Dreaming of eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant? These are the most affordable places to do it

Michelin-starred restaurants are famously high quality - and can be hugely expensive
Michelin-starred restaurants are famously high quality - and can be hugely expensive Copyright Elin Tabitha via Unsplash
Copyright Elin Tabitha via Unsplash
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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A new study has found that many of the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide are in Europe - but there are affordable options on the continent too.


If you’re a foodie, you likely have a visit to a Michelin Star restaurant on your bucket list. However, many of them are prohibitively expensive for most of us.

Since its launch 124 years ago in France, the Michelin Guide has remained the world’s most prestigious restaurant rating system.

As of 2024, it features more than 3,500 restaurants in over 40 countries and territories worldwide.

New research from international food magazine Chef’s Pencil shows that a visit to one of these special eateries does not come cheap, with a median price tag of €167 - not including drinks, extra charges or tips.

As the home of the Michelin Guide, Europe is packed full of these exclusive restaurants, from the most expensive to the relatively affordable.

Here’s where you should go if you’re looking to splash the cash on fine dining - or, at the other end of the scale, if you’re keen to sample the very best food at a price that won’t break the bank.

You're paying for the presentation - as well as the food - at Michelin-recognised restaurants
You're paying for the presentation - as well as the food - at Michelin-recognised restaurantsDelightin Dee via Unsplash

Where are the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe?

The Michelin guide gives out rankings from one star to three stars, depending on the quality of the food and experience on offer.

Naturally, you’ll generally pay more for two and three-starred venues - and the average difference is around €93 extra for each additional Michelin star.

Aside from the number of stars awarded to a restaurant, geography plays a huge role in pricing.

Denmark is not only in Europe, but is the world’s most expensive place to dine out at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

It costs on average €295 to experience a premium tasting menu in the Nordic nation - and a whopping €416 in the capital, Copenhagen.

Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to 32 Michelin restaurants - including two that boast the highly coveted three Michelin stars.

There are whispers that Copenhagen may soon lose its crown, though, with the upcoming closure of Noma. Long considered to be the best restaurant in the world, it will shutter its doors at the end of 2024 and, instead, run pop ups across the globe.

Iceland comes in at second place, with the median price of a Michelin tasting menu costing €233 in the island nation. Sweden, Austria and Switzerland follow, with costs of €206, €203 and €201 respectively.

Norway, Portugal, Germany, Hungary and Poland also make up the top 10 most expensive places - but all of their median Michelin dining prices come in at under €200, rendering them slightly more affordable than the top five.

Where are Europe’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants?

While Europe is home to many of the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, there are also significantly more affordable options too.

In fact, five out of the 10 cheapest options are on the continent.

The small island nation of Malta is the most budget-friendly option. Among its five Michelin-starred restaurants, the average price for a meal is €125 per person.


Further along the Mediterranean, Greece is the second cheapest option in Europe with an average cost of €132 for dining out at one of its 12 Michelin restaurants.

Currently they’re all located in Athens, as the Michelin Guide has yet to extend its coverage throughout the famously foodie country.

Slovenia, Belgium and Turkey also earn their places on Chef’s Pencils’ affordable list, with Michelin-starred offerings available for under €140 per head.

Where are the most and least expensive Michelin restaurants globally?

Although Denmark is far and away the most expensive place to try a Michelin experience on the planet, other countries further afield have sky high prices, too.

The Asian culinary powerhouse of Hong Kong ranks second among the most expensive countries and territories for dining out at a Michelin restaurant, with the median price at €248.

Attention to detail is a must at all Michelin-starred eateries
Attention to detail is a must at all Michelin-starred eateriesBen Koorengevel via Unsplash

It trumps Singapore - previously in second place but now in fourth with a median price of €225 among its 53 Michelin-starred restaurants, nine of which hold two or three stars.

Rounding off the top five is the United States. It costs €211 per person on average to dine out at a Michelin restaurant there, if you opt for the most expensive tasting menu.

Halfway around the world from the US, Vietnam is the most affordable option in the world for Michelin dining, with a dinner costing just €121 on average.

Brazil is next on the list, with the priciest tasting menus costing on average just €124 per head.

In between Malta and Greece, is China in fourth place. The vast Asian nation offers up Michelin meals for an average of €128 per person - and you’ll have 122 eateries with stars to choose from.

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