The MICHELIN Guide is famous for its star ratings, awarded to the finest restaurants in the world. But diners should pay equal attention to Michelin’s Bib Gourmand designation, recognizing the best inexpensive places to eat.
Named for Bibendum (the official name of the Michelin Man), the Bib Gourmand celebrates restaurants that offer good quality and good value. It uses the same criteria that judges a star but, naturally, the Bib list is not quite as exclusive and covers a wider range of prices — bringing more options to more budgets.
While Bib Gourmand recognizes quality for the price, a MICHELIN Plate salutes, simply, “very good food,” something of a starting point for moving up the guide in later years. What the three Michelin designations have in common is that you can only find them all together in one place: the Tablet Hotels iOS App. For the first time ever, the entire MICHELIN Guide has been collected in a single, convenient location. And in another first, it’s all completely free. Just download the latest version of the app and click on the star icon in the bottom navigation.
Below you’ll find an interactive map that shows every Bib Gourmand restaurant in New York City. Scroll down further to find ten of our favorites from the list — the best inexpensive restaurants in NYC.
Tablet’s Top Ten Bib Gourmand Restaurants in New York City:
Thai // Gowanus, Brooklyn
Named “ugly” to avoid tempting fate, this Thai baby is in fact bright and cheery. Warm smiles and a convivial vibe dominate the room, decked out with colorfully streaked walls and wooden furniture. It’s a wildly successful operation thanks to the authentic nature of its cuisine—fiery spice.
Middle Eastern // Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
This warm Middle Eastern restaurant is tucked into an unassuming Bay Ridge corner and run by Chef/owner Rawia Bishara and her daughter. Meals graciously commence with pickled vegetables and za’atar-dusted flatbread and are followed by a tableful of unique plates brimming with flavors and colors.
Contemporary // Bowery, Manhattan
This beloved neighborhood bistro won locals’ hearts many moons ago, but Chef/owner/writer Gabrielle Hamilton’s evolving talents keep them loyal. The tiny space packs a serious punch—both for its sweet décor, which is surprisingly comfy to linger in, and for the kitchen’s adventurous food.
Chinese // East Village, Manhattan
Add this delicious venture to the growing list of Chinese restaurants that are finally giving Manhattanites a chance to feast on spice levels once reserved for the outer boroughs. Dinner could go in any number of delicious directions, but a MáLà dry pot is really the best option.
American // Mott Haven, Bronx
This restaurant celebrates the Bronx and its rich Puerto Rican and African-American presence. Dining here is a singular experience. The menu flaunts a cross-cultural blend of cooking styles, featuring ethereally light pork rinds with barbecue seasoning and lemon, plus golden-fried green tomatoes.
Italian // St. George, Staten Island
Brought to you by Joe Scaravella, whose cookbook, Nonna’s House, has been earning him (and this tiny gem) much applause. Most foodies flock here for a certain authenticity that is rarely sacrificed — each night, the menu changes depending on which nonna is presiding over the kitchen.
Korean // Park Slope, Brooklyn
This is the kind of spot that serves food so memorable you’ll find yourself craving the same meal well after your visit. The kitchen is known for surprising diners at every twist and turn, as evidenced by the tteokbokki—spicy rice cake topped with Oaxcan cheese and chorizo.
French – Japanese // Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Excellent yakitori, quenching cocktails, and a welcoming vibe — what’s not to love at Chef Greg Baxtrom’s latest hot spot? This small and slender space boasts a bright brasserie vibe. Over in the kitchen, izakaya staples are spun with the chef’s classically trained French technique.
Chinese // Upper West Side, Manhattan
This contemporary Chinese restaurant is elegant and art-filled with unapologetically fiery Hunan-style cooking. The kitchen team plates authentic and bold dishes with a few American-style standbys to appease the kung pao chicken crowd. And presentations are as artful as the painting-lined walls.
Tomiño Taberna Gallega
Spanish // Little Italy, Manhattan
Tomiño, on the border of Little Italy and Chinatown, is a treasure trove of delicious tapas from Northwestern Spain. The kitchen may offer some of the usual favorites, but the real emphasis is on Galician regional specialties. Start with croquetas then move to caldo Gallego, the intensely flavored pork stew.
Download the Tablet Hotels iOS App for more information about every Michelin-rated restaurant.