For the thrifty traveller, a Michelin-star restaurant may seem like a frivolous splurge. First created by the French tire company over 100 years ago, the Michelin stars were designed to award culinary excellence. For some time, these stars were mainly granted to high-end eateries. Today, they are awarded to restaurants of varying classes, even street food stalls. So, if you're feeling peckish and thrifty, sit tight. Here's the 25 cheapest Michelin Star restaurants in the world!


Singapore

Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle (Singapore)

Crispy skinned soy sauce chicken served with rice, oh-so-sweet barbecued pork, and juicy pork ribs are the highlights at this humble Singapore-based street stall. Chef Chan Hong Meng is the second street food stall in the world to receive a Michelin star, and that's not without good reason.

What: Hong Kong style street food
Cost: $1.50+ USD per plate
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Central Singapore is ideal, with proximity to city hall, Marina Bay, Clark Quay, or Orchard Road being some options. AirBNB and HotelsCombined are great for finding central accommodation.


Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles (Singapore)

Photo credit Daniel Ang

Another Singapore-based street food stall, Hill Street is another one of two street eats to receive a Michelin star. The primary dish here is bak chor mee, a springy noodle dish with minced meat, pork slices, pork liver, mushrooms, meat balls and small pieces of deep-fried lard.

What: Noodles (Bak chor mee being the signature dish)
Cost: $4.55 USD per noodle bowl
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Central Singapore is ideal, with proximity to city hall, Marina Bay, Clark Quay, or Orchard Road being some options. AirBNB and HotelsCombined are great for finding central digs.

Hong Kong

Tim Ho Wan (Hong Kong)

Famous for its finger-licking dim sum, Tim Ho Wan is a must-visit. Its most popular eats include glutinous rice dumpling (“lor mei gai”) filled with savoury chicken and shiitake mushrooms. Another popular choice is its warm, chewy dumplings (“siu mai”), stuffed with juicy shrimp and pork mince. Counteract the savoury with their sweet BBQ pork buns or famous egg tart.

What: Hong Kong style dim sum
Cost: $1.90+ USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Centrally located AirBNBs and hotels are nearly infinite in this megacity. Some of the key central neighbourhoods include the Central District, Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan/Yau Ma Tui, Wan Chai/Causeway Bay, and more. Check TripAdvisor for detailed local tips.

 


Kam’s Roast Goose (Hong Kong)

Savoury cooked meats await rumbling tummies at this Hong Kong based shop. Popular offerings include roast goose leg in noodle soup, tender suckling pig, crispy roast pork, and more. To avoid long line-ups, visit during the slower period between 2-5PM.

What: Roast meats
Cost: $9-$38 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Centrally located AirBNB and hotels are nearly infinite in this megacity. Some of the key central neighbourhoods include the Central District, Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan/Yau Ma Tui, Wan Chai/Causeway Bay, and more. Check TripAdvisor for detailed local tips.

Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop (Hong Kong)

Chewy noodle dishes and milky congee to soothe the soul lure the crowds here. Steamy dim sum, sweet soups, and springy wonton noodles are some of Ho Hung's other famed eats. This is one of the more tourist-friendly eats in Hong Kong since its relocation, just be prepared for long lines.

What: Congee and noodles
Cost: $12-$25 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Centrally located AirBNB and hotels are nearly infinite in this megacity. Some of the key central neighbourhoods include the Central District, Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan/Yau Ma Tui, Wan Chai/Causeway Bay, and more. Check TripAdvisor for detailed local tips.

China

Madam Goose (Xinzhuang – Shanghai)

This aptly decorated restaurant features all things bird-themed, right down to its swan-shaped pastries. Cantonese roast meats and dim sum are the specialty here. Three main dishes especially draw the crowds: signature crispy roast goose, soy sauce chicken, and barbecue pork (char siu). The buttered pineapple buns are perfect for ending on a sweet note.

Visiting China? Check out our all-encompassing China travel guide. We also have great tips on how to train travel there, plus how to obtain a Chinese visa in Hong Kong.

What: Cantonese roast meats
Cost: $14-$17 USD for lunch and dinner a la carte
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Shanghai is a megacity, stuffed with AirBNBs and hotels. We found ourselves a great AirBNB in the French Quarter, though other great areas include The Bund, Nanjing Road, Renmin Square, and more. Check TripAdvisor for local tips.

Lao Zheng Xing (Shanghai)

Fried river shrimp. Photo credit City Weekend.

Reputed to be the oldest restaurant in Shanghai (established in 1862!), Lao Zheng Xing even invented several classic Shanghainese dishes. Today it is still loved by locals, and has this year been granted a Michelin star. Cooking up seasonal river and seafood, some of the famed eats here include fried river shrimp, braised sea cucumber, and succulent crab.  The thick, smoky, ever-so-slightly cinnamon-y sauce that accompanies most dishes is divine. Reservations required.

