4 Can’t-Miss Michelin-Honored Restaurants in Newport Beach

Considered one of the ultimate measures of success for a restaurant, the globally renowned Michelin Guide recognizes the most exquisite and delicious restaurants in the world. While Michelin is secretive about the process it uses to create its restaurant reviews, we do know that they evaluate restaurants’ reviews based on five criteria: quality of ingredients, mastery of flavor and cooking technique, personality of the chef as reflected in the cuisine, value for money, and consistency between visits. Carefully trained, famously anonymous Michelin inspectors visit restaurants around the world. The results of these visits are meticulous, comprehensive reviews evaluating restaurants’ cuisine, service, and atmosphere.
Each year, Michelin publishes a guide specific to California, recognizing restaurants throughout the state for culinary excellence. Here are Michelin’s top restaurants in Newport Beach to add to your restaurant bucket list.
7862 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, 92657
French, French Contemporary
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MICHELIN Guide’s Point of View:
Look for the off-center signature M to mark this spot. Here, Chefs/owners Florent & Amelia Marneau are back to delivering their signature French cuisine, with an eye on the contemporary palate of their Southern Californian clientele. This is a stunning, elegant, and sumptuous establishment that feels and tastes familiar yet original. The cooking follows suit from the glassed-in kitchen with soft globe lighting to the fire engine-red Berkel that’s ready to slice their superb charcuterie.
Fans of this kitchen may recognize some of its signature dishes, including Amelia’s chopped salad, featuring a touch of kale, julienned Little Gem, French feta, cucumber and celery. Luscious caviar with lacy crêpes, chives and sour cream is another menu standby.
7952 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, 92657
Japanese, Sushi
MICHELIN Guide’s Point of View:
After years of training under the renowned Nobu Matsuhisa, Chef/owner Takashi Abe brings a contemporary style and flair to every presentation that he sets before your eyes. This dovetails nicely with the bright dining room’s clean and sleek décor. His loyal following ensures that the place is typically packed.
The food turned out of this kitchen is always delicious and proudly untraditional, served with more pomp and ceremony than typical sushiyas. Start with a beautiful bluefin toro tartare with garlicky soy, topped with caviar and set over a bowl of crushed ice. Sushi and sashimi are consistently excellent. In addition to the omakase and sushi-only selection, find a full slate of well-known, imported fish available à la carte, as small plates and tempura.
7832 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, 92657
Mexican, American
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MICHELIN Guide’s Point of View:
Views of the sun setting through the arches, columns and Moorish lanterns conjure a magical scene that is probably enough to draw crowds, who might consider lingering here until the sun rises again. Should your eyes move away from the vista, you’ll find that the space is enormous and undeniably elegant. There may be no finer place for ceviche with a side of ocean breeze.
The comforting menu displays a dedication to sourcing seasonal ingredients from local farms. Each dish tastes as it should – prepared with care and precision. There is also a focus on familiar plates sprinkled with just the right bit of heat. Be sure to save room for their excellent relleno de piccadillo, crafted with pasilla chilies stuffed with beef and floating in a delicious tomato sauce.
3441 Via Lido, Newport Beach, 92663
Californian, American
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MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View:
With its elegant design and backdrop of the sparkling sea, this “fabled” spot doesn’t have to try that hard to win fans. And yet, it never rests solely on its good looks. The room is packed with an unmistakable hum of happy diners diving into delicious pub grub. The comprehensive menu has it all and you’ll want to order everything (go ahead). The Guinness brown bread is an absolute delight, especially paired with plump P.E.I. mussels bathed in a thyme butter so heady that you’ll want to slurp up every drop. Not far behind, the cracked pepper bucatini – studded with clams and pancetta – is a glorious tangle of goodness.
But don’t forget dessert since their options are well worth it. Imagine brioche bread pudding with blueberry compote and crème anglaise.

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