Skip to Content

The 11 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In San Francisco

Sharing is caring!

San Francisco is a major tourist destination, attracting tourists worldwide to appreciate its famous landmarks and distinct culture.

However, deciding where to eat out might be challenging, much like any other city. But, if you’ve been here even for a short time, you’ll know that San Francisco has some of the top eating experiences in the country, if not the world!

San Francisco

Michelin-starred restaurants can be found right next to national chain restaurants or within minutes of anything else.

But don’t be concerned. I’ve put together this fantastic guide to the best of San Francisco so you can select where to go!

Interested in other Michelin Star Restaurants? Check out our other delicious guides:

The 11 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In San Francisco

Quince

470 Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133, United States // +14157758500

Quince is a highly acclaimed Californian and Italian fusion restaurant by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Tusk and his wife, Lindsay.

Quince, their first and most adorned restaurant, continues to set the gold standard for fresh, local cooking.

This restaurant, with three Michelin stars and the Michelin Green star for sustainability, is situated in Jackson Square.

A different pre-fixe menu with eight to ten courses is available every night. Fish and beef are both obtained locally.

The restaurant makes meals with French and Italian influences, such as squab with Douglas fir, fava bean, and truffle, using ingredients from their partner farm in Bolinas.

We began with the lovely appetizers before moving on to the caviar. Again, the brioche was mouthwateringly good. 

Michelin Star Restaurants In San Francisco: Quince Caviar

We chose the supplementary beef, which was fantastic, before moving on to the pasta course with bone marrow. Try this fantastic find amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco; you will not be disappointed.

Saison

178 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA 94107, United States // +14158287990

Saison is a New American restaurant emphasizing open-fire cooking situated in a large, public area in South Beach, a short distance from Oracle Park.

Saison, which emphasizes seasonal ingredients caught, hunted, harvested, or farmed by local suppliers and frequently cooked over live wood fires, has become a mainstay of San Francisco’s fine-dining scene.

The open kitchen, which sits in the middle of the brick-walled, taxidermy-hanging space, is strung with dried herbs and fruits and provides a very unpretentious depiction of gourmet eating.

Chef Paul Chung has taken over this year and is serving nine to twelve dishes with a woodfire cooking theme and a parklet dining experience with five to eight courses.

Simple yet exquisite servings of meat, fish, and vegetables are available on the pre-fixe menu. Their bone marrow and roasted beets were delicious. 

Saison Roasted Beets

For this entire experience, I have to say this was money well spent, and I definitely recommend visiting this restaurant at least once! An classic American find amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

WANT TO ENJOY FOOD TO THE FULLEST? 

Get my free checklist with 15 tips on how to eat like a real foodie and enjoy an authentic culinary experience!

Screen%20Shot%202022-09-13%20at%2014.08.44.png

We respect your email privacy

Atelier Crenn

3127 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94123, United States // +14154400460

After years on the Michelin list, Dominique Crenn, the French chef and proprietor of Atelier Crenn, received her third star in 2018, becoming the first American woman to do so. Since that time, it has kept its three stars, won a James Beard award, and ranks among the top fifty restaurants in the world.

The entire eating experience is artistic; the menu is a poem, the dining area is decorated with paintings by Crenn’s father, and the food is presented on plates that are works of art in and of themselves.

The restaurant is renowned for its dedication to sustainability and its outspoken opposition to industrial farming. Besides including seasonal, animal, tree, and light poems on the menu, the chef writes poetry every night in the kitchen.

The cuisine was outstanding and breathtaking. Again, very imaginative. It is a signature of Chef Crenn and was expertly carried out by her staff.

A slow-cooked duck egg with pate and porcini broth, squab with raspberry and mustard seeds, bone marrow with osetra caviar, a dish with steelhead roe, and wagyu beef with truffles were a few of the intriguing items.

Atelier Crenn Wagyu Beef

The meal was excellent! Exactly the right size, nicely seasoned, and delicious! It was a pleasure to see the food presented in such a lovely way. Nothing was salty, which is a big no-no for me in a nice dining establishment.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime dining encounter that involved much more than just eating. You don’t want to miss this Michelin three-star restaurant if you are interested in gastronomical exploration!

Gary Danko

800 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109, United States // +14157492060

For almost 20 years, the James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred Gary Danko has dazzled guests with his theatrical flair and creative taste combinations.

The Old World-inspired dining room is filled with the accouterments of classic grandeur, like white tablecloths, beautiful flower arrangements, and modern art that complements the area’s gentle colors.

Their luxurious menu features elaborate beef, poultry, and seafood dishes. Also, serving cheese options and flambeed pineapple with coconut tres leches cake tableside, servers go above and above for customers.

There is a five-course tasting menu offered. You may choose from their 91-page list of wines by the bottle or glass, or you can rely on the sommelier’s recommendations for a combination that includes vintages from Northern California, France, and Spain.

Their scallops were the best I’ve had in a long time, and I thought the price was fair considering the high-caliber food and the overall memorable experience. Definitely worth mentioning it amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

Gary Danko Scallops

I strongly recommend Restaurant Gary Danko if you want a quality Michelin dining experience with royal care and a cozy ambiance.

