Atlanta’s culinary scene is poised for a historic moment as the Michelin Guide, renowned worldwide for its prestigious restaurant ratings, makes its long-awaited debut in the city. With the official announcement set for October 24, 2023, at the Rialto Center for the Arts, excitement is palpable among food enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. Here are five essential insights into this momentous event and what it means for Atlanta’s dining landscape.
A Star-Studded Reveal Ceremony
The Michelin Guide’s Atlanta debut will be celebrated with a grand reveal ceremony, featuring an exclusive guest list that includes Michelin chefs and prominent local culinary figures. The event will be emceed by Mara Davis, an esteemed Atlanta radio personality and host of the VoteHer podcast.
Where Can I Watch the 2023 Michelin Guide Awards in Atlanta?
While the ceremony itself is invitation-only, the good news is that eager foodies can catch all the action via a live stream on YouTube, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24. This live stream ensures that gastronomy enthusiasts worldwide can witness Atlanta’s culinary stars ascending.
Atlanta Joins the Michelin Family
Atlanta’s inclusion in the Michelin Guide marks a significant milestone for the city’s dining scene. It becomes one of the two new United States Michelin guides debuting in 2023, with Colorado having had the honor earlier in the year. This expansion underscores Michelin’s commitment to recognizing and promoting exceptional culinary experiences across diverse American locales.
The Rich History of the Michelin Guide
The Michelin Guide has deep roots that extend back to the early 20th century. Originating as a series of guidebooks for motorists, the very first Michelin guide to France was published in 1900. Notably, this guide not only provided restaurant recommendations but also offered practical advice on automotive concerns like changing tires and finding fuel.
The iconic Michelin star ratings began in 1926, evolving into the tiered system we know today in 1936. Over the decades, the guide has become a symbol of culinary excellence and a trusted resource for discerning diners worldwide.
Atlanta’s Culinary Companions in the U.S.
Atlanta now joins an esteemed list of U.S. cities and states with Michelin guides. New York City led the way in 2005, followed by guides for California, Colorado, Florida, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
With the addition of Atlanta, more than 600 restaurants across the United States now boast Michelin stars, bib gourmands, and other prestigious distinctions, contributing to a total of 6,860 globally.
The Michelin Rating Process Unveiled
Michelin’s meticulous rating process is shrouded in mystery no more. Restaurants under consideration undergo multiple inspections each year before receiving a Michelin star rating or bib gourmand distinction.
These distinctions are awarded based on five essential criteria:
- the quality of products and ingredients,
- the harmony of flavors,
- the mastery of cooking techniques,
- the chef’s personality reflected in the cuisine,
- and the consistency of both food and service across visits by Michelin inspectors.
A Michelin star signifies high-quality cooking worthy of a visit, two stars denote excellent cooking that merits a detour, and three stars signify an exceptional dining destination worth planning a trip around.
Additionally, the guide also recognizes restaurants with the Bib Gourmand status for offering high-quality food at affordable prices and those with sustainable and environmentally friendly practices with a Michelin Green Star.
As the Michelin Guide makes its debut in Atlanta, the city’s culinary scene is set to shine brighter than ever. The arrival of this prestigious guide promises to elevate the city’s reputation as a culinary destination while celebrating its vibrant and diverse food culture.
Whether you’re an Atlanta local or a food lover from afar, the Michelin Guide’s presence is sure to tantalize taste buds and spark culinary adventures in this thriving southern city.
2023 Michelin Guide Atlanta Results
Yesterday, Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia, was added to the prestigious list of U.S. destinations recognized by the Michelin Guide, celebrating the city’s exceptional culinary scene. With the addition of 10 Bib Gourmands, 5 new One Stars, and 2 new Green Stars, Atlanta truly lives up to its nickname, “The Big Peach,” in terms of delicious offerings.
The selection in Atlanta offers a wide variety of flavors, ranging from high-end dishes like roasted onion tortellini served with Gruyère fondue and beef nage, to more casual fare such as lobster drizzled with a smoked paprika butter sauce. A common thread among most of these culinary establishments is their dedication to using and showcasing local ingredients.
Each restaurant is committed to presenting innovative ideas and tastes on the plate, particularly our Green Star establishments. One of these even updates its menu weekly, utilizing produce from its own regenerative farm. We invite you to explore and enjoy learning about the restaurants in Atlanta that have earned these distinguished accolades.
When the night calls for a grand celebration, few places fit quite like Atlas. Snuggled inside the posh St. Regis Atlanta, this restaurant is impossibly elegant. Fine art graces the walls—it’s home to The Lewis Collection and its works by Japanese-born painter and printmaker Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita—but it’s not just the artwork that impresses. Order à la carte from this seasonal American menu with European influences or celebrate with the tasting menu for dishes like tender lobster plated with smoked paprika butter sauce and heirloom summer squash, and poached halibut composed with a trio of beet preparations. Wagyu beef from Australia is a decadent end to the savory courses. Impressive cocktails, a cheese cart and whimsical desserts complete the well-rounded experience.
