The Michelin Guide, an annual guide book that is published by the French company Michelin, awards Michelin stars for excellence to a select few restaurants worldwide. Obtaining or losing a Michelin star has a big effect for the success of restaurants and it is considered to be the highest achievement possible for a chef. Apart from awarding Michelin stars, the Michelin Guide also offers its readers recommendations for restaurants that have the potential to obtain a Michelin star in the nearby future. The Michelin Guide was once known to be a meat obsessed bible of gastronomy, but now that the vegan and vegetarian market are becoming more popular, it has increased their recommendations for vegetarian restaurants in their 2014 edition, showing vegetarians that you can experience upscale dining. The following vegetarian restaurants are recommended by the Michelin Guide.
10. Karyn’s on Green, Chicago, IL – $40+ Per Person
Karyn’s on Green describes itself as an earth-friendly, contemporary restaurant, serving vegan dishes with bold flavors and imaginative combinations. Even meat lovers will forget there is no meat, fish, chicken or dairy to be found on the plates. Karyn’s on Green was founded by Karyn Calabrese 20 years ago and has educated people in Chicago about the benefits of healthy eating, without giving up on upscale dining. Karyn’s menu includes ratatouille, curries, fajitas and pastas, all made with love and deliciously fresh ingredients. A three-course meal, excluding beverages, starts at $40 per person.
9. Green Zebra, Chicago, IL – $40+ Per Person
Chef McClain’s respect and appreciation for the purity of fresh ingredients led him to start Green Zebra in 2004. Since then, the restaurant has developed relationships with farmers and members of the Chicago community to create a unique vegetarian dining experience that celebrates the fresh produce of each season. Green Zebra serves small plates that are meant for sharing with your dining partners. Their menu includes sweet potato risotto, house made fettuccini with artichokes and chili and a celery root soup. Their dessert menu is interesting, with items such as peanut butter and jelly bomb. A dinner consisting of three dishes will start at $40 per person, excluding beverages.
8. Sublime, Fort Lauderdale, FL – $45+ Per Person
Sublime is more than just a restaurant. It is an innovative concept in vegan dining that is completely cholesterol-free, but can satisfy like no other. Apart from being recommended by the Michelin Guide, their menu has won several awards and the restaurant has welcomed many celebrities in the past. Sublime’s menu seems to serve the usual fare, but their vegan creations are everything but usual in taste. Thai red curry, a Portobello stack or a vegetable lasagna are only a few examples and with an extensive cocktail and wine list, diners easily spend a few hours at Sublime. A three-course dinner starts at $45 per person. Cocktails start at $9 and bottles of wine start at $35.
7. Blossom, New York City, NY – $45+ Per Person
Blossom was established in 2005 to creatively bring vegan dining to a fresh, new and delicious level. Blossom started in Chelsea, but now also has four locations in Manhattan. Their fresh, organic ingredients come from local farms and the chef focuses on small plates and select wines and cocktails. Not only has this restaurant been recommended by Michelin; it was also featured in numerous food magazines, making them famous among more than just locals. Their menu offers creative dishes such as black eyed pea cake, pistachio and pepper dusted tofu or hickory barbecue tempeh. Blossom is a trendy location to go to for those who prefer vegetarian or vegan dining. A three-course dinner at Blossom starts at $45 per person, beverages excluded.
6. Hangawi, New York City, NY – $55+ Per Person
With so many Korean BBQ restaurants popping out of the ground, Hangawi brings a new dimension to Korean cuisine. This restaurant believes that vegetarianism is the healthiest and safest diet and therefore offers its guests a balanced vegetarian meal that not only nourishes your health, but also your taste buds. As if you are invited to a traditional Korean family’s house for dinner, you will be asked to leave your shoes outside the dining room at Hangawi. Their tasting menu includes a porridge sampler, Korean pancakes, a rice and tofu delight and dessert. A four-course meal starts at $55 per person, excluding beverages.
5. Millennium, San Francisco, CA – $60+ Per Person
Nestled in the heart of food lover’s city, Millennium commits to creating the ultimate dining experience for vegetarians. This upscale restaurant strives to make vegetarian dining fun and exciting with healthy and environmental-friendly food. Chef Eric Tucker creates menus that are constantly evolving around the produce of the season and his menu is influenced by world cuisine. In fact, he promises his regular customers that there will be a new menu with every visit. A four-course seasonal menu starts at $60 per person and an optional wine pairing starts at $26 per person.
4. Greens Restaurant, San Francisco, CA – $50+ Per Person
An oldie, but still a popular one among vegetarian upscale diners. Greens was established in 1979 and has developed close relationships with local farmers to offer its guests fresh ingredients that are cooked with love and care. Executive Chef Annie Somerville does not only cook for Greens, but is also an award-winning author of several cookbooks. Somerville’s menu offers guests a variety of vegetarian dishes, such as roasted farm figs, an Indian sampler and a wild mushroom and leek pizza; however, Somerville changes her menu monthly. A three-course dinner at Greens starts at $50 per person, excluding beverages.
3. Kajitsu, New York City, NY – $55+ Per Person
Kajitsu can be translated to day of celebration in Japanese. This restaurant offers guests the Shojin cuisine, which refers to a type of vegetarian cooking that originates from Zen Buddhism. Even though it does not use fish or meat, it is considered to be haute cuisine in Japan. Kajitsu uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to create multi-course meals that are full of flavor and beautifully arranged on plates. The chef changes his menu monthly to keep regular customers interested and the restaurant focuses on flavors rather than interior. Dinner at Kajitsu starts at $55 per person for a four-course tasting menu and goes up to $85 per person for an eight-course tasting menu. Beverages are excluded.
2. Candle 79, New York City, NY – $55+ Per Person
Candle 79 describes itself as a vegan oasis and a farm-to-table concept. This 1984 established upscale restaurant commits to excellent vegetarian cuisine by selecting the finest range of seasonal ingredients. Candle 79 ensures their foods do not contain pesticides or chemicals and the restaurant is even filled with eco-friendly supplies, such as their dinner- and glassware. Unlike some vegetarian restaurants, Candle 79 has an extensive menu. A few examples of dishes that you may find here are vegetarian steamed dumplings, zucchini enchiladas or a chipotle-grilled tempeh ‘steak’. A three-course meal at Candle 79 starts at $55 per person, excluding beverages.
1. Pure Food and Wine, New York City, NY – $70+ Per Person
Pure Food and Wine was New York’s first upscale vegan and raw restaurant, offering fresh ingredients, cooked at no more than 118 degrees. Their mission is to preserve vitamins, minerals and enzymes in a way that still gives diners the opportunity to enjoy haute cuisine. Pure Food and Wine does this with great success and they believe many of their regular customers are not strictly vegan or raw eaters. With many vegan, vegetarian and raw restaurants opening their doors in New York City, Pure managed to stay unique by not using dairy, tofu, tempeh or seitan on their menu. Some examples of dishes on their menu are a pumpkin and apple crepe, cauliflower and sweet corn polenta and a rosemary olive oil cake with a pink grapefruit mousse for dessert. Diners may choose their dishes à la carte, but those who are up for a surprise, can order a five-course tasting menu for $70 per person. Beverages are excluded.