Philadelphia Receives Its Own Michelin Guide

May 19, 2023

Philadelphia now has the proud distinction of being one of just eight destinations in the United States with its own Michelin Green Guide.

Michelin published its first guide this spring, highlighting Philadelphia as a premier travel destination. The Michelin Green Guide explores the great attractions, restaurants, hotels, and experiences in Philadelphia and The Countryside of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) partnered with Michelin to create the guide and bring the esteemed publication to the city.

A French and English version of the Michelin Green Guide sit on a stand in front of a window.

Since 1900, the Michelin Guide has featured destinations around the globe and has long been recognized internationally as the most prestigious standard for restaurant and hotel recommendations. Their green guide series presents the city’s top attractions for visits of any length. 

Michelin described Philadelphia as the “Frenchest city in America” with the editors praising how the city “offers the perfect compromise between American excess and European spirit, not to mention all the appeal of a city packed with art, history, and a cultural effervescence few people expect.”

Editor-in-chief Phillippe Orain traveled from France to Philadelphia to launch the Michelin Guide during a press conference aboard the Moshulu. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

The PHLCVB announced this prestigious honor with a press conference aboard the Moshulu at Penn’s Landing. Editor-in-chief Phillippe Orain traveled from France to Philadelphia to introduce the book and discuss why Michelin chose to feature Philadelphia.

One reason is that Philadelphia is “the best gateway to the U.S. and the East coast,” Orain said at the press conference. In addition, he noted how the Philadelphia International Airport is more manageable than other major airports, and the city has accessible options for travelers on a multi-destination trip.

Another reason is Philadelphia is “the most important historical city in the U.S.” and the birthplace of America. Orain stated that the French love American history and called Philadelphia “the best way to make a quick and very important introduction to the U.S.”

After touching upon Philadelphia’s assets as a city, Orain awarded honors to local organizations which received the book’s highest rating — three stars — including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation.

The Michelin Green Guide rates attractions from one to three stars. A one-star rating is a place or thing “worth a visit,” and a two-star rating means an entity is “worth a detour.” The highest recognition possible is a three-star rating for experiences “worth a special journey.”

Among the destinations within the city that received three-stars are Independence National Historical Park, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Liberty Bell, and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Countryside destinations to receive three stars include the Nemours Estate and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

Award winners, editor-in-chief Phillippe Orain, and members of the PHLCVB pose for a photo after the Michelin Launch Press Conference. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

Orain also presented special awards to Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, local musician Fareed Simpson, restauranteur Michael Solomonov and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra music director. The local ambassadors all offer their personal insights into what makes Philadelphia special in the guide.

The French version of the Michelin Green Guide is now available for purchase, with the English version to be released this summer and accepting pre-orders. For more recommendations and tips on visiting Philadelphia, check out our Plan Your Trip page.

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