Some Michelin Starred Restaurants You Can Actually Afford

Welcome to the next level, guys


by Jess Commons |
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Cash-strapped foodies rejoice! This year, more so that ever before, the Michelin Star lot have made a point of recognising restaurants that are less about the gigantic price tag (laters Nobu) and more about the good food, informal setting and most importantly, reasonable prices. While no Michelin Starred restaurant is ever going to be as cheap as your friendly neighbourhood fish and chip shop, there are a couple that – with a few smart tips – could almost be affordable during that heady post-pay-day week when you think it’s totally acceptable to drop cash on all leisure pursuits with wild abandon.

Here’s what they are

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The Clove Club


Located in Shoreditch (obvs), you’d be forgiven for walking straight past this one and mistaking it for a historical town hall (which indeed the rest of the building actually is). While the restaurant menu is a princely £55 for two courses, but take yourself down to the bar and order off the bar menu and you’ll find a ‘new season parsley root, grilled chanterelle and Wiltshire truffles’, priced at just £14. We had to look up chanterelles (turns out they’re a type of mushroom), but truffles, those are definitely a rich-people food. We’re there.

**Thackeray’s **


Tunburdge Wells is definitely high up on that list of London commuter towns we’re up for moving to once sense knocks us on the head with a whacking great mallet screaming ‘You’re paying HOW MUCH to live in a room the size of a rabbit hutch in a questionable neighoubrhood?’ Thackeray’s is the town’s best restaurant, and while dinner time gets a bit pricey, head over during lunch on a Saturday and pick up two courses for a not too shabby £17.95 – which is exactly what you’d find yourself paying at Pizza Express. Plus, the meals LOOK fancy – little portions piled in a artful way – just so you can feel extra fancy.



Another one of this year’s newbies, Barrafina (with locations in Soho and Covent Garden) is an excellent tapas bar that’s as relaxed and informal as you like. Normally tapas is something of a problem for us; the whole sharing thing is a right old social minefield (will they eat my share, am I allowed another chorizo slice, etc), but when it’s this good we’ll get over our pathetic issues and head on in. We reckon three-ish dishes’ll do you nicely, so get chips with brava sauce (the sauce makes it authentic, right?) for £4, the chorizo Iberico de belotta meat platter for £6, and the ham croquetas for £4.50, and you’ve got yourself a meal for £14.50. No sharing allowed.

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Again in London, sorry sorry sorry, but all the cheaper Northern ones are in the middle of nowhere about 100 miles away from any sizeable town, so you’d spend half your budget on petrol money and have to forgo the wine. Anyways Arbutus is in Soho, again, and the menu changes on a daily basis (having that much imagination proves they definitely give more of a shit than Nando’s), so we can’t help you out loads on individual dinner prices, but what you COULD do is head there on a Sunday afternoon and pick up their weekender deal that is three courses for £19.95 and which is always the same. Choose from things with names like ‘veloute’ ‘Muscat grapes’, ‘cavolo nero’ and ‘salsify’. Oh my.

Social Eating House


Er, in Soho again. Sorry guys. Social Eating House has been a safe staple on the London foodie scene since it opened a year ago. All dark leather and mahogany wood, it looks like the kind of study you’d dream up if you were a moneyed bachelor with excellent taste (of which there are not many). The a la carte menu is kind of pricey (although the sharing ‘jars’ at £6 each do make for good starters or nibbles if it’s cocktails you’re after), but the prix fixe menu is ace: two courses for £19 or three for £23. Dig in.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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