34 Michelin Star Restaurants Where You Can Eat For Cheap

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gourmet food scallops with asparagus and lardo bacon
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For over a century, chefs have hoped their restaurants would be awarded Michelin stars. Only the very top tier of restaurants around the world get them, however, so earning a star is a huge accomplishment. Restaurants in only four cities in the U.S. are rated by Michelin, making them rarer still -- with prices to match. But there are ways to have a cheap Michelin-starred meal, especially if you visit one of these 34 starred restaurants in the cities where they're available -- New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or Washington D.C.

spicy rotisserie chicken and banana blossom salad at Uncle Boons in New York
Photo credit: Courtesy of houseofhaos.com

New York
Uncle Boons is a casual Thai restaurant that offers small plates and grilled items on the cheap. Grab a few friends and order a bunch of things to try, like spicy rotisserie chicken and banana blossom salad, or grilled Issan pork and rice sausage, both for under $15.

ceviche at Topolobampo in Chicago
Photo credit: Darian J./yelp.com

Chicago
The tasting menu dinner might be pricy at chef Rick Bayless' flagship Topolobampo, but lunch is another story. For $25, you can get a 3-course prix fixe lunch with options like ceviche and carne asada. Even a la carte entrees are pretty cheap, like the $18 chicken tinga tostadas.

pad kee mao at Kin Khao in San Francisco
Photo credit: Nadeem A./yelp.com

San Francisco
Lunch can be had at the Thai restaurant Kin Khao for under $20. Favorites include chicken-fat rice with poached chicken and a side of chicken broth soup.

sushi at Kanoyama in New York
Photo credit: Monique C./yelp.com

New York
Sushi spots can be great for diners on a budget. At Kanoyama, order as much sushi as fits into your budget. Pieces of sushi start at $3. A side of edamame or steamed broccoli with garlic sauce will add only $5 to your bill.

tapas at La Vara in New York
Photo credit: Seth N./yelp.com

New York
The menu prices at La Vara, a Spanish restaurant with Jewish and Moorish influences, are just plain inexpensive. Choose from all types of tapas, like crispy eggplant with honey and cheese, for around $9. Even if you want to splurge a bit, a Valencia-style seafood paella will only set you back $21.

curried shrimp naan at Compton Place in San Francisco
Photo credit: Lisa I./yelp.com

San Francisco
Though pricey,  Campton Place is the only restaurant on this list that's been awarded two Michelin stars. Compared to the $155 dinner tasting menu, the bistro and bar menu is a steal. Try the Campton Cobb for $19 or classic French onion soup for $12.

pappardelle carbonara at Fiola in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Pegah Y./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
For just $20, you can get Fiola's "Presto!" lunch every weekday. You get your choice of an entree, like grilled branzino, along with a non-alcoholic beverage or a small cocktail.

duck pastrami hash and eggs at Meadowsweet in New York
Photo credit: Lori L./yelp.com

New York
Brunch is a great way to try a Michelin-starred restaurant without the hefty price tag. At Meadowsweet, the menu changes all the time, but expect all the starters. from roasted oysters to Spanish octopus, to come in under $20.

warm shrimp salad at Blackbird in Chicago
Photo credit: James T./yelp.com

Chicago
With a sterling reputation since it opened in 1997, Blackbird is still going strong. Though the renowned tasting menu is out of the budget, the prix fixe lunch menu is not. For $25, you get your choice of three courses, with items like warm shrimp salad and hanger steak.

pickled greens and eggs at Roister in Chicago
Photo credit: Wing Y./yelp.com

Chicago
A sister restaurant to the famous Alinea restaurant, Roister offers a truly affordable brunch menu. Two sandwiches, a fried bologna and fried chicken, are $13, or grab something a little more brunchy like biscuits and gravy with pickled greens and eggs for $16.

spicy pork dumplings at Cafe China in New York
Photo credit: Angela L./yelp.com

New York
Make a meal out of dim sum and cold dishes at Cafe China. Four steamed soup buns are only $8, or grab eight spicy pork dumplings in chili oil for a little more than a buck apiece. Some entrees, like kung pao chicken and ma po tofu are priced $15 or under for a more substantial meal.

lamb tartare at The Progress in San Francisco
Photo credit: Young Y./yelp.com

San Francisco
The bar menu at The Progress is quite substantial. There's fried cauliflower for $18, and a number of other plates all under $20, like pig fries for $12.

mussels with pernod and garlic toast at Spruce in San Francisco
Photo credit: Elena N./yelp.com

San Francisco
You might not think that you can find an affordable Michelin-starred lunch in one of San Francisco's most expensive districts, but you can at Spruce. Mussels with Pernod and garlic toast are $24, or try a baby kale Caesar salad for only $14.

grilled avocado at Rose's Luxury in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Han C./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
Rose's Luxury has a small menu that changes daily, but almost everything on it is under $16. has a small menu, but almost everything on it is under $16. Small plates have included pork sausage with habanero and lychee and bucatini al pomodoro with basil and red onion.

bento box at Sushi Taro in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Hannah H./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
Dinner at Sushi Taro is served kaisekistyle -- there's no menu and the chef brings you what's fresh that day, meaning it can get super expensive. At lunch, however, you can get a reasonably priced bento box for $15. It includes tempura, sashimi, a choice of entree, miso soup, rice, and pickles.

homemade chorizo in Casa Enrique in New York
Photo credit: Fran H./yelp.com

New York
Who doesn't love a good taco? It helps when they're pretty inexpensive, and that goes for Michelin-starred tacos as well. At Casa Enrique, grab a pair for around $10. Choose from fillings like lengua (cow tongue) and homemade chorizo.

patty melt at Nix in New York
Photo credit: Nix/yelp.com

New York
A vegan- and vegetarian-friendly restaurant, Nix has a lunch menu that's affordable. Share an order of tandoor bread ($6) with three dips ($7 each) with the table, then grab roasted Brussels sprouts for $12.