Visiting China? Check out our all-encompassing China travel guide. We also have great tips on how to train travel there, plus how to obtain a Chinese visa in Hong Kong.

What: Shanghainese with Cantonese influences
Cost: $15-$30 USD for à la carte lunch, dinner $15-$47 USD à la carte
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Shanghai is stuffed with AirBNBs and hotels. We found ourselves a great AirBNB in the French Quarter, though other great areas include The Bund, Nanjing Road, Renmin Square, and more. Check TripAdvisor for local tips.

Japan

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles (Tokyo)

Photo credit Othree

The first ramen restaurant to earn itself a Michelin star, Tsuta is sure to please ramen worshipers the world over. The flavour-packed broth topped with truffle oil, egg, and springs onions is a must-try, or sample their hot or cold soba noodles. Unlike other Michelin-star facilities, Tsuta has a handy ticketing system which assigns you a time slot, so there's no need to wait around (see detailed queuing instructions here).

Visiting Japan? Check our top tips to visiting here cheaply, eating cheaply, plus our Japan Rail pass guide.

What: Ramen and soba noodles
Cost: $9.40-$14.10 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Anywhere located along Tokyo's train lines is ideal, with Shinjuku and Shibuya both being central. AirBNBs and hotel choices are abundant and well-located.

Shinjuku Kappo Nakajima (Tokyo)

Photo credit Daniel Ang

Seemingly unusual for a city that boasts exorbitant eats (though dining cheap here is possible), Kappo Nakajima is a thrifty gem. Sashimi, moist eggy Yanagawa Nabe, and sardines four ways are just some of the tasty eats to try. While lunch is affordable, dinner prices skyrocket. Be sure to arrive early or book a reservation.

Visiting Japan? Check our top tips to visiting here cheaply, eating cheaply, plus our Japan Rail pass guide.

What: Simple, fresh Japanese
Cost: Set lunch from $7.50 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Anywhere located along Tokyo's train lines is ideal, with Shinjuku and Shibuya both being central. AirBNBs and hotels are abundant and central. Nappo Nakajima is located in Shinjuku, so is easily checked out on a visit here.

Thailand

Saneh Jaan (Bangkok)

From ancient recipes that once wowed the royal family to more classical Thai dishes, Saneh Jaan is a modern-set eatery with an enticing menu. Some of the offerings include hot and spicy soup (kaeng ranjuan), grilled pork red curry, and crabmeat with a sweet and sour coconut sauce for dipping.

What: Authentic modern and ancient Thai
Cost: Starters from $10+ USD, mains from $12+ USD. $38-$70 USD set menus
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stayAirBNBs and hotels offer excellent options in popular neighbourhoods such as trendy Sukhumvit, the shopping central of Siam, or the riverside to list a few. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed tips.

Jay Fai (Bangkok)

Drunken noodles that will have you love drunk…. for noodles. Photo credit Tiny Urban Kitchen.

Loved by locals and travellers alike, Jay Fai is a go-to spot for creamy crab curries, crab omelettes, drunken prawn noodles, and dry congee. Jay Fai is the third street food stall in the world to earn a Michelin star, and is well worth queuing up for any day of the week.

What: Traditional Thai (seafood)
Cost: $12-$31 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: There are many AirBNBs and hotels in popular neighbourhoods such as trendy Sukhumvit, the shopping central of Siam, or the riverside to list a few. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed tips.

Chim by Siam Wisdom (Bangkok)

Course at Chim. Photo credit TimeOut.

A combination of traditional and modernized Thai, Chim offers a tasteful array of eats. Coconut lobster, hot and sour tom yum soup with fish, and crunchy spring rolls are some of the most beloved. The restaurant is newly updated, set in a gorgeous wood panelled restaurant with lush greenery from the roof. Reservations are required, and lunch set menus are significantly cheaper than dinner.

What: Modernized traditional Thai
Cost: $12 lunch sets, a la carte $15+ USD, dinner sets $63-$79 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: AirBNBs and hotels are abundant in popular neighbourhoods such as trendy Sukhumvit, the shopping central of Siam, or the riverside to list a few. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed tips.

South Korea

Balwoo Gongyang (Seoul)

Set menu at Balwoo. Photo credit Market Square.

Balwoo Gongyang is known for its fresh, flavoursome temple dishes. Its various set menus, including the “meditation course” offer distinct and refreshing tastes at reasonable costs. Some of the set menu items include deep-fried assorted mushroom with a sweet and spicy sauce, rich soybean paste stew, braised radish greens, and an assortment of temple kimchi.

