If you're a foodie who's always looking for the next new dining experience, you've come to the right place. Michelin stars are awarded to top restaurants around the world that are seen as worthy and exceptional. Starting out in Europe the early 1900s, the Michelin group (yup, the tire company) created the Michelin star as a way to get drivers more accustomed to different, exquisite foods as they traveled. If you see that a restaurant has a Michelin star (one- to three-star rating), you know they're going to be good.
One star ratings are given out more often than two or three stars, but they're still hard to come by nonetheless. One star is traditionally seen as "very good." Two stars mean the cooking is exceptional and is worth the drive. And per their guide, three Michelin stars means the culinary experience and atmosphere is beyond special.
Michelin stars were finally allowed to be given within the US in 2005, making thousands of restaurants have at least one Michelin star—but there's only a couple who get the top prize of having two to three Michelin stars attached to their name. From the most affordable restaurants to the plates setting diners back $1,000, we have five of the cheapest and most expensive Michelin star restaurants around the world.
10 Cheapest: Al's Place (San Francisco, California, USA)
It's no secret that California isn't the most affordable place, so if you're visiting and are hoping to eat like royalty on a dime, check out Al's Place. Per the Michelin guide, their food price ranges from $25 to $50.
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With a bright and open concept, this happy restaurant is proud to make vegetables the main attraction on their menu, so plant-based lovers rejoice!
9 Most Expensive: Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)
With the Swiss Alps as the backdrop, Schloss Schauenstein is a Michelin three-star restaurant. The atmosphere alone is enough to sweep you off your feet, tucked away on a quaint Swiss street, but it's their menu that will consume you.
According to The Street, a three-course meal can run you over $200, but you better believe it'll be worth it.
8 Cheapest: L'Antic Molí (El Castell, Spain)
Gaining one Michelin star, Spain's L'Antic Molí was created in an old four mill and boasts the beautiful countryside as its backdrop.
Changing their menu according to what's in season, you can grab lunch at this fresh-food restaurant for about $20, according to Business Insider.
7 Most Expensive: Le Pré Catelan (Paris, France)
France has the most Michelin star-rated restaurants in the world. Paris is buzzing with both exceptional art, landscape, and delicious food.
When traveling in Paris, Le Pré Catelan is one of the most expensive Michelin star restaurants in the world, earning three stars in the making. Serving up French classics, The Street claims you can spend anywhere from $200 on lunch to almost $400 on dinner.
6 Cheapest: The Coach (Marlow, UK)
Marlow's The Coach may be situated in a cozy pub in the UK, but don't count them out— they've earned one Michelin star for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Grab a shepherd's pie for £13.50 or maybe a Caesar salad for £7.50. With a casual setting, you'll weep with joy, not just at the scrumptious food, but at your affordable bill.
5 Most Expensive: Kitcho Arashiyama (Kyoto, Japan)
Get ready to spend at least $1,000 on a meal at Kitcho Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan. With views overlooking a garden, you can dine in an authentic tea ceremony style, with small plates served on a tray with teas and saki. With such small, dainty items, Arashiyama reminds you to slow down a bit. Take your time and enjoy the luxury—they earned three Michelin stars, after all.
4 Cheapest: Fritz's Frau Franzi (Dusseldorf, Germany)
Dusseldorf's Fritz's Frau Franzi has one Michelin star to its name and is set in a hip, modern restaurant.
You can grab a modernized German lunch for about $15-20, making all travelers' wallets happy; or you can relax with a stellar dinner for about $30. With prices this affordable, you may as well grab a glass of wine or beer to match. You're in Germany, for crying out loud!
3 Most Expensive: Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (Conrad Rangali Island, Maldives)
Earning three Michelin stars, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant can be found in the Maldives underwater. We're serious. The Daily Meal explains dinners are five meters below sea level, with views of the Indian Ocean all around. Imagine dining with views of the coral reef right next to you as you watch beautiful fish swim by.
Knowing you're embarking on a culinary experience of a lifetime, dining here is going to set you back around $500 a person, thanks to their six-course menu and stunning local.
2 Cheapest: Liao Fan (Hong Kong, Singapore)
It's not every day a pop-up food vendor earns themselves a Michelin star, but Liao Fan in Hong Kong is the exception. You're not going to find a wait staff dressed in black tie and you're not going to have someone pour a glass of wine for you, but you are about to have a local culinary experience.
Surrounded by 700 other food stalls similar to everyone else, Liao Fan separates themselves from the pack with authentic Chinese dishes that can be eaten on the go. Business Insider even notes you can walk away with a plate of food for under $3!
1 Most Expensive: Per Se (New York, New York)
Just like France, New York City is also gifted with one of the most decorated Michelin star restaurants.
With three Michelin stars to their name, Per Se offers a nine-course menu and a five-course menu, all sourced with care. With a French spin on the dishes, you're bound to spend $355 on this iconic menu.