Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Bay Area Michelin Star Restaurants - 2024 Edition (Part 1)

It has been a long while since doing a post about Michelin recommended/starred restaurants--2019 in fact.

The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. Unfortunately, we have some bad news this year. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant ever, Adega in Little Portugal, is now permanently closed. The silver lining is that it will be replaced with a second Petiscos restaurant. The original Petiscos is in Downtown San Jose's SoFA District and is not only featured in the guide but is one of San Jose's first two Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants (a step below a Star and signifying a restaurant is of outstanding value for the quality).

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
New last year were "Green Stars" for restaurants that are at the forefront of sustainable, environmental, and ethical standards.

There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. This distinction has gotten more rare since the guide now covers all of California instead of just the Bay Area. San Jose has a total of 4 Michelin Recommended restaurants (one of which is now closed), which is down 4 restaurants from 2019. LeYou Ethiopian is the only newcomer.

San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Petiscos $$ (Bib Gourmand)
  • East San Jose
    • Adega $$$$ (Closed)
  • Midtown
    • Luna Mexican Kitchen $$ (Bib Gourmand)
  • North San Jose
    • LeYou $$

I also created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2023, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. 2020-2022 were crazy years and I still have to update data there. I also expect new stars and restaurants to be announced this summer. There is no longer a physical book for California, but Michelin will update their site after new stars are awarded.

Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 45 Bay Area restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is down 12 from before the pandemic in 2019. 60% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), 18% in Wine Country, 2% in the East Bay, and 2% in Marin. There are 3 new restaurants on the list for 2023 and several that no longer made the cut or were closed down. There were no new Silicon Valley restaurants on the list from 2022, but Selby's and Sushi Shin were both added post-pandemic.

This post is entitled Part 1. As previously mentioned Michelin will announce updates to the guide for Bay Area restaurants this summer. It will be interesting if San Jose can get back in the guide with a starred restaurant. There are certainly several that deserve it. Some of my top picks for addition would be iChina, Le Papillion, and Rollati. We'll have to see if anyone will come along and fill Adega's shoes in Part 2 later this year.

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