Understanding the Restaurant Rating Guides: Michelin and Zagat

Find out the basics of these two popular sources of restaurant information.

October 8, 2010—The 2011 guides of the prestigious Michelin and consumer-loved Zagat restaurant ratings were released this week. Find out how these two sources can help you plan your culinary adventures.

Michelin Guide
Secret inspectors visit restaurants and rate them on a scale of 1 to 3 stars. Only 1,900 restaurants in the world have ever been given a Michelin star. Three hundred have gotten two stars and just 71 have received three. On a scale of 1 to 5, the restaurants are also rated for comfort.

3 stars–“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. One always eats here extremely well, sometimes superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.”

2 stars–“Excellent cuisine, worth a detour. Skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.”

1 star–“A very good restaurant in its category. A place offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.”

Want to know the secrets of the inspectors? Follow them on Twitter:
New York
San Francisco

This guide is fueled by the people that actually eat at restaurants. The reviews cover more than 100 countries. Michelin is elite. Zagat is for the everyday and special occasions and has far more restaurant ratings. On a scale of 1-30, establishments are judged on food, décor, service and the estimated cost of a meal without drinks. up with restaurant happenings in your city at zagat.com or download a mobile app–both for a membership fee. You can also follow Zagat on Twitter. Fun fact: No restaurant has ever received a 30.

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