The Michelin guide is hugely influential and something that all restaurants aspire to be included in.
First published way back in 1904, the Michelin star guide highlights the very best restaurants in the world when it comes to fine dining. But which are the best of the best and where offers the greatest value for their price tags?
Even the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants will still set you back a considerable amount, so you may want to consider comparing credit cards to ease the cost a little.
Here’s a look at how well the three-star rated restaurants are reviewed by the public, as well as how much it would cost to eat at each.
We know that these restaurants are highly rated by critics, but the most loved by the public is Stockholm’s Frantzén.
Frantzén is known for its immersive setting, with guests first being taken on a tour of the beautiful multi-storey townhouse before enjoying their food.
98.25% of reviews left on Tripadvisor for Frantzén describe the restaurant as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
In second place is King's Joy, in Beijing, with 96.81% of its reviews being ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
King’s Joy offers a blend of traditional Chinese food and Western European fusion cuisine and is located in a remodelled courtyard house, just a stone’s throw from Yonghe Temple.
France is the home of haute cuisine, with the third most popular restaurant with diners being Régis et Jacques Marcon in the commune of Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid.
The food by Régis and Jacques Marcon is inspired by mother nature and is housed in a spectacular glazed building. Dishes include locally reared meat and hand-picked mushrooms.
|Rank||Restaurant||Location||Chef(s)||Awarded since||Total reviews||Total % of good reviews|
|1||Frantzén||Stockholm, Sweden||Björn Frantzén||2018||171||98.25%|
|2||King's Joy||Beijing, China||Gary Yin||2021||1,381||96.81%|
|3||Régis et Jacques Marcon||Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France||Régis and Jacques Marcon||2005||1,103||96.65%|
|4||Cheval Blanc||Basel, Switzerland||Peter Knogl||2016||519||96.53%|
|5||La Vague d'Or||Saint-Tropez, France||Arnaud Donckele||2013||446||96.41%|
|6||Schloss Schauenstein||Fürstenau, Switzerland||Andreas Caminada||2011||404||96.29%|
|7||Restaurante Martín Berasategui||Lasarte-Oria, Spain||Martín Berasategui||2001||1,830||96.12%|
|8||Aqua||Wolfsburg, Germany||Sven Elverfeld||2009||206||96.12%|
|9||Core by Clare Smyth||London, UK||Clare Smyth||2021||906||96.03%|
|10||De Librije||Zwolle, Netherlands||Jonnie Boer||2004||666||95.80%|
|11||Epicure||Paris, France||Éric Fréchon||2009||2,857||95.73%|
|13||Maison Lameloise||Chagny, France||Éric Pras||2007||1,602||95.51%|
|14||Waldhotel Sonnora||Dreis, Germany||Clemens Rambichler||1999||221||95.48%|
|15||El Celler de Can Roca||Girona, Spain||Joan Roca||2009||3,097||95.25%|
All of the world’s three-star restaurants are clearly highly rated, but some don’t hit the mark quite as often with diners.
Taian, located in Osaka, Japan, is one such restaurant, with 70.83% of reviews being either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
That’s still a very respectable rating but does fall short of many other Michelin-starred restaurants on Tripadvisor.
Another restaurant with slightly lower acclaim on Tripadvisor is Le Petit Nice in Marseille.
Located on the seafront, the food here is sourced from the Mediterranean, with 65 different varieties of fish over the course of the year, including the signature dish “Bouille Abaisse”.
Completing the three lowest-rated restaurants on Tripadvisor is La Yeon, in Seoul, where just 73.17% of reviews described the experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
La Yeon, located on the 23rd floor of the Shilla Hotel with stunning views over Namsan Park, gives traditional Korean dishes a contemporary update.
