a plate of food on a table
Atelje, Ljubljana

The Michelin Guide, or more specifically, Michelin Stars bring fame to chefs and dollars to cities along with them. For the first time in the history of the guide, Krakow and Ljubljana now feature a one starred restaurant each, and quite a few cities throughout Europe are experiencing a record star boom.

For travelers and locals alike, even better news has also arrived, with 70% of Michelin starred restaurants around the world back open for business.

a plate of food on a table
Atelje, Ljubljana

Krakow And Ljubljana Win First Stars

Not every restaurant deserving of a Michelin Stars has one, but two more now do. The dining scenes of Krakow and Ljubljana have been bubbling for years, thanks to an influx of visitors, and chefs returning from experience in top kitchens around the world to create dining havens in their respective homes.

Atelje in Ljubljana and Bottiglieria 1881 of Krakow are the first restaurants to put their respective cities on the Michelin map, joining 498 other restaurants in Europe to form a continent holding 500 restaurants with at least one Michelin Star. Ljubljana also picked up its first Bib Gourmand, a sophisticated distinction just below Michelin Star level, with Na Gradu.

Situated in two fantastic destinations, the wins give travelers even more reason to visit Ljubljana and Krakow, and with prices far below what one might experience for a Michelin starred spot further west in Europe, there’s real value to be had. Budapest is yet another fantastic city for value driven fine dining.

a city street with cars and buildings at night70% Of Global Michel Star Restaurants Back Open

With cities around the globe slowly coming out of lockdown, restaurants are reemerging to the delight of many, owners included. For guests, the experience may be more enjoyable than ever, with greater spacing around tables and enhanced measures to ensure the utmost in hygiene, not that any Michelin starred place wouldn’t have been that way already…

So who’s open?

Italy and Spain are leading the way, both with over 74% of Michelin Star restaurants back in business, with Spain catching up at 44% and climbing. In the UK, July 4th marked the reopening of restaurants and bars, which means the 70% overall global figure will only climb as the UK goes from zero percent open to at least some, over the next week.

While Asia is largely reopening alongside Europe, the United States is playing serious catch up, due to continued new spikes of covid-19. The country currently has 17 Michelin Star or above restaurants open once again, which represents a total of just 8% of those which hold one. Whenever they do open back up, the hallowed tables will be more coveted than ever.

Dining may not be the same again for quite a while, but that doesn’t all mean for the worse. Chefs have had months to refocus their work and appreciate the day to day, guests have yearned for anything but their own cooking and new safety measures may create an even more reassuring environment than ever before. It all sounds delicious.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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