8 Best Michelin Starred Meals in Tokyo Under $15

 
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Tokyo stands as the city with the most Michelin starred restaurants in all of the world (304).  This top echelon of restaurants serves everything from world-class sushi to ramen and even classical French cooking.  The choice is dizzying.  

In Tokyo, even if you don't have a high-end budget you can dine like a royal every day.  Ten starred restaurants offer meals under $30, with many under $10!  There's no excuse to not eat Michelin in Tokyo, and naturally I tried all of them.  Here's the low down on the best:

 
 from left: sushi, soy roasted, and egg bake at Nakajima.  Surrounded by the complements that come with every set.

from left: sushi, soy roasted, and egg bake at Nakajima.  Surrounded by the complements that come with every set.

 

1.  Nakajima - Sardine lunch set

  Don't let the title throw you off.  Situated in the basement of a nondescript building moments from Shinjuku station, Nakajima is all about sardines, served every way imaginable.  I promise, these are not the sardines you're thinking of.  These are fresh from Tsukiji market, light, meaty, and definitely not too salty.  This spot offers a prix fixe menu for dinner, and a selection of lunch sets for only 800Y!  Recommended: sardine sushi and egg bake.   Price: $7.50

 
 Shoyu soba ramen at Tsuta

Shoyu soba ramen at Tsuta

 

2.  Tsuta- Ramen

  The first ramen restaurant to boast a Michelin star, this fast dining spot offers classic, flavor bomb ramen with a twist.  Their noodles are made with buckwheat, usually found in soba.  Price: $10

3. Nakiryu- the other Ramen

  The other ramen restaurant to make the list, this one is my preference, and right around the block from Tsuta, so you can try both in an afternoon ;).  Offering the classics from every ramen shop, this place adds a layer of flavor not found at your neighborhood joint, and cuts of meat to top not found on most menus.  Reccommended: Tantanmen.  There's also an extra spicy option!  Price: $8-10

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4.  Zuisetsu- Chinese sets

  Another hidden gem, Zuisetsu is on the second floor in a small neighborhood next to Simokitazawa.  Offering a lunch menu from 11-2:30, you get to choose between a la carte, or 3 different sets with choices within each.  I would suggest going for the medium set, which comes with an array of appetizers, one meat dish, one tofu dish, and one noodle dish, coming in at 1460Y.  Other than the nervous waiter, this meal was beyond.  It will change your idea of cheap Chinese food. Recommended: soft tofu with egg and shrimp, chashu pork noodle  Price: $10-15

5.  Kyourakutei- soba sets

  If you want traditionally made soba noodles, this is the place to go.  Made from seeds in the northern region, all noodles are prepared by hand in the traditional way (rolling and stamping).  The noodles can be ordered with a variety of dipping sauces and tempura fried toppings.    Price: $10-18  

 
 Tuna set at Ibuki

Tuna set at Ibuki

 

6.  Ginza Ibuki- tuna sets

  In the heart of Tokyo's high-end district, this restaurant feels perfectly at home.  Serving up bonito tuna dishes in multi-course sets, you can get this beautiful and delicately flavored meal for about 2000Y at lunch.    Price: $18 

7. Ginza Uchiyama- Japanese Haute Cuisine  

  With dinners running in the hundreds of dollars, Uchiyama serves up traditional Japanese seafood, with each of their many plates beautifully designed.  At lunch though, you can get the same meal, just minimized, making this 1500 Y meal one of the best deals available.  Price: $13.50-18

8. Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais- French

   If you happen to tire of Japanese cuisine at any point on your trip, head over to Lugdunum.  With French classics like foie gras, duck confit, and blood sausage dotting the menu, their sets are sure to satisfy your desire for cheese.  Price: sets from $10

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

 
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Saito- sushi

This is off the list because Saito comes in a bit over budget.  With lunch sets starting at $50, Saito's sushi is definitely worth the splurge.    Price: $50-115

Anda Gyoza- gyoza and more

This little shop in the hills of Shibuya is always packed with people hoping to catch some high end bites for under $10.  Though it's only listed on Bib Gourmande, their chicken gyoza, steamed veggies, and mixed rice are most certainly worth a mention.

 

Kanpai!