Atlanta joins list of cities featured in esteemed Michelin restaurant rating guides

061722 Atlanta: Automobiles travel along John Lewis Freedom Parkway as the Atlanta skyline is shown from the Jackson Street bridge, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Atlanta. Metro Atlanta’s air quality has improved significantly over the past two decades, but the area still received a failing grade this year from the American Lung Association for harmful smog. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

061722 Atlanta: Automobiles travel along John Lewis Freedom Parkway as the Atlanta skyline is shown from the Jackson Street bridge, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Atlanta. Metro Atlanta’s air quality has improved significantly over the past two decades, but the area still received a failing grade this year from the American Lung Association for harmful smog. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Atlanta will be added to the list of cities with their own Michelin guides, making it the ninth North American destination to be included.

In conjunction with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), Michelin will release the first Michelin Guide Atlanta this fall, “featuring world-class restaurants in the metro Atlanta area,” according to a press release.

Anonymous Michelin Guide “inspectors” are in the process of visiting restaurants in order to award chosen restaurants coveted one, two or three Michelin stars. The guide also includes a Bib Gourmand selection, “highlighting restaurants that offer great quality food at good prices,” and a Green Star given to eateries “that are leaders in sustainable gastronomy.”

Inspectors make dining reservations secretly and “pay for all their meals to ensure they are treated the same as any other customer,” according to the release.

“We want to recognize that Atlanta is a culinary powerhouse, with a long list of styles and flavors for foodies to enjoy,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, in a prepared statement. “One might immediately associate the city with Southern cuisine, and rightfully so, but there is much depth here that should not go overlooked.”

The Atlanta restaurant selection will follow Michelin’s historical methodology, based on five universal criteria: quality products, the harmony of flavors, the mastery of cooking techniques, the voice and personality of the chef as reflected in the cuisine, and consistency between each visit and throughout the menu (each restaurant is inspected several times a year).

Though Michelin works with Destination Marketing Organizations or tourism boards, to promote the travel industry in the respective locations, the selection process remains independent; the Michelin Guide is working with ACVB on marketing and promotion activities only.

“Atlanta’s culinary scene is rich in diversity and constantly evolving but has long been one of the most underappreciated assets in our city,” said William Pate, president and CEO of ACVB, in a prepared statement. “We are proud of the recognition the Michelin Guide will bring to our destination as it highlights our local chefs and cuisine.”

The 2023 Atlanta restaurant selection will join a selection of Michelin-rated hotels later this year.

The guide, first published in France at the turn of the 20th century to encourage tire sales by giving practical advice to French motorists, has become known as a bible of sorts for those seeking to find some of the best restaurants in Michelin-star cities. Other North American cities and states included in the Michelin Guide include Chicago, New York and California.

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

About the Author