A local legend for his Japanese cuisine on Buford Highway, Chef Atsushi Hayakawa has begun a new chapter in West Midtown. Located in a sparkling office structure, the slick lair hosts a mere handful of diners per seating. His stage is a backdrop of dark-streaked stone and a silken wood counter; and the use of a microphone to banter with guests amplifies Hayakawa’s buoyant personality.
The meal is a procession of small courses and hews toward the structure of kaiseki. After items such as an appetizer trio with clear fish soup, scallop sashimi with miso-mustard sauce and simmered monkfish, it’s time for sushi. The chef crafts nigiri from imported fish that needs little embellishment and is amply sized in the tradition of Hokkaido style in deference to the chef’s hometown.
Betty was far from lazy. Just ask her children, Howard, Anita and Ron Hsu, the co-owners of Lazy Betty, who drew inspiration for their restaurant from their mother’s hospitality. Chef Ron Hsu and Chef Aaron Phillips oversee a contemporary tasting menu with clever flavor combinations that highlight regional ingredients. Causa is given a Southern slant with sweet Georgia shrimp, avocado purée and potato foam infused with aji amarillo pepper, while seared Hudson Valley foie gras is sided by Granny Smith apple, sweet potato and dots of pumpkin butter. Cod, poached in a ham hock broth, rests atop fava bean and zucchini succotash with a green tomato relish for an especially flavorful plate. From the pre-dessert lemon sherbet with a coconut crumble to the elegant rosewater panna cotta, they impress to the end.
Located in West Midtown, Mujō is an intimate setting with a moody elegance. A U-shaped counter crafted of Southern cypress pops in this square room with dark walls and low lighting. This is the domain of Chef J. Trent Harris and his skilled team who make all feel well cared for. Here, tradition has been replaced with a rollicking good time, where the always-surprising interpretation of omakase begins with an array of zensai like a morsel of Florida cobia grilled over binchotan, dressed with a red miso sauce and some local pattypan squash. After some cooked bites, it’s time for the raw. Nigiri needs little to impress, while supplemental dishes offer the likes of Hokkaido hair crab, tosazu and mozuku. Regulars know dessert isn’t an afterthought; so save room.
One Star Green Star
Dark wood, a black industrial ceiling set with a constellation of Edison bulbs, and brown leather banquettes give Bacchanalia a handsome sophistication, yet there’s nothing too precious about this longstanding spot. The multicourse prix fixe involves a bit of flair, with some dishes arriving on carts or nestled inside glass cloches, and the cheese course is a wonderful surprise. Rather than an expected slice, the team presents a clever take with a crumbly oat date cake and a dot of black garlic sauce surrounded by rings of parmesan. Chilled lobster in a ponzu sauce with bright English peas and horseradish oil is also memorable but it may just be the delicate grapefruit soufflé garnished with spicy pistachio crumble and rose crème anglaise that takes the cake.
As one of two new Green Star restaurants in Atlanta, we wanted to hear from the team directly about their sustainable practices: “Our menu is dictated by what is available from our local farm partners, as well as our onsite regenerative farmed (beyond organic) garden. This means the menu often changes throughout the week depending on availability. We have recently joined Georgia Organics to help quantify our local and organic food purchases (currently qualify for gold/top tier). We compost on site, as well as utilize a compost company to reduce waste going into the landfill. We also recycle glass, use compostable carryout containers, and are working on improving recycling further.”
Bib Gourmand Restaurants
Bib Gourmand is awarded to restaurants that offer delicious food at a moderate price tag.
- Antico Pizza Napoletana
- Arepa Mia
- Bomb Biscuit Co.
- The Busy Bee
- Fred’s Meat & Bread
- Heirloom Market BBQ
- Little Bear
A restaurant in the recommended selection of the Michelin Guide is a sign of quality ingredients that are well cooked.
- The Alden
- Chai Pani
- The Chastain
- The Deer and the Dove
- Food Terminal
- The General Muir
- Georgia Boy/Southern Belle
- Han Il Kwan
- Home Grown
- Kamayan ATL
- Kimball House
- LanZhou Ramen
- Lyla Lila
- Miller Union
- Nam Phuong
- Poor Hendrix
- Snackboxe Bistro
- Storico Fresco Alimentari
- Talat Market
- Ticonderoga Club
- Tiny Lou’s
- Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours
- The White Bull
- Xi’an Gourmet House
Michelin Special Awards
- Michelin Exceptional Cocktail Award: Jason Furst and the bar team at BoccaLupo
- Michelin Sommelier Award: Juan Fernando Cortés of The Chastain
- Michelin Outstanding Service Award: Neal McCarthy and the front-of-house team at Miller Union
- Michelin Young Chef Award: Jarrett Stieber of Little Bear
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