turned into a full and complete dish, bursting with flavor. If you get confused along the way though, don't worry, as chef Brandon Hayato Go will provide explanations and guidance throughout the experience.

22. Aquavit

Aquavit has been around since 1987, a truly major feat for any New York restaurant. But when you dine here, it's easy to see how it has maintained its relevance throughout the years. Chef Emma Bengtsson has brought the flavors of her native Sweden to New York in the best possible combinations, pairing colors, textures, flavors, and shapes in the perfect proportions to bring out the taste in her ingredients. So don't be fooled by the spartan descriptions on the menu. "Cod and turnip" may not sound immediately appetizing, but it'll be one of the best dishes you've ever sampled.

21. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern is an institution in New York, a city that already boasts quite a few restaurants that can claim that title. One of the reasons for this is its building, a historic landmark. Another is its staying power, as it opened in long ago 1994. Yet another reason is the atmosphere, which can suit almost any occasion or preference, from casual lunch to fancy dinner and everything in between. But the most important component remains the food, which you can enjoy in the upscale dining room or more casual tavern, and which always features a seasonal component, with fresh vegetables currently dominating the summer selection.

20. Addison

It's not easy to keep a restaurant going strong for 17 years, but it's absolutely doable if the food is consistently good and the chef is willing to change, learn, and grow, which is exactly what chef William Bradley has been doing at his San Diego restaurant. He changes the menu with every season, ensuring ingredients, and therefore dining experiences, feel constantly fresh and up to date. In a similar vein, the wine selection is strongly local, with a wide range of top Californian wines, along with bottles from around the world. Whichever wine you choose, you can be sure the sommelier will help you pair it with your food for the ultimate flavor enhancement.

19. Harbor House

It's as if Harbor House existed solely for the purpose of showing us that it is possible to run a successful northern California kitchen outside the San Francisco or Napa areas. And whether that's its true raison d'etre or not, it is surely worth a visit. For one, Harbor House, tucked away in Elk, in Mendocino County, has one of the most beautiful views of any dining room in California. Sit out on the porch or stare at the raging Pacific from just behind floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. As for the food, many of the ingredients are foraged, often from the sea. So don't be surprised to find plenty of seaweed, sea lettuce, and kelp flavoring your food.

18. Daniel

Daniel Boulud has plenty of restaurants in New York City, but none of them quite compare to this one, the ideal locale for getting dressed up and having a fancy dinner for a truly special occasion. The dining room itself is opulent and grand, with a soaring ceiling, a series of arches, and fine art-clad walls. The food is just as opulent and grand, including the perfectly grilled North Carolina swordfish with Iowa yellow corn, lamb quarter subric, and cured green pepper sauce.

17. Saison

Presentation is important for any self-respecting restaurant, but for Saison in San Francisco, it's a way of life. The industrial chic setting is striking but warm, with cozy tones dotting the dining room to provide a sense of comfort and style. This dichotomy seems to extend to the food, which is served on plates that are carefully selected to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the dishes. But this restaurant isn't only about appearances. It has the walk to back up the talk, which you will notice immediately when you sample the seaweed and butter broth or practically everything else.

16. Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko is the crowning jewel of chef David Chang's culinary foray into New York City. Since it opened in 2014, it has been impressing diners left and right, and even though it is now run by chef Esther Ha, the spirit of the early days lives on in the food and relaxed ambiance. In fact, the 10-course tasting menu remains true to David Chang's Korean roots, with items such as foie gras and caramelized Doenjang appearing frequently on the menu.

15. Gabriel Kreuther

The name of this restaurant is a bit of a mouthful, and so is the food, in the best possible way. Much like his famous colleague Jean Georges Vongerichten, chef Gabriel Kreuther brings his Alsatian roots and classical French cooking training to a sophisticated corner of New York City, right by the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, whose history is featured throughout the inventive cocktail list. Just as inventive is the dining menu, where you have the option of choosing a chef's tasting menu, or your own courses, which on any given day may include the Alsatian-inspired sturgeon on sauerkraut tart or the decadent but sustainable imperial Ossetra caviar.

14. Aska

This Nordic-inspired restaurant in Brooklyn may be located in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the world, but it is firmly rooted in the natural environment of the Northeastern United States, and stepping into the dining room feels very much like entering a cabin in the woods, the modern types that blend into the forest and sport industrial chic interiors. This is especially so once the food arrives, as many of the creations, such as the reindeer lichen, are made to look like foraged forest fare, but actually provide explosions of unexpected flavor and texture.

13. Quince

Quince, in San Francisco, represents the ideal pairing between Italian and Californian cuisine. It just so happens that northern California has the ideal climate in which to grow some of the top ingredients commonly used in Italian cooking, so diners get the experience of enjoying fresh Italian food made with ultra-local ingredients. What's more, chef Michael Tusk's specialty is pasta, which he somehow elevates from common dish to exquisite creation, particularly in the case of the beet-red homemade pasta paired with fine caviar.

12. Jean-Georges

Chef Jean-Georges has a number of wonderful restaurants in New York City, but his eponymous one is by far the best, especially if you're looking for a fine dining experience. Restaurants in the city come and go at the drop of a hat, but Jean Georges has stood the test of time, holding a top spot in this competitive restaurant environment since it opened in 1997, growing with the times and adapting to new culinary innovations. Yet Jean Georges also knows how to stick to his Alsacian roots, mastering the classical French culinary training that made him famous, even while using far-flung ingredients like tamarind and saffron.

11. Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Most of the restaurants on this list are magical in some way, but Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York, feels like living in a fairytale. The main building is literally a barn made of stones surrounded by flower gardens and expansive fields. In fact, Blue Hill at Stone Barns is not just a restaurant, but a working farm and education center, which allows guests to not only book a fabulous dining experience, but also a number of tours, including a visit to the innovation lab, where you can learn about the relationship between healthy soil and quality food.

10. Atelier Crenn

It has never been easy for women to make it in the restaurant business, which can be a toxic boys club environment of the worst variety. But not only has Dominique Crenn made it –- she was also the first female chef in America to earn three Michelin stars. Many women in male-dominated environments must work harder than their male colleagues to achieve similar accolades, and Atelier Crenn is a testament to this hard work. And while it may be a meat-free restaurant, the meals are so flavorful and sometimes full-bodied that you won't even notice.

9. Single Thread

If you like the idea of locally-produced food, it doesn't get much better than Single Thread, which is located on a 24-acre farm in the Sonoma wine valley. Much of the food you'll enjoy at this restaurant will have been grown on this very farm, so it's no surprise that the establishment boasts a big, fat green star for growing 70% of its produce on its organic farm and 100% of the olive oil it uses. And the radical freshness comes through in the food, brought out by the expert hands of chef Kyle Connaughton.

8. Benu

This restaurant, run by Korean-born chef Corey Lee, is the ideal place for getting your Korean food fix in San Francisco. But this is nothing like a run-of-the-mill Korean restaurant. The dishes come with strong Cantonese influences, along with hints from other Asian cuisines, but are made with local ingredients using Western cooking techniques. The result is a tasting menu, complete with wine pairings focusing on California, France, Germany, and Austria, that straddles many worlds in the best possible ways.

7. The Inn at Little Washington

In the world of Michelin stars, when a restaurant earns three stars, it means it's worth a special trip just to visit that restaurant. In other words, it's a destination dining experience. That is definitely the case for the Inn at Little Washington, located in Washington, Virginia, more than an hour's drive outside the capital. This is the land of Shenandoah, but with items like wasabi sorbet and Petrossian Tsar Imperial Caviar on the menu, one would never know it. What's more, this restaurant also boasts a green star because chef O'Connell has been using locally sourced ingredients for more than 40 years, before it was even cool.

6. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

This New York City establishment, which is basically made up of a chef's counter where you can sit and watch the kitchen in action as it prepares your meals, provides Japanese-inspired dishes made in the French style by a chef from Chicago with Mexican roots. By those standards alone, it covers half the globe. But the dining experience is very personal and very intimate. After making your way around the back of a convenience store in Manhattan, you will be seated with your dining companions and enjoy a series of surprise canapes before the real tasting menu dishes even arrive. Then the party starts.

5. Alinea

Alinea has been pushing boundaries and shifting paradigms for almost 20 years, and it is still going strong. The dishes continue to be as inventive as they are beautiful, with plates combining pork belly, curry, and bananas in an intricate presentation worthy of the Whitney. If Alinea's creations weren't designed to be eaten immediately, they'd be in a museum. But unlike, 20 years ago, Alinea is no longer alone in this game at home in Chicago or anywhere else, and if it wants to maintain its spot at the top, it may have to up the ante on the innovation.

4. Eleven Madison Park

This three Michelin-starred establishment has won best restaurant on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list so many times that it's not even allowed to compete for the award anymore. It has now been recorded in the annals of the "Best of the best," along with The French Laundry and others. But Eleven Madison Park went through a radical transformation in 2021 when it decided to go completely vegan. Although many of its dishes still stand head and shoulders above most other restaurants around the world, famed New York Times food critic Pete Wells believes the restaurant now "does strange things to vegetables," and you might think so too.

3. The French Laundry

Not only does this storied Yountville restaurant boast three Michelin stars, but it also has a green star, which means the establishment is a trailblazer when it comes to adopting sustainable practices. In this case, the restaurant runs on solar power and eschews toxic weatherproofing. Meanwhile, the carefully selected, sometimes practically unheard of ingredients at The French Laundry, are paired exquisitely by inventive chefs to create dishes such as golden watermelon gazpacho, served with finger limes and wild purslane. The wine list, too, contains a plethora of hard-to-find selections from across the world, along with local Napa Valley favorites.

2. Atomix

Atomix is one of the hottest restaurants in the Michelin Guide right now, but it's not all for show. The husband and wife team made up of Junghyun and Ellia Park run the joint which consists of a Chef's Counter, where you can enjoy your tasting menu at a u-shaped table and see directly into the kitchen, and a Bar Tasting Menu, which offers a shorter experience but that includes special beverages specifically designed to elevate each dish. This restaurant is widely considered to offer the most innovative Korean menu in New York City, and the house mackerel with monkfish liver and nuruk cookie will prove it.

1. Le Bernardin

This three Michelin-starred restaurant is a stalwart of the New York City fine dining scene and appears high on the list of a number of different high-end restaurant rankings. Chef Eric Ripert and his team specialize in fish, but if you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian, this restaurant will not disappoint. The rack of lamb is cooked to perfection, and the warm artichoke panaché with risotto might be one of the best items on the menu. But it doesn't stop there. Le Bernadin's wine program is special as its sommelier is none other than Aldo Sohm, who has won multiple accolades, including that of "Best Sommelier in the World," issued by the World Sommelier Association. And through it all, Le Bernardin is not stuffy. It's warm, welcoming, and ready to cater to needs you didn't even know you had.