a plated meal at Tosca

A meal at Tosca is a sensory experience. (Photo: Marriott International)

Eat + Drink

14 Michelin-Starred Restaurants Worth Planning Your Vacation Around

It’s extraordinary to find dining experiences that take you on a complete sensory journey, from surprising flavors and pairings to thought-provoking concepts. These are the few and fine meals you talk about for years to come. The following restaurants serve up Michelin-starred, world-class cuisine — promising a dining experience you won’t soon forget.

As always, check for travel restrictions or closures before planning your trip.

Aqua; The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg

small food at Aqua
Exciting pairings greet you at AQUA. (Photo: Marriott International)

Aqua became one of only 10 restaurants in Germany to achieve three Michelin stars on the strength of chef Sven Elverfeld’s innovative, constantly shifting menu. Elverfeld draws inspiration from traditional German fare such as tafelspitz and the ingredients of Europe’s forests and farms — including chevre, Black Forest ham and foie gras — but he utterly transforms them with his unique vision, precise flavor pairings and whimsical presentation.

L’Envol; The St. Regis Hong Kong

L’Envol is a top spot for authentic French cuisine in Hong Kong, led by Chef Olivier Elzer, who draws from French traditions and seasonal and local ingredients to design one-of-a-kind menus.

The Découverte (Discovery) menu highlights Chef Elzer’s latest creations, such as the Hokkaido sea urchin box or roasted veal chop. Selections from the extensive cheese and wine cellars top off the meal in grand French fashion.

L’Envol’s bright dining room evokes both cultures, with the white tablecloths of high-end French restaurants alongside a central jade table and translucent panels patterned like marbled rock, reminiscent of Asian landscape art.

Tin Lung Heen; The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Tin Lung Heen dumplings
An explosion of flavors awaits. (Photo: Marriott International)

As you might expect from a restaurant situated 102 floors above Victoria Harbour, Tin Lung Heen, whose name means “dragon in the sky,” elevates the traditional Cantonese dim sum into a rarefied art form.

Chef de cuisine Paul Lau Ping Lui entrances guests with honeyed barbecued pork, brisket with plum sauce, delicate steamed turnip cakes, chilled mango cream and other delicacies in Tin Lung Heen’s swank dining room in the clouds.

Jin Xuan; The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Jin Xuan’s posh 53rd-floor location showcases Shanghai’s Pudong district skyline, with the illuminated Oriental Pearl Tower rising just outside its windows and the Huangpu River waterfront stretching below.

Captivating as the views are, diners might find their attention riveted on their plates as they savor roasted duck with marinated dragon beans, chilled mango soup, Cantonese style Wagyu beef tenderloin and other dishes that earned Jin Xuan its first Michelin star in 2020.

Rùn; The St. Regis Hong Kong

If you’ve ever longed for a fine dining restaurant that boasts both a Michelin star and an all-you-can-eat buffet, Rún has answered your call.

In the evening, enjoy traditional seated service in the Chinese tea pavilion–inspired dining room, where chef Hung Chi-Kwong’s menu focuses on Cantonese cuisine but encompasses flavors from other regions, such as spicy marinated fish, Sichuan-style, and the popular barbecued Iberico pork with honey.

Guests rave about the morning breakfast buffet with its selection of meats, fruit, juices, yogurt, cheese and pastry.

Tosca; The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

chef pouring liquid into plate
Tosca’s chefs create culinary delights. (Photo: Marriott International)

Tosca achieved its Michelin star by offering a feast that dazzles all the senses. Its 102nd-floor location affords a sweeping view of Victoria Harbor, but patrons might not be able to take their eyes off the open kitchen where chef Angelo Aglianó and his staff create inspired Italian cuisine, from blue lobster poached with Sicilian peaches to innovative fresh pasta and Tosca’s signature tiramisu.

Summer Pavilion; The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Summer Pavilion has earned a Michelin star four years running for its modern Cantonese fare and exquisite dim sum service. Summer Pavilion’s decor and dainty hand-painted tableware evoke a Chinese garden, and Chef de Cuisine Cheung Siu Kong and his staff plate each menu item with delicacy and grace.

