Special Report

The Best Michelin Three-Star Restaurants in the World

Courtesy of Jeremy C. via Yelp

For actors and directors, it’s an Academy Award. For football players, it’s a Super Bowl victory. For scientists, politicians, and creative types, it’s a Nobel Prize. And for chefs, the highest honor – the crowning achievement of their careers – is a three-star rating from France’s highly influential Guide Michelin.

Now known primarily for its listings and ratings of restaurants, the guide began life, back in 1900, as a manual for early motorists – Michelin was (and is) primarily a tire company – with information on garages, gas stations, and other useful addresses for drivers negotiating the roads of France. In 1922, some restaurants and hotels were added, and as that section grew, the guide began to give a single star to the eating places considered particularly good.

Two- and three-star ratings were added a few years later, and a team of anonymous inspectors was recruited and trained to assess the quality of dining. In 1936, the guide established its famous definitions for the honors: One star signaled “Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie” (a very good table in its category), two meant “Table excellente, mérite un détour” (an excellent table, worth a detour), and the highest accolade, three stars, symbolized “Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage” (one of the best tables, worth a special trip).

As the Guide Michelin grew in popularity, its restaurant listings expanded, and the guide itself ranged further and further afield. Today, stars are dispensed in guides devoted to nine countries or country groupings (there’s a single volume for Belgium and Luxembourg, for instance), plus another 15 focused on individual cities or combinations of cities – including Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (These are America’s 35 best cities for foodies.)

While a meal at any three-star restaurant – France and Japan are tied with 29 each – will likely be a memorable experience (as well as a very expensive one), some places please diners more than others. (These are 25 things you should never ever do at a fancy restaurant.)

Click here to see the highest-rated Michelin three-star restaurants in the world

To determine the Michelin three-star restaurants around the world that are most highly rated by what might be called ordinary diners (as opposed to food critics or self-styled gourmets), 24/7 Tempo reviewed data collected by the British-based financial product comparison site Money.co.uk. The site analyzed Tripadvisor reviews, computing the percentage of “excellent” or “very good” reviews each restaurant received to arrive at a ranking of the highest-rated ones.

15. El Celler de Can Roca
> Location: Girona, Spain
> Chef: Joan Roca
> First awarded three stars: 2009
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.25


Source: Courtesy of Qype User (Hugge...) via Yelp

14. Waldhotel Sonnora
> Location: Dreis, Germany
> Chef: Clemens Rambichler
> First awarded three stars: 1999
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.48

Source: Courtesy of Michael Z. via Yelp

13. Maison Lameloise
> Location: Chagny, France
> Chef: Éric Pras
> First awarded three stars: 2007
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.51

Source: Courtesy of Restaurant Kei via Facebook

12. Kei
> Location: Paris, France
> Chef: Kei Kobayashi
> First awarded three stars: 2020
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.71


Source: Courtesy of Adrienne H. via Yelp

11. Epicure
> Location: Paris, France
> Chef: Éric Fréchon
> First awarded three stars: 2009
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.73

Source: Courtesy of Alexandra K. via Yelp

10. De Librije
> Location: Zwolle, Netherlands
> Chef: Jonnie Boer
> First awarded three stars: 2004
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 95.80


Source: Courtesy of Core via Facebook

9. Core by Clare Smyth
> Location: London, England
> Chef: Clare Smyth
> First awarded three stars: 2021
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.03

Source: Courtesy of Jeremy C. via Yelp

8. Aqua
> Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
> Chef: Sven Elverfeld
> First awarded three stars: 2009
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.12

Source: Corutesy of Carla D. via Yelp

7. Restaurante Martín Berasategui
> Location: Lasarte-Oria, Spain
> Chef: Martín Berasategui
> First awarded three stars: 2001
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.12


Source: Courtesy of Rolling Pin via Facebook

6. Schloss Schauenstein
> Location: Fürstenau, Switzerland
> Chef: Andreas Caminada
> First awarded three stars: 2011
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.29

Source: Courtesy of La Vague d'Or by Arnaud Donckele via Facebook

5. La Vague d’Or
> Location: Saint-Tropez, France
> Chef: Arnaud Donckele
> First awarded three stars: 2013
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.41


Source: Courtesy of Lydia O. via Yelp

4. Cheval Blanc
> Location: Basel, Switzerland
> Chef: Peter Knogl
> First awarded three stars: 2016
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.53

Source: Courtesy of Michael U. via Yelp

3. Régis et Jacques Marcon
> Location: Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France
> Chefs: Régis et Jacques Marcon
> First awarded three stars: 2005
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.65

Source: Courtesy of King's Joy via Facebook

2. King’s Joy
> Location: Beijing, China
> Chef: Gary Yin
> First awarded three stars: 2021
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 96.81


Source: Courtesy of Alex H. via Yelp

1. Frantzén
> Location: Stockholm, Sweden
> Chef: Björn Frantzén
> First awarded three stars: 2018
> Pct. of “excellent” or “very good” reviews: 98.25

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