What: Traditional Korean temple food
Cost: $28 USD for set lunch menu. Dinner set menus range from $42-$95 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: There are plentiful AirBNBs and hotel selections here. Hongdae, Itaewon, Myeongdong, Gangnam, and Jamsil are ideal neighbourhoods. Hop on TripAdvisor for local tips.

United Kingdom

Barrafina (London)

Flavour-exploding tapas is the specialty at the bright and cozy Barrafina restaurant in London. Sink your teeth into the prawn and piquillo pepper tortillas, grilled quail with aoili, or the chicken thigh with Romesco sauce. For the finale, try the pears in white wine or sugary Santiago tart.

What: Spanish tapas
Cost: $25-$60 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: London has a variety of enticing neighbourhoods with plentiful hotels and AirBNB options (the latter of which offers better value in this city). Some convenient areas to stay include Trafalgar Square, Picadilly, Kensington, or Bloombury are some ideas. Consult TripAdvisor for local advice.

The Hand and Flowers (Marlow, UK)

The first pub ever to earn two Michelin stars, this English eatery has affordable top-notch meals. The West End Farm pork belly with pickled rhubarb or venison loin with date puree doesn't disappoint. To pacify your sweet tooth, opt for the milk toffee tart with old English spice. If you're too full to walk home, the gastropub has adorable English cottages to sleep off your meal.

What: English pub food
Cost: Set lunch $34 USD for 2 Courses, $40.75 USD for 3 Courses
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: The Hand & Flowers cottages are an obvious choice, but any centrally-located AirBNB or hotel in Marlow would suit.

France

Le Pouce Pied (Cholet)

Photo credit Sophie Delafontaine

Authentic and affordable French food? It's possible here at this off-the-beaten path eatery in the French town of Cholet. Its $23 USD set-course lunch menus offer blissfully French eats like snail skewers, chorizo with sweet pepper sauce, and duck confit. Bon appetit!

What: French
Cost: $23+ USD lunch menu du jour, chef's menu $38 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Cholet has adorable AirBNB apartments or hotel options. It's less than an hour from Nantes, and would make a great stop on a French road trip. Need more French inspiration? Check out these other 5 great cities in France that aren't Paris.

Hungary

Borkonyha WineKitchen (Budapest)

Tender, tear-apart meats are a favourite at Borkonyha Winekitchen. Photo credit Andrew Nash.

Located in the centre of Budapest, the stylishly set Borkonyha Winekitchen has both Hungarian and French influences. The grilled duck liver with creamed broccoli, maize, and celery soup with popcorn shrimp, or rare blue-fin tuna with melon salad are just some of the crowd-pleasers. Be sure to sample several of the 200+ wines here, nearly a quarter of which can be ordered by the glass starting at just $4 USD.

Pssst: have an upcoming trip to Budapest? Check our list of the best activities to do on a visit here.

What: Modern dining with Hungarian flair
Cost: $26-$54 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Stay central in either Buda or Pest where many reasonable AirBNB and hotel choices exist. Suggested areas include District VII (Erzebetvaros), or anywhere between Pest and the inner Kor Ut (Ring Rd) (marked on maps as Erzsebet, Teresz, Joszef, St Istvan, and Ferenc kor ut). Consult TripAdvisor for local advice.

United States

Meadowsweet (New York)

A delightful selection of Mediterranean-influenced American eats can be found at Meadowsweet. Lunch mains will set you back just $14-$16 USD, with options like the cavatelli & pork sausage, or the sultry smoked St Louis BBQ ribs. Dinner eats include the chewy squid ink fettuccine, or succulent duck.

What: Mediterranean-influenced modern American
Cost: $14-$16 USD for lunch, $14-$19 starters, $24-$34 USD for dinner
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: New York is oozing with trendy AirBNBs and hotels. Hot areas to stay include SoHo, TriBeCa, Brooklyn, The Village, The Financial District, and more. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed ideas.

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Cafe China (New York)

Photo credit Alice Gao

Decorated in 1930s Shanghai out-fittings, this midtown restaurant seduces both the eye and the palate. Your wallet will be happy too, with 4 soup buns costing just $8 USD and 6 pork pot stickers setting you back $8. With Sichuan and Sichuan-influenced eats like ginger sauteed duck, spicy cumin lamb tossed in sesame seeds and cilantro, or the classic pork dumplings bathed in soy and chilli oil – it's hard to leave Cafe China disappointed (or hungry!).

What: Traditional Sichuan food
Cost: $8-$16 for starters and basic entrees
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: New York is oozing with trendy AirBNBs and hotels. Hot areas to stay include SoHo, TriBeCa, Brooklyn, The Village, The Financial District, and more. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed ideas.

