California Michelin Stars, 2021 version

Michelin announced its Bib Gourmand list for California. There are 20 this year, down from 72 in years past. Notably for me in the East Bay, little New Dumpling House in El Cerrito is on the list, while China Village fell off. New Dumpling really came through during the pandemic, pivoting to relatively inexpensive packages of frozen dumplings. They’ve been in my freezer ever since. Also in the East Bay, Horn Barbecue in Oakland and Spinning Bones in Alameda. The complete list is at

ETA: A more complete list is at SFGate:

And an even more complete list from Michelin itself:

I’m confused, because China Village does appear on the list, when you go to

and select Albany as the city.

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Why are there only 20 this year? The others all folded? This list seems quite arbitrary. Italico and ASA for the entire South Bay? That makes zero sense.

As I said, it’s confusing. The bigger list at the Michelin site shows considerably more restaurants. The two articles in my original post were apparently just about the new listings.


Oh I see. I saw the full list now. With that said, the full South Bay list makes just as little sense. Better just read our local food writers about good cheap eats than the Bib Gourmand.


Ahem - and Hungry Onion.


I believe these are new entries. Not existing entries that are already on the list from 2019.

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The taquerias in Oakland, El Paisa and Tacos Oscar, look worthy of checking out. Horn BBQ is already on the list to try.

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The complete list is out now, at for the whole state. The Bib Gourmand list has 147, including old favorites China Village and Great China:


Curious for all the Northern California Onioners, do you think the Michelin 3 Star and 2 Star places are still worthwhile? Holding up well?

In So Cal, we have a few overrated places that never should have gotten 2 Stars, but also this year, one well-deserved promotion of Hayato to 2 Stars.

All the places in the first link have stars? Wow! Some of our favorites are listed. I didn’t know they had stars! My husband will be pleased to see Mustard’s. He has loved that place for decades.

I haven’t been to Campton Place in years. Has it always been Indian?

Mr. Jiu’s has a star? Has it always had a star? That was actually our last sit down meal just before the pandemic arrived. I thought it was ok, but thought it was a bit expensive relative to the flavors. But surely it can’t be the only Chinese restaurant or restaurant with Chinese influence with a star here?

@shrinkrap Campton Place was Californian for a while. At least when I ate there years ago there was nothing particularly Indian about the meal. No not all the places have stars. You can filter by the ‘distinction’.

What is a ‘Plate Michelin’ and a ‘Green Star’? EDIT: Answering myself- its those neither starred nor bibbed. Green star= sustainability.


SingleThread and AC are still great and definitely *** in my opinion. Don’t have a lot of time to dine out anymore.

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Pretty sure Mister Jiu’s received a star 6 months after they opened. We had an enjoyable dinner about 6 months ago. Benu has some Chinese influence.

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Hi @Jondough ,

Thanks! Great to hear SingleThread and Atelier Crenn are still great. :slight_smile: I haven’t made it out to SingleThread yet but hope to when it’s safe to travel again.

Can’t wait to return to Benu as well.

I really hope you enjoy your meals! Everyone that works at SingleThread is vaccinated. Not sure about AC.

I can’t wait to try Corey Lee’s new restaurant.

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I’m surprised that China Village/Albany is still listed. Didn’t chef/owner John Yao sell it well over a year ago? Even Y’ers feel it’s gone downhill.

Wojia Hunan/Albany is much better (albeit too much sugar), and Sichuan Fusion/Richmond better still.

we went to Marlena’s a couple of months ago and found it outstanding.


Amen. Sure I’ve been to Italico and sure I’ve had a good meal there but its not even my favorite on California ave (ahem, zareens, birch st, del medio, the alleyway coffee spot, terun, calave). I can argue Italico over Terun based on menu, but birch st / bistro elan has such nice ambiance and food, and BDM is a fixture but as long as I can get a mastitas and an aged rum manhattan all’s right in the world, and I think zareens is a bib gourmand? and… yeah, doesn’t make sense.