Is it possible to dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant for 30 euros or less? Yes it is, as demonstrated by recent research by Chef's Pencil, which analysed the menus at more than 500 Michelin-starred-addresses in Europe. They created a map of the 25 most affordable restaurants, all which offer a three-course menu for 30 euros or less (usually for lunch), making an affordable Michelin-starred meal a dream come true.
The site also compiled a ranking with the top 10 of the most affordable starred restaurants in Europe, where to eat for 30 euros or less. The majority, at seven out of ten addresses, are found in France, while in first position we find L’Antic Molí in Ulldecona, two hours from Barcelona, Spain, where chef Vicent Guimerà Sales prepares a meal for 20 euros. Hungary (present with one venue on the list) is also a country of interest, which also boasts seven starred restaurants with prices on average much lower than in western and northern Europe. Interestingly, the UK doesn't feature, with all of its restaurants exceeding the 30 euro upper limit criteria.
So, if you are on the hunt for some inexpensive Michelin-starred restaurants to discover during your holidays, here are some places to discover.
Map of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe where you can eat for 30 euros or less
Map: Chef's Pencil
As Chef's Pencil points out, most of the restaurants featured on the map and on the top ten list offer a 'menu du jour', or menu of the day, and usually for lunch, a much cheaper option than the normal tasting menu served for dinner.
Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe where you can eat for 30 euros or less: the top 10 ranking
1. L’Antic Molí, Ulldecona, Spain - 20 euros per person
In addition to being one of the best restaurants in Spain, L'Antic Molí, about a two-hour drive south of Barcelona, is also the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe right now. Here, surrounded by greenery and with a beautiful panoramic view, you'll spend 20 euros per person for a meal by chef Vicent Guimerà Sales, if you choose to have lunch in the Espai Bistro.
2. La Robe, Montaigu, France - 24 euros per person
In second place is the refined La Robe restaurant in Montaigu, France, in the Pays de la Loire region. The dining room, which is spread over two floors, has a particularly intimate atmosphere. Here you can taste chef Xavier Giraudet's dishesat affordable prices - just choose the menu for 24 euros per person.
3. Hostellerie la Montagne, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France - 25 euros per person
The Hostellerie la Montagne - a Michelin-star restaurant located in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises in the Haute-Marne department of France's Grande Est region - is also the region where the former French president Charles de Gaulle lived (and was later buried). Which is why the restaurant's dining room is called 'A la table du General' (at the General's table). Chef Jean-Baptiste Natali proposes a 'menu du marché', a market menu, starting at 25 euros, consisting of an entrée, main course and dessert.
4. Les Clefs d’Argent, Mont-de-Marsan, France - 25 euros per person
In fourth position we find another French restaurant, Les Clefs d'Argent in Mont-de-Marsan, in the southwestern part of the Hexagon. Here, chef Christophe Dupouy offers a menu that interprets the flavours of the territory in a contemporary key, with an exotic spin. A 'très chic' address, where you can stop and try 'Le Menu Retour du Marché', three dishes prepared according to the produce of the day and Christophe's inspiration, available only for lunch from Tuesday to Friday.
5. Essência, Budapest, Hungary - 25 euros per person
Essência, in Budapest, is the restaurant led by the Portuguese-Hungarian couple Tiago and Éva Sabarigo. Guests can savour an original menu that draws on Hungarian and Portuguese cuisine, choosing a "fusion" tasting-menu that combines the two cultures. Among the most convenient options, there is no shortage of proposals for lunch starting from 25 euros per person.
6. Hotel Restaurant Le France, Villers-le-Lac, France - 26 euros per person
The Hotel Restaurant Le France is a very welcoming address in the heart of the Haut-Doubs. Here, chef Hugues Droz tempts you with creative dishes, capable of blending flavours, colours and great technique. All can be be savoured in a warm environment, where design meets the territory, including refined details and decorative elements made with local materials.
7. Le Mascaret, Blainville-sur-Mer, France - 26 euros per person
Le Mascaret is located in the spaces of a former convent for women in Blainville-sur-Mer, a small town in Normandy. The setting is decidedly baroque, but with a modern touch, while the dishes by chef Philippe Hardy are super-creative and well defined. With a 'la petite table' formula, at lunch, guests can try a very economical fine-dining experience: at 26 euros per person, the menu includes dishes revisited by the chef with a 'French touch', capable of combining tradition and modernity.
8. Silabario, Vigo, Spain - 27 euros per person
The Silabario restaurant is located in Vigo, in the region of Galicia, in the north-west of Spain. Here, right under an imposing glass dome that houses the headquarters of the Real Club Celta de Vigo football team, chef Alberto González Prelcic prepares a delicious array of dishes with fresh ingredients from the local market at a very affordable price. The menu, at 27 euros per person, is available from Monday to Thursday for lunch and dinner, while only for lunch on Friday.
9. Auberge du Cep, Fleurie, France - 27 euros per person
Auberge du Cep is located on a famous Burgundy wine route, in the Beaujolais region. The restaurant is led by chef Aurélien Merot, who stands out for iconic dishes with a very French style, mainly focused on jus and sauces. There are several tasting menus to combine with the remarkable selection of regional wines. Try the 'menu du marché Grille-Midi' for 27 euros, served every day for lunch, except Saturdays and public holidays (one starter, one main course and one dessert).
10. La Grange de Belle-Église, Belle-Église, France - € 27 per person
Welcoming, quiet, characteristic and at the same time classic and elegant: the Michelin-starred restaurant La Grange de Belle-Église in Belle-Église, in the Upper France region, expresses the quintessence of French gastronomic attitude according to Chef's Pencil. Directed by chef Marc Duval, who offers dishes prepared with high-quality ingredients and a wide selection of Bordeaux wines and champagnes. The 'menu du marché' is served at midday, during the week (except holidays), and offers fresh seasonal produce.
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