Eight Belgian restaurants have been recognized with a one-star rating by the Michelin Guide, the latest in the guide's leadup to 2011.

Eight Belgian restaurants have earned their first Michelin star rating, while two others earned their second star, Michelin announced on November 22.

The new one star restaurants include Alexandre and Kamo in Brussels; and Het Begaar and Bij Lam & Yin in Antwerp.

The newly minted two-star venues are Nuance in Duffel and Aan Tafel bij Luc Bellings in Hasselt.

Under the Michelin ranking system, one star signals a very good restaurant in its category, while two designates excellent and "worth a detour" and three means the venue is among the very best and "worth a special journey." 

Michelin rating roundup for November:

Last week, in neighboring Switzerland, the Michelin Guide awarded a third star to Schauenstein in the town of Fuerstenau in the canton of Graubuenden. It was the first restaurant to receive a three-star rating in the German-speaking region of the country. Schauenstein's 7-course tasting menu will set a diner back about 220 Swiss Francs (€162.50).

The Michelin Guide Switzerland 2011 was released on Nov. 18.

Michelin's first Chicago restaurant guide was released last Tuesday, in which 18 Chicago eateries were honored with one-star ratings.

Two restaurants were handed two-star ratings and an additional two were awarded a three-star rating: L20's 10-course luxury tasting menu costs $245 per head and features foie gras ravioli and wagyu beef. Alinea's tasting 21-course menu costs $195.

The Michelin Guide Germany went on sale on Nov. 12, in which five restaurants achieved a two-star ranking: Sterneck, located near Hamburg, La Belle Epoque in Lubeck-Travemunde, Fahrhaus in Munkmarsche, Villa Rothschild in Konigstein, and Park Restaurant in Baden-Baden.

There are now nine three-star rated restaurants in Germany, making it the second-largest three-star category in Europe after France, and 205 one-star rated venues, with 26 winning their first star.

For those who are on a tighter budget this holiday season, check out the Michelin Guide's Facebook page, on which its "Bib Gourmand" selections for 2011 are listed for Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. These are venues that serve two courses and a glass of wine and dessert for $40 or less.

The Michelin Guide's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MichelinGuides?v=app_10531514314

The Zagat Survey has already released a number of its 2011 Guides, and announced on Nov. 19 that New Orleans is the most affordable and most "generous" city for dining in the United States. According to Zagat, the average cost of a meal in New Orleans costs $28.36, compared to New York ($41.76) and Chicago ($36.97).

Check out the Zagat Web site:  http://www.zagat.com/

The Relais and Chateaux luxury hotel and dining guide, dubbed "La Route du Bonheur" was also released this month, in which it honored 36 new properties spanning the continent. Discover route to happiness here:   http://www.relaischateaux.com/en/