The Michelin Guide — yes, it comes from the same French company that makes the tires — is an international, independent travel authority that honors the best hotels and restaurants across 28 countries. Though the star-awarding guide has often been associated with upscale dining, Michelin doesn’t discriminate based on price. According to the organization, Michelin “highlights culinary dynamism […] as well as new trends and emerging young chefs.”
That last part is good news for serious foodies on a budget. From taquerias to pizzerias, click through to see some of the best places to grab a delicious bite to eat.
- Location: Berkeley, Calif.
- Price Range:$4 to $10
Berkeley’s Tacubaya, a family-friendly taqueria, offers unpretentious Mexican soul food in a colorful, sunny environment. Michelin particularly recommends the breakfast chilaquiles and “moist, well-seasoned beef enchiladas… doused in a smoky, tangy guajillo-tomatillo sauce.” Both dishes cost about $9. Just get there with time to spare — the Guide warns that lines often extend out the door.
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Mana Food Bar
- Location: Chicago
- Price Range: $7 to $18
At first glance, Mana Food Bar feels a bit more like what you’d expect from a Michelin-star restaurant — this hip, modern Wicker Park eatery is all about vegan and gluten-free food options, sake cocktails and fresh juices. Underneath the hipster veneer, though, you’ll find surprisingly low prices. A small, Michelin-recommended bibimbap — a Korean concoction of hot pepper miso and veggies with a fried egg, served over brown rice — costs just $10.
- Location: Washington, D.C.
- Price Range: $5.50 to $13.75
While Daikaya’s multiple levels include a noisy bar space, the restaurant’s crown jewel is the small, simply adorned authentic ramen joint on the ground floor. In its review of the restaurant, The Washington Post praised the light, “delicate” shio ramen, which Daikaya calls its most aromatic, nuanced dish. This big bowl goes for a budget-friendly price of $12.25.
- Location: New York City
- Price Range: $10 to $30
Michelin honors dozens of restaurants in New York’s diverse culinary landscape, but Lil Frankie’s might just be the most purely “New York” among them. This pizzeria from Frank Prisinzano feels just like your favorite neighborhood pie joint, thanks to vinyl tablecloths and affordable prices. You can’t go wrong with a Napoletana pizza — packed with vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced garlic, oregano, capers, olives and Sicilian salted anchovies — for just $16.95.
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HIX Oyster and Chop House
- Location: London
- Price Range: $12 to $25.50
England might not be known for its food. However, the key to this restaurant’s success is its reliance on seasonal and underused English ingredients to create what the Michelin Guide calls “satisfying and unfussy” fare. The dining room, just down the street from Smithfield, is chic and classic but equally unfussy (though it does accept reservations). Trust the name on the sign and go with a two-course oyster and chop for just under $20 to get your fill of the House’s signature sugar-pit bacon rib and oyster with pickled kohlrabi and sweet corn.
- Location: Annahilt, Ireland
- Price Range: $13 to $30
If Lil Frankie’s encapsulates New York, The Pheasant — with its Guinness-themed decor and Gothic architecture — perfectly represents the traditional Irish pub. Though the Pheasant dips into Thai cuisine with its red curry and American eats with a creative burger menu, stick to the eatery’s Irish roots by ordering the 5 Peppercorn Duck Breast served with peas, an asparagus and wild mushroom ragout and a port reduction for about $20.
- Location: La Chapelle-Taillefert, France
- Price Range: $12.50 to $30
With its combination of fresh, seasonal ingredients and classically inspired dishes like trout with mascarpone and Courtille farm beef steak, Influence is the quintessential French restaurant.
The best deal on the menu is undoubtedly the weekday lunch special, which nets you a starter, main course, cheese, dessert and wine for just over $15. Start with an organic tomato confit and then move on to low-temperature Mazeires pork and a cheese plate before wrapping up with a fruit terrine.
- Location: Glasgow, Scotland
- Price Range: $6 to $30
Forget haggis — this Scottish Michelin star-recipient has absolutely perfected authentic North Indian cuisine. The hip establishment specializes in bread and tandoor dishes, and the $10-per-person, two-course lunch menu is always a deal.
