Pinterest Google+

D.C. is joining the prestigious ranks of New York, San Francisco, and Chicago today with the release of its first Michelin Guide that spotlights the burgeoning restaurant scene. Not historically pegged for fine dining, D.C.’s reputation as a foodie city has been elevated in recent years due to additions of high-end restaurants such as José Andrés’ minibar, which received two Michelin stars in the guide. The top chef himself took to Twitter early this morning to share the news.

So what exactly is the Michelin Guide, you might ask? It’s the holy grail of culinary accolades awarded to the best dining destinations in the world. That’s right, the guide is not restricted to the U.S. alone. Michelin inspectors are tasked with visiting hundreds of restaurants in a particular city and assessing value based on five criteria: quality of ingredients; preparation and harmony of flavors; the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine; value for money; and consistency over time and across the menu. #jobgoals

You’ve probably heard of Michelin tires before. Well, it’s the same company behind the Michelin Guide, believe it or not! The guide was part of a marketing campaign that started over a century ago to encourage consumers to take road trips with their souped-up vehicles riding on Michelin tires. Fast-forward to today, the spirit of the campaign continues to thrive beyond tire sales and sets evolving standards of dining excellence worldwide.

Last week, the company announced a list of 19 restaurants awarded Bib Gourmand designation. In other words, the best cheap-eats runners-up. The list touted restaurant names Washingtonians are familiar with including: Red Hen, Oyamel, Bad Saint, Doi Moi, and China Chilcano.

Today, no longer shrouded in mystery, the official D.C. Michelin Guide 2017 is announced, and can be purchased in bookstores or online for $12.95.

Here is the first selection of D.C.’s finest dining hotspots that are about to get a little more famous.

Two Stars – Excellent Cuisine, worth a detour

The Inn at Little Washington


Pineapple and Pearls

One Star – A very good restaurant in its category

Blue Duck Tavern

The Dabney





Rose’s Luxury

Sushi Taro

Tail Up Goat

“Over the last five years the culinary offering has significantly developed in the city [D.C.], driven by chefs who have travelled, have trained abroad and have enriched their cuisine on their return by incorporating new techniques, new flavors, and new seasonings,” says Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin guides. “This gastronomic revival is amplified and supported by the “Mid-Atlantic cuisine” led by young chefs who have decided to take advantage of their terroir and work local products, thereby giving Washington a unique culinary identity.”