Michelin stars are finally coming to Tampa Bay restaurants

This is kind of a big deal.

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A handful of Cuban sandos from iconic Tampa restaurant La Segunda. - LASEGUNDABAKERY/FACEBOOK
A handful of Cuban sandos from iconic Tampa restaurant La Segunda.

The world’s oldest, and best-known restaurant rating system is finally coming to Florida.

Visit Florida, the state’s public-private tourism agency, announced today that it has reached an agreement to bring Michelin Guide to Florida. For now. the first Michelin guide for Florida will debut in spring of 2022, and will only include Tampa, Orlando and Miami metro areas. 

"Michelin Guide inspectors look forward to discovering the world-class culinary landscape in Miami, Orlando and Tampa," said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides in a press release. "From the excitement and glamour of Miami to Orlando's iconic attractions and the rich culture of Tampa's Gulf Coast, Florida's gastronomy is unique, diverse and intriguing for locals and travelers across the globe."

According to a spokesperson for Visit Tampa Bay, just Tampa restaurants will initially be included in the guide, which leaves out plenty of good eats in the Sarasota, St. Pete, and Clearwater areas. 

Founded in France in the late 1880s, the highly coveted rating system is nearly 120 years old and is found mostly in Europe. Until recently, Michelin ratings were only found in four U.S. metros: Chicago, New York, Washington D.C and all of California. 

Michelin stars are about as—if not more—coveted than James Beard awards and considered a badge of honor since they're awarded only to restaurants Michelin considers the best within a city. One star is considered very good, two is worth a detour and three stars means the restaurant is a destination.

"Michelin inspectors are completely anonymous and must share a passion for food and an eye for detail," Diced writes. "Inspectors are prohibited from speaking to journalists and are encouraged to keep their line of work secret even from family members."

"VISIT FLORIDA, along with our destination partners, Visit Orlando, Visit Tampa Bay and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, are thrilled to partner with Michelin to develop a MICHELIN Guide to further establish Florida as a world-renowned culinary destination," added Dana Young, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. "This gives Florida the opportunity to highlight the dynamic and unexpected culinary adventures the Sunshine State has to offer from locally-grown produce and fresh seafood to unique fusions from cultures around the world."

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
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