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10 Top Michelin-Starred Restaurants Worth Traveling To

by George Smith
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Our gastronomic journey unveils the crème de la crème of Michelin-starred delights that beckon travelers worldwide. From Roman palaces to Tokyo’s hidden gems, these culinary sanctuaries redefine fine dining. Buckle up, foodies, as we explore the divine intersections of flavor and luxury across the globe’s top ten Michelin-starred restaurants.

Related: 10 Unique Restaurants: From Simply Fabulous To Downright Bizarre

10 Core by Clare Smyth

One of the MOST AFFORDABLE 3 Michelin Star Restaurants – Core By Clare Smyth

Nestled in the heart of Notting Hill, London, Core by Clare Smyth is one restaurant that deserves a standing ovation. Clare Smyth, the first female chef to run a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK, brings her exceptional skills and creativity to the table, literally.

At Core, expect a gastronomic journey that exceeds ordinary dining. Smyth’s menu is a masterclass in innovation, fusing classic flavors with a contemporary twist. The dishes are meticulously prepared, sending a love letter to your taste buds. The signature potato and roe dish is a revelation, showcasing Smyth’s commitment to simplicity with a punch.

Beyond the exquisite cuisine, Core’s ambiance blends sophistication and warmth. The sleek, modern decor creates an inviting atmosphere that complements the culinary experience. It’s the kind of place where you can indulge in world-class cuisine without feeling an ounce of pretension.

For food enthusiasts and globetrotters alike, Core by Clare Smyth is a destination worth every mile traveled. It’s a celebration of culinary artistry that leaves you craving an encore. So pack your bags, book a flight, and savor the extraordinary at Core. Your taste buds will thank you, and your passport might just earn a Michelin stamp of its own.

9 Azabu Kadowaki

Azabu Kadowaki 3 MICHELIN Stars, Tokyo DEC 2023

In Tokyo, Azabu Kadowaki is a culinary jewel that tantalizes taste buds and transports you to a world of exquisite flavors. Helmed by the talented Chef Kadowaki, this three-Michelin-starred gem is a testament to the artistry of Japanese cuisine.

Picture a cozy yet elegant space where traditional aesthetics meet modern flair. Azabu Kadowaki blends minimalist design with warm hospitality, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. As you embark on your gastronomic adventure, be prepared to be dazzled by the detailed presentation of each dish—a true feast for the eyes and the palate.

The menu at Azabu Kadowaki is a gorgeous blend of flavors, focusing on seasonal ingredients sourced locally. From delicate sashimi that melts in your mouth to the perfectly grilled Wagyu beef, each dish reflects Chef Kadowaki’s commitment to excellence. The omakase (letting the chef choose your meal) experience takes diners on a culinary rollercoaster, showcasing the chef’s creativity and respect for traditional Japanese culinary techniques.

Azabu Kadowaki is a destination for those seeking an immersive culinary escapade. If you’re ready to embark on a flavor-packed journey in Tokyo, let Azabu Kadowaki be your guide—where every bite tells a story, and every meal celebrates culinary mastery.

8 Atrio

Lodging: Atrio Restaurante Hotel, Cáceres, Spain, Top 10 hotels in Spain.

Atrio is a culinary gem in Spain’s historic city of Cáceres. Imagine ancient cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and, amidst it all, the gastronomic sanctuary that is Atrio. This three-Michelin-starred marvel is an experience worth penning epic poems about.

Atrio’s menu is developed by chefs José Polo and Tono Pérez. Envision delicate cuts of Iberian ham melting in your mouth, followed by succulent lamb confit that’ll have you questioning if you’ve ever truly tasted lamb before. Oh, and their seafood creations? Divine doesn’t even begin to cover it.

But wait, Atrio is about more than what’s on your plate. It’s also where you’re dining. Perched atop the Atrio Hotel, this restaurant offers panoramic views of Cáceres’s breathtaking skyline. You’ll be torn between savoring each bite and soaking in the mesmerizing scenery.

Let’s not forget the wine. With an extensive cellar boasting over 3,000 bottles, Atrio takes your dining experience to new heights, one sip at a time. So, if you’re craving an adventure for your taste buds and a feast for your eyes, Atrio in Cáceres beckons. Trust me, it’s a culinary voyage you won’t soon forget.

7 La Pergola

If you’re seeking culinary nirvana, La Pergola is a Roman gem—a gastronomic joyride you will never forget. Tucked away in the Eternal City, atop the grandeur of Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, La Pergola is a celestial ode to Italian haute cuisine.

Picture panoramic views of Rome’s ancient skyline, along with recipes by Chef Heinz Beck and a three-star Michelin experience that’ll make your taste buds do the tango.

Prepare to be seduced by dishes that dance between tradition and innovation. From the delicate essence of Mediterranean seafood to bold Italian flavors, every bite at La Pergola is a love song to culinary finesse.

La Pergola’s ambiance whispers luxury, with opulent décor and impeccable service that makes you feel like royalty. And, oh, did I mention the wine? La Pergola boasts a cellar that dreams are made of, housing an exquisite collection of Italian and international vintages. Take your taste buds to new heights and indulge in a culinary affair fit for the gods. La Pergola beckons. After all, when in Rome, dine as the Romans do—lavishly and with gusto.

6 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet

A 22-Course Meal, in 22 Settings – Shanghai’s Ultraviolet Restaurant | The New York Times

If culinary experiences were rock concerts, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet would be the headlining act that leaves you speechless. Tucked away in Shanghai, this avant-garde dining sensation is a multi-sensory journey. Picture a secret location, limited seats, and a menu that unfolds like a carefully orchestrated symphony.

