Undiscovered Scotland's Eating & Drinking listings refer to two grading schemes, those produced by Michelin and by the AA.
The Michelin Guides grade restaurants as 1, 2 or 3 Star, and the criteria are VERY selective. The 2015 Michelin Guide to GB and Ireland lists just one restaurant in Scotland with 2 Michelin Stars and fifteen more with 1 Michelin Star.
The full criteria for the award of AA Rosettes to restaurants can be found on their site here. In summary, however:
- 1 Rosette "These restaurants achieve standards that stand out in their local area."
- 2 Rosettes "Excellent restaurants that aim for and achieve higher standards and better consistency."
- 3 Rosettes "Outstanding restaurants that achieve standards that demand recognition well beyond their local area"
- 4 Rosettes "Among the top restaurants in the UK, where the cooking demands national recognition."
- 5 Rosettes "The pinnacle, where cooking compares with the best in the world."
Fewer than 300 Scottish restaurants have been awarded AA Rosettes. Of these, just a handful have been awarded 4 AA Rosettes; and fewer than 30 more have been awarded 3 AA Rosettes.