To tour The Dhabba on a budget, begin with Bharloan Dhingri (batter-fried mushrooms stuffed with paneer and pistachio). Choose the Bhuna Gosht (sautéed lamb with onions, tomatoes and peppers) over naan for your main dish, and digest it all with a traditional, cardamom-infused Indian rice pudding of Chawal ki Kheer.
- Location: Naples, Italy
- Price Range: $7 to $9.50
Da Michele might just be the world’s most authentic pizza. Dating back to 1870, Da Michele keeps it simple in every way. Diners take a number and eat in turn, and the only options on the menu are marinara and margherita pizzas — neither will cost you more than $9.50.
Michelin isn’t alone in its praise of Da Michele. In 2015, The Telegraph named it one of the best pizzerias on the planet. You definitely won’t find any crazy pizza markup here.
- Location: Athens, Greece
- Price Range: $5 to $9
At Mama Tierra — a Spanish name that means “Mother Earth” — chef Polash Alam combines Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin American flavors for an end result that’s truly original. The internationally inspired menu here is fully vegetarian and vegan, and even includes organic wine and a variety of herbal teas.
Mama Tierra’s vegan Moussaka plate with a bechamel sauce of coconut milk only costs about $9. Try it with a Power Smoothie of goji berries, pear, dates, banana, organic almond milk and agave syrup for $4.50 to really charge yourself up.
Pesti Diszno Bistro
- Location: Budapest, Hungary
- Price Range: $3.50 to $21
This modern bistro from chef Péter András Békési focuses on locally sourced pork dishes done right. Pair them with a selection of more than 30 Hungarian and international wines.
Michelin recommends the signature Mangalitsa pork, which comes as a meat stew with polenta, cottage cheese and pickles for $13 and a chop with caramelized carrots, beetroot and Romesco sauce for $16.
- Location: Seoul, South Korea
- Price Range: $8 to $195
Sure, you can get Korean barbecue in Los Angeles, but it’s impossible to beat the real thing from Seoul. This busy, modern establishment specializes in local beef cuts like chuck flap tail, tenderloin and short ribs freshly sizzled over charcoal. Arirang receives the Michelin Bib Gourmand award for “simple yet skillful cooking” at a reasonable price. Though a feast of assorted beef can cost close to $200, you can enjoy a Michelin-recommended bibimbap for around $10.
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Liao Fan Hawker Chan
- Location: Smith Street, Singapore
- Price Range: $3 to $10
Another Bib Gourmand recipient, Liao Fan Hawker Chan might have transitioned from a stall in Singapore’s Chinatown to an official 80-seat restaurant, but its Michelin-star food is still ridiculously affordable. If you don’t mind a long line and a casual environment, you can indulge in the Michelin-recommended soy sauce chicken rice dish — chef Chan Hon Meng’s most iconic creation — for about $2. In fact, CNN calls the dish the cheapest Michelin-star meal in the world.
Da Hu Chun
- Location: Shanghai, China
- Price Range: $1 to $3
Since 1932, the Bib Gourmand winners at Da Hu Chun in the Huangpu District of Shanghai have kept things simple by specializing in one main item: pan-fired pork buns. Michelin describes these traditionally Chinese culinary creations as “perfection, with a crisp base and a juicy filling.”
Though the buns — served at a few different Da Hu Chun stalls across Shanghai — are the main attraction, you can also snack on mini wontons or meat-filled Shaobing. In any case, a small meal won’t cost you much more than a cup of coffee in the States.
Block 18 Doggie’s Noodle
- Location: Jordan, Hong Kong
- Price Range: $2.50 to $5
Block 18 Doggie’s Noodle in Hong Kong symbolizes everything that’s great about Michelin’s embrace of street food. Doggie’s revels in the simplicity of its comfort food, serving up thick, glutinous rice noodles fried in pork fat. Heaps of minced meat and mushrooms set off the hearty broth, with popular flavors including (fake) shark fin with duck. An a la carte street food lunch in Jordan’s bustling Sham Shui Po shopping district will only run you a fiver or less.
All restaurants featured in this article were found on the worldwide Michelin Guide selection on ViaMichelin. Please note some restaurants might not have been officially awarded Michelin “stars.”