France has the most Michelin stars in the world according to the 2020 publication of the Michelin guide. The second country is Japan with Italy in the third position.
Every year the Michelin Guide announces its sought-after accolades, the Michelin stars. Each country and restaurant learns if it added to the list of award-winners, deemed a good restaurant (one star), worth a detour (two stars) or worth a special journey (three stars).
As the Michelin Guide expands across the world awarding accolades to restaurants, including street food vendors and fast-casual establishments, the number of Michelin star restaurants in cities such as Hong Kong or San Francisco grows. However, there are some countries that can be considered fine-dining heavy hitters, and they are the countries with the highest number of Michelin star restaurants – France, Italy and Japan.
Which country has the most Michelin stars?
As the Michelin Guide is a French institution, and French cuisine is the foundational fine-dining tradition that has informed and inspired modern haute cuisine around the world, it is no surprise that France is also the country with the most Michelin stars in the world.
How many Michelin stars does France have?
France has the highest number of stars, with 628 Michelin stars awarded in the 2020 guide — down from 632 in 2019. There are 513 one-star restaurants. France is also the country with the highest number of three-Michelin-star restaurants with 29, which is more than any other country in Europe, and tied globally with Japan. There are 86 restaurants in France with two Michelin stars.
The Michelin Guide to France 2020
The big news in the Michelin Guide France 2020 was that the restaurant Paul Bocuse in Leon, the culinary house of the late great chef Paul Bocuse had lost its third Michelin star and was downgraded to just two.
The numbers of three-Michelin-star restaurants were swelled by three additions - Christopher Coutanceau restaurant in La Rochelle; Restaurant Kei in Paris, and Restaurant L'Oustau de Baumanière in Baux-de-Provence.
The Top 5 Countries with the most Michelin Stars in the World
France – A Total of 628 Michelin-Starred Restaurants
- 513 one-star restaurants
- 86 two-star restaurants
- 29 three-star restaurants
Japan – A Total of 577 Michelin-Starred Restaurants
- 540 one-star restaurants
- 8 two-star restaurants
- 29 three-star restaurants
Italy – A Total of 374 Michelin-Starred restaurants.
- 326 one-star restaurants
- 35 two-star restaurants
- 11 three-star restaurants
Germany – A total of 307 Michelin-Starred Restaurants
- 258 one-star restaurants
- 46 two-star restaurants
- 12 three-star restaurants
United States – A Total of 169 Michelin Starred Restaurants
- 132 one-star restaurants
- 23 two-star restaurants
- 14 three-star restaurants
What are Michelin Stars?
Michelin stars are the mark of denoted quality in fine dining awarded by the French tyre company’s restaurant bible the Michelin Guide. They are considered the highest accolade a restaurant can achieve.
How does a Restaurant Gain a Michelin Star?
Michelin keeps its criterion for awarding stars closely guarded and they remain a mystery to chefs and restaurateurs alike. Michelin Guide inspectors are always anonymous, always pay their bills and may or may not dine alone. There is no way to know if a guest is a Michelin inspector. The Michelin Guide may make multiple visits to a restaurant to decide if it is worthy of a Michelin star, especially in the case of awarding a second or a third Michelin star.
What do Michelin Stars Mean?
Restaurants can be ranked from zero to three stars, classified as follows;
One star: A good place worth a stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
Two stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skilfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
Three stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
In addition to those restaurants earning Michelin stars, other restaurants offering good value for money can be listed as 'Bib Gourmands'.
The Michelin Guide recently announced the addition of a new award, the Green Clover, for which the Michelin green clover pictogram was created to “promote the chefs who have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy,” the guide announced recently.