The Michelin dining guide has officially announced its award winners for the second edition of its Florida Michelin Guide. Like last year, the list of places that took home the coveted star awards are comprised predominately of expensive, upscale, Eurocentric South Florida restaurants.
This Michelin Guide partners with Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism board, for the Sunshine State’s guide. The Michelin Guide doesn’t disclose how much it is paid to bring inspectors to those markets — price tags for the state have been reported to be well over seven figures, with Miami-Dade County paying $116,000 a year over three years to help offset the cost of producing of the guide — though the company has been candid in the past about its partnerships with those respective boards.
The guide is seen by many as the global standard of restaurant reviews with its up to three-star rating system with one-star considered “very good restaurant in its category,” two-star considered “worthy of a detour,” and three-star deemed a “special journey.” There is also the Bib Gourmand status, an unstarred category given to high-caliber restaurants that serve a two-course meal for around $50 a person.
Like last year, spots in suburban neighborhoods showcasing Florida flavors, particularly those of Caribbean or South American origin, were noticeably underrepresented. Furthermore, among the one-, two-, and three-star awardees, only a single restaurant has a kitchen led by a woman.
Miami restaurants dominated the awards again this year, receiving the most in the state. The Miami outpost of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon maintained its two-star status. The same ten one-star winners from 2022 retained their one-star status, including:
- Ariete, upscale American and Cuban cuisine in Coconut Grove.
- Boia De, an eclectic American restaurant with Italian influences just north of the Design District.
- Cote, a Korean steakhouse in the Miami Design District.
- The Den at Sushi Azabu, omakase in Miami Beach.
- Elcielo Miami, experiential Colombian cuisine
- Hiden, “hidden” omakase restaurant in Wynwood.
- Le Jardinier, a vegetable-focused restaurant by Joël Robuchon alumni in the Miami Design District.
- Los Felix, Mexican seafood and tacos in Coconut Grove.
- Stubborn Seed, an American tasting-menu-focused restaurant by a Top Chef winner in South Beach.
- The Surf Club Restaurant, American comfort food from Thomas Keller in Surfside.
This year, the only new one-star Miami restaurant added to the list was Tambourine Room By Tristan Brandt, a tasting-menu-only modern take on classic French cuisine with Asian influences.
Miami also had 18 restaurants receive a Bib Gourmand award including two new recipients. Returning to the Bib Gourmand list this year are Bachour, Chug’s Diner, Doya, El Turco, Ghee Indian Kitchen, Hometown Barbecue, La Natural, Lucali, Lung Yai, Mandolin, Michale’s, Phuc Yea, Sanguich de Miami, Tinta y Cafe, Zak the Baker, and Zitz Sum. New to the Bib’s this year in Miami include Jaguar Sun and Rosie’s.
Not returning to the list this year were Krus Kitchen, Red Rooster Overtown, and Itamae, all of which won a Bib Gourmand in 2022.
The annual guide began as a free booklet in 1900 published by Michelin (yes, of tire fame) to help motorists find the best places to eat and drink throughout Europe. Over the past century, it has grown in prestige and expanded its footprint globally.
But not all chefs welcome the stars. Over the years, chefs have famously asked to “give back” their stars, citing the increased pressures that the award brings, especially for those awarded the much-coveted three-star recognition. Others have pointed out the guide's penchant for selecting primarily European and Japanese menus for stars at the expense of other worthy cuisines and cultural institutions like street food.