|Rank||Restaurant||Location||Chef(s)||Awarded since||Total reviews||% of good reviews|
|1||Taian||Osaka, Japan||Hitoshi Takahata||2011||48||70.83%|
|2||Le Petit Nice||Marseille, France||Gérald Passedat||2008||1,080||72.22%|
|3||La Yeon||Seoul, South Korea||Kim Sung-Il||2016||82||73.17%|
|4||Nakamura||Kyoto, Japan||Motokazu Nakamura||2011||31||74.19%|
|5||Arpège||Paris, France||Alain Passard||1996||1,335||76.85%|
|6||Mirazur||Menton, France||Mauro Colagreco||2019||1,556||78.15%|
|7||Quintessence||Tokyo, Japan||Shuzo Kishida||2008||109||80.73%|
|8||Kikunoi Honten||Kyoto, Japan||Yoshihiro Murata||2010||291||80.76%|
|9||Enoteca Pinchiorri||Florence, Italy||Annie Féolde, Italo Bassi, and Riccardo Monco||1993||1,486||81.16%|
|10||Kadowaki||Tokyo, Japan||Toshiya Kadowaki||2020||27||81.48%|
|11||ABaC||Barcelona, Spain||Jordi Cruz||2018||2,191||81.83%|
|12||Akelarre||San Sebastián, Spain||Pedro Subijana||2006||1,765||81.93%|
|13||Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester||London, UK||Jean-Philippe Blondet||2010||1,717||82.12%|
|14||Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc||Courchevel 1850, France||Yannick Alléno and Gérard Barbin||2017||68||82.35%|
|15||Manresa||Los Gatos, US||David Kinch||2016||262||82.44%|
There’s no getting away from the fact that Michelin-starred dining is expensive, but the prices do vary quite considerably.
For example, at King’s Joy (which was also one of the top-rated restaurants on Tripadvisor), the menus start at RMB¥699 per person, which is equivalent to around £83.
Another of the more affordable three-star restaurants on offer is Lung King Heen, located in the Four Seasons Hong Kong.
Here the cost is HK$1,980 for two people, so for one person that’s HK$990, or just under £100 for one person.
Hiroshima’s only Michelin-starred restaurant is Nakashima, but it’s also one of the most affordable in the world, with the set menu costing JP¥17,320 (£108).
The restaurant serves kaiseki cuisine and is located in the city’s elegant and affluent Hakushima district.
|Rank||Restaurant||Location||Chef(s)||Set Menu Price - Local currency||Set Menu Price - GBP||Set Menu Price - USD||Set Menu Price - EUR|
|1||King's Joy||Beijing, China||Gary Yin||RMB¥699||£83||$110||€100|
|2||Lung King Heen||Hong Kong||Chan Yan Tak||HK$990||£96||$126||€115|
|3||Nakashima||Hiroshima, Japan||Tetsuo Nakashima||JP¥17,320||£108||$142||€129|
|4||Restaurant Überfahrt||Rottach-Egern, Germany||Christian Jürgens||€146||£122||$161||€146|
|5||Kikunoi Honten||Kyoto, Japan||Yoshihiro Murata||JP¥20,000||£125||$165||€149|
|6||Dal Pescatore||Canneto sull'Oglio, Italy||Nadia Santini||€150||£125||$165||€150|
|7||Kashiwaya||Osaka, Japan||Hideaki Matsuo||JP¥22,000||£137||$181||€164|
|8||Restaurant Gordon Ramsay||London, UK||Gordon Ramsay and Matt Abé||£140||£140||$184||€168|
|8||Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester||London, UK||Jean-Philippe Blondet||£140||£140||$184||€168|
|10||Kei||Paris, France||Kei Kobayashi||€170||£142||$187||€170|
|10||Reale||Castel di Sangro, Italy||Niko Romito||€170||£142||$187||€170|
|12||L'Osier||Tokyo, Japan||Olivier Chaignon||JP¥23,000||£143||$189||€172|
|13||Clos de Sens||Annecy-le-Vieux, France||Laurent Petit||€178||£148||$196||€178|
|14||Régis et Jacques Marcon||Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France||Régis and Jacques Marcon||€180||£150||$198||€180|
If money is no obstacle, then you might want to check out Guy Savoy in Paris, where the cheapest set menu option costs €530 (£441) and contains 13 courses.
The restaurant is named after its head chef, who Gordon Ramsay has described as his mentor and specialises in nouvelle cuisine.
The second most expensive three-star restaurant is Kyoto’s Kitcho Arashiyama, where the cheapest dinner menu comes in at JP¥66,000 including taxes, which works out at around £411.
No expense is spared at Kitcho Arashiyama, which pays homage to Japan’s tea ceremony traditions, in a classic Ryokan setting overlooking a serene garden.
In third place is Arpège, the restaurant of esteemed chef Alain Passard, where the menu Terre & Mer costs €490 (around £408).
