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Food + Drink

CF's Pocket Guide To Affordable Michelin Restaurants

If you’re anything like us, your first thought when planning a trip away is ‘where should we eat?’

Start typing ‘best restaurants in … Paris/London/Hong Kong into Google and you’ll end up with a long list of very beautiful Michelin-starred restaurants, and if it has a star, or two or three, you can bet it’s the crème de la crème of fine dining. Eating out can be expensive, especially if you want to experience the best of Michelin dining. Luckily, our guide has you covered with a roundup of some surprisingly affordable offerings.


With a plethora of must-visit restaurants – even those without that elusive star – London is a foodie’s dream. The choices are endless, which in turn can make it increasingly difficult to pick the perfect place. These two are both excellent, and Michelin starred.

Social Eating House

Social Eating House, by feted chef Jason Atherton makes for a relaxed and comfortable dinner spot. The lighting is moody and the drinks list is extensive. As for the food, the menu is a contemporary take on a traditional bistro menu, with ingredients sourced locally. The best time to go for an affordable meal at Social Eating House is at lunch, between 12 and 3PM, when they offer up a set menu of three courses paired with a wine carafe or cocktail for under £36.

The Harwood Arms


Credit: Lateef Okunnu

Credit: Lateef Okunnu

As the only pub in London with a Michelin star, The Hardwood Arms is an easy sell. Walk in and feel immediately at home here. The food is expertly crafted pub dining – think starters of English cheddar or liver pate, mains of hearty meats and seafood, and desserts of meringue, poached cherries, and trifle; suffice to say, they’ve turned pub grub on its head here. Enjoy a three-course dinner for £55, or opt for two-course for £42. Drinks aren’t included, but they are reasonably priced too.


Ah, Paris – the home of fine dining and culinary delights. Below, you’ll find two of our favourites eateries in the French capital.


This restaurant is quintessentially Parisian; classic French fare at its finest and the only original French bistro still making the Michelin grade. At £35, the lunch menu offers a wide selection of classic cuisine to indulge in. Fromage, tartare, and terrine to start followed by fresh seafood and snails, and finished off with a decadent medley of dessert. Perfectly positioned in Le Marais, the interior and decor is delicate and refined. Book ahead for your next weekend Paris.


A more modern addition to the Paris food scene, Septime is the place to be, and everybody knows it! Sustainably minded, the menu prides itself on being seasonal, fresh, and, of course, delicious. While you may need to plan ahead to get into this Michelin-starred restaurant, the reasonably priced is more than worth the forethought. Book in for lunch Tuesday through Friday for a four-course tasting menu at £37.


Who doesn’t love New York? The food scene here is next level and the dining options are endless. Get inspired by the duo below.

Gramercy Tavern

A New York icon, from date nights to deal closers, Gramercy Tavern is an all-round star. Veer towards the “Tavern” side for affordable eats. Sit at the bar for lunch, ordering their off-menu soup and sandwich lunch special (available Friday to Sunday) which rings in at a very affordable $17. The tavern takes reservations and also holds a limited number of tables for walk-ins.

Cote Korean Steakhouse

New York’s very first Korean barbecue restaurant – this one is not for the vegetarians amongst us – is a feast for the senses. Speaking of, the Butchers Feast, priced at £35 per person, is a great way to sample the restaurant’s best bits. The butcher selects the four best cuts of meat, which are presented at your table and grilled in front of you. Word to the wise: leave the flipping to the servers – they know what’s best; you can just sit back, enjoy, and watch Michelin-starred food be prepared right in front of your eyes. Cote are a dab hand at cocktail making, so do settle in for a long dinner and some delicious drinks to boot.


The capital of Japan boasts some of the best food in the world. Sashimi? Yes. Ramen? Of course! The detail in which the dishes are made, prepared and served in Japan is elegant, refined, and always with the most hospitable service you can imagine.


Comfort food at its finest, the first ramen restaurant to be award an elusive star is Tsuta. Ramen is a staple of the Japanese diet, and if you’re going to try it then you may as well have the very best. At Tsuta they only serve about 70 meals each day – once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no reservations here, you simply arrive, pick your time slot, get your ticket, and wait. Trust us – it is well worth the wait, particularly with bowls only costing about £15. Tsuta’s star parallels that of Hong Kong hole-in-the-wall Tim Ho Wan, the dim sum house that was billed as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant when it was first inducted.

Sushi Saito

You can’t go to Japan and not go for sushi! Sushi Saito holds three Michelin stars and is nearly impossible to get into – the counter only seats eight people at any given time. Also, there is no website and the booking system has a long wait. The best way to get into this small exclusive spot is by invite (if you’re friendly with a regular diner) or by booking the private room which seats seven. Otherwise, we advise you plan well in advance – shockingly, dinner here is unlikely to set you back much more than £25.

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