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Restaurants

These Maps Reveal California’s Most Affordable and Most Expensive Michelin Star Restaurants

When referring to restaurants, “Michelin-rated” wound up being synonymous with expensive beyond all reason and became more of a deterrent rather than encouraging title for the average restaurant goer.

For those who don’t know, a Michelin Star is a reward given to restaurants that Michelin (yes, the tire company) considers the best in the city. It is the highest accolade you can receive in the culinary world; the Oscar for the restaurant industry. With that honor comes a price that could have your bill hitting the four digit mark with the greatest of ease.

Sublimotion, located in Ibiza, Spain for example, is a mild and easily attainable $1,600+ per person. I am unsure if gratuity is included but dear God I hope so.

As common as that feeling may seem, there are a slew of restaurants that have achieved such a high accolade and aren’t wallet-busting either. How cheap? Would you believe $50 per person or less for a Michelin-starred restaurant? They exist and can be easily located thanks to a new report from Chef’s Pencil.

If you’re someone who’s trying to go all out and see what your money can get you, the most expensive Michelin-rated options are also indicated.

MOST AFFORDABLE

This list of Michelin-rated California restaurants is based on those that offer three course meals. This is largely the best way to dine at a Michelin star location without it giving your pockets a beating.

The most affordable goes to Mourad in San Francisco. Their Moroccan three-course menu is around $45 per person, a bargain for a tasting menu regardless of where you’re at. That’s followed closely by Rustic Canyon , the hyper seasonal restaurant in Santa Monica with a $47 tasting menu of locally sourced ingredients.

From there, nothing eclipses $80 per person (all prices below are per person):

  • Soichi (San Diego) – $48
  • Al’s Place (San Francisco) – $48
  • Knife Pleat (Cost Mesa) – $61
  • Taco Maria (Costa Mesa) – $65
  • Niku Steakhouse (San Francisco) – $67
  • Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles) – $69
  • Spruce (San Francisco) – $70
  • The Village Pub (Woodside) – $74
  • Bell’s (Los Alamos) – $75
  • Selby’s (Atherton) – $78
  • Auberge Du Soleil (Rutherford) – $80

MOST EXPENSIVE

2 Chainz coined a term Expensivest and this whole portion of the list is that. Bucket list meals and special occasions are par for the course for these spots. Additionally, if you have the urge to buy a gift for someone, my birthday is in March.

The legendary French Laundry is at the top of the list in California, clocking in at $500 per person. It has earned three Michelin stars, and back in 2005 it was said to be “the best restaurant in the world, period,” in the New York Times by none other than Anthony Bourdain.

In the grand scheme of things, The French Laundry is only at 12th place on the list of most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants.

The lowest price point you’ll see in the most expensive map is $298 with all prices below being per person:

  • Single Thread (Healdsburg) – $425
  • Atelier Crenn (San Francisco) – $410
  • Sushi Ginza Onodera (Los Angeles) – $400
  • Mori Hiro (Los Angeles) – $400
  • Manresa (Los Gatos) – $365
  • Quince (San Francisco) – $360
  • Benu (San Francisco) – $350
  • n/naka (Los Angeles) – $310
  • Q Sushi (Los Angeles) – $300
  • Saison (San Francisco) – $298
  • Addison (San Diego) – $298