Are you looking for restaurants that are truly above and beyond? Then you may have already considered visiting some California Michelin Star Restaurants—but what exactly are Michelin Stars, anyway? And how do you know which California Michelin Star restaurants you should add to your “must dine” list? Read on to find out more about Michelin Stars and the 5 California Michelin Star Restaurants you must add to your food bucket list.
What is a Michelin Star?
A Michelin Star is a unique award given out by Michelin Guides, one of the oldest annual restaurant reference guides still running today. Michelin stars are intended to grade restaurants on their quality, and they are only given out to restaurants that meet the guide’s criteria. One star means that the restaurant is considered “a very good restaurant” to visit; two stars means that it has “excellent cooking that is worth a detour” and finally, three stars means “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”
1. The French Laundry (3 Michelin Stars)
The French Laundry is a charming restaurant located in a stone and wood building that is reminiscent of the French countryside. The menu is high quality, classical internationally inspired cuisine that routinely changes depending on the season; there are also two daily tasting menus, including a chef’s choice tasting menu and a vegetable-inspired tasting menu.
2. Atelier Crenn (3 Michelin Stars)
Atelier Crenn is a modern restaurant that takes classical French cuisine and gives it a contemporary, minimalistic twist. Dishes are designed to be minimalistic, refreshing, and above all—innovative. Notably, Atelier Crenn does not have a typical menu: it offers a 12-course tasting menu which is presented as a handcrafted poem. Each line of the 12-line poem offers an insight into the tasting menu based on the chef’s personal experiences.
3. Le Comptoir (1 Michelin star)
Le Comptoir is notable for its unique take on fine dining, which does away with fussy settings and focuses on a simple, intimate, and warm atmosphere. The restaurant offers a tasting menu with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal vegetables. The menu is not vegetarian, however, so guests should take note that the tasting menu will include meat.
4. CUT (1 Michelin star)
CUT is a fine dining steak restaurant that offers a unique contemporary take on a classical steakhouse. The menu features steak options from meat sourced internationally and includes an expansive wine list that includes wines from around the world.
5. Kali (1 Michelin star)
Kali combines high-end dining with the charm of a small neighborhood hangout; this truly unique restaurant features an elevated menu in a casual, friendly, and warm environment. The menu heavily features local and seasonal offerings, such as seasonal vegetable soups, locally sourced seafood, and more.
If you are looking for a unique dining experience that will go above and beyond anything you’ve tasted before, you will definitely want to check out one (or more!) of these top 5 California Michelin star restaurants.