Love food? These are the cheapest cities for the very best of fine dining

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Dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant is on the bucket list of every respectable foodie out there, but it can come at a price. This is especially true for restaurants that have earned two or three of the highly coveted Michelin stars.

The Michelin Guide defines two-starred restaurants as establishments with excellent cooking that are worth a detour, while three-starred restaurants are considered to have exceptional cuisine and are a destination by themselves.

At Chef’s Pencil, we decided to find out the places where it is least expensive to dine at a top-rated Michelin-star restaurant (read two- and three-starred restaurants).

If you want a great dining experience at an even better price, read on.


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Rounding out this list is Macau, that famed island state that is home to top casinos and egg tarts, among other things. It’s a wonderful place to explore, and you can dine at Jade Dragon (three stars) or another of its top Michelin restaurants for an average of $248.

Image Credit: Jade Dragon.

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg might not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of restaurants with Michelin stars, but the city has its fair share, including The Table, helmed by Kevin Fehling. Dining well in this northern German city at a Michelin restaurant costs on average $240.

Image Credit: RudyBalasko/istockphoto.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taïrroir is a jewel in Taipei’s haute cuisine crown, and dining there is a spectacle for the eye and brain, not to mention the palate. If you decide to dine at a top Michelin restaurant here you’ll pay on average $232.

Image Credit: Taïrroir Facebook.

Madrid, Spain

Everyone knows that Madrid is a beautiful and vibrant city, full of art and sport and life. But were you aware that you can dine at a top Michelin restaurant here, such as Coque, for an average of $228?

Image Credit: Couque.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is home to some of the best food in the world, and the city is full of outstanding places to eat, including ABaC, which is housed in a marvelous hotel. Dining at a top Michelin-starred restaurant in the Catalan city will set you back, on average, $224.

Image Credit: ABaC Facebook.

Vienna, Austria

You won’t find a more dynamic chef than Juan Amador, who was the youngest German (his parents are Spanish) ever to be awarded three Michelin stars. He is now plying his trade at Amador, in Vienna. Dining in this cultural capital costs on average $225

Image Credit: Amador Facebook.

Rotterdam, Holland

Fred Mustert is an accomplished chef, and his Rotterdam restaurant Fred attests to that. It holds two Michelin stars, and is a culinary marvel. Dining in this Dutch city at a top Michelin restaurant will cost you $216 on average.

Image Credit: Restaurant Fred.

Seoul, South Korea

Kojima is a beloved and acclaimed sushi restaurant in South Korea’s capital, and sitting at a table or the sushi bar there is an ethereal experience. It costs on average $213 to dine at a top Michelin restaurant in Seoul.

Image Credit: Kojima.

Lyon, France

Lyon, France, is a gastronomic wonderland, and the fact that one can dine for an average of $203 at a top Michelin-starred restaurant in the city is nearly miraculous. Le Neuvième Art is just one of such places, and a look at the dishes of Chef Christophe Roure makes us more than hungry.

Image Credit: Le Neuvième Art.

1. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is the most affordable city for dinning out at a top-starred Michelin restaurant. The tasting menu at a two-starred restaurant is priced on average at 5,677 Thai Baht, which is roughly $173, though you can dine out at a top restaurant for as low as $105.

Bangkok’s fine dining scene has grown spectacularly over the past 10-15 years and has caught up with Asia’s fine dining heavy weights such as Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.

Image Credit: ake1150sb / iStock.

Methodology and sources


Chef’s Pencil analyzed the menus of over 450 Michelin-starred restaurants that earned two or three Michelin stars in the latest Michelin Guide. For restaurants where prices were not easily available, we relied on media reporting or the Michelin Guide.

Our country and city rankings include places that are home to at least three of these top-rated Michelin restaurants.

From the menu, we researched the prices for the top tasting menu. The top tasting menu is usually an 8- to 12- course meal served at dinner. Some restaurants offer a single tasting menu or multiple menus that are priced identically.

This article originally appeared on Chef’s Pencil and was syndicated by


Image Credit: andresr/istockphoto.

Top tasting menus

The top tasting menu is usually an 8-12 course served at dinner. Some restaurants offer a single tasting menu or multiple menus that are priced identically.

Beverages are generally not included in the pricing, though a small number of restaurants do price them in. The same is true for tips and other government charges (e.g. service charge, TVA), which are generally not included, though exceptions occur. Government charges vary by location, for example in Singapore there’s a standard 10% service charge added to the bill, while tipping etiquette also varies a lot. So expect the final note to be substantially higher, especially if you have a few drinks.

Average Cost to Dine Out at Two- and Three-Starred Michelin Restaurants

Our analysis shows that the full tasting menu for two- and three-starred restaurants costs on average $276 (or 235 euros) per person.

There are steep pricing differences between two- and three-starred restaurants. On average, the full tasting menu costs $252 (215 euros) for two-starred restaurants and a whopping $357 (304 euros) for three-starred restaurants. Or to put it another way, an extra Michelin star will cost you an additional $100. Remember, prices are per person and don’t generally include drinks, government charges or tips.

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