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San Francisco Bay Area Receives 68 Percent of Stars in First Statewide MICHELIN Guide to California

The 2019 Michelin Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area confirms the city as the fine dining capital in the United States. The seven three-star restaurants total more than any other American city (including New York).

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On June 3, 2019 Michelin announced the highly anticipated selection of star awards in the “2019 MICHELIN Guide California,” the first ever statewide MICHELIN Guide.  Expanding the selection announced in the “2019 MICHELIN Guide San Francisco,” California is now home to 657 restaurants distinguished in the Guide.  

Of the 90 restaurants receiving Michelin stars in the new guide, 68 percent are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The “MICHELIN Guide California” selection includes: 

  • Seven restaurants with three stars (all in the San Francisco Bay Area) 
  • 14 restaurants with two stars (eight in the San Francisco Bay Area) 
  • 69 restaurants with one star (46 in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

San Francisco’s sights, sports, music, and cultural attractions alone inspire millions of travelers each year. However, the biggest draw is San Francisco’s renowned culinary landscape. The latest research shows that food and cuisine are the #4 reason people say they want to visit San Francisco, sited by 59.7% of survey respondents.   

“Our culture of innovation and diversity enhances the culinary experience here, as evidenced by the fact that we have more three-star restaurants than anywhere else in the United States. Food and drink are intricately woven into the region’s history and traditions, making the San Francisco Bay Area a dining destination like no other,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association.   

MICHELIN has had inspectors dining in San Francisco since 2006 when it published its first guide to the region.   

Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn is the only female chef in the U.S. to achieve three Michelin stars (more on her later).  Her newer restaurant, Bar Crenn, also has a Michelin star and was named one of the best new restaurants in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine (see below).  

Californios, in San Francisco, is the only two-star Mexican restaurant in the world. Ironically, there are no two-star Michelin restaurants in Mexico.  

San Francisco’s Campton Place Bar and Bistro is the only Indian two-star restaurant in the world. 

Al’s Place on Valencia Street is one of the least expensive Michelin star restaurant in the U.S. 

San Francisco also took the top spot on Esquire’s November 2018 list of Best New Restaurants in America.”  Angler, on the Embarcadero, was named #1 and described as “an Avalon of pleasure and ease.”  Other San Franciscans on the list:  Bar Crenn (#12) and Che Fico (#17).   

Yelp named San Francisco the #1 city in America for 2019 on their list of “Top 10 Foodie Cities.” The Yelp blog states, “In order to rank the best places for foodies, our Data Science team looked at a number of different factors. Yelp’s data science team compared cities’ new restaurants, looking at ratings, reviews, cuisine diversity and percentage of food photos, to reveal where Yelpers love to eat right now.…San Francisco grabbed the top spot as the best destination for foodies. From Michelin-starred restaurants like Liholiho Yacht Club to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, there’s virtually no cuisine travelers can’t find in the City by the Bay.”    

San Francisco Bay Area “food firsts” include these creations: 

  • The Martini (1860) 
  • Pisco Punch (1880)  
  • The Popsicle (1905) 
  • Chicken Tetrazzini (1908) 
  • The Crab Louie salad (1914)  
  • Green Goddess salad dressing (1915) 
  • It’s It Ice Cream Sandwich (1928)  
  • Joe’s Special (1932) 
  • The Mai Tai (1944) 
  • Irish Coffee, making its American debut (1952) 
  • “California cuisine” (1971) 

Here are some other tasty San Francisco tidbits: 

  • Fior d’Italia is the oldest Italian restaurant in the U.S., opened in 1886. 
  • San Francisco’s oldest restaurant is Tadich Grill (circa 1887), one of several that pre-date 1900, (Cliff House, Old Clam House and Schroeder’s). 
  • San Francisco had the first American chef to unanimously win the Japanese “Iron Chef” competition (1999) 
  • With some 5,300+ places to eat, San Francisco has more per capita than any other major city in the United States.      
  • According to WalletHub, San Francisco has the highest number of chocolate shops per 100,000 residents, at 9.17 per person. 

