Cheapest Michelin restaurants UK: 6 of the most affordable fine-dining experiences in Britain

For when only the best will do (but your bank balance doesn't agree), these cheap Michelin starred restaurants offer something for everyone

Updated on • Written By Rosie Conroy

Cheapest Michelin restaurants UK: 6 of the most affordable fine-dining experiences in Britain

Synonymous with starched white tablecloths and silver service, thanks to all their usual trappings Michelin restaurants are rarely associated with the word ‘budget’. However, as luck would have it the cheapest Michelin restaurants in the UK actually have managed to make fine dining somewhat more affordable.

While we’re not saying you’re going to be able to beat a meal deal from your local Tesco, we do think it’s surprising how far your spend will go at some of the UK’s best restaurants if you know where to look. The easiest way to cut back on cost is to plump for a lunch instead of a dinner, where typically prices are much lower but the standard of cookery remains the same.

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Whether you’re looking to treat someone special or elevate your average mid-week lunchtime, there are a handful of high-end dining experiences across the UK that are comfortingly easy on the finances. Holiday company Parkdean Resorts recently undertook research to rate and rank the UK’s cheapest Michelin restaurants with surprising results. They measured the list on affordability plus reviews to weigh up not only value for money on the menu front, but also all-round experience. We've picked out a few of our favourites, as well as adding a couple of our own top shouts. 

As a general rule, those looking for Michelin-style meals at a snip of the price might find what they’re looking for via the Bib Gourmand accolades instead of diving in straight at the deep end of Michelin stars. These Bib Gourmands mark restaurants out as offering excellent quality food that offers good value for money too. These often mean you do away with the usual extras of fine-dining spots, like tasting menus and starched napkins, but are rewarded instead with hearty plates of delicious, seasonal food.

From tapas in Nottingham through to Italian in Glasgow, the best cheap Michelin meals in the UK are spread far and wide and truly offer something for everyone. Find out more about them below. 

BOX-E, Bristol

With space for just 14 guests. BOX-E’s wonderfully unpretentious approach is summed up in the restaurant’s residency in a shipping container. For the adventurous diner there’s a blind seven-course tasting menu that’ll set you back £50 per person, while elsewhere the a la carte gives you more autonomy over your spend. Starters begin from around £7 while mains range from around £15-20. Expect sparklingly fresh seasonal plates made using top-class British ingredients. Think spinach and Jersey Royal soup with a truffle crème fraiche or hake with fregola, anchovy and dill butter.
Michelin credentials: Bib Gourmand
Cost: Mains from £15
Where: Unit 10 Cargo 1, Bristol, BS1 6WP
Book now: BOX-E

Kindling, Brighton

Headed up by chefs and best friends Holly and Toby, Kindling pays particular attention to sustainable practices which includes sourcing produce from the nearby area and looking for low-waste solutions. At dinnertime you’re looking at mains of around the £20 mark, but if you’re willing to book in for lunch you can get away for under a tenner for things like soup and cheese toast or salted baked celeriac with purple potatoes, cheese and apple.
Michelin credentials: Featured in the Michelin guide
Cost: Lunch plates from £9
Where: 69 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ
Book now: Kindling

Juke and Loe, Sheffield

Having ranked in our Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, we were already fans of Juke and Loe’s work. Part of the key to the restaurant’s success is that it steers clear of sky-high prices in favour of crisp flavours and please-all plates that don't cost a fortune. Again, it’s lunch here that’s the real bargain with two courses on offer for £25. It’s a set affair with three options per course, plus the choice to add on dessert if you want to make it a full three course-er for £30. Dishes change seasonally but example dishes might include a ham hock terrine followed by a barbecued bavette steak with black garlic and chimichurri.
Michelin credentials: Featured in the Michelin guide
Cost: Lunch from £25
Where: 617 Ecclesall Road, Sharrow, Sheffield, S11 8PT
Book now: Juke and Loe

Iberico World Tapas, Nottingham

The cosy, casual vibes at Iberico World Tapas have made this sweet Spanish spot a foodie pilgrimage for many. Expect family-style surrounds elevated by a stellar run of classic tapas plates. If you’re keen on counting the pennies then let us point you in the direction of the Express Dining menu. Here you’ll find two tapas dishes plus bread for £15.95. A couple of fancier things come with a £2 supplement but the bulk of the menu is included in the price. We’re talking crispy patatas bravas covered in allioli as well as melting pork shoulder croquetas with burnt apple and fennel.
Michelin credentials: Bib Gourmand
Cost: Express menu from £15.95
Where: The Shire Hall, High Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 1HN
Book now: Iberico World Tapas

Celentano’s, Glasgow

Okay, this one doesn’t have a Michelin star, but it does have a pretty impressive Bib Gourmand – and for good reason. Dean Parker spent years working for revered London chef Robin Gill before making his way home to Glasgow to setup shop over on the east side of the city. Here he runs Celentano’s with his wife Anna. The pair focus on Italian plates and the results are fantastic. Our advice? Don’t skip the snacks – they're the best bits – and definitely leave room for dessert to try the kitchen’s creative take on an affogato. Cost-wise, you can get a small plate of pasta here from £11, while snacks start at £3.
Michelin credentials: Bib Gourmand
Cost: Pasta from £11
Where: 28-32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow, G4 0XA
Book now: Celentano’s

The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire

A classic choice for Welsh foodies, The Whitebrook has held a Michelin star for a number of years and hasn’t let the accolade inflate its prices beyond the realms of relative affordability. We’re not saying this one’s a bargain, but for the quality of the cooking and the comfortable setting it offers considerably good value for money. The best bet is the £49 lunch menu which takes you through three courses of farm-to-fork food. From the hogget with homegrown kale through to the rhubarb with toasted birch wood ice cream, everything is designed to squeeze maximum flavour from just a few key ingredients.
Michelin credentials: One Michelin star
Cost: Lunch from £49
Where: Monmouth, NP25 4TX
Book now: The Whitebrook

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