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These are the 3-star Michelin Restaurants in the US

By Vlad Craciun


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Some of you might wonder what does the French tire manufacturer Michelin has to do with restaurants. Well, quite a lot. Since over a century ago, when they started publishing their first guide books, the Michelin Red Guide – the oldest reference guide about restaurants and hotels in Europe.

They select and rate places with Michelin stars for excellence. In the beginning, the guide was intended for French drivers to find out where they could find places like good local restaurants, but now they extended to the whole world and they’re rating more than restaurants.

The 3-star is the highest rating, introduced back in 1933 and meaning “exceptional cuisine that’s worth a special journey”.

So, let’s find out which are the 3-star Michelin Restaurants in the US right now:

1. Le Bernardin – New York City – Awarded in 2006

Le Bernardin restaurant

Le Bernardin came to life in 1972 in Paris and due to its success it received three stars from Michelin, the last two added in 1980.

The owners, Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze, decided thereafter to open one in New York City as well. That happened in 1986 and since then, their simple philosophy of only serving fine fresh fish dishes made them earn many awards, including again the 3-stars from Michelin in 2006.

They’ve kept their excellence through the years due to their outstanding chef Eric Ripert, who took over the kitchen after the passing of Gilbert in 1994.

2. Per Se – New York City – Awarded in 2006

Per Se restaurant

Per Se is a serene and intimate restaurant opened in 2004 in New York, overlooking the Central Park and Columbus Circle.

Owned by Thomas Keller, who is also the head chef, Per Se obtained its 3 Michelin stars back in 2006 and managed to keep them for each passing year ever since.

3. The French Laundry – Yountville, California – Awarded in 2007

The French Laundry restaurant

The French Laundry is another outstanding restaurant owned by the same Thomas Keller from above. Initially a rustic two story stone cottage, he transformed the location into one fine French cuisine restaurant.

Among other awards and honors, The French Laundry received the highest rating from Michelin, the 3 stars, in 2007, making chef Thomas Keller the only American chef to own two restaurants which have received that honor from Michelin.

4. Masa – New York City – Awarded in 2009

Masa restaurant

Masa is a Japanese restaurant, opened in 2004 in New York by chef Masa Takayama and awarded with the 3-star Michelin rating in 2009 for its distinguished meals selected by Masa Takayama himself.

There is no a la carte menu, and a dinner there costs $595 per person, without including tax or beverages, thus making Masa one of the most expensive restaurants in the world and the most expensive one in New York. If you’re thinking about trying it, make sure you reserve with three weeks in advance.

5. Alinea – Chicago – Awarded in 2010

Alinea restaurant

Alinea is the only restaurant in Chicago among the only 13 in the US to have been awarded and still keep the coveted 3-star Michelin rating.

Opened in 2005, Alinea offers one of the best dining experiences and, as they say it, it’s a new train of thought, which is what their logo states as well. The accolades earned along the years are due to Alinea’s top chef and owner, Grant Achatz.

6. The Restaurant at Meadowood – St. Helena, California – Awarded in 2011

The Restaurant at Meadowood

The Restaurant at Meadowood, situated in St. Helena, Napa Valley, California, one of the leading wine regions in the world, has as its mission – making a positive and sustainable impact in the area, offering guests only local Californian cuisine.

Owned by executive chef Christopher Kostow, in 2011 the restaurant won the three stars from Michelin and retained them ever since.

7. Eleven Madison Park – New York City – Awarded in 2012

Eleven Madison Park restaurant

In the heart of the Big Apple, overlooking the Madison Square Park since 1998, the Eleven Madison Park is a fine dining restaurant owned since 2011 by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara.

Inspired from New York’s culinary tradition, chef Daniel Humm created a multi-course menu that won the restaurant its three stars from Michelin back in 2012, along its other awards and accolades. Last year, it received an award for best restaurant in the world in the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

8. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare – New York City – Awarded in 2012

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is one original restaurant that offers its clients a communal dining experience with a menu inspired by Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant was opened in 2009 by chef Cesar Ramirez and earned the highest Michelin accolade, the three stars, in 2012 while also being called one of the best restaurants in New York.

9. Benu – San Francisco – Awarded in 2015

Benu restaurant

Chef Corey Lee opened restaurant Benu in San Francisco in 2010, offering a New American cuisine inspired from contemporary Asian dishes, with a wide variety of seafood and vegetables, meats and sweets.

For its serene dining room with modern, meticulous design and marvelous dinners, Benu received its Michelin three stars award in 2015 and in every year since then.

10. Saison – San Francisco – Awarded in 2015

Saison restaurant

Another restaurant from San Francisco, Saison, was opened by executive chef Joshua Skenes and director Mark Bright with one simple rule: their cooking revolves around open wood fire.

The dishes they offer are always cooked with wild food and ingredients from local food providers, staying away from anything imported. They received the 3-star Michelin rating in 2015.

11. Manresa – Los Gatos, California – Awarded in 2016

Manresa restaurant

Founded by award winning chef David Kinch back in 2002, Manresa is a restaurant situated in the town of Los Gatos, California which focuses on offering thought provoking dishes with an accent on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Every menu at Manresa tells a story. A story of creativity, passion and emotion that combines traditional and modern techniques to offer guests one amazing dining experience. That’s exactly why in 2016 it won the three star award from Michelin.

12. Quince – San Francisco – Awarded in 2017

Quince restaurant

The fine dining restaurant scene is growing bigger and bigger in San Francisco and this has been seen clearly in the last years.

Quince is a restaurant located in the historic Jackson Square and its history goes back to 2003, when it was founded by chef Michael Tusk and his wife Lindsay.

Last year it was awarded the three star Michelin accolade – among many other titles – for its wonderful menu featuring dishes of Californian contemporary cuisine.

13. Coi – San Francisco – Awarded in 2018

Coi restaurant

Coi is a late addition on San Francisco’s list of three star rated Michelin restaurants, located in the North Beach neighborhood.

Led by chef Matthew Kirkley, Coi is centered on seafood cuisine, offering wonderful variations with every dish prepared and served there.

Last Update: January 2018.

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About Vlad Craciun

Vlad has over 7 years of experience writing content about subjects such as travel, cars, motorcycles, tech & gadgets, and his newly discovered passion, watches. He’s in love with two wheeled machines and the freedom and the thrills that motorcycle travel provides. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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