Here are the 2019 MICHELIN Three-Star Restaurants with “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” (seven in the Bay Area) 

  • Atelier Crenn, San Francisco  
  • Benu, San Francisco 
  • French Laundry (The), Yountville 
  • Manresa, Los Gatos  
  • Quince, San Francisco  
  • Restaurant at Meadowood (The), St. Helena  
  • SingleThread, Healdsburg  

Here are the 2019 Two-Star Restaurants with “Excellent cuisine, worth a detour” (eight in the Bay Area) 

  • Acquerello, San Francisco    
  • Baumé, Palo Alto  
  • Californios, San Francisco   
  • Campton Place, San Francisco - NEW 
  • Coi, San Francisco  
  • Commis, Oakland  
  • Lazy Bear, San Francisco  
  • Saison, San Francisco - NEW 

Here are the One-Star Restaurants, defined as “A very good restaurant in its category” (46 in the Bay Area) 

  • Al's Place, San Francisco    
  • Angler, San Francisco - NEW 
  • Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford  
  • Aubergine, Monterey  
  • Bar Crenn, San Francisco  
  • Birdsong, San Francisco  
  • Bouchon, Napa Valley 
  • Chez TJ, Mountain View  
  • Commonwealth, San Francisco    
  • Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville  
  • Gary Danko, San Francisco    
  • Harbor House, Wine Country - NEW 
  • Hashiri, San Francisco    
  • In Situ, San Francisco   
  • jū-ni, San Francisco    
  • Keiko à, San Francisco    
  • Kenzo, Napa 
  • Kinjo, San Francisco  
  • Kin Khao, San Francisco     
  • La Toque, Napa  
  • Lord Stanley, San Francisco    
  • Luce, San Francisco    
  • Madcap, San Anselmo 
  • Madera, Menlo Park  
  • Madrona Manor, Healdsburg  
  • Maum, Palo Alto - NEW 
  • Michael Mina, San Francisco    
  • Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco    
  • Mourad, San Francisco  
  • Nico, San Francisco  
  • Octavia, San Francisco    
  • Omakase, San Francisco    
  • Plumed Horse, Saratoga  
  • Progress (The), San Francisco    
  • Protégé, Palo Alto 
  • Rasa, Burlingame  
  • Rich Table, San Francisco   
  • Sons & Daughters, San Francisco   
  • Sorrel, San Francisco - NEW 
  • SPQR, San Francisco    
  • Spruce, San Francisco    
  • State Bird Provisions, San Francisco    
  • Sushi Yoshizumi, San Mateo  
  • Village Pub (The), Woodside  
  • Wako, San Francisco  
  • Wakuriya, San Mateo  

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sftravel.com or call 415-391-2000.   

San Francisco Travel’s main Visitor Information Center relocated to 749 Howard St., at the Moscone Convention Center, at the beginning of 2019.   There is a second Visitor Information Center at Macy’s Union Square.  San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.   

For more about San Francisco, follow www.facebook.com/onlyinSFwww.instagram.com/onlyinsf and https://twitter.com/onlyinsf.  Please use hashtags #sftravel and #AlwaysSF. 

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association. 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 44 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 85 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo. 

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Note to editors:   

Here are the media relations contacts for the Michelin-starred restaurants that are San Francisco Travel partners: 

Three-Star Restaurants: 

  • Atelier Crenn, San Francisco (also Bar Crenn) – Kimberly Zerkel[email protected]  
  • Benu, San Francisco (also In Situ) – Jasmine Peterlin,[email protected]     

Two-Star Restaurants: 

One-Star Restaurants 

  • Angler, San Francisco (also Saison) – Jin Park[email protected]  
  • Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford – Renee Risch, [email protected]     
  • Bar Crenn, San Francisco -  Kimberly Zerkel[email protected]               
  • In Situ, San Francisco (also Benu) - Jasmine Peterlin[email protected]                 
  • Lord Stanley, San Francisco – Caitlin Brancale[email protected]          
  • Luce, San Francisco  - Connie Perez,  [email protected]               
  • Michael Mina, San Francisco – Lani Vaill,  [email protected]                           
  • Mourad, San Francisco – Crystal Rou, [email protected]  
  • Omakase, San Francisco – Jean Francisco, [email protected]                                
  • Rich Table, San Francisco – Lindsay Cumming,  [email protected]                            
  • Spruce, San Francisco – Sarah Hubbard, [email protected]         
  • State Bird Provisions, San Francisco (Also The Progress) – Elizabeth DePalmer, [email protected]