My World Michelin 3 Star Restaurant Tour: Itinerary, Criticisms & Top Picks

What exactly does it take to eat at every single Michelin 3 Star restaurant in the world? Afterall, Michelin’s own inspectors only work in certain regions or specific locations, and already eat hundreds of meals and travel almost 19,000 miles each year. So, how on earth does an average guy secure and dine at the most exclusive, expensive and supposedly best restaurants in the world? What drives a guy to do such a thing? And perhaps most importantly, do the 3 Stars all really live up to their ratings– “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey?”

To the last question, well, no, not really. In fact, I thought a good portion needed to be demoted to 2 Stars, and there are only less than a third that I would make a special trip back to.

Criticisms of Michelin abound. There is so much secrecy with Michelin’s anonymous inspectors, and there are no detailed explanations to its ratings. Pascal Remy, a former Michelin inspector claimed that the Guide had become lax in its standards, and further charged Michelin with playing favorites, especially naming Paul Bocuse. I agree on both counts. Paul Bocuse does NOT deserve a 3 Star. And there is a MASSIVE inconsistency in 3 Stars worldwide (as well as inconsistencies in 2 and 1 Stars).

There have also been loads of criticisms that Michelin favors French cuisine, or towards formality and presentation v.s. just plain good food. Agreed. When the Hong Kong Michelin Guide came out, my first reaction was WTF, OMG, LOL. These guys clearly did NOT (and do not) understand Chinese cuisine. I had a similar reaction to Tokyo’s release.

Michelin has flaws. But then, so does Zagat and Relais & Chateaux. But for a guy who ate every single 2007 Michelin 3 Star Restaurant (and a few 2 Stars) in less than a year, and has over 350 Stars under my belt, I’d like to think that perhaps the rest of us could use a second opinion.

More to come in future posts, but below is the itinerary from my world Michelin 3 Star Restaurant tour from November 2006 to October 2007. Restaurants with stars by the names are my prelim list of those I’d go back to. Lots of photos to come, along with the list of new 3 Stars (as of 2010) that I hopefully plan to dine at in the coming months.

*L’Ambroisie 11/06
Taillevent 11/06
Guy Savoy 11/06
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee 11/06
*Pierre Gagnaire 11/06
*Le Cinq George V 11/06
Pied a Terre 11/06
*Enoteca Pinchiorri 12/06
La Pergola 2/07
Le Grand Vefour 2/07
Arpege 2/07
Ledoyen 2/07
Le Pre Catalan 2/07
Restaurant Arzac 3/07
*Martin Berasategui 3/07
Akelare 3/07
Bruneau 3/07
Comme Chez Soi 3/07
*De Karmeliet 3/07
Le Louis XV (Alain Ducasse) 3/07
The Capital 3/07
Fat Duck 4/07
Waterside Inn 4/07
Helene Darroze 5/07
*Le Meurice 5/07
Apicius 5/07
Les Maisons de Bricourt 5/07
*Michel Guerard Les pre d’Eugenie 5/07
*Les Loges de l’Aubergade 5/07
Can Fabes 5/07
El Bulli 5/07
Leon de Lyon 6/07
La Maison du Marc Veyrat 6/07
Philippe Rochat 6/07
*Le Pont de Brent 6/07
Schwarzwaldstube (Baiersbronn) 6/07
*Dieter Muller (Bergisch Galdbach) 6/07
Sonnora 6/07
Auberge de L’il (Illhaeusern) 6/07
l’Arnsbourg (Baerenthal) Hotel K 6/07
*La Cote St Jacques 6/07
*Bernard Loiseau (La Cote d’Or) 6/07
*L’Esperance 6/07
Lameloise 6/07
Auberge De L’ile 6/07
Paul Bocuse 6/07
Georges Blanc 6/07
Maison Pic 7/07
*Auberge des Cimes 7/07
Troisgros 7/07
*Michel Bras 7/07
*Sant Pau 7/07
Victors (Scholss Berg) 7/07
Buerehiesel 7/07
Vendome 7/07
*Heinz Winkler 7/07
Hof Van Cleve 7/07
Oud Sluis 7/07
De Librijie 7/07
Le Calandre 7/07
Dal Pescatore 7/07
Le Gavroche 8/07
Gordon Ramsay 8/07
Fat Duck 8/07
Le Manoir 8/07
Al Sorriso 8/07
Astrance 9/07
Le Bernardin 9/07
Per Se 9/07
Jean Georges 9/07
Fleur de Lys 10/07
Cyrus 10/07
French Laundry 10/07

About 3starbackpacker

I'm just an average guy who loves to eat and travel. I backpacked to every 2007 Michelin 3 Star in the world in less than 12 months, have over 350 stars under my belt, and have eaten (and drunken) my way through over 70 countries downing anything and everything that looked vaguely interesting.
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2 Responses to My World Michelin 3 Star Restaurant Tour: Itinerary, Criticisms & Top Picks

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  2. badmash says:

    I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

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