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'Budget' Michelin tour: What to see and where to eat (south, east and islands)
Thursday, December 1, 2022 @ 9:25 AM

DINING with the stars is perfectly possible almost anywhere in Spain – if you have the budget to do so.

But even if you don't, Michelin-level cuisine does not have to mean remortgaging your house, or keeping it for a once-in-a-lifetime special occasion.

Finding fine dining (left photo, by Yemets/Shutterstock) with a price tag you're fine with nearest to Mediterranean, southern and offshore Spain's best visitor attractions enriches the tourism experience (right-hand photo:


Even if price is not an issue, unless you're a dedicated 'foodie', you're unlikely travel long distances purely to experience restaurants of this calibre – it's more likely you'll stumble upon them when you're on holiday in another part of Spain.

Which means that if you're going to try as many of them as possible, it helps to have an 'excuse' to make the journey.

So, our guide to the main visitor highlights across the country includes all the 'budget' Michelin-level restaurants nearest to them – you might want to bookmark this page when planning your next road trip, so you know what to see, and where to eat once you've seen it.

And when we say 'budget', we mean they're in the 2023 Michelin guide, but at a similar cost to any popular local restaurant near you.

We'll start you off with a sightseeing and dining tour of the islands, the south, and the east coast.

And if these much-adored destinations whet your appetite, stay tuned for our next tasty touring guide to northern and central Spain, including Madrid, coming up later this week.


Michelin 'on the cheap': 'Bib Gourmand' awards

Anecdotal evidence says eating out in Spain is relatively cheap – compared to much of the rest of the world, restaurant meals in the country are among the most affordable and offer some of the best value for money.

his is something Spain has long been proud of and which has not changed in decades – whether your definition of 'value for money' is the highest level of quality and creativity for a price that does not reflect it, or whether it means the largest amounts of food and the most filling dishes for the lowest cost possible.

Look out for this symbol to find Michelin restaurants serving three-course meals for under €35 a head (photo: Face Food Magazine)

To this end, even though an eatery with three Michelin stars is certainly going to cost you considerably more than a lunchtime set menú del día in your local bar, it is very likely to come with a much smaller bill than in many other parts of Europe, or indeed, the world.

But given that the global cost of living crisis is being felt by everyone except those on very high incomes, the Michelin guide's 'Bib Gourmand' section is of particular interest for the 2023 edition.

This covers restaurants which do not necessarily reach the levels of extreme perfection needed for a star, but which offer near-star quality for prices well below what you'd pay in those who do hold them.

In reality, some of them do, indeed, have a Michelin star, but have managed to meet the tough criteria necessary to earn one whilst still being able to keep their prices low.

La Cosmo restaurant in Málaga, a ‘Bib Gourmand’ eatery on the Costa del Sol (photo: Pilsa Hospitality Solutions)

To earn 'Bib Gourmand' status, a restaurant has to show standards of excellence that are very hard to achieve, at the same time as providing a full meal for under €35 a head.

Existing entries, plus the 31 newcomers in this year's list, are required to offer either a set menu or an à la carte three-course dinner, dessert included, at this price or, ideally, less.

And if you only want a main meal or one course, you'll very likely be paying considerably less than the maximum of €35.

Helpfully, some of the Bib Gourmand restaurants – as is also the case with some of the one- to three-starred eateries in the 2023 guide – are also hotels, or separate businesses based in a hotel, meaning you can combine fine dining at affordable prices with a place to stay.

It sounds tempting already – but where can you find them?




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