Michelin Star Restaurants in San Jose: 8 Amazing Restaurants Worth the Stop

Drone photo of sunset over downtown San Jose in California

Michelin Star Restaurants in San Jose: 8 Amazing Restaurants Worth the Stop

There's no doubt that California is one of the best places to find unique, upscale restaurants. Like many other California cities, San Jose has a vibrant food scene that continues to grow. When you’re searching for fine dining in the area, you might search for Michelin Star restaurants in San Jose.

California does have its own Michelin Guide, and as of the latest guide, there are quite a few restaurants with Michelin Stars near the San Jose area. Additionally, there are five restaurants in the area that received the Bib Gourmand award from Michelin as more moderately priced restaurants. 

If you're looking for the top Michelin-recognized restaurants in San Jose, keep reading to find some of the best options for your next meal.

Chef preparing food, meal, in the kitchen, chef cooking in kitchen, Chef decorating dish, closeup
Michelin Star Restaurants have the highest quality food and generally use fresh, local ingredients.


Michelin Star Restaurants in San Jose Area

Since coming to the United States in 2005, the Michelin Guide has continued to expand. Currently, the Michelin Guide in the U.S. covers seven locations. Surprisingly, the Michelin Guide has been around since the mid-1900s, but Michelin didn't create the first U.S. Michelin Guide until over 70 years later.

Since some of the top restaurants in the country are found in places like New York and California, these were some of the United States locations to get a Michelin Guide. There are currently a number of restaurants near San Jose with a Michelin Star. Let’s see what makes three of these California restaurants unique.

Plumed Horse

broccoli souffle with bacon on a kitchen board and cutlery
Souffle is one of the dishes that helps Plumed Horse maintain its Michelin Star.

©Luciano Ohya/Shutterstock.com

Plumed Horse in Saratoga, California brings a personal touch to elegant dining. From the time you walk into the distinguished, dimly lit dining room, you can tell you’re going to experience something unique. Plumed Horse currently holds one Michelin Star, and has been recognized for its take on upscale modern cooking.

Chef Peter Armellino leads the way in this luxury restaurant. He brings over 35 years of culinary experience to the table and perfected his craft while working in some of the top restaurants in New York City.

Not only has Plumed Horse held a Michelin Star since 2009, but they’ve also won the Wine Spectator Award and Wine Enthusiast, Haute Living, and Los Gatos Magazine have recognized their excellence. For guests dining indoors, you’ll be served the tasting menu that may include items such as the Black Pepper and Parmesan Soufflé or the California Squab.

Chez TJ

Close up. Elegant waiter pours red wine from bottle into glass at restaurant. Sommelier tasting wine in restaurant.
Enjoy a glass of wine with your meal at Chez TJ.

©Veres Production/Shutterstock.com

Located in downtown Mountain View, this cozy and charming restaurant has earned one Michelin Star. Chez TJ is located inside a Victorian home and provides a romantic and intimate setting that includes beautiful décor and soft music.

Chez TJ serves contemporary French cuisine and many of the ingredients are sourced from the onsite garden. This fine dining restaurant has held the award of one Michelin Star since 2007 and has also held the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence since 2016.

The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Chez TJ changes based on the seasons, and includes a multi-course experience you won’t forget. Alongside the tasting menu, you can enjoy Chez TJ’s wine pairing to enhance the taste of each course. You might see items on the menu like the Heirloom Carrot Terrine with mango and lime or the Poached and Seared Foie Gras with glazed chestnuts.


Assorted Dungeness crab legs with butter mustard sauce and fresh lemons.
Dungeness crab can often be found on the menu at this restaurant.

©Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock.com

With the perfect combination of comfort and luxury, Protégé is a New American upscale restaurant in Palo Alto. When you dine at Protégé, you can choose between the experience of dining in the Lounge or the Dining Room.

While dining in the Lounge, you’ll order items from an à la carte menu. Start off your night with the Crab and Caviar or Fish and Chips with Japanese yellowtail and poke. If you choose a seat in the Dining Room, you’ll get to experience all Protégé has to offer with the seven-course tasting menu.

The tasting menu is subject to change, but you might start off with items such as the Dungeness Crab and the Sakura-smoked Sablefish with Ossetra caviar, potato confit, and sweet onion. Your meal won’t be complete without a delicious dessert like the Peach Melba with raspberry, Marcona almond, and verbena ice cream.

Bib Gourmand Restaurants in San Jose Area

Believe it or not, restaurants technically don’t have to fall within a specific price to receive a Michelin Star. In fact, in places like Singapore, there are even street food stands that have achieved Michelin Status. However, in the U.S., restaurants are held to a different standard.

Most of the restaurants in America that have a Michelin Star are high-class restaurants. The good news for more casual restaurants is that Michelin does have a rating for them, called the Bib Gourmand.

The Bib Gourmand rating is a way to recognize restaurants that are moderately priced with excellent cuisine. Although it’s not the same as earning a star, it’s still a significant honor. In the San Jose area, a number of restaurants have received the Bib Gourmand rating. Here’s a bit more detail about what type of cuisine you’ll find at some of them.


Steamed mussels in white wine sauce
Mussels are just one of the many dishes that you can enjoy at Petiscos.


Like any good meal, petiscos are best enjoyed when shared with those you love. Petiscos are small plates of traditional dishes and are incredibly popular in Portugal. Named after this popular type of meal, Petiscos has a bright, casual atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy food with friends. You can dine in or enjoy take-out or delivery from Petiscos.

On the menu, you’ll find items such as their Pork Loin Sandwich, Mussels, and Grilled Prawn. Enjoy your meal with one of their delicious cocktails, and finish your night off with Chocolate Mousse, Flan, an Orange or Cream Tart, or Pastel de Nata.

Luna Mexican Kitchen

Churros with sugar and chocolate sauce
At Luna Mexican Kitchen, the churros are a must-try.


If you’re craving Mexican cuisine, Luna Mexican Kitchen should be your first stop. At Luna Mexican Kitchen, they pride themselves on offering items that are authentic, traditional, and made with clean ingredients. This restaurant has been recognized by Michelin as well as by publications like the San Francisco Chronicle and The Mercury News.

Their menu includes a variety of smoothies, burritos, bowls, and large plates. You can enjoy savory items like the Chile Verde and a variety of enchiladas. They offer service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After your meal, enjoy something off of their dessert menu, like bread pudding or churros. 

Orchard City Kitchen

Freeze Motion Shot of Flying Fresh Fried Chicken Wings or Strips, Close-up
At Orchard City Kitchen, try some of the Korean Fried Chicken.

©Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock.com

Led by Chef Jeffrey Stout, this fast-paced restaurant is a great place to enjoy small plates near San Jose. While eating in the high-energy dining room is definitely a fun experience, you can also choose a more private experience by dining in the Chef’s Den or the Market Room. This is a great place to book a private event or enjoy a night out.

Orchard City Kitchen has a brunch, lunch, and dinner menu available. On the dinner menu, there’s a range of small plates, vegetables, and seafood. Start off with an appetizer like the Wood-Fired Artichoke before moving on to something like their Korean Fried Chicken or Atlantic Salmon.

The Bywater

spicy nashville hot chicken sandwich with coleslaw and pickles
At The Bywater, the Nashville Hot Chicken is something you need to try.

©Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for the taste of New Orleans in the Bay area, The Bywater has it covered. In addition to receiving the Bib Gourmand, this New Orleans-inspired restaurant has been recognized by Wine Spectator, Zagat, Eater, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Chef David Kinch, who was previously the chef of a three-Michelin Star restaurant, is one of the founders of The Bywater.

Whether you choose to stop by for brunch or dinner, you’ll find many delicious items on the menu. On the All Day Menu, you can enjoy items such as the Crispy Fried Oysters, Fried Green Tomatoes, or the Nashville Hot Chicken.


crispy calamari rings on wooden tray with lemon wedge
Calamari is something you can often find on the menu at iTalico.

©Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

Whether you come out for live music or for a good meal, iTalico is an excellent place to enjoy great Italian food with friends. The five founders of iTalico were born in southern Italy and proudly serve authentic Italian cuisine in Palo Alto. With a focus on fresh, local ingredients, this restaurant has been recognized by numerous publications for its excellent food and atmosphere.

At iTalico, you can enjoy items such as the Grilled Octopus with lemon avocado sauce or the Calamari with shrimp, sardines, and lemon. Finish your night off with a Cannoli, Homemade Italian Doughnuts, or some Gelato.

The Best Restaurants in San Jose, California

San Jose, California is home to numerous luxury restaurants, as well as many excellent casual eateries. No matter what type of cuisine you're looking for, there's something for everyone in this city.

When it comes to Michelin Star Restaurants in San Jose, there are plenty to choose from near the San Jose area. Additionally, there are several restaurants that have won the Bib Gourmand Rating. As the San Jose food scene continues to grow, there are even more restaurants that Michelin could add to their guide in the future.

To top