Its origin date back at 1900 when the tyre manufacturers André Michelin and his brother invented a free guide for French motorists to boost the demand for cars and car tires. After a suspension during the First World War the brothers observed copies of the guide being used to prop up a workbench and decided to change the guide by listing restaurants and hotels by specific categories and abandoning advertisements. In 1926, the brothers started to award restaurants and established a one, two and three star system in 1931. The criteria for the rankings are the following:
  •  "a very good restaurant in its category”
  •  “excellent cooking, worth a detour”
  •  “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
Nowadays, a Michelin Star is to a chef what an Oscar is to an actor – a great honour of his work.


Spanish restaurants have been named 182 times in the guide. 150 restaurants have received one Michelin star, 23 restaurants are included with two stars and 9 restaurants have been awarded with three stars. Most of the endowed restaurants can be found in Madrid, San Sebastian and Gerona.
Madrid is well known for its culinary delights and proof of that are 14 restaurants with Michelin stars. Great chefs such as the cook of DiverXO have chosen Madrid as the home for their restaurants and make Madrid a taste pleasure to visit.
The Basque Country, especially San Sebastian, is one of the best fine dining destination with the highest concentration of Michelin stars per square meters in the world. Three Michelin star restaurants of Spain are located in San Sebastian:
Akelarre (***)
Arzak (***)
Martín Berasategui (***)

The mentioned chef Martín Berasategui has been awarded with three Michelin stars for one of his restaurants for the second time which has never happened before in the country’s history. With a total of eight Michelin stars, he has become the most decorated chef in Spain.
Moreover, Gerona is home to various restaurants that have earned the prestigious gastronomic award. The restaurant “El Celler de Can Roca” has been endowed twice to be the best restaurant worldwide. By specializing in traditional Catalan cuisine it has managed to receive three Michelin stars.


Dining in a Michelin star restaurant is a memorable dining experience and if your budget allows it should be definitely on your To-do-list in Spain. Reaching the cities mentioned is possible by plane, train or busses from cities close by (Barcelona – Gerona for example)
To be on the save side, it is recommended to reserve a table at the Michelin star restaurants 72 hours in advance. The restaurants offer this feature on their website to make it easy for everybody to experience the taste pleasure!

across spain has available programs of Michelin restaurants in Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastián, do not hesitate to contact us!