Did you know that San Francisco has the most Michelin stars in America? According to Esquire, the Bay Area boasts the largest number of restaurants with three Michelin stars (the highest honor a restaurant can achieve) as of 2018. These restaurants included in Michelin Guides will satisfy any craving from Thai to Italian, comfort food to vegetarian fare.
Foodies can get their fix at any one of San Fran's one to three-starred restaurants, whether you're on a budget or willing to shell out exorbitant amounts of money for the perfect 11-course meal. Check out the top 5 cheapest and most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants for an unparalleled taste of San Francisco itself.
10 AL's Place (Affordable)
Nestled in the hip Mission District, AL's Place is a well-known neighborhood restaurant famed for its seasonal, veggie-driven menu that showcases Northern California's local produce. AL's Place sources most of its produce from Blue Dane Garden, located just two hours from the restaurant, so customers are guaranteed the freshest ingredients.
Chef and owner Aaron London has been cooking since he was a child, and when you eat here, you can tell that Michelin star was well earned. Despite the meticulously prepared, seasoned, and plated dishes, you won't have to shell out a fortune, either: main courses won't set you back more than $20.
9 Kin Khao (Affordable)
Forget the neighborhood Thai takeaway because the Michelin-starred restaurant Kin Khao will satisfy all your Thai cravings without breaking the bank. Kin Khao (which means "eat rice") is the brainchild of Pim Techamuanvivit, a Bangkok native whose goal is to bring upgraded Thai cuisine to American palettes. She pairs locally-sourced ingredients with traditional Thai flavors to create a match made in heaven.
Main courses run for about $20, or you can opt for the Prix Fixe menu, which includes eight courses for $65 per person. Not a bad idea since you'll want to try everything on the menu.
8 Commonwealth (Affordable)
Commonwealth's dishes pair neatly with its youthful atmosphere, but its food isn't even the best part: a portion of profits from every tasting menu ordered is donated to charity. The restaurant takes its name from the concept of the commonwealth, and it truly lives up to it by giving back to the community.
Located in the heart of the Mission District, Commonwealth also offers an à la carte menu, where dishes range from $16-23. The six-course tasting menu starts at $105, and is extremely popular among its customers. They also do a tasting menu with wine pairings from $175.
7 State Bird Provisions (Affordable)
The rustic decor at State Bird Provisions and dim sum-style dining experience is a favorite of many San Francisco diners. While you're waiting for your dishes off the menu, servers meander from table to table offering small bites from trays, ensuring that you'll never stay hungry for long.
With a menu that changes frequently, no two meals at State Bird Provisions will be the same. Choose from smaller plates, ranging in price from about $3-12, or larger entrees, costing $16-32. This is a restaurant where you really can try everything, and yes, they do serve quail, the state bird of California.
6 Terrapin Creek (Affordable)
This cozy cafe is perched overlooking Bodega Bay, ensuring customers have top-notch views along with their Michelin-rated dishes. Chefs Liya Lin and Andrew Truong effortlessly blend American and international flavors in their creations, and the result is a beautiful seasonal menu of casual dishes.
Although the menu does change, you can expect to pay no more than $38 for an entree, though many menu items are less expensive. Start your meal off with locally sourced oysters, or try the pasta made in-house. Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed (and you may catch a glimpse of some migrating whales in the bay).
5 Hashiri (Expensive)
Who doesn't love sushi? When you feel that pang in your stomach that is a sushi craving, check out Hashiri Sushi Bar in Mint Plaza (if you can afford it). Hashiri dishes up only the finest quality sushi, rolled by some of the most experienced sushi chefs outside Japan.
Hashiri's nigiri rolls are more like art than food, and the restaurant's prices reflect that. The omakase sushi menu, meaning the chef chooses your dishes for you, starts at $175 for four kobachi and 12 nigiri, and goes up to $500 for a private dining room and personal chef. That's not including sake, which you'll definitely have to try from their extensive list.
4 Quince (Expensive)
From the upscale decor to the immaculately plated dishes, Quince is definitely a restaurant for the affluent. Its contemporary setting is perfect for any special occasion, and with its three Michelin stars, it has recently come to be renowned for its lavish dishes.
Quince has its own farm, so ingredients are transported to the restaurant daily. Chef Michael Tusk leans heavily on French and Italian influences with a California flair when thinking up his menu, which changes daily. An 8-10 tasting meal in the dining room runs just shy of $300, while a shortened menu in the salon costs $180.
3 Atelier Crenn (Expensive)
The French are famous for their dedication to fresh ingredients and home cooked meals, and at Atelier Crenn, diners can sample the finest French cuisine. It achieved its three-star rating from the Michelin Guide in 2018, and all its stars are well-deserved.
What makes chef Dominique Crenn's dishes truly unique is the original poem guests receive in lieu of a traditional menu. The poem alludes to elements in the dish and is written by Chef Crenn herself. The menu, focused on seafood and vegetable dishes, starts at $325, and that's without the optional wine pairings.
2 Coi (Expensive)
Coi's minimalist interior decor is a fresh backdrop that gives zero opportunity to distract from the dining experience. The warm tones of the restaurant give an understated beauty aside the intricate, thoughtful dishes that customers dote on.
Coi earned its own three stars in 2017, but has since had a change of style when it hired chef Erik Anderson. It still reflects owner Daniel Patterson's vision, and guests are treated to an elegant array of dishes. Only the very dedicated or affluent will be dining on Anderson's creations, though, as the tasting menu is $250 per person.
1 Saison (Expensive)
The final triple-starred restaurant anyone willing to pay an arm and a leg should go for dinner is undoubtedly Saison, an upscale restaurant with a contemporary menu to match. Saison's wood fire infuses its dishes with a unique flavor, and its open concept kitchen and dining area encourages a relationship between chef and patron.
But don't book a reservation just yet--dinner for two easily costs over $1,000 when you factor in a 20% tip, but then again, the tasting menu is 12 or more courses, and with the appropriate wine, your tastebuds will be sent to foodie heaven.