Guests who dine on baked abalone puffs, double-boiled Superior Bird’s Nest chicken soup in a coconut shell, and other delicacies leave singing the Summer Pavilion’s praises.

Lai Heen; The Ritz-Carlton, Macau

Lai Heen soars above Macau on the 51st floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, offering Michelin-star-worthy Cantonese cuisine in a glamorous dining atmosphere, replete with intricate carvings, reflective surfaces and elegant touches.

Try the Michelin Degustation Menu or the dim sum to sample Lai Heen’s finest. Delightful dumplings flecked with gold or shaped like pears might inspire you to snap a photo. The wine list is extensive and the tea master can recommend just the right pu’erh (fermented) tea to complement each menu item.

Lai Heen; The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou

steamed crab custard
Savor dishes like the steamed crab custard. (Photo: Marriott International)

A traditional yet chic dining room and dramatic views of Guangzhou’s harbor set the tone for chef Gordon Guo’s labor-intensive preparations of Cantonese favorites that earned Lai Heen a Michelin star.

Chef Guo uses only the highest quality ingredients to create preparations drawing on centuries-old recipes. Lai Heen’s signature Peking duck never disappoints, but then neither does anything else on the menu, from the siew yuk (roast pork) to the caviar with Chinese rice wine.

Mizuki; The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Food lovers could dine daily at Mizuki and enjoy a unique experience each time; this Michelin-starred restaurant specializes in four Japanese cuisines: tempura, sushi, teppan and kaiseki.

Kaiseki is the traditional multicourse dinner, prepared with the “Gomi, Goshoku, Goho” philosophy (five flavors, five colors, five methods of cooking). Sit at the 11-meter (36-foot) sushi counter and opt for tempura served kappo-style, in which the chef prepares everything in front of the diners, or book a private teppan room to feast on grilled steak and fish with up to eight guests.

La Baie; The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka

The opulent dining room with red velvet pillows, candlelight and scarlet chandeliers sets the tone for La Baie’s sublime French haute cuisine and attention to detail.

Bretagne-raised chef Christophe Gibert honed his skills in Paris and Monte Carlo, and La Baie’s prix fixe menus focus equally on the flavors of the ingredients and their preparation, as well as on the celebratory presentation that leaves each morsel looking like a plated jewel.

LAB by Sergi Arola; Penha Longa Resort, Portugal

The modern dining room with a glass-block wine cellar and an open kitchen prepares patrons for the forward-looking Mediterranean cuisine experience chef Sergi Arola presents at LAB.

The tattooed, motorcycle-riding, rock-guitar-playing Arola brings his spirit of adventurousness to his cooking and plates each dish with flair. Diners choose how many tapas, main courses and desserts they want, and the chef figures out the rest — what to serve and how — on this “gastronomic journey.”

OPUS; Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna

Executive sous chef Werner Pichlmaier
Executive sous chef Werner Pichlmaier continues to evolve the OPUS menu. (Photo: Marriott International)

OPUS is the place for diners seeking to experience Vienna’s history, cuisine and contemporary atmosphere all in one award-winning restaurant.

The pleasing geometries of 1930s design decorate the wood-paneled dining room, and executive sous chef Werner Pichlmaier draws from Austria’s culinary heritage in creating dishes that present old-world flavors with a light, modern touch. While OPUS is known for its savory meats, like partridge and Wagyu beef, vegetarians also rave about the dedicated plant-forward prix fixe menu.

Midori; Penha Longa Resort, Portugal

Chef Pedro Almeida began his culinary career studying traditional Japanese cuisine. With Midori, Almeida has pivoted, allowing Portuguese influences to animate his Japanese fare. The approach has worked so well that many consider Midori to be Portugal’s premier Japanese restaurant.

In fact, it earned its first Michelin star only two years after its 2017 opening. The intimate, six-table restaurant features a stunning view of the Sintra Mountains and invites patrons to choose a menu featuring either seven or nine “moments,” Almeida’s word for the surprise and delight of each dish.