The Michelin Guide is the world's best-known and most prestigious restaurant guide. It was first published in France in 1900 by the Michelin tyre company to provide motorists with useful information and, of course, to encourage them to take more trips. Michelin has been giving restaurants stars since 1926. Guidebooks are separated by location, but not every country has its own guide yet. The legendary Red Book has included Hungarian restaurants since 1992, but the country has had its own national Michelin guide only since 2022, presenting recommended restaurants not only in Budapest but also in other towns and cities.
How do restaurants get Michelin recommendations and stars? Stars are given to the most outstanding restaurants. If the head chef changes, the star remains – but the new chef has to prove they deserve it.
Michelin guide inspectors go incognito to selected restaurants worldwide. They book and pay for their meals just like anyone else, so employees have no idea when these highly trained professionals are eating at their restaurant. They have a real basis for comparison as they test hundreds of the best restaurants around the world every year. After inspections in each region, the director of the Michelin guide and the regional inspectors make decisions on restaurant ratings at "star meetings", and the results are published in the guide of the country or region in question.