In a city known for high prices on most everything, San Francisco does have some affordable Michelin starred restaurants. While the notion of dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant may seem out of reach, not all award-winning restaurants cost an “arm and a leg”. Indeed, it may come as a surprise that a selection of local Michelin starred restaurants actually have many menu items that are priced under $25.
Update: Some places may be closed or have modified hours due to COVID-19
1499 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Located in the vibrant Mission District, AL’s Place is easily one of the City’s most affordable Michelin starred restaurants. Led by Chef/Owner Aaron London, AL’s Place offers superb Northern California regional cuisine yet in a cozy and relaxed environment. Open only for dinner, the 46-seat restaurant features a superb vegetable-centric menu. On the other hand, it also offers a number of exceptional omnivorous dishes. Most items are priced at $22 or lower. However, there are additional prime options like Fish Mullet and 35-Day Aged Ribeye.
151 Third St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Opened in 2016 to widespread acclaim, It Situ is an extraordinary concept restaurant inside the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA). Founded by Corey Lee, owner/chef of the Michelin 3-starred Benu located nearby, In Situ features a revolving menu whose unique dishes are made from recipes by chefs from around the world. All current menu items are listed at under $30 with the exception of the Roasted Filet of Beef and Smoked Bone Marrow ($48), provided by Chef Paul Cunningham.
Note: In Situ has permanently closed.
Related: Food Lover’s Guide To San Francisco
55 Cyril Magnin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Located in a rear alcove of the upscale Parc 55 Hotel, Kin Khao is a casual and oft-lively Thai eatery serving what’s described as “…. not Thai food for beginners”. While items on the menu are what owner Pim Techamuanvivit says is “the kind of food I grew up eating”, the high quality spices has the potential to overwhelm an unsuspecting guest. However the menu items are as incredibly delicious as they are innovative, using high quality ingredients from local purveyors. Don’t forget to visit the sister restaurant, Nari.
Note: At this time, Kin Khao remains temporarily closed.
888 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
A consistent Michelin star recipient since 2010, Luce is well known for its globally inspired New American fare. Led by Chef Daniel Corey, Luce offers multiple affordable Michelin-quality items, particularly for brunch and lunch.. For instance, an Avocado Toast is just $8 and house made Straus Yogurt is $11, while the Winter Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli lunch entrée is priced at just $21. If you have dinner, try signature dishes like the duck breast, dive scallops or black truffle beef short rib.
State Bird Provisions
1529 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
The 2013 James Beard Award winner for Best New Restaurant, State Bird Provisions was predicted then to “have a significant impact on the industry for years to come”. Yet despite that, husband and wife owners Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski have managed to keep menu items remarkably affordable. Located in the Fillmore District, State Bird Provisions features current menu items refreshingly priced between $3 and $32. If you have time, visit the sister restaurant, Progress.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who has covered national/international travel for CBS Local and all things San Francisco for CBS San Francisco. His stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio and Radio.com, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.