The Best Michelin-Starred Meals in SF for Under $30

Get yer grilled sunchokes (and everything tasty) while you can

Michelin meals San Francisco
The young hen is the signature summer dish at Commonwealth

Thirty bucks doesn’t usually go that far in San Francisco. But it might go an awful lot further than you think at some of our favorite Michelin-starred restaurants — as long as you spend wisely.

We’re not talking about the chef’s table experience at Atelier Crenn ($450) or your average omakase dinner ($100+). We’re talking about the singular meals across the city that punch above their weight, price-wise (like, say, the $20 Wagyu beef jerky flights at Niku).

Below, five dishes that prove it’s possible to sample from a range of Michelin-recognized menus on a budget.

Look, It’s pretty damn easy to spend $30 on Postmates buffalo wings. Why not get something worth talking about?

Best Michelin Meals San Francisco

Destination: Commonwealth, Mission
Vibe: High-California obsessed with local fruit and veg
How many stars? One
Michelin says: “The cool kids of the Mission flock to this upscale spot, all sleek vibe and warm welcome.”
Get: The steamed halibut with fresh and salted plums, with cauliflower, marigold and green tea butter
Note: In a distinct loss for the neighborhood, Commonwealth is closing for good August 26 after failed rent negotiations; get the grilled sunchokes and “carrots roasted over hay” while you can. 

Best Michelin Meals San Francisco

Destination: State Bird Provisions, Japantown
Vibe: Snacky Californian
How many stars? One
Michelin says: “You may not understand all of what you ordered at first, but prices are reasonable.” 
Get: An arrangement of small plates — maybe including the butcher’s steak with hon shimejis, local nori and black garlic ponzu ($29) if it’s available
Note: The challenge, of course, with State Bird is not finding inexpensive options, but getting a table. Head here

Best Michelin Meals San Francisco

Destination: Village Pub, Woodside
Vibe: Elevated American
How many stars? One
Michelin says: “Open to all — provided they can live up to the style standards set by its fan base of tech tycoons and ladies-who-lunch.”
Get: Bellwether Farms ricotta ravioli al uovo ($29) 
Note: The “pub menu” offers a burger and fries for $22 and is available to everyone, even those sitting in the chi-chi dining room. 

Best Michelin Meals San Francisco

Destination: Al’s Place, Mission
Vibe: High-end veggie-centric
How many stars? One
Michelin says: “Embrace the energy, perhaps with a glass of French wine.”
Get: Steak tartare with pickled kohlrabi ($18)
Note: Al’s Place is so modestly priced that you’ll be able to add on a “snackle” while staying under the $30 limit — try the $8 brine-pickled French fries with smoked apple sauce.

Best Michelin Meals San Francisco

Destination: Kin Khao, Union Square
Vibe: Unassuming but excellent Thai in a decidedly unfancy spot
How many stars? One
Michelin says: “When it comes to delivering authentically layered, fiery Thai flavor with a produce-driven northern California flair, it has no equal.”
Get: The plah pla muek: charred Monterey squid with spicy seafood sauce and peanuts ($19)
Note: Pair it with a bottle of the 2017 County Line rosé?


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