Dusek's: Board & Beer (Chicago)

Photo credit Michigan Avenue.

For pub food with a unique flair and specialty beers to go with it, be sure not to miss Dusek's in Chicago. With selections liked curried pork sausage sandwiches, sweet potato ravioli, and chicken fried rabbit, your only challenge will be deciding. Be sure to try any of the melt-in-your-mouth desserts like the tiramisu cruller, or the chocolate pecan tart with cranberry sorbet.

What: Creative high-end pub food with specialty beers
Cost: $15 USD lunches, dinner $25+ USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: Downtown Chicago is best for finding accommodation via AirBNB and hotels. Potential places include Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, and Goldcoast.

NAHA (Chicago)

 

Photo credit NAHA.

NAHA is where it's at for cheap, lip-smacking eats. During its weekday happy hours (until 8PM), $8 USD earns options like the Armenian lamb pizza, warm feta turnovers, or homemade pita with dips. Lunch has affordable selections like chicken wings with chilli, lime and cilantro, or the wood-grilled Angus beef burger for <$20 USD.

What: New American with California and Middle Eastern accents
Cost: $8 USD during happy hour, lunches <$20 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stayAirBNB and hotel options abound – ideal locations include The Loop, The Magnificent Mile, River North, The Gold Coast, and Lincoln Park. Check TripAdvisor for local insights.

State Bird Provisions (San Francisco)

“Dim sum” style options at State Bird Provisions. Photo credit Medium.

In the words of its own chefs, State Bird Provisions has “slowly evolved into a restaurant without any programmed elements”. Indeed the food here is unique, varied, and eccentric. Served dim sum style, dishes are passed between diners and by staff who roll push-carts about. What's on offer? Pan-fried ravioli with stuffed hen, Vietnamese salad with fried pork belly and plum in a lime-fish sauce, or whole grain-fiscalini cheddar ‘cubano’ pancakes. Heads up: reservations are a challenge, and walk-ins require queuing as early as 4:30PM (for booking tips, check this guide).

What: Modern American served dim sumstyle
Cost: $5+ USD per plate
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: As with other big cities, San Fran is chalk full of interesting areas with AirBNBs (better value) and hotels. SoMa, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill, and North Beach are a few ideas. Check TripAdvisor for local tips.

Commonwealth (San Francisco)

Photo credit OpenTable.

Located in the Mission of San Fran, Commonwealth is an upscale spot offering modern bites with Asian influences. From the seaweed brioche to the seared scallop with a corn and white miso emuslion, prepare for pleasantly tickled taste buds. If you dare to opt out of dessert, you'll miss their tangy sudachi sorbet with sake soda or the pressed cantaloupe with honey and togorashi. Luckily, Commonwealth's prices aren't upscale, with the priciest menu item being $21 USD.

What: Modern Asian-influenced farm-to-table food
Cost: Starters from $16 USD, mains from $18 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: As with other big cities, San Fran is chalk full of interesting areas with AirBNBs (better value) and hotels. SoMa, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill, and North Beach are a few ideas. Check TripAdvisor for local tips.

Brazil

Esquina Mocotó (São Paulo)

Cured meat platter. Photo credit Mocoto.

Colourfully graffitied by a Brazilian artist, the eclectic Esquina Mocotó is as brilliant in flavour as it is decor. The carne de sol (sun-dried beef), bone marrow with bread and arugula, and rice and beans presented in a risotto-like form are just some of the diner faves. Guava fruit can be sampled in several ways, such as the red guava sorbet, white guava ice cream, or guava jelly.

What: Brazilian
Cost: $27-$41 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: There are many areas to choose from which are speckled with AirBNBs and hotels. Some options include the Paulista Avenue/Jardins area or Itaim. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed ideas.

Tuju (São Paulo)

Photo credit Cool Hunting.

For urban garden vibes complemented by mouth-watering eats, Tuju is the spot. With dishes that stimulate both sight and taste, popular items include the canneloni of duck and oysters, and the sea urchin with squash, almond oil, seaweed and key lime. The homemade brazil-nut bread and cheese broth is also a must-try.

What: Brazilian
Cost: $28-$41 USD
Address, Hours, and Reviews: Up-to-date information here
Where to stay: There are many areas to choose from which are speckled with AirBNBs and hotels. Some options include the Paulista Avenue/Jardins area or Itaim. Check TripAdvisor for more detailed ideas.


If you've made it to the end of this salivating post, congrats. Your only challenge now will be deciding which spot to head to first. Which restaurant makes the top of your list?

Michelin star restaurants <$25? Yep, there's plenty! Here's the world's CHEAPEST Michelin star restaurants! #cheapmichelinstar #michelinrestaurant #cheapcmichelinfood