The World’s Best Cities For Affordable Michelin Dining

by Anthony Losanno
Dining Room

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Not every Michelin-recommended restaurant requires you to take out a second mortgage to afford the meal. A recent study by John Lewis Finance identifies the most affordable places for budget friendly dining around the world. Over 16,000 restaurants were analyzed and these were the findings where diners can get a full meal for less than $36 on average.

Michelin Guide

The Michelin Guides have been published by the French tire company Michelin since 1900. Restaurants are awarded up to three Michelin Stars for overall excellence in five categories. These include: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine, harmony of flavors, and consistency between visits.

John Lewis Finance included Michelin-Starred restaurants as well as those that have received a Green Star for sustainable practices and those marked with the Bib Gourmand, which is given to restaurants that are an exceptional value for the money.

Michelin Europe

Europe’s Top Cities

Copenhagen and Paris topped the list as the best cities in Europe for budget-friendly Michelin dining. Each city has 14 affordable restaurants. In Copenhagen, Smørrebrød, Denmark’s famous open-faced sandwiches served on sourdough rye bread and topped with cold meats, fish, and/or cheese are highlighted as an inexpensive way to have a delicious meal. In Paris, both classic cooking and Nouvelle Cuisine establishments are recommended with impressive displays of technique and flavor on offer without breaking the bank.

Rounding out the top ten list for Europe, you’ll find:

  • Prague
  • Lyon
  • Naples
  • Vienna
  • Milan
  • Warsaw
  • Belgrade
  • Florence


The Most Budget-Friendly City Worldwide

Tokyo takes the win for the most budget-friendly city worldwide. It has 77 restaurants that Michelin has highlighted as excellent dining choices (and those good for your wallet). Three have even been awarded Michelin Stars. These include Sosakumenkobo Nakiryu, Konjiki Hototogisu, and Chukasoba Ginza Hachigou. All three specialize in ramen (a noodle dish served in a broth) and they are the only three ramen restaurants in the world to win a star. They’re popular with tourists and locals alike, so prepare to wait (and bring cash as all three do not accept credit cards).

The rest of the list worldwide, includes:

  • Seoul
  • Osaka
  • Bangkok
  • Kyoto
  • Taipei
  • Tainan
  • Guangzhou
  • George Town
  • Taichung

This is a great list and I’d recommend doing further research if you’re heading to any of these cities.

Anthony’s Take: I’ve been fortunate to eat at some of the most inexpensive and extremely pricey Michelin-Starred restaurants in the world. The level of technique, flavor, and overall experience will always be remembered and it’s worth splurging on occasion. But, it’s also great to find a bargain and this list will give you some guidance when travel planning.

(Image Credits: Michelin, John Lewis Finance.)

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Lingaraj L Mishra October 12, 2023 - 3:49 pm

It would been even better if you could suggest the name(s) of at least one Michelin rated restaurant.

Jesda Gulati November 28, 2023 - 5:14 pm



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