Taj Campton Place Bar and Bistro

Taj Campton Place, 340 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108, United States // +14159555555

The Taj Compton Place Bar and Bistro is a fine-dining Cal-Indian comfort food restaurant that is housed inside the Campton Place Hotel in the Financial District.

Thanks to Chef Gopinathan’s creative menu, Taj is the only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in San Francisco. 

South Indian-born chef Srijith Gopinathan attended culinary school in the US. He bases his visually spectacular cuisine of traditional Indian comfort foods with California flair on his decades of experience working in San Francisco.

Chef Srijith Gopinathan’s inventive “Cal-Indian” cuisine, which combines the tastes of his chosen California home and his native Southern India, has earned the restaurant, which is subtly elegant and topped with a red glass statement chandelier, much acclaim.

I adore the idea of Indian spices and their impact on foods from California. The Spice Route menu was provided.

Our favorite dish was the Black Cod; the cod was very delicious and melted in your mouth. Next, the scallop dosa was intriguing and delicious; despite my fears, the dosa and spices didn’t overpower the scallops. Finally, the lobster curry was excellent.

Taj Campton Place Bar and Bistro Black Cod

Overall, the evening exceeded my expectations and was a terrific experience. At the very least, I recommend visiting this restaurant. It’s a rare gem amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

Benu

22 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105, United States // +14156854860

Chef Corey Lee transforms the menu at Benu with the same magic he used to transform French Laundry’s food, earning this San Francisco eatery three Michelin stars and a AAA Five Diamond rating.

Lee’s renowned xiao long bao and his take on a thousand-year-old quail egg are delightful examples of how to meld Korean and Chinese inspirations and culinary allusions creatively.

Even the dining area at Benu is created to draw attention to the cuisine; it maintains a basic aesthetic to prevent tabletop distractions. Thanks to beverage director Yoon Ha’s inventive pairings, wine pairings are an investment that’s worth making.

The fusion Asian cuisine was excellent. Our entrées included quail, fish, and squid. We all genuinely loved the inventive displays and delicious flavors. The petit fours were sufficient for dessert; there was no need to request more.

Benu Squid

There is a substantial wine list. The wines by the glass, however, are perfectly acceptable. The Austrian white on the by-the-glass selection was fantastic, and I was shocked to see it.

It is simple to understand why Benu has received such high appreciation from the food community. Everything revolves around flavor, originality, freshness, and top-notch service. A must-have for any bucker list and definitely one of the best Asian Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

Birdsong

1085 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, United States // +14153699161

Birdsong is a high-end SOMA restaurant known for its straightforward, New American cuisine that highlights the full potential of whole ingredients.

Chef Christopher Bleidorn’s Birdsong made headlines when Michelin upgraded the restaurant from one to two stars, praising its use of ancient methods such as open-fire cooking, smoking, dry-aging, and fermentation to highlight ingredients from Pacific Northwest merchants.

He explores the indigenous foods of the region through the menus he creates. You can observe the chefs in action at any table facing the open kitchen or at any table lined beneath the firefly-lit pendulum fixtures.

The food was beyond description. Every single course prompted a “wow” from each of us. The halibut with pommes souffle was amazing. When you bit into the souffle, it was slightly hard on the outside but erupted with flavor.

Birdsong Halibut

I wished for more of the grilled Parker House roll with hog fat that was served to me. Amazing trout was prepared in three different ways.

This restaurant is a unique find and merits at least an additional Michelin star in addition to its present ones. Undoubtedly a must visit amongst the Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

AL’s Place

1499 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, United States // +14154166136

This airy, cheerful Mission diner serves as both a Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant and a neighborhood bistro. Als is one of the best bistros and the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco. Here’s why.

The menu is reasonably priced and as colorful as the dining area. You can choose a family-style dinner or order à la carte from a menu of appetizers, entrees, desserts, and hot and cold small plates.

The seasonal menus from Aaron London are full of vibrant, flavorful dishes like hamachi crudo with crispy potato, smashed turnips, bagna cauda, and grits with goat milk curds. They are fresh and sophisticated, relying heavily on regional fruits and vegetables.

AL's Place Hamachi

I loved the goat’s milk curd, fava beans, yuzu blaster, peas, and mint California-style cheese grits. They were all amazing!

The drinks, too, are full of ingredients from fields and trees, such as bergamot and wormwood, that you may savor while listening to a banging soundtrack with a young vibe.

Overall, Al’s Place is ideal if you want Michelin-level food at a more inexpensive price range in a more casual setting. In addition, you have the option of ordering family style or by dish. A must-visit for sure!

Acquerello

Near Van Ness & 1722 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109, United States // +14155675432

Acquerello, one of the oldest Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco, was established in 1989 and exudes understated elegance with its earth tones, white tablecloths, and graceful fresh flower arrangements.

Acquerello is a fine-dining Italian restaurant that is run by Executive Chef Suzette Gresham and Giancarlo Paterlini in Nob Hill.

