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Food and Drink

10 Of San Francisco’s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

10 Of San Francisco’s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Enjoy a gourmet meal on a budget.

San Francisco has a pretty unbeatable food scene, and we’re very lucky to have easy access to fresh, delicious food in an enormous variety of different cuisines. Now, we all love a good, cheap burrito or slice of pizza, but SF’s high-class culinary scene has some awesome gems as well. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal, we’ve put together a list of the most affordable restaurants in San Francisco that have made it into the coveted Michelin Guide.

The Guide lists a total of 124 restaurants in San Francisco with at least one Michelin star. For the purposes of this list, we narrowed our selection to the cheapest 1-starred restaurants in the City. There’s a total of 25 restaurants with 1 Michelin star in San Francisco, the most affordable of which seem to fall into the Contemporary/Californian category, but be sure to snoop around in the “Michelin Plate” category as well, which lists restaurants with high-quality food rated by inspectors.

For the best experience, remember to reserve a table at all of these amazing restaurants in advance! 

1. Al’s Place

  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary
  • Price: $58-88
  • Location: 1499 Valencia St.
  • Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 5:30pm-10pm

Chef/Owner Aaron London creates exquisite vegetable dishes with slightly less emphasis on meat and fish. Highlights include fresh Blue Dane radishes, sweet grilled asparagus spears, and Meyer lemon strawberry tart with lavender ice cream.

2. Rich Table 

  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary
  • Price: $40-96
  • Location: 199 Gough St.
  • Hours: Daily 5pm-10pm

Chefs/owners Evan and Sarah Rich helm this rustic yet stylish restaurant. Highlights include chicken liver mousse; tonnarelli, sea urchin cacio e pepe, and Idiazabal; and watermelon ice with cucumber sherbet.

3. Kin Khao

  • Cuisine: Thai, Californian
  • Price: $25-70
  • Location: 55 Cyril Magnin St.
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12pm-8pm

This unassuming restaurant prepares delicious and authentic Thai cuisine with a California twist. Highlights include caramelized pork belly; braised beef cheeks in Massaman curry paste; and black rice pudding with caramelized jackfruit.

4. Mister Jiu’s

  • Cuisine: Chinese, Contemporary
  • Price: $50-75
  • Location: 28 Waverly Pl.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-8:30pm

Chef/owner Brandon Jew brings a Californian perspective to this Chinatown establishment. Highlights include sourdough scallion pancakes, black cod with celery root, and Dragonwell milk tea ice cream. Chinese staples such as oyster sauce and lap cheong are all made in-house.

5. State Bird Provisions

  • Cuisine: Californian
  • Price: $25-90
  • Location: 1529 Fillmore St.
  • Hours: Wednesday-Friday 5pm-9:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 4pm-9:30pm

Top Dollar named this beautiful spot the nation’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. State Bird Provisions, helmed by Chef Proprietors Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, has an exquisite, ever-changing selection of unique American cuisine. It started out specializing in quail dishes, but has since evolved greatly. Highlights include fig toast with black sesame balsamic and goat cheese, fried Wolfe Ranch quail, and melting chocolate pistachio torte.

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6. Lord Stanley

  • Cuisine: Contemporary
  • Price: $50-75
  • Location: 2065 Polk St.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm-10pm

This half-European, half-Californian restaurant features house-made breads, wild salmon, and more. Highlights include sea urchin bottarga with house “Old Bay” on a seaweed waffle, grilled Wagyu beef with celery root and red wine jus, and ‘Bomb de Blanc’ with champagne, coconut and almond genoise.

7. Spruce

  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary
  • Price: $50-75
  • Location: 3640 Sacramento St.
  • Hours: Dinner daily 5pm-10pm, weekday lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, weekend brunch 11am-2:30pm (café and takeout open daily)

This Californian restaurant puts plenty of innovative dishes on the table. Not only do they offer great café and takeout options, but dining in is an excellent experience all around. Highlights include ravioli with house made ricotta, a roulade of guinea hen breast and sausage, and crème fraîche cheesecake.

8. SPQR

  • Cuisine: Italian, Contemporary
  • Price: $39-120
  • Location: 1911 Fillmore St.
  • Hours: Thursday-Friday 4:45pm-8pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-2pm, 4:45pm-8pm

Chef Matthew Accarrino crafts an unforgettable Italian and Contemporary menu at this exciting, bustling restaurant. Highlights include beet and ricotta ritolo with pine nuts, bull’s blood, and red wine cheese; Senise pepper campanelle with Alaskan King Crab, and an exquisite tiramisu.

9. The Progress (reopens in August)

  • Cuisine: Californian
  • Price: $41-78
  • Location: 1525 Fillmore St.

This comfy restaurant is headed by Chef Proprietors Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. Their creative menu is still in the works for the August opening, but past dishes have included sturgeon caviar with light potato chips and halibut ceviche.

10. Octavia

  • Cuisine: Californian
  • Price: $50-75
  • Location: 1701 Octavia St.

Octavia is a lovely contemporary restaurant owned by Chef Melissa Perello, who also owns the legendary restaurant Frances. Here you’ll find a mix of technical dishes with excellent ingredients, such as saffron fettucine, duck with grilled peaches, and a mouthwatering devil’s food cake.

BONUS (temporarily closed):

Luce

  • Cuisine: Contemporary
  • Price: $25-120
  • Location: 888 Howard St.

 

[Featured Image: @tinastastytravels via Instagram]