Michelin star restaurants are among the best in the world. These restaurants offer dishes that are considered the cream of their particular cuisine. Michelin gives different ratings to different restaurants, from one to three stars. It’s not easy to earn a star and restaurants are accessed annually in order to see if they’ve maintained their standards.
These stars are often given by fellow chefs and food critics. Restaurants are rated based on their ambience, service and food quality. Usually, dining at a Michelin star costs upwards of $300 (USD) per person. However, you can experience Michelin star dining for less than $50 in many places in the world. Here are some of them:
1. Borkonyha Winekitchen, Budapest, Hungary ($50)
You can have a full course meal with wine here for about $50 per person. Their specialty is designing Hungarian meals that are updated in modern in nature. Each meal is about 4 courses with in-house bread as a side.
Their dishes include things like veal with zucchini and beans, squab with goat cheese, grilled duck liver with creamed broccoli and broccoli pieces, compote and pistachio. For dessert, you can look forward to kefir, raspberry and dill as well as Guinness caramel pears.
2. Barrafina Tapas Bar, London ($45)
Barrafina is a walk-in bar that doesn’t take reservations. Their menu is rich with tapas or light bites that meant to go with a certain type of wine. All of Barrafina’s dishes cost between $7 to $15 so you can definitely order more than one and pair it with a wine.
Tapas include a variety of things including Cuttlefish Empanadas, A Kokotxas Confit with Green Rice and Pork Belly with Fennel, Orange and Dill. Many of their dishes incorporate fresh fish and seafood. The entire setup is pretty relaxing and casual, as opposed to many other Michelin establishments which are rather stiff and formal.
3. Fukamachi, Tokyo ( $37)
This small restaurant in Ginza only has about 10 chairs, and there are only two chefs working behind the counter. Fukamachi specializes in Tempura, or deep fried foods. There are seafood like prawns and scallops, as well as vegetables like lotus root, long beans and sweet potatoes.
In fact, you’ll be able to watch your food being cooked fresh and right in front of your eyes. When your food has been cooked, you’ll be able to pick it off the metal cooling rack and pop it directly into your mouth.
4. Blue Hill, New York City ( $35)
For an average of $25-$49, you can get a pretty filling meal at Blue Hill restaurant. It’s located in an underground shop at Greenwich village. This cozy little place was once a speakeasy, but today it serves fresh food straight from the farm to your table. Indeed, Blue Hill is known for their ingredients that they source directly from farms on a daily basis.
Their menu changes on a seasonal basis, but you can expect fish, seafood, fowl, lamb, beef and venison on your table. These are always paired with some spectacular wine selections.
5. Tatau Tapas Bistro, Huesca Spain ($30)
Tatau actually means ‘tattoo’ and the decoration here looks almost like a tattoo parlor. Along with very bold interiors, this Tapas bar serves up bold creations too. Their tapas are crafted from very varied ingredients with combinations that are pretty rare and unique.
Come here for some excellent Paella, made with clams as well as red Tataki Tuna, Pate of Duck, seasonal mushrooms and so many more. White and red wine is also served so take your pick.
6. Candlenut, Singapore ($44)
There are surprisingly many Michelin restaurants in Singapore that are very affordable. Your bill here can be as low as $18 per person depending on what you order. Candlenut serves Peranakan food, which is a regional favorite. The Peranakans, also known as the Straits Chinese, are a group descended from Chinese migrants which came to Southeast Asia several hundred years ago.
As time passed, they adopted many local customs and cultures, and this can be seen in their food. Candlenut’s dishes include seafood, meat and vegetables cooked in the Peranakan style, with plenty of spices (but not the heat) expertly blended together to produce a rich, flavorful gravy that you savor with rice.
7. Tim Ho Wan, Northpoint Hong Kong ( $10)
Tim Ho Wan specialized in Dim Sum, which are small dishes of Chinese dumplings, pastries and other snacks. Usually, diners come in groups and order these small appetizers to be enjoyed with tea. Tim Ho Wan ensures the best quality Dim Sum dishes that capitalize on the natural flavors of the ingredients, rather than depending on seasoning.
Among their must tries include shrimp in fried beancurd skin, trio steamed siu mai, fried radish cake and many more. Don’t forget to get yourself a pot of tea to go with your food too.
8. Canton 8, Shanghai, China ($20)
Canton 8 is the most affordable two Michelin star restaurant in the world. Here, you’ll be served classic Cantonese cuisine like barbecued pork belly, deep fried vegetable spring rolls, sweet and sour pork, beef brisket, claypot chicken and so much more.
Canton 8 embodies classic Cantonese home cooking, so you’ll be able to feel right at home here, even though the restaurant is elegantly decorated. The taste is one that’s comforting and soothing, with comfort food all around.
9. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken, Singapore ( $1.40)
Liao Fan is the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant, and it’s actually not even a restaurant. In fact, it’s a stall in one of Singapore’s busiest food courts. Mr. Chan Hong Meng who runs the stall decided to expand and in 2016, he got his own brick and mortar shop.
Mr. Chan’s dishes are simple. Braised chicken is served either with savory rice or springy noodles. Customers can have it for a very affordable price of SGD 2 ( USD 1.40). Apart from just the main dishes, this new brick and mortar store now offers additional dishes like Wonton Soup and Thai-style Fried Tofu.
It’s time to go on a food tour and taste all these exquisitely crafted meals. The best part is, you won’t have to dig too deep into your pockets. If you’re just not a dine-in type of person and enjoy street food instead, check out our list of best places to go for street food.