The restaurant is one of the most famous in Paris and has maintained its three Michelin stars for more than two decades with a strong focus on vegetable-based dishes (although some meat-based dishes are available).
|Rank||Restaurant||Location||Chef(s)||Set menu price - Local currency||Set menu price - GBP||Set menu price - USD||Set menu price - EUR|
|1||Guy Savoy||Paris, France||Guy Savoy||€530||£441||$583||€530|
|2||Kitcho Arashiyama||Kyoto, Japan||Kunio Tokuoka||JP¥66,000||£411||$543||€493|
|3||Arpège||Paris, France||Alain Passard||€490||£408||$539||€490|
|4||Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen||Paris, Paris||Yannick Alléno||€429||£357||$472||€429|
|5||Frantzén||Stockholm, Sweden||Björn Frantzén||4,200 SEK kr||£338||$447||€406|
|6||Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc||Courchevel 1850, France||Yannick Alléno and Gérard Barbin||€395||£329||$435||€395|
|7||Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare||New York City, US||César Ramírez||$430||£326||$430||€391|
|8||Hof van Cleve||Kruishoutem, Belgium||Peter Goossens||€390||£325||$429||€390|
|9||Geranium||Copenhagen, Denmark||Rasmus Kofoed||2,900 DKK kr.||£325||$429||€390|
|9||Noma||Copenhagen, Denmark||René Redzepi||2,900 DKK kr.||£325||$429||€390|
|11||Epicure||Paris, France||Éric Fréchon||€380||£316||$418||€380|
|11||Le Cinq||Paris,France||Christian Le Squer||€380||£316||$418||€380|
|11||Mirazur||Menton, France||Mauro Colagreco||€380||£316||$418||€380|
|14||Maaemo||Oslo, Norway||Esben Holmboe Bang||3,500 NOkr||£308||$404||€367|
|15||DiverXO||Madrid, Spain||David Muñoz||€365||£304||$402||€365|
So, taking both of these factors into consideration (reviews and cost), which three-starred restaurants can claim to be the best value?
Given that it was not only the second best-reviewed restaurant but also the most affordable, it’s no surprise that Beijing’s King’s Boy comes out on top here.
Founded over half a century ago, King’s Joy is known for its vegetarian menu, all part of its mission to promote a sustainable lifestyle to its customers.
In second place is Régis et Jacques Marcon, with 96.6% of reviews being positive, and the cheapest set menu price of just £150.
As well as incredible food, the beautiful surroundings of this restaurant add a great deal to the experience, with panoramic views of the Valleys of Ardèche and Mont du Velay.
Nakashima takes third place, with 94.9% of its reviews being either excellent or very good, and a relatively affordable price tag of £108, given the quality of the food.
The team here draw upon Hiroshima’s culinary traditions, with special details such as specially-made ceramics that are tailored to each dish.
|Rank||Restaurant||Location||Chef(s)||% of good reviews||Set menu price - Local currency||Set menu price -GBP||Set menu price -USD||Set menu price -EUR||Value score /10|
|1||King's Joy||Beijing, China||Gary Yin||96.8%||RMB¥699||£83||$110||€100||9.96|
|2||Régis et Jacques Marcon||Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France||Régis and Jacques Marcon||96.6%||€180||£150||$198||€180||9.31|
|3||Nakashima||Hiroshima, Japan||Tetsuo Nakashima||94.9%||JP¥17,320||£108||$142||€129||9.17|
|4||Kei||Paris, France||Kei Kobayashi||95.7%||€170||£142||$187||€170||9.08|
|5||Maison Lameloise||Chagny, France||Éric Pras||95.5%||€180||£150||$198||€180||8.85|
|6||Aqua||Wolfsburg, Germany||Sven Elverfeld||96.1%||€195||£162||$215||€195||8.84|
|7||El Celler de Can Roca||Girona, Spain||Joan Roca||95.3%||€190||£158||$209||€190||8.66|
|8||Core by Clare Smyth||London, UK||Clare Smyth||96.0%||£175||£175||$230||€209||8.34|
|9||Uliassi||Senigallia, Italy||Mauro Uliassi||94.5%||€200||£166||$220||€200||8.20|
|10||Cheval Blanc||Basel, Switzerland||Peter Knogl||96.5%||CHF240||£195||$259||€235||8.15|
|10||Schloss Schauenstein||Fürstenau, Switzerland||Andreas Caminada||96.3%||CHF238||£194||$257||€233||8.15|
|12||L'Auberge du Vieux Puits||Fontjoncouse, France||Gilles Goujon||94.6%||€205||£171||$226||€205||8.11|
|13||Restaurant Gordon Ramsay||London,UK||Gordon Ramsay and Matt Abé||91.6%||£140||£140||$184||€168||7.92|
|14||Christopher Coutanceau||La Rochelle, France||Christopher Coutanceau||93.4%||€210||£175||$231||€210||7.83|
To earn even one Michelin star is a huge honour for a chef but which have the most Michelin stars to their name?
