The MICHELIN Guide: Restaurant Guide of Records
print mail share
west All articles
print mail share

The MICHELIN Guide: Restaurant Guide of Records

The MICHELIN Guide belongs to the French tyre producer like the Eiffel Tower to Paris. Since 1900, just two years after the start of car tyre production, the famous restaurant guide has been an important part of the Michelin empire. With an extremely exciting history.

Michelin-starred cuisine and premium tyres: does that go together? Very well indeed. MICHELIN tyres and the MICHELIN Guide both occupy a top position in their segment. Moreover, the MICHELINGuide fulfils a requirement of the Michelin brothers. André and Édouard, who founded the company in 1889, wanted to make driving an experience in all its facets beyond the core business of tyres. No wonder, then, that the company's product range grew rapidly over the years. Did you know that today, in addition to the famous restaurant guide, the Michelin brand also includes services such as digital fleet solutions, the Euromaster car service chain, around 3,000 lifestyle products such as sports shoes with MICHELIN soles, map and travel apps?

Two brothers, one vision: André and Édouard Michelin firmly believed in the future of travel and mobility

Finding the right restaurant or hotel on the road and booking it directly? No problem today. At the end of the 19th century, things looked very different. Driving was adventurous, there were no road signs and the roads were in poor condition. In 1900, André and Édouard Michelin came up with the idea of publishing a small handbook with a lot of practical information such as addresses of fuel depots, garages, restaurants and accommodation. The MICHELIN Guide was born.

Soon after, the company no longer limited itself to France. As early as 1904, Michelin launched the first international series of the MICHELIN Guide. In 1910, it covered all Western European countries from Belgium to Great Britain and Portugal. In the same year, Michelin published its first road map. In keeping with Michelin's DNA of constant improvement, the MICHELIN Guide was constantly being developed. But it was the introduction of the star in 1926 that made the hotel and gastronomy guide famous worldwide. The star pictogram identifies the restaurants with the most excellent cuisine. Those who receive a star are among the best restaurants and the star chefs are considered stars of their guild. Worldwide.

In 1944, the MICHELIN Guide even contributed to the liberation of France. The Allies were preparing to land in Normandy in 1944. As all road signs had been destroyed by the occupying forces, they feared that their troops would make slow progress in the French cities. The solution: Michelin authorised the Allies to reprint the 1939 MICHELIN Guide with its numerous city maps. It was given to the officers with the note "For official use only".


"This work is published for the new century and will last as long as this one", wrote the founding fathers in the preface to the first edition of the MICHELIN Guide 1900. They were to be proved right.

The MICHELIN Guide conquers Europe

In 1997, the Bib Gourmand filled a gap in the market with restaurant recommendations for high-quality food at moderate prices, and in 2017 the MICHELIN Plate was added. It is awarded to those recommendable restaurants that have neither a star nor a Bib Gourmand. In Europe alone, the MICHELIN Guide currently recommends around 30,000 addresses in over 12,000 locations. The list of countries in which the MICHELIN Guide is present now includes more than 30 nations on four continents. From 1900 to 2017, over 30 million copies were sold worldwide. This makes the MICHELIN Guide the record-breaking restaurant guide.

The inspectors: independent & anonymous

Strict criteria apply uniformly to all inspectors. The inspectors are permanent employees and have a sound education in international top gastronomy and hotel business. The Michelin Code requires that they act like normal restaurant guests and remain anonymous. They pay their bills like any other customer. The final decision on the awarding of stars is always the result of several meals by different inspectors. This ensures the reliability and objectivity of the award. The decision to award a star is made jointly by all the inspectors who have tested a restaurant.

The MICHELIN Guide: Quality & Innovation

The MICHELIN Guide is characterised by its high-quality standards and its constant quest for perfection and innovation, which is precisely why it fits perfectly with Michelin tyres. It is a piece of the mosaic that makes the Michelin brothers' vision a reality: To experience mobility with all the senses.


Since 1926, the MICHELIN Guide has been awarding stars for excellent cuisine. It is precisely these stars that have made it famous around the world. One, two or three MICHELIN stars: the award has been the benchmark for recognising the best restaurants for almost 100 years.

The definitions for the MICHELIN stars are:

1 star: High quality cooking - worth a stop!

2 stars: Excellent cooking – worth a detour!

3 stars: Exceptional cuisine – worth a special journey!