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At Long Last, the Michelin Guide Announces Bib Gourmands for California in 2021

Twenty of 45 bibs are specifically local to the San Francisco Bay Area 

A table of plates from Routier. Albert Law

It’s been a long hiatus from any updates to the Michelin dining guide. The Michelin stars for fine dining and more informal and affordable Bib Gourmands were last awarded in 2019 when the Bay Area received an impressive 62 stars and 72 bib gourmands. Michelin took a break in 2020 given the pandemic, so it’s now been a solid two years since the guide has been updated — though there have been a few teasers, when Michelin gave special acknowledgment to Horn Barbecue in Oakland and Ettan in Palo Alto, among others, in advance of the official awards.

But now, the stars and bibs are back. Today, September 22, the California guide has been updated with a fresh round of Bib Gourmands. There are 45 new Bib Gourmands just announced across the state of California, and 20 local to the Bay Area, including Sacramento. Remember, the Bib Gourmands are defined as “restaurants [that] offer a full menu of a starter, main course and dessert, making it possible to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for around $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).”

Keep in mind, 20 isn’t the final total — these are only the new bibs for this year, and Michelin will be following up with the full guide next week, including all those restaurants that retained their bibs from two years ago. But congratulations to the newcomers, and Bay Area locals will fist pump a few hometown favorites, including those thin-skinned and explosive soup dumplings from Dumpling House, chile verde tacos and tostadas from Tacos Oscar, saucy Korean fried chicken wings from Umma, and you knew this one was coming — the smoked out brisket and ribs of legendary Horn Barbecue. Check out the list of newcomers below, and click through to the Michelin site if you want the guide’s explanations.

  1. ASA South (Los Gatos)
  2. Dumpling Home (San Francisco)
  3. FOB Kitchen (Oakland)
  4. FolkTable (Sonoma)
  5. Horn Barbecue (Oakland)
  6. iTalico (Palo Alto)
  7. Khom Loi (Sebastopol)
  8. Los Carnalitos (Redwood City)
  9. New Dumpling (El Cerrito)
  10. Nixtaco (Sacramento)
  11. Range Life (Livermore)
  12. Routier (San Francisco)
  13. Spinning Bones (Alameda)
  14. Taquería El Paisa (Oakland)
  15. Tacos Oscar (Oakland)
  16. Tony’s Seafood (Marshall)
  17. Top Hatters Kitchen (San Leandro)
  18. (San Francisco)
  19. Valley (Sonoma)
  20. Yue Huang (Sacramento)

Still to come: Next week, on September 28, there will be a fresh round of stars. So stay tuned.