This year has all been about the ‘democratisation of delicious’, Michelin starred chefs are riding the fast-casual wave to bring artfully crafted food to the masses. However, the high-end of fine dining remains, as always, the preserve of the few.
You don’t have to spend a chunk of your take-home pay on dinner if you want to eat some of the best food around, but if you do want to celebrate a special occasion and dine at a restaurant that makes no apology for its costly menu, then these places are where you could do it.
From classic French cuisine to the vanguard of American gastronomy, plush Asian eateries to European concepts, these are the most expensive restaurants in the world.
The most expensive restaurants in the world - the list
Courtesy of Benu
The restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Corey Lee is located in San Francisco's SOMA district and does a menu of “a wide variety of seafood and vegetables, a few meat courses, and some sweets.” A meal there will cast about $310 per person.
With three Michelin stars and chef Frédéric Anton at the helm, Le Pré Catelan is at the very pinnacle of French fine dining and the prices reflect this. The eight-course prix fixe menu will set you back €290 ($323).
One of the most stunning locations for any restaurant in the world, this underwater eatery at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, is a place for an unforgettable gastronomic experience. It comes with a hefty price tag though, a five-course lunch at Ithaa costs $225, and a seven-course dinner will set you back $325.
Eleven Madison Park, one of the hardest reservations in New York and former holder of the number 1 spot on the World’s 50 Best list, is also one of the most expensive. Chef Daniel Humm parted ways with partner Will Guidara this year and now helms the restaurant alone. Dinner at EMP costs about $335 per person.
Thomas Keller’s New York fine dining Per Se is an institution in the Big Apple. This restaurant has been at the epicentre of the city’s continued gastronomic excellence and holds a position of reverence in the city. The tasting menu casts $355 per person, excluding wine.
Food at chef Cesar Ramirez’s New York City three-Michelin-starred Chef’s Table, is served at a communal table and can last two and a half hours. The tasting menu can consist of as many as 20 different courses, requiring a lot of work from the kitchen team. It explains why eating there will cost diners $362.21 per person, not including wine. The restaurant has a very strict cancelation policy, requiring 45% of the final bill should your party decide to not eat there.
Courtesy of Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville
Everything is expensive in Switzerland and if you wish to eat at one of the country’s very best restaurants it is not going come cheap. After chef after chef Benoît Violier, who earned the restaurant three Michelin stars passed away in 2016, the restaurant was taken over by Franck Giovanni who has maintained the establishment’s famously high standards. A la carte dishes range from 60 Swiss francs to 220), and the multi-course menu costs 390 (about $390).
Inspired by Le Salon de la Paix Versailles and designed by design big-hitter Phillipe Starck, the two-Michelin-star restaurant from Alain Ducasse is a picture of royal opulence. A la carte dishes average around 130 euros ($145) each, and the prix fixe “Collection” menu costs €380 ($424).
This three-Michelin star restaurant from chef Anne-Sophie Pic combines modern innovation with classic elegance. Pic’s cooking is widely recognised as among the best in the world and to experience it, you can order the “Essential” menu, which costs €380 ($424).
This flagship restaurant form one of the world’s most renowned chefs, Alain Ducasse is set in the main dining room of the Plaza Athénée. It’s an opulent ode to excess and the five-course prix fixe costs €395 ($440), served under shimmering crystal chandeliers.
Urasawa, Los Angeles
Chef Hiroyuki Urasawa prepares a peerless 25 course kaiseki menu with meals lasting four hours or more. Dinner will cost about $400 per person with the average check coming to about $1000.
Another French master, Robuchon, brought his fine dining to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the menu is suitably pricey. While there are various menu options available, those wishing to sample the very best in French cuisine can plumb for the 18-course degustation, which costs $445 per person before wine, tax, and tip.
Thomas Keller’s French Laundry is a temple of new American fine dining albeit it, firmly rooted in classic French technique. A pilgrimage to the great French Laundry doesn’t come cheap. A meal in the dining room costs $325 per person, and dinner in the private Board Room or courtyard costs $450 a head, before wine.
Ultraviolet, open since 2012, is the embodiment of Paul Pairet’s concept of ‘Psycho Taste,’ his exploration of how everything but taste, affects taste. With just 10 seats, diners are driven by van to a secret location for a multisensory gastronomic experience. The menu is designed to interact with the restaurant’s constantly changing environment, costing about 4,000 yuan ($569), per person.
Guy Savoy, is undoubtedly one of the world’s best chefs and when he brought his famed Paris restaurant concept to Las Vegas, patrons were required to pay for the privilege of eating there. There are several menu options available and all of them are expensive. The Prestige menu costs $385 (plus $200 or $375 for wine), a special Forbes Travel Guide menu costs $555 per person and the Krug Chef’s Table costs $650.
Offering several Kaiseki tasting menus this three- Michelin starred restaurant in Japan’s former capital is expensive but worth every penny. A meal here includes soup, sashimi, side dish, grilled dish, slow-cooked dish, steamed rice and pickles, fruit and green tea and confections. The price ranges from 40,000 yen (or about $369) to 60,000 yen (or $553), once tax and service is added you can expect to pay $730 per person.
The Krug Room, Hong Kong
The Krug Room is a 10-seat restaurant located in the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong where head chef Robin Zavou has created three different tasting menus, each designed to pair with Krug champagne. Three price tiers are available: 2,888, 3,888 and 5,888 Hong Kong dollars (about $369, $496 and $751, respectively), with a table minimum of 23,000 Hong Kong dollars (about $2,935).
Located at the Time Warner Centre, chef Masayoshi Takayama’s flagship Masa is where gourmands flock to admire his mastery. Dinner will cost $595 per person, excluding wine and tax.
Chef Josh Skenes stepped away from Saison to concentrate on other projects but left the two-Michelin star in the capable hands of Laurent Gras. With ingredients sourced locally from a select group of fishermen and hunters, the open wood fire is the centre of the food at Saison. Dinner actually has come down in price about $100 since Skenes was in the kitchen, but it still costs $298 per person.
A 12-seat futuristic concept restaurant Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel features Virtual Reality and spectacular stage craft. Dinner is a three-hour affair as the scenery shifts through various fantastical themes costing €1,500 ($1,672) per person.