As of November 2020, there are currently 2,651 restaurants in the world with at least one Michelin star. For a more precise breakdown, that’s 2,160 restaurants with one star, 385 restaurants with two stars, and 106 boasting the coveted three stars.
Michelin star restaurants in Europe
According to the latest edition of the Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe 2020, there are currently 499 restaurants in Europe with at least one Michelin star. The new guide covers 23 countries across Europe and 39 cities, highlighting a whopping 1,850 restaurants including many newcomers. Polish city Krakow received its first star which was awarded to Bottiglieria 1881, a fine establishment promoting the best of artisanal Polish ingredients in a cellar-turned-restaurant atmosphere. Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana also received its first-ever star for restaurant Atelje, driven by internationally-trained chef Jorg Zupan. In other news, Austria now has two new one-star restaurants, and new Bib Gourmands can be counted across various cities. The guide was delayed a few months in 2020 due to the global pandemic, but its release in June 2020 pleasantly coincided with the summer reopening of restaurants with the aim of promoting hospitality, according to international director for the guides, Gwendal Poullennec.
For a summary, that’s 24 three-star restaurants (with 4 new additions), 95 two-star restaurants (with 13 new additions), 380 one-star restaurants (with 52 new additions), and 253 Bib Gourmand (with 41 new additions), across the continent of Europe.
Across the entirety of the United States there are a total of 192 restaurants boasting Michelin stars. That’s a breakdown of 147 one-stars, 31 two-stars, and 14 three-stars. Seven of those three stars are in California, five are in New York, one in Illinois, and one in Washington D.C. Chef Thomas Keller is the only chef who can claim two of those three-stars, awarded to The French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York. And Dominique Crenn is the first and to date the only female chef with a three-star establishment in the country.
California is the state with the most Michelin stars. It currently has 64 one-stars, 13 restaurants with two stars, and 7 restaurants with three stars. New York follows with 49 one-stars, 13 two-stars, and 5 with three stars. Illinois meanwhile has 19 establishments with one star, 3 with two stars, and 1 restaurant - Alinea - with three stars. The American capital comes close behind with 15 one-stars, 2 restaurants with two-stars, and 1 - The Inn at Little Washington - with three stars.
New York deserves special mention as the fifth most starred city in the world, and the top city in the U.S, with 76 total starred restaurants. In 2020, the guide to New York moved beyond NYC’s five boroughs and expanded a bit further up north, allowing the long renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns run by Dan Barber to gain two stars.
Michelin star restaurants in Asia
The Asian continent as a whole, meanwhile, has the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants with a whopping total of 828: 726 one-stars, 58 two-stars, and 44 three-stars across seven countries. (Note: this year’s count excludes Singapore, which cancelled its star revelation in 2020 due to prolonged closure because of the pandemic which inhibited inspectors from determining “consistency between visits”).
The tally by country is as follows: mainland China has 62 restaurants with one star, 14 restaurants with two stars, and 2 restaurants with three stars; Hong Kong has 48 one-stars, 11 two-stars, 7 three-stars; South Korea holds 21 one-stars, 7 two-stars, and 2 three-stars; Taiwan boasts 22 one-stars, 7 two-stars, and 1 three-star; Thailand has 24 one-stars and 5 two-stars (no three-stars yet); and Macao has 9 one-stars, 6 two-stars, and 3 three-stars.
Japan, however, wins the title for most starred restaurants in Asia and is second in the world after France with a whopping 577 starred restaurants. The full breakdown shows 540 one-star restaurants, 8 two-stars, and a healthy 29 three-stars.
The Japanese capital has the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world, a true mecca for fine dining lovers. Tokyo is home to 226 starred restaurants, an incredible feat that is nearly double the count in Paris, the runner-up. The Michelin Guide Tokyo was only launched 13 years ago, and yet the city has managed to accrue a stellar number of stars. It has 11 three-star restaurants to date, and 3 of those have maintained all their stars since the guide’s launch in 2007. This past year, there were 57 newcomers listed on the guide for the first time. The entire selection highlights the best of Japanese local cuisine, of course, but also showcases international cuisines from across the globe.
Behind restaurant won its first Michelin star after just 20 days of serving eat-in diners. We spoke to chef Andy Benyon about his extraordinary feat, and the fastest Michelin star in the east (London).