Atlanta will soon be getting our very own Michelin Guide! Every year, the Michelin Tire Company announces their ratings of various restaurants around the world.
Previously, no Atlanta restaurants had been considered for Michelin stars, but on July 11, Michelin announced their anonymous inspectors would be visiting Atlanta to possibly award stars.
“We want to recognize that Atlanta is a culinary powerhouse, with a long list of styles and flavors for foodies to enjoy. One might immediately associate the city with Southern cuisine, and rightfully so, but there is much depth here that should not go overlooked,” said the International Director of the Michelin Guides, Gwendal Poullennec, in a press release. Atlanta’s cultural diversity is certainly reflected in its culinary scene, drawing from Ethiopian to Korean to Mexican cooking, especially on the famed Buford Highway.
Every restaurant under consideration is visited several times a year to determine its quality of food, mastery of cooking techniques, and variety and harmony of flavors. One star signifies the restaurant is high quality and worth a stop, two stars means excellent and worth prioritizing, and the highest level of three stars signifies exceptional quality and that the restaurant should be a part of your travel plans.
However, even one star is a tremedous accomplishment and would be a huge recognition to Atlanta’s culinary scene, given no Atlanta restaurants have any stars currently. Michelin also gives “Bib Gourmand Status” for restaurants that serve the most affordable high quality food and Michelin Green stars to reward environmentally sustainable cooking practices.
While it may seem strange that the Michelin Tire company is such an authoritative figure in restauranteering, their stars are some of the most respected rankings in the food community. The practice started as giving recommendations to tourists in hopes to make them drive more and therefore need more tires, but now the process has become very official.
Eater Atlanta polled its readers on guesses for which restaurants will get stars. Some popular choices were Lazy Betty, Bacchanalia and Mujo. Lazy Betty is a high end restaurant with four or seven course meals. Mujo is a Japanese sushi restaurant where you never order. Your dishes are hand selected by the chef and the meals change each day.
Similarly, Bacchanalia’s menu is always changing, though it always features fresh food from the owner’s farm Summerland.
Atlantans are optimistic about their chances, but it is possible to get no stars. Last year, Michelin visited Denver, Colorado and awarded no stars to any restaurants in the area. Nevertheless, restaurants and visitors alike hope Atlanta’s diverse mix of culinary styles and cultures will be appreciated and highlighted in the guide with multiple awarded stars.