Eating at Michelin Star Restaurants in Provence
Robin and I have only eaten in about a handful of Michelin star restaurants. They’re a special occasion. Eating in these restaurants, depending especially on the number of stars, is longer even than the usual French dining affair. Eating in a Michelin star restaurant is not just a meal it’s an experience.
Personally, I love good quality bistro food, with a little creativity thrown in. Bistronomie. You can experience something like this in Michelin star restaurants through their lunch menus which are often surprisingly affordable. A little luxury doesn’t always have to break the bank.
Click here for Ashley’s list of Michelin Restaurants in Provence (2021) and additional information on The Guide.
Michelin Star Restaurants
The first Guide Michelin appeared in 1900 when bicycles greatly outnumbered cars on the French roads. It was a brilliant marketing plan by André and Édouard Michelin, brothers and owners of the tire manufacturing company. Their idea was to increase demand for cars and specifically tires by encouraging French drivers to get out on the road and drive, maybe to a restaurant or hotel. At first, the guidebook was offered for free, and it included useful tips for car travel, including mechanics, gas stations and maps.
Begining in 1920, the Michelin Guide was no longer offered for free (it cost seven francs). The concept of awarding stars to restaurants began in 1926. The ranking system of one, two, or three stars was established in 1936 and remains as follows:
1 Star: A very good restaurant in its category. (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
2 Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour. (Table excellente, mérite un détour)
3 Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage).
Acknowledging that many restaurants serve “Exceptionally good food at moderate prices,” the company began publishing the Bib Gourmand in 1955. There are 49 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Provence.
This indicates a cuisine of quality. This classification can include all kinds of establishments. Currently, there are 265 Assiette MICHELIN restaurants in Provence.
A green star is awarded to restaurants that are aiming to support biodiversity, and respect for the environment through their choice of sustainable products. These stars are often awarded to Michelin star restaurants in addition to their star distinctions. Many of these restaurants have their own kitchen gardens.