There's no debating we've got some of the best eateries in the world right in our backyard, and now there's another restaurant in Illinois that has received the biggest award in the world.

What is the Michelin Star Award for Restaurants?

Since the early 1900's the Michelin Guide has been rating eating establishments around the world with a 3-star rating system.

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1 star for a "very good restaurant in its category," 2 stars for "excellent cooking, worth a detour," and the very rare 3 stars for restaurants that offer "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."

We take into account five universal criteria: the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine and, just as importantly, consistency both across the entire menu and over time. -Michelin Guide

Stars are determined only by the food on the plate, and nothing else. According to Michelin, the "style of a restaurant and its degree of formality or informality have no bearing whatsoever on the award."

How Many Restaurants in the World Have 3 Michelin Stars?

As of 2023, there are only 138 restaurants worldwide that have received 3 Michelin stars, according to the Daily Meal.

In the United States, there are only 13 restaurants currently with 3 Michelin stars, and 2 of them are in Illinois.

Which Restaurants in Illinois Have 3 Michelin Stars?

Before we reveal the current Illinois spots that have 3 Michelin stars, there are two restaurants in Illinois that used to have the award before they closed, and both were in Chicago.

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L2O once was a 3 Star establishment in 2010 but later closed, and Grace also was a Michelin 3 Star award winner in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 before it also closed, according to Wikipedia.

The two 2023 Michelin 3 Star award winners from Illinois are also both in Chicago.

Alinea is the most well-known of the two 3-star winners in Chicago, holding the Michelin award since 2011.

Just last week, Smyth became the second restaurant in Illinois to win the Michelin 3-star award in 2023.


This is the Chicago restaurant's first time receiving 3 stars from Michelin after holding a 2-star award since 2018.

CLICK HERE to see all Michelin 1, 2, and 3 Star Restaurants in Illinois.

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