Chef Paul Pairet, the culinary genius behind Ultraviolet, invites diners to a clandestine dining room where technology, art, and gastronomy collide. The setting is intimate, but the flavors are anything but. Each dish is a masterpiece, made to engage your taste buds and challenge your perceptions of food.

Ultraviolet takes you on a whimsical ride with its ever-evolving, 20-course tasting menu that fuses French culinary techniques with a dash of futuristic flair. It’s an immersive performance where lighting, sound, and aroma complement the dishes.

Think of it as dining on the cutting edge, where the boundaries between food and art blur. From edible clouds to audio-enhanced courses, every detail is carefully curated to leave a lasting impression. Ultraviolet is a gastronomic spectacle that proves dining can be an adventure—one that’s worth traveling for.

5 King’s Joy

This Michelin Star Chef Is on a Quest to Make China Embrace Vegetarianism

Let’s talk about King’s Joy, the culinary sanctuary that feeds your belly and nourishes your soul. This gem isn’t your average Michelin-starred joint in the heart of Beijing. Every bite feels like a meditation, and each dish tells a story of harmony between nature and the kitchen. King’s Joy is an experience through the wonders of vegetarian cuisine.

Led by the culinary master Chef XU, King’s Joy serves up dishes that’ll make even the most devout meat-lover question their choices. From delicate lotus root creations to savory mushroom masterpieces, every plate is a work of art that’ll leave you saying, “Who needs meat anyway?”

And the ambiance? It’s like stepping into a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling streets of Beijing. With its elegant traditional Chinese decor and serene gardens, King’s Joy is where you go to escape the chaos and savor the serenity.

So, whether you’re a dedicated herbivore or just someone looking to expand your culinary horizons, King’s Joy is a go-to destination. Pack your bags, book your ticket to Beijing, and prepare to embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other.

4 Memories

Chef’s Cut: Memories of The Alps w/ Sven Wassmer

Within the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland, Memories is a portal to culinary euphoria. The Swiss gastronomy is designed by Chef Sven Wassmer, whose culinary prowess transforms every meal into a memory worth savoring.

You’re instantly greeted by the aroma of freshly foraged ingredients, the whisper of the Alps echoing through each dish. From delicate trout sourced from pristine Swiss streams to velvety chocolate from the finest Swiss cocoa, every bite at Memories tells a story of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.

And oh, the location. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Swiss Alps, Memories offers an experience that transcends the ordinary. As you indulge in culinary delights, the majestic mountains silently witness your gastronomic journey.

But let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: Chef Sven Wassmer himself. With his innovative approach to Swiss cuisine, Chef Wassmer has elevated Memories to the summit of culinary excellence, earning it three well-deserved Michelin stars.

3 JL Studio

The Inspirational Journey of Chef Jimmy Lim of JL Studio

Tucked away in the vibrant culinary scene of Taichung, Taiwan, is JL Studio. Chef Jimmy Lim, the culinary expert behind JL Studio, infuses traditional Asian flavors with avant-garde techniques to create dishes that dance on your palate like nobody’s business.

We’re talking about more than just your run-of-the-mill dishes here. At JL Studio, prepare to have your taste buds serenaded and craving more. From delicate seafood creations to innovative interpretations of classic Taiwanese dishes, every bite at JL Studio is a revelation.

And the ambiance? It’s as stylish and sophisticated as the dishes served. With its sleek yet cozy interiors, JL Studio sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience that’s equal parts chic and charming.

What truly sets JL Studio apart is Chef Jimmy Lim’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of culinary creativity. Each dish is a feast for the senses and a testament to his passion for culinary innovation.

2 Jan

Tasting menu at 3 Michelin star restaurant Atelier in Munich, Germany

In Munich, Germany, Jan is a prestigious three-Michelin-starred restaurant led by the visionary Chef Jan Hartwig. Revered for its modern cuisine, Jan is an oasis where precision and creativity redefine the culinary landscape.

Chef Hartwig’s culinary artistry takes center stage in a seven-course tasting menu. Guests can expand their experience with “signature dishes,” a testament to Hartwig’s commitment to details and pushing the boundaries of flavor combinations.

The dining ambiance exudes elegance, including an open pass into the kitchen, fondly referred to as the “Labor der Liebe” (Laboratory of Love). Here, the culinary magic unfolds, offering guests a glimpse into the craftsmanship behind each dish.

Chef Jan Hartwig’s sophisticated taste experiences and ability to evoke emotions through culinary creations have made Jan one of Munich’s premier dining destinations. So, if you’re craving an unforgettable dining experience equal parts precision and harmony, Jan is the place to be.

1 Aqua

Tour of 3 Michelin star Aqua in Germany

Brace yourself for a culinary adventure that’s as stunning as its panoramic views. In Wolfsburg, Germany, Aqua is a three-Michelin-star gastronomic voyage you’ll remember forever. Get seated in a sleek, modern dining room overlooking the picturesque Autostadt, home to Volkswagen’s iconic headquarters. It’s the perfect backdrop for Chef Sven Elverfeld’s culinary magic.

Chef Elverfeld’s innovative dishes blend traditional German ingredients with global influences, creating culinary masterpieces. From delicate seafood to succulent meats, each plate tells a story of creativity and precision.

But it’s not just about the food at Aqua. Impeccable service, attention to detail, and an ambiance that whispers sophistication—all come together to create a dining affair that’s to die for. Just remember to book well in advance—because once you’ve experienced Aqua, ordinary dining won’t cut it anymore.

fact checked by Rachel Jones