Updated by Farah on 17/02/2022
For centuries France, and especially Paris, have been associated with exceptional cuisine. After all, the word gastronomy itself comes from the French!
The French institution called the Michelin Guide is regarded the world over as being THE voice of authority when it comes to which restaurants are truly incredible. So it should be no surprise that France has the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. And, believe it or not, more than a quarter of those dreamy eateries are located in Paris.
Michelin-starred restaurants are often misinterpreted as being overly exclusive, or only for those with larger than life budgets. But I’m here to tell you that you CAN enjoy the best in French gastronomy, even if you’re on a budget! To help you out, I’ve made a list of the best Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank.
Courtesy of lefooding.fr
First up on my list of Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that wont break the bank is Septime. This 1 star Michelin restaurant is located rather on the outskirts of the 11th arrondissement, in a decidedly unexpected location. But once you step inside you’ll feel right at home. The interior is modern, comfortable, well thought-out and ultimately very welcoming.
Chef Bertrand Grébaut spent years training under French greats like Jöel Rebuchon and Alain Passard. And his culinary training and expertise shines through at Septime. The imaginative menu focuses on modern, creative French cuisine, and changes often.
A fresh take on the basics is welcomed here, and has made Septime extremely popular with locals and first-timers alike. As with any Michelin-starred restaurant, lunch is a much more affordable option than dinner, and the portions are usually really comparable. At lunchtime, their 5 course carte blanche menu will set you back €60, and a wine pairing is an additional €45. At dinner time these figures climb but still dangle in the realm of affordability. We’re talking Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, after all! Dinner is €95 with a wine pairing for €60.
Whether you prefer to try lunch or dinner, make sure to plan ahead and reserve. Septime’s popularity is no joke, and they’re often booked up for 3 weeks plus in advance.
septime – 80 rue de charonne 75011
open M-F from 12-14:30 and from 19-23:00
weekends from 12-23:00 nonstop
Courtesy of Garance
This next spot is truly a hidden gem. Up now on our list of Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank is Garance. While Garance may be lesser-known than some of the other restaurants in this article, it is every bit as delicious!
Tucked away in the luxurious and largely residential 7th arrondissement, Garance is easily overlooked by the casual passerby. But it shouldn’t be missed.
Garance is composed of a dynamic duo, chef Guillaume Iskandar and sommelier Guillaume Muller. The latter of which previously trained under Alain Passard at his 3 star restaurant, l’Arpège.
Courtesy of Critique-Gastronomique.com
Their creative approach to extraordinary food and wines has a French and international influence. The menu at Garance is constantly evolving to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients. Plus everything comes fresh from the farm they maintain near Limousin, France.
With an extensive wine list, there’s a definite focus on wine pairings, and the combinations here are some of the best in the city. Dinner menus start at €70 and lunch menus are even more affordable.
garance – 34 rue saint-dominique 75007
open weekdays from 12:15 to 14:00 and from 19:45 to 21:45
Courtesy of Parisinfo.com
Though Antoine has a distinctly, upscale Mediterranean feel, it’s difficult to classify this one star restaurant by just one cuisine. Fresh meat and seafood play a central role and revisited classics await you here. Influence from the Mediterranean culture and cuisine is evident, and dishes take on Spanish, French, even Italian nuances. Chef Thibault Sombardier hails from Lyon, in the South of France and successfully combines his passion for seafood and his hometown terroir.
The daily menu, focusing on “surf and turf” (or “terre et mer” as we could say in French) includes the catch of the day as well as a revisited classic. The winning combos at Antoine clearly demonstrate Sombardier’s passion and skill for both cuisines.
This sophisticated cadre in the 16th arrondissement lets you enjoy a view of the Eiffel Tower while you dine. Antoine is your picture perfect Michelin-starred restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. Rather quite the opposite. A meal here definitely won’t break the bank. With full lunch menus costing just €49, you really can’t beat the prices at Antoine. And did I mention the view? This place is a win-win in my book.
Just be sure to make a reservation!
antoine – 10 avenue de new york 75116
open weekdays from 12:30 to 13:30 and from 19:30 to 21:30
Image from Automne’s website.
Automne is headed by Japanese chef Nobuyuki Akishige and is located in the 11th arrondissement. At this simple bistro, Akishige creates beautiful French dishes with a twist with fresh, seasonal top-notch ingredients. Try roast duck breast, parsley root purée and kalamata olives or the tasting menu at a reasonable price tag!
automne – 11 Rue Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris
open Wed-Sun 12-14.30 and 19:30-22:30; closed mondays & tuesdays
Image sourced from Benoit’s website
This cute, vintage style classic bistro, located not far from the Hotel de Ville, is supervised by Alain Ducasse and serves traditional French cuisine. Founded in 1912, this restaurant enjoys one Michelin star and is one of the oldest in the city.
It is one of Paris’ favourite places for French cuisine. Enjoy dishes such as Lucullus beef tongue, snails in their shells and pâté en croûte in a lively and friendly environment. Don’t forget to try their wine selection from their 21 wines.
benoit – 20 Rue Saint-Martin, 75004 Paris
open everyday 12-14.30 and 19:30-22:30pm
Restaurant Anne *
Image sourced from the Michelin Guide
This restaurant, located in Le Pavillon de la Reine, serves classic French cuisine in intimate, cozy settings. Its name is based on Anne of Austria, Queen of France and wife to Louis XIII and menu headed by chef Mathieu Pacaud.
