Michelin Accidentally Leaks Its List of 2020 DC Bib Gourmand Awards Early

Ten new restaurants were added to the DC list.

Michelin’s official announcement for DC’s 2020 Bib Gourmand awards is slated for Tuesday, September 24, but the list of moderately-priced restaurants went online early. A representative from Michelin says the highly anticipated lineup was published early “as a result of a technical error on the Michelin Guide website.” The company briefly took the list offline after this article and then republished it. 

Ten new restaurants were added to last year’s lineup, bringing the total number of Bib Gourmands to 44. What are Bib Gourmands? Michelin classifies them as “restaurants offering exceptional food at moderate prices.” For Michelin that’s $40 for two courses—or small plates, given the abundance of tapas-style spots on the list—plus a glass of wine or dessert (tax and tip not included). The number of additions is much fewer than in 2019, when the tire company packed an additional 19 eateries on the list. 

New Bib Gourmands include long-running DC spots like Zenebech in Adams Morgan and Taqueria Habanero in Columbia Heights alongside a larger contingent of fresher openings. The latter category spans the globe from French natural-wine bar/bistro Primose to Stellina Pizzeria to chef Peter Prime’s H Street Caribbean restaurant, Cane. There are also two new Laotian restaurants on the list: Laos in Town, which recently debuted in NoMa, and Hanumanh, a Lao tiki bar from the owners of Thip Khao (which is currently closed and running a 14th Street pop-up). Also in the mix: chef Tim Ma’s personal venture in the Eaton hotel, American Son, and trendy Dupont cocktail/Szechuan bar Astoria. See the full list below. 

In addition to the newcomers, five restaurants were removed from the list: Spark and Kyirisan (both closed), Doi Moi, Maydan, and Bad Saint. Could this mean stars for latter?

This isn’t the first time Michelin has scooped itself. When the guide first came to DC, copies of the physical “little red book” were sent to Amazon buyers before the official announcement.

Look for the DC list of 2020 Michelin star restaurants to be announced next week on Tuesday, October 1. Unless, of course, Christmas comes early again.

2020 Michelin Bib Gourmands

American Son (NEW)
Astoria DC (NEW)
Cane (NEW)
China Chilcano
Fancy Radish
Federalist Pig (NEW)
Hanumanh (NEW)
Ivy City Smokehouse
Joselito’s Casa de Comidas
Laos in Town (NEW)
Napoli Pasta Bar
Ottoman Taverna
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Primrose (NEW)
The Red Hen
Spoken English
Stellina Pizzeria (NEW)
Taqueria Habanero (NEW)
Thip Khao
Tiger Fork
Timber Pizza Co.
Toki Underground
Unconventional Diner
Zenebech (NEW)

*This story has been updated with new information from Michelin

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.