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 in San Francisco, we’ve put together a list of the most affordable restaurants in San Francisco that have made it into the coveted Michelin Guide.
For the purposes of this list, we narrowed our selection to the cheapest 1-starred restaurants in the city. However, be sure to snoop around in the Bib Gourmand category as well, which recognizes restaurants that serve delicious food at affordable prices.
For the best experience, remember to reserve a table at all of these amazing restaurants in advance!
1. Kin Khao
This unassuming restaurant at the Parc 55 hotel prepares delicious and Thai cuisine from Chef Pim Techamuanvivit, who works to “liberate her beloved Thai cuisine from the tyranny of peanut sauce.” Enjoy creative versions of classic Thai dishes highlighting the produce of northern California, such as the mushroom hor mok with crispy rice cakes, plah pla muek with charred Monterey Bay squid, and Khun Yai’s rabbit green curry with local rabbit from Devil’s Gulch.
Location: 55 Cyril Magnin St.
2. Mister Jiu’s
Chef/owner Brandon Jew brings a Californian perspective to this Chinatown establishment. Walk-in diners can enjoy bites from an à la carte menu from the bar or Moongate Lounge, and reserved tables can order from a separate prix fixe menu. Delicious dishes such as roast duck or snapper are served family-style, and Chinese staples such as oyster sauce and lap cheong are all made in-house.
Location: 28 Waverly Pl.
Top Dollar named this beautiful spot the nation’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurantin 2021. 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.
Location: 1529 Fillmore St.
4. The Progress
This comfy restaurant is headed by Chef Proprietors Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. The space itself is absolutely stunning with wood, stone, and tyle textures that compliment the appetizing Californian cuisine. Dig into creative plates such as burrata with butter beans and strawberries, or the eye-catching Liberty Farms duck with peanut fried rice and smoked chili vinegar.
Location: 1525 Fillmore St.
5. San Ho Won
Korean restaurant San Ho Won ups the ante with their charcoal-grilled Korean barbecue dishes. Chefs Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang grill a variety of beef and pork cuts over lychee wood charcoal made specifically for the restaurant. Other dishes on the menu don’t back down, however, with exciting versions of kimchi, soups, and rice dishes that compliment each other beautifully.
Location: 2170 Bryant St
Nari is the latest SF restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star as of the newly-released 2023 Michelin Guide. The California-inspired Thai restaurant in Hotel Kabuki is headed by Chef Pim Techamuanvivit, who also heads Kin Khao. The word “Nari” (นารี) means “women” and is Techamuanvivit’s ode to the generations of Thai women chefs who influenced her success. According to the Michelin Guide some essential dishes to try include yum sum-o with crispy shallots and peanuts, and the grilled Monterey squid with pork jowl.
Location: Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St