Rated one Michelin star, this place has a library lounge and a courtyard garden for a intimate and romantic environment. A good selection of wines accompanies the contemporary French dishes so try a few for sure. Expect to pay between 39 -150 EUR, with lunch being the best bang for your bucks with an entree, meal of choice and dessert, all for 39€.
anne – 28 place des Vosges, Paris, 75003
open Wed-Sun lunch 12:30-14.00: snacking menu from 15:00-18:00pm and dinner from 19:00-10:00; closed mondays & tuesdays
Le Taillevent **
Courtesy of Le Taillevent
Le Taillevent is the the only two-starred place in my list of Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank. Not only does chef David Bizet of Le Taillevent possess an exceptional culinary prowess, but the restaurant’s luxurious setting will make you feel like royalty.
Located in the elegant 8th arrondissement, le Taillevent suits the area perfectly. Wood paneling, antique accents and gold leaf portraits decorate the interior of this beautifully converted 19th-century mansion. Before becoming a Michelin-stared restaurant, the mansion belonged to the Duke de Morny; a prominent politician and half-brother of Napoleon! The royal touches have been preserved, and the food is fit for a King (or Queen) too.
Classic French dishes with creative new touches make up the menu at le Taillevent. Every dish is artfully constructed and well thought out, which makes for a delicious and oh so aesthetically pleasing meal. Traditional dishes like braised duck are updated with exciting new flavors like cherry blossom.
Courtesy of Le Taillevent
The prices here are a little steeper than some of the other Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank, but that’s because it has two stars! Though it’s a bit pricier, the location is divine and the food excellent. Lunch still falls into the affordable category at €90 for a full menu. And don’t forget to check out the wine list, they feature more than 2,800 wines and spirits to choose from!
le taillevent – 15 rue lamennais 75008
open weekdays from 12:15-14:00 and from 19:15 to 22:00
Alléno – Pavillon Ledoyen ***
Courtesy of Michelin Guide
Alright, well my list of Paris Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank, wouldn’t be complete unless a three star restaurant was included. As fate would have it, one of the best (and most affordable) 3-star Michelin restaurants is also in amazing setting.
Welcome to Alléno, the namesake of legendary starred Michelin Chef, Yannick Alléno. Tucked away inside the glamorous Pavillon Ledoyen is one of the city’s finest gastronomic restaurants.
Chef Alléno plays with flavors from around the world to create complex, one of a kind meals. The menu changes regularly, but each rendition is just as good as the last. Dinner prices are à la carte, but they do offer a set menu at lunchtime. Lunch will set you back €135 euros before drinks, but it’s more than worth it for an exceptional 3-star Michelin experience.
Courtesy of Michelin Guide
Though you’re just a few meters from the Champs-Elysées, you would never guess it! The restaurant’s sophisticated touches create a more intimate feeling, despite the huge space. And tall bay windows look out onto the lush garden surrounding the Pavillon.
Again, reservations are recommended, and a smart casual dress code is enforced here.
Alléno pavillon ledoyen – 8 avenue dutuit 75008
open weekdays from 19:30-22:00
lunch on Saturdays from 12:00-14:00
Some Helpful Tips
The best piece of advice I can give you when trying to find a Paris Michelin-starred restaurant that won’t break the bank, is to go for lunch. Often times, these restaurants have very similar or even identical menus at lunchtime. And at a fraction of the price you’ll pay for dinner. Wine pairings are also more affordable in the afternoon.
Another tip is to go during the week. The weekday time slots are far less busy than on the weekend. So you’ll receive better and more attentive service.
Check if there’s a dress code, before going! You don’t want to show up for your reservation only to be over or under dressed. This kind of information is easy to find on the restaurants website. Generally, smart casual is fine. For fancier places, men should add a suit jacket.
Lastly, plan ahead and reserve. Dining at a Parisian gastronomic restaurant is one of the must-do activities for many visitors. And the places listed in this article are pretty popular. To ensure you get a place, plan on reserving at least a few weeks in advance.
What is the Cheapest Michelin 3-star restaurant?
Image sourced from the Michelin Guide’s website
This haute French high-end restaurant serves exceptional cuisine in a beautiful space. Pair the artfully presented plates with beautiful European wines and finish off with a special dessert by a talented pastry chef.
Japanese-born chef Kei Kobayashi cooks up fine cuisine with both Japanese and French influences. A lunch menu will cost you 85 € which is probably the cheapest option as far as 3-star Michelin restaurants in Paris are concerned.
RESTAURANT KEI – 5 rue du Coq-Héron, Paris, 75001
open Tuesday to Saturday (except Thursday noon) from 12:30 to 13:15 (last order)and from 19:45 to 20:45 (last order)
I hope you’ll get the chance to try some of these incredible restaurants. See you soon in Paris and bon appétit!
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Michelin Guide Star Rating Descriptions
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|Chef salaries - 2 salaries reported||$50,084/yr|
|Server salaries - 2 salaries reported||$34,033/yr|
|Lawyer salaries - 1 salaries reported||$114,578/yr|
|Line Cook salaries - 1 salaries reported||$37,477/yr|
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#6: Gordon Ramsay
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|2016||Osteria Francescana||El Celler de Can Roca|
|2017||Eleven Madison Park||Osteria Francescana|
|2018||Osteria Francescana||El Celler de Can Roca|
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|Alain at Identità Golose Conference 2010|
|Born||13 September 1956 Orthez, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France|
|Cooking style||French cuisine|
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Joël Robuchon, 31 Michelin Stars
He was also named "Chef of the Century" numerous times. He specialized in French cuisine and has 12 restaurants in his possession. Joël liked the mentoring of young chefs too. A former student of his was the now infamous Gordon Ramsay.
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I am of course speaking of Paul Bocuse, the “pope” of modern French gastronomy, whose restaurant I had a chance to visit last January and who has been awarded 3 Michelin stars since 1965, making him the longest holder of this prestigious award in the world.