The restaurant’s reinterpretations of traditional Italian dishes are all the more impressive. Acquerello, in contrast to most eateries of this caliber, offers a prix fixe menu or an eight to ten-course seasonal tasting menu, allowing you to customize your culinary experience.

The fish carpaccio and the ridge pasta with truffle and Marsala were exquisite, though there are many other standout dishes on the seasonal tasting menu as well. A definite high point of the gastronomic scene in San Francisco.

Acquerello Fish Carpaccio

Also, don’t miss a longtime favorite of both regulars and visitors: a rolling cart filled with Italian specialty cheeses and served with homemade sides like tomato-citrus marmalade.

Words cannot express how enjoyable this evening was at one of San Francisco’s Michelin-star restaurants. You should give it a shot because you will not be disappointed.

Lazy Bear

3416 19th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, United States // +14158749921

Two-starred Lazy Bear became well-known for its excellent cooking as well as its theatrical show. Lazy Bear, named after an anagram of the owner and head, Chef David Barzelay’s last name, began in 2009 as a secret dinner party in Barzelay’s apartment. It’s definitely one of the most unique Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

In 2014, his dinner parties’ creative menu and communal foundation transformed into a beloved bistro in San Francisco’s Mission District.

In actuality, you are invited to a dinner party hosted by talented chefs who are so knowledgeable about food and hosts who are the best that you will have the pleasure of receiving service from people who are familiar with the menu inside and out.

Drinks and the first few courses of your degustation menu are served on the mezzanine to begin your experience.

The mezzanine is a unique, retro-themed area with tables, chairs, and banquette seating. Everything about Lazy Bear is tasteful. At the back of the kitchen in the main restaurant are two sizable communal tables that seat twenty people each.

When you go downstairs, you are invited to go to the edge of the kitchen to watch, take pictures, or ask questions; even as a passionate foodie, I decided not to do this because I wanted to enjoy the experience and talk to my friends who were dining with me. This location truly has something unique to offer.

Modern interpretations of wild game are offered on the menu in a lavish multi-course meal. The sea scallop dish with sorrel, buckwheat, and cucumber was tasty.

Lazy Bear Sea Scallop Dish

You should order from the pairing menu to complement your meal; don’t anticipate receiving full glasses of wine, just enough for each course. The sommelier obviously has a lot of knowledge and is passionate about the wine he selected and the reasons behind his decision.

Overall, it was fantastic, and if you can get a reservation, I highly suggest going!

Californios

355 11th St., San Francisco, CA 94103, United States // +14157570994

A family-run fine-dining Mexican and Californian fusion restaurant, Californios, is situated in SOMA.

This upscale Californian restaurant serves the individual interpretations of Mexican cooking styles created by Chef Val M. Cantu using local products.

The peaceful storefront leads to a gorgeous modern dining area with a wonderful garden patio surrounded by plants.

The menu is a multi-course tasting menu with a pre-fixe price that changes with the seasons, reflecting California’s immense culinary wealth.

The tasting menu consisted of roughly 14 perfectly portioned items, so I was comfortably filled but not too. There were many standouts, but my favorites were the middle dishes of tlacoyo and tacos with DIY accompaniments.

My favorite was the alfonsino fish taco, which was perfectly cooked and had amazingly crispy scales. The very different but equally outstanding lamb barbacoa taco on a sourdough tortilla was a close second.

I’d be thrilled if Californios ever offered a taco-tasting menu! The delicious huitlacoche crème was also applied to the queso and bean-filled tlacoyo.

Other standouts included the ceviches, the uni caviar sope, and the rack of lamb with Amarillo mole and morels. My sweet tooth was delighted by the variety of light sweets, particularly the chocolate cornmeal tart with savory cacao nib salsa macha.

Californios Rack Of Lamb

The restaurant relocated from its small Mission site to a larger, industrial-style venue in SoMa, complete with a wide, lush outdoor patio. The tasting menu can now be reserved for the patio, the dining room, or the bar.

You should give this place a shot! It’s definitely upscale, but you’ll appreciate it if you like to experiment with your food. It’s one of the best experimental Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.

FAQ

How many Michelin-star restaurants in San Francisco are there?

San Francisco has 45 Michelin-Star Restaurants.

How many three-star Michelin restaurants in San Francisco are there?

For the time being, California has six Michelin three-star restaurants, all of which are concentrated in the Bay Area.

How much should I tip at Michelin-star restaurants?

Fortunately, most Michelin-starred restaurants I’ve visited automatically include a 15-20% service and tip fee, which you’ll see noted on the bill. Of course, if you are pleased with the service, you are welcome to give additional tips!

Summary Of The 11 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In San Francisco

Earning a Michelin star in San Francisco is notoriously difficult, especially considering the high expectations.

So, if you want to enjoy some of the most outstanding fine dining that San Francisco offers, you should undoubtedly visit the Michelin Star restaurants in San Francisco listed above.

Each one is distinct and provides a wonderful experience for every taste. Plus, your taste buds will be grateful!

Visiting other destinations in California? Check out our other delicious guides:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.