In 2017, a humble brasserie in Bourges, France, received its first Michelin star. The restaurant’s clientele of construction workers and locals struggled to get their regular seats as the Bouche à Oreille was overrun with demand for its (deeply satisfying) $15 homemade beef bourguignon.
Sadly, it turned out to be a mistake. The real winner of the star was the Boutervilliers Bouche à Oreille near Paris, and Michelin eventually corrected the mistake on their website. Asked whether she was disappointed to lose her Michelin star, chef Penelope Salmon replied, “no, not at all. I cook with my heart.”
The Michelin guide awards restaurants stars for fine dining. But that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune to eat fine food. Top Dollar has identified the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in every country (based on a 3-course-meal) and the cheapest 100 overall. Here’s where to eat out if you don’t fancy bourguignon tonight.
● The cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant is Hostellerie la Montagne in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France, where the set menu is €20 (US$24.52).
● The cheapest American eatery with a Michelin star is State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, with a 3-course-meal for $45.
● The cheapest three-star restaurant is Le Palais in Taiwan, with a set meal for NT $3,800 (US$138.63)
● America’s cheapest three-star meal is at Le Bernardin in NYC, where the Prix Fixe is $175.
We found restaurants with Michelin stars in 34 countries. Five of these countries don’t have a Michelin-starred meal for less than $100. For example, Norway’s Statholdergaarden is a 17th-century home that became an eatery in 1914. The restaurant serves classic Scandinavian cuisine at a rate of 1,275kr ($151) for the set menu.
Hostellerie la Montagne in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises is the world’s cheapest Michelin eatery. The French restaurant offers a seasonal menu for €20 ($25). Outside of Europe, the most affordable meal is at the Three Coins in Taipei, Taiwan. “The menu is classic Cantonese, with occasional Taiwanese touches, such as the simple but tasty steamed abalone with dried and fresh tomatoes,” writes the Michelin Guide’s reviewer. The set menu costs NT$1,000 (US$36)
Where Shall We Eat Tonight?
Here’s our guide to the 100 cheapest restaurants with a Michelin star. Scroll through or use the search field to find your country of choice.
Only three restaurants serve meals on the right side of 30 bucks. In addition to Hostellerie la Montagne, Austria’s Edvard in Vienna offers wiener schnitzel or sea bass at the heart of a 3-course “Business Lunch” for €22 ($27). Borkonyha (“Wine Kitchen”) in Budapest, Hungary, has an award-winning wine list, and you can take the cheapest starter, main course (ordás pasta, pumpkin, parmesan), and dessert for 8250 Forints ($28).
The best bargain in the States is State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, where dishes are passed between guests dim-sum style. “You may not understand all of what you ordered at first,” says the Guide, “but prices are reasonable so pile on a few extras and try everything that comes your way. No-one leaves hungry.” The cheapest snack, appetizer, entrée, and dessert even out at 45 bucks.
Invisible Chips Cost Extra at UK Pub
The UK may not be known for cuisine, but Marlow – on the edge of the Chilterns – offers a Michelin-starred pub meal that’s among the most affordable in the world. The cheapest main course with side and dessert at The Coach comes to £26.50 ($36), although you may also like to add a plate of “invisible chips” (fries). This is actually a £7.50 “charitable donation towards Hospitality Action to help support the hospitality trade” during the pandemic.
A Brazilian restaurant – Picchi in São Paulo – is among the 10 cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. “Amid a classic-cum-contemporary ambience, chef Pier Paolo Picchi rekindles memories of his childhood through Italian dishes,” says the Guide. “The Brazilian ingredients make an interesting contribution.” A bruschetta starter followed by rabbit agnolotti and fish with puree and orange comes to R$202 (US$37).
Taiwan, Italy, and NYC Offer World’s Cheapest 3-Star Meals
Hungry for something extra special – but, uh, the cheap end of extra special? The 10 cheapest 3-star restaurants in the world run from $139 to $193 for a full meal.
“When the definitive history of NYC’s dining scene is written, Le Bernardin will have a chapter all to itself,” says the Guide of the third-cheapest 3-star restaurant on Earth. Le Bernadin’s $175 fixed-price seafood menu is backed up with a vegetarian tasting menu like no other: Michelin recommends the Himalayan morel, spring pea, and fava bean casserole and the warm artichoke panaché with vegetable risotto and Périgord black truffle vinaigrette.
The set menu at Taiwan’s Le Palais costs NT$3,800 (US$138) and offers exotic dishes like Steamed Marble Goby with Chinese Prickly Ash and Abalone and Conpoy Soup. “The lavishly furnished dining room feels modern and chic,” writes the Guide, “but with nice traditional touches such as ceramic art, calligraphy and paintings.”
You might need to dine on beans at home to afford even the cheapest three-star meal, but the cheapest one-star Michelin restaurants are within the grasp of many. Will you mark the return to public dining in style?
METHODOLOGY & SOURCES
We gathered all of the one-, two-, and three-star restaurants featured on the Michelin website. Then we manually checked the online menu of every restaurant (over 500 in total) to discover what their cheapest options were. Restaurants that had a “non-traditional” menu, such as Tapas, were removed to avoid an unfair comparison.