Currently, the chef who has been awarded the most Michelin stars is Alain Ducasse, who owns a number of eateries including Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.
He actually held even more stars until his restaurant at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris recently shut down after a 21-year run.
In second place for the most Michelin stars is Pierre Gagnaire, with 14 stars, with the most famous of these coming from this eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Paris.
Gagnaire is a revolutionary figure in cooking and has been at the forefront of fusion cuisine, introducing jarring juxtapositions of ingredients, flavours, tastes and textures throughout his career.
With 12 Michelin stars, Martín Berasategui comes in third place. His most famous restaurant is the one bearing his name in Lasarte-Oria in Spain and he specialises in Basque cuisine, having been born in San Sebastián.
|6||Gordon Ramsay||United Kingdom||7|
|6||Thomas Keller||United States||7|
|12||Heston Blumenthal||United Kingdom||6|
A Michelin star is an award given by the Michelin Guide to recognise outstanding restaurants and is seen as a hallmark of culinary excellence and the gold standard that chefs look to achieve.
Stars are awarded on an annual basis, with existing stars being reassessed each year, meaning they can be taken away too.
According to the Guide, the awarding of Michelin stars is based on: “the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed in their cuisine and consistency both over time and across the entire menu.”
It’s important to note that the awarding of a Michelin star is based purely on the food on your plate, the decoration and style of the restaurant or the quality of the service don’t come into the equation.
In the latest edition of the Michelin Guide, there are 176 Michelin star restaurants in the United Kingdom.
Eight of these were awarded three stars, 18 were given two stars, and 150 were given one star, with a further 101 being given the Bib Gourmand award (given to restaurants in a cheaper price bracket) and 27 awarded a Michelin Green Star which rewards sustainability.
Unsurprisingly, dining at a Michelin star establishment comes at a cost, especially for those with two or three stars.
The average cost of the tasting menus in our research was £223 per person although this only applies to three-star restaurants. Prices at one and two Michelin star establishments can vary quite a lot, but you can usually expect to spend at least three figures per person.
Restaurants can be given up to three Michelin stars, with more stars indicating a better restaurant.
According to the guide itself, one Michelin star means “a very good restaurant in its category”, two stars signifies “excellent cooking” that is “worth a detour.”, while three stars mean “exceptional cuisine” that is “worth a special journey.”
Luxury dining out - whether at home or abroad - is all about getting away from the mundane and treating yourself to something extra special.
But where should you go to enjoy the finer things in life from Michelin star chefs, cities with the most luxury on offer to travelling in style at the best airports or just to get the best brunch a city has to offer.
Here are our guides to the best places to head - to offer up some delicious inspiration:
Our experts analysed costs that make up a typical city break from various data sources, including:
- The average costs of an Airbnb (one night): insideairbnb.com
- Transport (based on a day bus pass, sourced from local transport websites)
- Top tourist attraction costs: tripadvisor.co.uk
- Cost of white wine: Using the top-rated restaurant on tripadvisor.co.uk for each city and sourcing prices from their menu
- Cost of main meal: Using the top-rated restaurant on trip.advisor.co.uk for each city and sourcing the cheapest cost of a main meal
By totalling the costs for each city, we then ranked them from lowest to highest to reveal the cheapest city break destination.
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Data correct April 2022.
Airbnb data: http://insideairbnb.com/
City population: https://worldpopulationreview.com/continents/cities/europe
*The Irish Times. Dublin is the most expensive place to live in the eurozone due to high rents: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/dublin-most-expensive-place-to-live-in-euro-zone-due-to-high-rents-1.4273703#:~:text=Cost%20of%20living%20survey%20places,top%20in%20the%20euro%20area&text=However%2C%20in%20terms%20of%20the,a%20month%20in%20the%20capital
James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC.
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.