Eating in a restaurant distinguished by the prestigious Michelin guide without breaking the bank is possible!

On the occasion of the release of the 2021 edition, Europe 1 has identified for you the hundred or so establishments offering the cheapest menus.


The list is growing: 54 new establishments received their first star in the Michelin Guide on Monday.

Restaurants distinguished for the finesse of their cuisine, and therefore overpriced?

Not necessarily !

Europe 1 has selected for you some 100 least expensive starred restaurants in France *, all of which offer a menu at 35 euros maximum - sometimes much less - for lunch.

The prices are those displayed online and range from 21 euros (La Vieille Tour, in Cellettes, in the Loir-et-Cher), to 35 euros maximum.

"More than ever, it was particularly important for us to honor this meeting that we have every year with chefs, teams and all lovers of good food", explained to Europe 1 Gwendal Poullennec, international director from the Michelin guide.

While restaurants are still closed due to the coronavirus epidemic in France, our map also lists their websites, which specify whether "click and collect" menus are available. 

Discover the 100 cheapest starred restaurants in France (click on a restaurant for information: name, address, menu price and website): 

The key to an affordable menu: fewer noble products

This is not a surprise: the restaurateurs who offer these menus immediately discard noble products, such as foie gras or Saint-Jacques, preferring pork, pollock or whiting.

Which does not mean "discount menu".

"In this menu, people must still feel that they are in a Michelin macaroon, our technique, respect for the quality of the product and the cooking are there. The service too. And we have a menu of wines adapted to the menu ", explains for example Philippe Hardy, chef of the Mascaret in Blainville-sur-Mer, in Manche. 

"We are looking for seasonal products, from regional producers," says Chrisophe Dupouy, who runs the Clefs d'Argent in Mont-de-Marsan.

"I go to markets four times a week, we work a lot with eggs, soups or starters that require a little less produce, but more work," adds Philippe Hardy. 

"The important thing is that customers want to come back"

In the smallest towns, mainly, the chefs target a more loyal clientele, as Philippe Hardy sums it up: "People who come by the small menu, because it is noon and it is served in barely three-quarters of an hour, they will come back in the evening with their wives, friends ... The important thing is that the customers want to come back. We don't have a passing clientele, so we have to diversify the menu to have a regular clientele on this menu, "he explains.

"And then everything is transformed at home: we make our bread, our butter, and even the praline for the desserts! We are both starred chefs, but also artisan cooks. And that is important."

Christophe Dupouy, who runs Les Clefs d'Argent in Mont-de-Marsan, in the Landes, details the type of menu offered at 25 euros: "Butternut velouté with chestnut pickles, smoked duck ham, then wild fish from our braised ribs, with candied sweet potatoes and for dessert a revisit of Paris-Brest ".



 Michelin Guide 2021: the new life of these chefs who have renounced the stars

A first vegetal restaurant in the 2021 selection

Among these restaurants offering an affordable lunchtime formula, we find ONA (Non-animal origin), the first vegetal restaurant to integrate the famous red guide, with a menu at 24 euros.

Europe 1 had slipped into the kitchens of chef Claire Vallée when she received the phone call announcing her obtaining her first star last week.

Find his emotional reaction on video here. 

© Pierre Herbulot / Europe 1

The most famous gastronomic guide was the only one to make his selection for the Covid era "according to the same criteria since always", while his competitors have chosen to cancel their list (such as the British ranking 50 Best), or to readjust to the pandemic by rewarding the resistant, innovative or united actions of chefs (such as Gault and Millau or La Liste). 

* When the menu prices were not clear on the website, our reporter called the restaurants directly to get the information.