Feed your curiosity and discover the unique flavors of San Francisco by booking a dining experience at one of the best Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco.
San Francisco has many options and each offering incredible dining experiences. Reservations for these restaurants are hard to get, so book the minute you know your travel dates. We’ve selected a few of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred restaurants to highlight, but there are several more out there for you to enjoy. Here’s which Michelin-starred restaurants you should eat at in San Francisco.
A quick guide to understanding the Michelin system
Michelin, a French tire manufacturer, was founded in 1889. Édouard and André Michelin (founders and brothers) revolutionized the automotive industry by introducing the Michelin Guide in 1900, providing travel information and restaurant recommendations to boost demand for cars and consequently, tires.
Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants by the prestigious Michelin Guide, which rates restaurants on a scale of one to three stars.
A one-star rating means the restaurant offers high-quality cooking worthy of a stop, while a two-star rating signifies innovative dishes that warrant a detour. Finally, a three- star rating is the ultimate accolade reserved for restaurants with exceptional cuisine (here, these are the can’t miss San Francisco restaurants).
Michelin restaurants in San Francisco with one star
The scent of wood-fired grilled seafood, meat, and veggies welcomes diners into Angler SF’s cabin-inspired interior. Michelin’s word for the restaurant is “meticulousness,” referring to the transformational roasting of locally sourced cauliflower. Angler’s meticulousness is also experienced through their partnerships with growers and harvesters, selecting only the best ingredients for the restaurant.
Try something from the ever-changing menu, like wild swordfish steak or wood oven-grilled whole chicken. Or let the chefs pick what you’ll eat from a prix fixe family-style meal.
Be a part of something delicious at Osito. Chef Seth Stowaway’s smoke-infused dishes are served around a single communal dining table—where strangers become friends. Stowaway enjoys creating community by feeding people nourishing food he and his team prepare over live fire.
Osito’s ingredients are sourced daily from local farmers markets and served in the cozy Mission District restaurant. Michelin notes the “elemental and elevated” cooking techniques wielded to create fine dining over hot flames.
San Ho Won
San Ho Won’s doing Korean BBQ right, grilling savory cuts of meat over hot lychee wood charcoal. In 2021, fine dining chefs Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang opened their vision for a casual Korean restaurant in the Mission District.
Using the best local ingredients, they create traditional flavors with modern techniques. Soy sauce-enhanced dishes with sides of kimchi complement meaty main courses. Prime beef short ribs or glazed pork ribs go through a round of aging, fermenting, and marinating until they’re devour-ready.
At Sorrel, food presentation is an art form. Michelin praises the Pacific Heights neighborhood restaurant for its handcrafted pasta and colorful small bites. Find California-inspired dishes with a touch of San Franciscan Italian flare featuring seasonally harvested ingredients from Bay Area farmers markets and the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Make reservations to experience Sorrel’s set tasting menu or try the à la carte menu at the first come, first served eight-seat bar.
State Bird Provisions
Asian flavors and customs highly influence State Bird Provisions’s contemporary Californian cuisine at its Japantown location. Waitstaff push carts or carry trays full of plated food for a dim sum-style tray service showing seated guests what’s available to eat. Point to the restaurant’s namesake locally raised quail, spreadable duck liver mousse over almond biscuits or thick browned sourdough sauerkraut ricotta pancakes for a taste adventure. Be sure to check out their extensive cocktail menu for creative drinks with a twist.
Michelin restaurants in San Francisco with two stars
There’s fierce competition to book dinner reservations at Lazy Bear, one of San Francisco’s most unique dining experiences. The restaurant’s tasting menu is full of hyper-seasonal ingredients transformed by innovative cooking techniques served over two and a half hours. Lazy Bear chefs have perfected a process for slow-cooking pork worthy of being the savory course finale. Cuts of wagyu are often featured in Lazy Bear dishes, even found sandwiched between two golden crispy fried green heirloom tomatoes.
A contemporary Mexican restaurant, Californios transforms San Francisco Bay Area’s plentiful fresh ingredients into an elevated nightly tasting menu. Choose to eat in the cozy outdoor garden dining area or the colorfully inviting indoor dining room. Michelin notes Californios’s focus on heritage is found in dishes like arepas (grilled cornmeal cake), ceviche (cured raw fish salsa), and tacos—often served with a twist—like venison filling.
As they dry out, herbs, red peppers, and persimmons dangle overhead in Saison’s kitchen prep area. Preferring to make seasonings and prepare exotic meats in-house, such as salted and dried albacore and antelope, the two star Michelin restaurant has a lot of unique, yet local, ingredients hanging around.
Saison’s chefs cook over a wood-fired flaming hearth and hot coals inside the red brick San Francisco warehouse. Guests can watch the artful plating of their next course as the chefs work in the dining room’s connected kitchen.
Michelin restaurants in San Francisco with three stars
On a walk through San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, passersby can peer into Benu’s street-level laboratory, we mean kitchen, where all sorts of creative dishes are being prepped. Michelin notes the chefs mastery of specialized techniques that transform exotic ingredients into bites of culinary magic. The three-hour tasting menu dinner service will include flavorful surprises from citrus marigold on fried river eel to crispy frog leg sautéed in hot chili.
In 2023, Atelier Crenn’s meat-free menu, with the exception of delicious local seafood, evolved from French cuisine to elevating local flavors of the Californian landscape. Chef Dominique Crenn grows the restaurant’s organic produce at her Bleu Belle Farm in Sonoma, CA.
Sit down for a three-hour tasting tour of the Golden State. The experience could wrap up with a taste of ice cream incorporating greens from land and sea—like Marin County-made matcha with Monterey Bay-sourced seaweed in a crunchy nori cone.
Want to eat at some of San Francisco’s other well known restaurants?
San Francisco has amazing gastronomy that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Interested in discovering more of San Francisco’s cuisine? Be sure to check out:
- San Francisco’s street food culture
- Local breakfast spots around the city to brunch at
- Chinese food and fortune cookies from San Francisco’s cookie factory in Chinatown
Eva Barrows is a San Francisco Peninsula freelance writer and book editor. She writes for regional magazines PUNCH (The Spirit of the Peninsula) and Edible Silicon Valley and contributes to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) blog. She visits San Francisco and its restaurants on weekends when she needs an adventure. Read more of her travel and food writing at www.evabarrows.com.