Michelin arrived on American shores in 2005, bringing its merry band of inspectors to evaluate restaurants across the land—well, not really across the land. Michelin now rates restaurants in just four U.S. cities: New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. (Los Angeles was briefly covered, but dropped in favor of Washington.)
However, despite the company’s limited scope (both in terms of geographic coverage and its disregard of restaurants that aren’t rooted in European or Japanese culinary traditions), the guide still holds significant authority in the food world. Michelin’s star-rating system has become a standard many restaurants measure themselves against. Only a select few establishments have earned and maintained the highest rating of three stars. And just because they’ve reached those heights doesn’t mean they don’t have to maintain them. After all, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s eponymous restaurant was downgraded from three to two this year.
Now that all the Michelin guides for America have been released, the country now boasts 14 restaurants that the old French tire company regards as having “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” From Alinea to Saison, here are those 14 restaurants.