The Michelin star state: Where to find the finest dining in California

24 October 2019

California recently became the first US state to publish its own Michelin dining guide, comprising 657 Michelin-recommended restaurants, of which 90 have been awarded Michelin stars.

This kind of says all you need to know about the state’s commitment to high-quality food and fine dining experiences. But we’ve taken the time to highlight some of the very best spots for the finest of dining…

San Francisco: Sorrel

Sorrel serves up delectable dining to the well-refined palates of the Bay Area, specialising in Californian-inspired dining with strong Italian influences, the restaurant has a passion for using the finest ingredients sourced from local farmers markets to create meals which showcase the best seasonal produce.

This year, Sorrel was awarded a Michelin star for the excellent food that the restaurant regularly produces.

For an after-dinner stroll, the 1,500-acre Presidio of San Francisco national park (pictured) is just a short walk from Sorrel and offers visitors stunning views across the bay and onto the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

South Lake Tahoe: The Bistro Edgewood


After a day spent paddleboarding on the lake or hiking one of the many scenic trails or out on the golf course, there is nowhere better to sit back, relax and enjoy some delectable fine dining than at the Bistro Edgewood.

The restaurants brilliance was recognised by the Tahoe Quarterly’s 2019 poll when it was voted the Best Fine Dining in South Shore. The warm welcoming feel of the restaurant works perfectly with the mountain surroundings to create a fine dining haven for guess to enjoy.

Napa Valley: French Laundry

In Napa Valley, nestled within miles of vineyards and bucolic rolling hills, lies the picturesque rural village of Yountville, which is the place with more Michelin stars per capita than any other in North America.

In this luxury dining haven sits a rustic two-storey stone cottage which is home to the world-renowned French Laundry. Serving classic French cuisine from an ever-changing menu, the restaurant delivers the finest dining experience matched with impeccable service.

The restaurants extensive list of accolades features the prestigious award of three stars from the Michelin guide, which is the highest award the institution can bestow. Thanks to its location, French Laundry has some of the finest wines in the world at its fingertips and the expert sommeliers pair these, as well as wines from around the world, with the menu to create an engrossing experience for diners.

Newport Beach: Bluefin


Located in the sophisticated seaside city of Newport Beach, just a short stroll from the scenic Crystal Cove (pictured), Bluefin serves up contemporary Japanese cuisine with a primary focus on sushi. Bluefin blends traditional Japanese recipes with European influences in beautiful surroundings with ocean views and an interior waterfall.

The best way to experience Bluefin’s offering is by opting for the Omakase (chef’s choice) where the chef personally selects each mouth-watering course of your meal.

Santa Monica: Rustic Canyon


Rustic Canyon brings a rural vibe to the seaside chic of Santa Monica, serving up dishes inspired by the seasons and excellent sustainably produced local ingredients from farms, fisheries and ranches. The restaurant hosts a calendar of events which focus on a particular supplier or ingredient and celebrates that through the medium of fine dining and educates guests in the process.

Rustic Canyon presents guest with an alternative fine dining experience as all the food is plated with sharing in mind to give much more of a neighbourhood restaurant feel to the place and make all guests feel part of the community.


To book your trip to California and sample the best fine dining around, contact your local Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits such as full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and even after your trip. 

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