Michelin-starred restaurants and New York City both have one thing in common: They're known for being expensive, and since the Big Apple has no shortage of restaurants awarded those coveted stars, it's easy to spend a month's salary on dinner at one of these famous spots.
However, not all Michelin Guide restaurants will break the bank; in fact, some are reasonably affordable. That's not to say they're cheap enough to be dining there every Friday, but most of us can actually afford a special occasion dinner at some of them. On the other hand, there are dozens of restaurants only the luckiest will have a chance to dine in, so be sure to weigh your options if you plan on making a reservation in New York City.
10 Le Bernardin (Affordable)
Now, Le Bernardin is tricky: This upscale restaurant in Midtown Manhattan can be insanely expensive or relatively modest depending which menu you order from. The good news is that there are a number of options to choose from.
If you don't mind dining in the lounge, you'll find the best prices there. Most entrees run in the $20 range here, or you can order the $57 City Harvest prix fixe menu, which consists of three courses and donates $5 to charity.
9 Cafe China (Affordable)
It can be hard to come by good quality, authentic Chinese food in America, but at Cafe China, it's in abundance. Of course, you'll want to visit China itself for the best, but this little Midtown restaurant dishes up some of the tastiest Szechuan food in the country.
Vegetarians, rejoice, because all vegetable entrees are under $20. Other main courses are usually priced in the $20-40 range, with only the lobster breaking $45. With these amazingly affordable prices, you can even afford that lotus seed puree or rice wine soup for dessert.
8 Agern (Affordable)
There are the usual going-out cuisines like Italian or Indian, but have you ever felt like Scandinavian fare for your date night? While the Nordic countries are famous for their breathtaking landscapes, their cuisine is often overlooked. But chefs Claus Meyer and Gunnar Gíslason are bringing gourmet Scandinavian food to New Yorkers just inside Grand Central Terminal.
Sample a two course prix fixe lunch for only $40, or three courses for $48 if you're in a hurry. If you have time to stay for dinner, you can choose the tasting menu or go à la carte. The eight-course tasting menu runs for $165, and most dishes on the à la carte menu sell for $20-30.
7 Gotham Bar and Grill (Affordable)
Not to be confused with the hometown of Batman, Gotham Bar and Grill serves up no frills dishes—everyone's favorites with just a touch of elegance. It's obviously a little more pricey than your usual neighborhood bar and grill, but totally worth it.
Take advantage of the $48 three-course lunch (you'll want to try a few dishes), which is the best value. Dinner is a bit more expensive, but you can customize your own meal. And don't forget about dessert—Gotham has an extensive menu of luxury sweets (and it's own chocolate bar!).
6 Cote (Affordable)
Korean barbecue has been gaining popularity in the West recently, so it's no surprise that handfuls of these restaurants are popping up all over New York City. One, however, stands out among the rest: Cote.
A Korean barbecue meal can really bring the table together as plates of meat and vegetables are brought out to be cooked right over your own personal grill. It's as delicious as it is fun. You'll find kimchi, bibimbap, and other Korean favorites on the menu, and for only $54 per person, you can try the Butcher's Feast of four select cuts.
5 Masa (Expensive)
If you want to go out for sushi, you probably look for a place that's a little higher-end than most restaurants— bad sashimi is just a nightmare for everyone. But if prices correlate with freshness, the food at Masa is just about swimming.
Usually you'd have to go to Japan for sushi of this quality, but thanks to chef Masayoshi Takayama, you can get it right in the Time Warner Center. Masa has no menu, so guests are treated to a dining experience handcrafted by the chef. Dinner is $595 per person, not including drinks.
4 Eleven Madison Park (Expensive)
Fans of dining out have probably heard of Eleven Madison Park before—it was named the World's Best Restaurant by William Reed Business Media back in 2017. Set in an incredible Art Deco building at Madison Square Park, Eleven Madison Park's menu is renowned for its intricate layers of flavors.
They offer an ever-changing eight to ten course menu in the dining room, starting at $300, while wine pairings will cost an additional $175. The restaurant does accept walk-ins to the bar, where an abbreviated menu is served, along with their signature cocktails. And for those in Europe, the EMP team is opening a new location in London.
3 Per Se (Expensive)
It's all about freshness at Thomas Keller's Per Se and their menu constantly changes depending not only on season, but on ingredients are available that very day. Dishes are carefully prepared according to the classic French tradition, and the restaurant's three Michelin stars are a testament to Keller's dedication.
No ingredient is repeated twice in the nine-course tasting menu, in which a standard and vegetarian option are available, and with all those ingredients in the kitchen, you might understand why it costs $355 for dinner.
2 Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (Expensive)
With very limited seating and an international reputation, a reservation at Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is not an easy thing to come by. The exquisite Brooklyn dining experience is like no other—the kitchen counter seating opens up into the kitchen, giving guests the opportunity to see these world-class chefs preparing their dishes.
Now, since the show comes with dinner, you can expect to pay a little (or a lot) extra than you might be used to. Brooklyn Fare's tasting menu is $362 per person, but it's worth it to taste their Japanese and French-influenced cuisine.
1 Kurumazushi (Expensive)
Another of New York's amazing Japanese restaurants, Kurumazushi is dedicated to providing guests with a traditional Japanese dining experience. With everything from the sushi bar to the washitsu room, you can tell care has been put into every detail.
Chef Toshihiro Uezu has been crafting sushi in America for nearly 50 years, and one bite will show you that his sushi-rolling skills are magic. But, as with all kinds of magic, it comes with a price, and a hefty one at that. The omakase menu starts at $300, and while it is the most extensive meal, smaller sushi dinners still run for at least $160.