a table full of different foods

With 75 restaurants holding one or more Michelin stars, you’re never starved for choice in New York City when it comes to sumptuous food. And if you need to get out of the city, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown gives you one more option with two stars.

There’s just one problem. You’ll need to dip into your life savings to eat in many of them, and that’s before they’ve added on tax and that steadily trending 20% tip. But, fear not, if you’re into top nosh and on a bit of a budget, or just after a really great meal, these are some of the cheapest meals in the New York 2020 Michelin guide which have earned at least one star…

a plate of meat with sauces and vegetablesOxomoco

Head over to Greenpoint in Brooklyn for some tasty tacos, or maybe try the Bacon Burrito if brunch is more your thing. Either way this drool worthy Mexican restaurant will not leave you disappointed. For dinner you can splash out on tacos for less that $20/$30 depending on how many you want. Otherwise it’s hard to beat the brunch menu and prices – who doesn’t love brunch.

Link: Oxomoco

Jeju Noodle Bar

We all know Japanese Ramen, but this is Ramyun, a Korean inspired noodle bar serving up delicious, comforting noodle dishes inspired by Korean flavours. If you’ve come for a bowl of noodles, you can get out of there for $20, unless you opt for the Wagyu Ramyun, which will be double that. Located near Greenwich Village, it’s not the cheapest bowl of noodles you can find in Manhattan, but for a Michelin meal in NYC, it’s pretty damn good.

Link: Jeju Noodle Bar

a bowl of food on a tableNix

For a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, you wouldn’t expect the prices to sky rocket too much. And with no dinner mains over $30, you’d be right. The fresh, seasonal menu is full of modern dishes that even meat lovers would enjoy. In a buzzing Greenwich village atmosphere it’s also an excellent place to enjoy their brunch menu and inventive cocktails.

Link: Nix


If we haven’t mentioned it already, one of the best ways to enjoy a Michelin meal with a far more digestible price tag is to go for lunch, rather than dinner. Although the dinner menu is reasonable by New York standards – aka not very – with most mains between $25-$35, and the five-course tasting menu only $85, the lunch menu is all $20 or under and gives a great look into this kitchen. It’s slightly less ‘fancy’, but still super tasty. Whichever your choice, the pretty plating, regular changing menu and fun vibe make this Williamsburg spot a worthwhile stop on your next visit.

Link: Meadowsweet

a plate of food on a tableUncle Boons

Serving inventive Thai cuisine in a funky setting, this place definitely makes for a fun evening out, and depending how many Singha you have, perhaps a late morning after. Located on Spring St in Nolita, you can expect all the Thai flavours you usually love but from dishes that you won’t usually expect – meaning there’s no Pad Thai. With the most expensive item on the menu at $31, this is definitely a steal for a Michelin meal in the Big Apple. Walk-ins are recommended.

Link: Uncle Boons


There are an overwhelming amount of Japanese restaurants in New York, and a surprising amount that carry a Michelin star (over 10). However, Kanoyama is one that carries the star and is also actually very affordable. Win-win. You can choose between plenty of rolls as well as some main options including chicken teriyaki for any non fish eaters out there. And if that’s not enough, they are now serving late night ramen until 3.30am – after all it is the city that never sleeps.

Link: Kanoyama

a group of green tomatoesCasa Mono

This Spanish restaurant in Gramercy is perfect for sharing dishes, as the Spanish are. You’ll find lots of delectable small plates and want to try many. But depending on how ‘big’ you’re going that day, you can get out of there after a few dishes at a reasonable price, $40-$60. Of course, once you start adding a few glasses of wine and the irresistible deserts things can change quite quickly. Everything in moderation, after all.

Link: Casa Mono

The Four Horsemen

Just another reason to visit Williamsburg. This cool wine bar/restaurant is created by James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. The cosy setting and very drinkable wines, combined with quality food make for a great meal out. It’s what wine bars have always needed. They also have a cafe just next door with excellent coffee, pastries and food from The Four Horsemen kitchen, so you’ve got no excuse no matter what time of day it is.

Link: The Four Horsemen

a bowl of soup with a sprig of parsley on topClaro

Another one in Brooklyn (are we starting to see a bit of a trend here), this time in Park Slope. This Mexican restaurant has a punchy menu with plenty of flavour. You can expect fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients as well as it being a gluten free establishment, so if glutens not your thing you can still fully enjoy the tacos guilt free. Oh, and be sure not to leave without trying some of the cocktails – who doesn’t love Mezcal!

Link: Claro

a man standing in a restaurantThe Modern

Although this two Michelin-star restaurant is far from cheap and in a different league price wise to the rest of this list, it stands out for another reason. And not just that it sits at the bottom of the MoMA, making it a light, airy and beautiful location. The Modern is a non tipping restaurant, which in America is quite a rarity. So, although you’re paying near on $200 for a six-course tasting menu, the food is outstanding and at least the final price won’t jump quite as high as it would in similar places. If you’re after a special occasion this is definitely a great option.

Link: The Modern

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for everything you do. The wife and I are planning a trip to NYC and wanted some new places to visit and here are the answers. I try to read every single article you put out there because they all have value for me. You are the only one out that provide that value. I can’t thank you enough.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *