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Photograph: Clare Lewington

What’s a Michelin Green Star and who has one?

Michelin's newest star honors sustainable chefs and restaurants

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

Most diners are familiar with Michelin stars – the French tire company's prestigious three-tiered rating system that's used to identify and honor some of the world's finest restaurants. In-the-know diners may have even heard of Michelin's Plate and Bib Gourmand awards, which spotlight good food and reasonably priced dining experiences, respectively. But even the savviest foodies might not know about Michelin's Green Star, which was introduced in 2020.

According to the Michelin Guide, the new-ish award 'highlight[s] the restaurants in its selection that stand at the forefront of a more sustainable gastronomy.' Translation: These kitchens are sourcing ingredients responsibly, cutting down food waste at every turn and eliminating non-recyclables from their supply chains. They're also progressive in tackling issues related to ethics and wellbeing while also supporting charitable causes.

Any restaurant in the Michelin Guide is eligible for a Green Star – including Plates, Bib Gourmands and starred spots. Inspectors keep an eye out for the use of seasonal produce, the restaurant's overall environmental footprint, food waste systems and even the communication the restaurant has with guests regarding their sustainability practices.

To date, the Michelin Guide has awarded 299 restaurants around the globe with Green Stars – and you can access the full list here. Each Green Star recipient includes a quote about their commitment to the planet that offers additional insight into their efforts. The French Laundry, for instance, points out its solar and battery system, 'shou sugi ban' preservation method and on-site culinary garden.

There's a good chance you'll be hearing more about the Michelin Guide's Green Stars this year and next, as the company continues to dish out its coveted stars around the globe. It has even tapped premium booze brand Rémy Martin to become a global partner in an effort to get the word out about these sustainability champions, starting with its next star ceremony in Kyoto/Osaka on October 19.

Want to see which Michelin-approved restaurants near you have a Green Star? This handy map makes it easy – though it's worth noting that the list is expected to grow in the coming months. For now, you can browse select picks – 299 total – in the US, Europe and parts of Asia.

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