Longman and Eagle in Chicago
Photo credit: Longman & Eagle/yelp.com

Chicago
The menu changes daily at Longman and Eagle, a nose-to-tail restaurant. But the menu of mostly small plates rarely goes above $25, and those are usually for large, complex dishes. Brunch is even cheaper, with most options $20 or less.

pork collar schnitzel sandwich at Band of Bohemia in Chicago
Photo credit: Darian J./yelp.com

Chicago
Brunch at Band of Bohemia includes some familiar favorites, uniquely reinterpreted.  The Tiny Benny (pancetta, English muffin, and hollandaise) is a steal at $8, while shrimp and blue corn grits with red eye gravy, Swiss chard, and lardons is $16.

octopus with fennel at Casa Mono in New York
Photo credit: Tamara P./yelp.com

New York
Casa Mono, a Spanish restaurant, has a number of cheap seafood dishes. Salted cod fish (bacalao) croquettes go for $10, and fried baby squid is $18. For the meat eaters, try the $18 lamb loin with red onion.

mackerel at Aldea in New York
Photo credit: Gloria Z./yelp.com

New York
Known for its chef's tasting menu with a hefty $145 price tag, Aldea has some less expensive items, too. The bacalhau a bras (farm egg and salt cod custard) is $17, sea urchin toast is $18, and cauliflower soup with black truffle is $21.

lamb chop with yellow pepper harissa at La Sirena in New York
Photo credit: Marisa A./yelp.com

New York
Spanish spot La Sirena has a pricey regular dinner menu, but they've also got a long list of more affordable tapas you can enjoy in the bar. You can order fried calamari for $14, or roasted winter vegetable salad for $10.

coconut macaroon waffles at Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Tiffany K./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
Michelin-starred restaurants in hotels have one big advantage for frugal customers: they serve breakfast. Blue Duck Tavern serves up a breakfast with unique items like gingerbread waffles for $19 and a BDT breakfast sandwich for $19.

torteletti alla norma at Tail Up Goat in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Tae H./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
Carbohydrate lovers will enjoy the relatively cheap dinner menu full of pasta and bread at Tail Up Goat. Two different kinds of bread, stuffed with various fillings are $16 or less. 

chipotle chicken tikka at Junoon in New York
Photo credit: Lori L./yelp.com

New York
Head to Junoon for a Michelin-starred Indian lunch. For $25, you get your choice of two courses, choosing from apps, entrees and even desserts. And if you're thinking that must only be vegetarian dishes, you're wrong. Salmon, chicken, and shrimp options are all included.

beef and bacon cheeseburger at The Breslin in New York
Photo credit: Valery C./yelp.com

New York
Night owls can take advantage of a late night menu at The Breslin. Starting at 11 p.m. on weekdays or midnight on weekends, you can order from an abbreviated menu with cheap prices. The most expensive thing on the menu is a beef and bacon cheeseburger for $23.

house smoked trout platter at Delaware and Hudson in New York
Photo credit: Brittany L./yelp.com

New York
The British-influenced gastropub Delaware and Hudson has a tavern menu full of inexpensive snacks, small plates and sandwiches. Try a house smoked trout platter for $16 with eggs, pickled beets, radishes, and buckwheat pancakes.

dish at Naha in Chicago
Photo credit: Kim L./yelp.com

Chicago
Mediterranean cuisine is the specialty at Naha. Try the business lunch for $25, which gives you a choice of starter, main (including steak frites, whole roasted chicken, or filet of pike), and dessert.

skewers at Torishin in New York
Photo credit: Elaine H./yelp.com

New York
Yakitori is a Japanese dish of skewered chicken, but it's generally used to describe a style of eating where you order lots of little skewers of various items, all grilled over open flames. At Torishin, you can order four or five skewers of various meats and vegetables for under $25 total. Just be sure to hit their $20 per person minimum.

5 min egg at Masseria in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Caren L./yelp.com

Washington, D.C.
Dinner at Masseria is a tasting menu affair for at least a cool hundred bucks, but like many of these spots, you can take advantage of the bar menu. The prices on the Italian-inspired bar menu here are downright cheap, like arancini rice fritters for $2 a piece, or calamari with cherry peppers and for only $9.

chicken sandwich at NoMad in New York
Photo credit: Eric J./yelp.com

New York
Located in The NoMad Hotel, the NoMad Bar has a special menu for those who dine in the bar. The chicken sandwich for $19 sounds especially decadent with foie gras, crispy skin, and black truffle mayo.

hanger steak sandwich sandwich at Dusek's in Chicago
Photo credit: Eda X./yelp.com

Chicago
Head to Dusek's in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood for lunch. Lots of items from the dinner menu are on the lunch menu for about the same price. Grab a Juicy Lucy burger for $15.

steelhead trout with squid ink at Sepia in Chicago
Photo credit: Kimberly O./yelp.com

Chicago
The lunch menu at Sepia contains some real deals. With a few exceptions, entrees top out at $20, including poached cod and beer-braised beef shoulder. If you're still hungry, head to the bar for happy hour on weekdays for $7 small bites.

sesame and nori coated avocado at Commonwealth in San Francisco
Photo credit: Elaine N./yelp.com

San Francisco
The most expensive things on Commonwealth's dinner menu are $22. So while your budget may only allow you to get one course, at least you know it's going to be Michelin star-worthy. The menu changes often, but expect entrees like grilled swordfish with plums and turnips, and pork belly with blood pudding and green strawberries.

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