France retains its title as the country with the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. According to the latest Michelin Guide, France has 632 Michelin-starred restaurants, of which 74 have two coveted Michelin stars and 29 have three stars.
Japan ranked 2nd, with 413 restaurants, followed by Italy, Germany and Spain. The US, China (incl. Hong Kong and Macao) earned a respectable 6e and 7e place, as the Michelin guide covers only a few regions in both countries. In the US, the Michelin Guide covers the states of California, New York and Illinois, plus Washington DC, while in mainland China, the Michelin Guide covers Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong Province.
France may have the highest number of Michelin stars in the world, but when it comes to the highest concentration of Michelin-starred establishments, it ranks only 6e.
Japan claims the top spot as the country with the highest number of restaurants per capita with one restaurant for every 61,000 inhabitants. Japan’s per capita rate is calculated only for the regions covered by the Michelin Guide – Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto Prefectures – home to approximately 25 million people and 413 Michelin-starred restaurants.
So what makes Japanese restaurants and cuisine so special that it has earned such an incredible number of Michelin stars? Anthony Bourdain ever famous saying from Japan: “The first time I came here was a transformative experience. It was like taking acid for the first time, meaning ‘What should I do now that I see the whole world?’ [of food] A different kind of?’.
Top Japanese chefs are known for their pursuit of perfection and the use of ingredients of exceptional quality some concerns that the criteria of the Michelin Guide may have been less strict locally compared to Europe and the US.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the small but very prosperous Benelux country, is home to the second highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world and the first in Europe. Luxembourg has nine Michelin star restaurants, including a two-star restaurant for a population of just 625,000.
Switzerland comes in 3rd worldwide and 2nd in Europe with one Michelin star restaurant for 72,000 people. Switzerland has seen tremendous growth in Michelin star restaurants over the years. Five years ago, it was home to 95 such restaurants, while today it numbers 119, including three three-star restaurants.
With 127 Michelin star restaurants, Belgium ranks 4e worldwide and 3rd in Europe. This may come as a surprise to some, as Belgium is better known for its beer and chocolate than for its high-end cuisine, but it’s certainly not surprising to connoisseurs. Belgium was the first country, outside France, to have a three-star restaurant, and that was in 1972. Belgium currently has two three-star restaurants and 23 two-star restaurants.
The small island nation of Malta comes in at a very respectable 5e town with a Michelin star restaurant for every 103,000 inhabitants. It surpasses culinary superpowers such as France, Italy and Spain. Malta currently has five Michelin star restaurants, not bad at all for a country of 500,000 inhabitants.
Singapore ranks 7e worldwide and 2nd in Asia and outside Europe. Singapore has come a long way since it was first featured in the Michelin Guide in 2016. At the time, only 29 restaurants earned a coveted star, while it now numbers nearly 50, 49 to be exact.
With more than 200 Michelin star restaurants, Tokyo is the undisputed leader. Paris State 2nd, while two other Japanese cities – Osaka and Kyoto – 3 . arrangerd and 4e.
New York, London and Hong Long – the world’s largest financial centers – come in 5e and 6e (London pairs Hong Kong), while Singapore, Shanghai and San Francisco finish the top 10.
Chef’s Pencil analyzed the number of Michelin-starred restaurants reported on the official website of the Michelin Guide. For per capita rankings, we have included countries that are either fully covered or have multiple regions covered by the guide. Where coverage was limited to a few regions, states, or prefectures, our calculations only considered population for the areas covered.
Featured image by Jametlene Answer via Unsplash.