Seared foie gras, fresh truffles, black caviar - you can expect all these decadent staples and more to figure into the cuisine of this list. The restaurants below pedal not just in the finest ingredients a chef can buy, but the best chefs a kitchen can pay, the most luxurious settings a patron can hope for, and the most unique experience a meal can offer. All this goes into justifying some truly astronomical prices, reserved only for those with pocketbooks deep as the earth's mantle or nerves steely enough to place a week's paycheck on a single meal.
Most Expensive Restaurants in the World in 2019: Top 25
25. Schloss Schauenstein
This three Michelin-starred restaurant certainly pulls its weight in atmosphere, situated within a castle overlooking the Swiss Alps. Accompanying this fairy-tale atmosphere are several menus, ranging from a $222 three-course meal to a $278 six-course meal, including local specialties such as Swiss pike, beef tongue, and a selection of 21 different cheeses.
24. De Librije
This Dutch restaurant has been serving patrons for 20 years. It has more flexibility in its menu than the average high-tier restaurant, giving patrons the chance to select their own combination of ingredients for courses of five to seven dishes. Its larger 10-course meal, however, comes set with dishes like veal sweetbread, brown crab and egg caviar. Prices for their prix-fixe menus range from five dishes for about $218 to 10 dishes for $280 (along with an additional $190-$200 for wine pairing).
Located in an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of Tokyo, Narisawa boasts of innovative cuisine that features dishes such as "squid with liquid nitrogen," "baby oyster with green caviar", and "bread of the forest". It'll come with a hefty price tag, though, clocking in at about $255 for lunch and about $305 for dinner.
22. Le Pré Catelan
One of Paris' many exorbitantly luxurious eateries, Le Pré Catelan juts out in the middle of Bois de Boulogne park on a pavilion installed by Napoleon III. There it serves its twists on French classics like pea soup with lobster and tomato sorbet. Enjoying the prix fixe meal at this Michelin 3-star restaurant will cost you anywhere from $157 for lunch to $325 for dinner.
21. Osteria Francescana
Osteria Francescana serves contemporary Italian fare in the unassuming Italian town of Modena. It deconstructs Mediterranean sole, lasagna, suckling pig, and other Italian classics to create a wholly unique dining experience. Its price tag also offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, coming to $325 for a 12-course menu and an additional $213 for wine pairings.
20. Eleven Madison Park
The first (though certainly not the last) American restaurant to crack the list, Eleven Madison Park sits in appropriately Art-Deco digs overlooking Madison Square Park. Cheesecake with caviar, honey-and-lavender-glazed duck, and lobster charred with pumpkin and citrus are just a few of the creative dishes to come out of its busy kitchen. A tasting menu at the bar will cost you $175 for five dishes, but eating in the dining room is $335 for an 8- to 10-course meal.
19. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
Another New York entry, this restaurant recently swapped its original location in downtown Brooklyn for a new locale inside a grocery store. It can be difficult to find, but once there, you'll find an elegant exposed kitchen where you can watch chefs hard at work making the restaurant's famed mix of Japanese and French cuisine.The tasting menu costs a very specific $362.21 per person.
One of the most acclaimed restaurants in recent history, Noma enjoys the distinction of having been named No. 1 on several lists of best restaurants. With a focus on reinventing classical Nordic cuisine, Noma has served the likes of duck wing, plankton cake, and sea urchin and molded barley. The average menu will run about $375.
Conrad Rangali Islands, Maldives
Certainly one of the more unique locals on this list, Ithaa gives its patrons the chance to dine under the sea. The restaurant serves luxurious plates like foie gras and truffle dumplings, red lobster stuffed pasta, and prawn tartare, but the real star of the show is the glass encasement you get to eat in, giving you a perfect view of the fish circling the Indian Ocean. The unique dining experience costs $390 a person.
Alinea has been making waves for years as a champion of inventive cuisine for the Midwest. Its menu includes nods to its hometown such as a Chicago-style hot dog cube and more classic upscale dining features like wagyu beef and black-truffle explosion. Of course, each meal concludes with an edible balloon. Dining there can range from $205 to $395 a person if you want a chance to eat at the kitchen table.
Urasawa offers one of the most intimate and expensive dining experiences North America can offer. Up to 10 people come every night to sit across from Chef Hiroyuki Urasawa as he carefully prepares a 29-course meal traversing the richness of Japanese cuisine while pushing its boundaries. Getting one of the 10 seats will cost you $395.
14. Per Se
The second most expensive restaurant in the Big Apple, this Thomas Keller project in Manhattan offers three menus: a nine-course tasting menu, a nine-course vegetarian tasting menu, and a five-course menu. Going for the last salon option will save you a bit at $205 per person, though the full Private East Room experience comes out to $400 a head. The food itself is a take on French cuisine adapted from another of Keller's projects, one that you might also notice on this list.
13. Restaurant De L'Hotel De Ville
For over 50 years, this restaurant has served out haute cuisine from the small Swiss town of Crisser. The restaurant's adherence to only the freshest ingredients means you can expect a constantly changing menu in favor of whatever is most in season. A dinner at this Michelin 3-star restaurant comes to around $400.
12. Restaurant Le Meurice
Recreating the opulence of the French monarchy, Restaurant Le Meurice gives its patrons a setting of pristine marble, glass chandeliers, and rococo decorations. Guinea fowl, duckling, and blue lobster are among the expensive fare of Le Meurice. It's prix fixe "collection" menu costs about $426.
11. Maison Pic
Operating now into its 130th year, Maison Pic is currently led by the third-generation of Pic cooks, Anne-Sophie Pic. Notable for taking unfashionable ingredients like beetroot, turnips or cabbage and seamlessly incorporating them into haute cuisine, the restaurant can promise an unconventionally luxurious meal, with offerings including tomato medley, berlingots, and coastal turbot. Prices range from $135 for lunch to $426 for the "Essential" menu.
10. Plaza Athénée Maison
This restaurant represents its philosophy through its logo, a chimerical fish-radish, symbolizing the importance of simplicity and naturalness at the core of its cooking. The produce used for each meal is picked and delivered the morning before it's served. This leads to such locally sourced dishes as volcanic hill green lentils, peas and carrots from Versailles, and Tagliolini pasta made from stale bread flour. The lunch menu comes out to $236 while the top-tier "Jardin Menu" costs $443, not including wine pairings.
9. Joël Robuchon
The restaurant named after the late chef offers the most luxurious dining experience visitors to the Strip can hope for. With heaping plates of caviar, spherical desserts, and ravioli doused in truffle and foie gras, Robuchon delivers on the hedonistic excess Vegas has made a name on. Menus range here from $190 to $445.
8. The French Laundry
The most expensive restaurant you'll find on the West Coast, French Laundry serves out Thomas Keller's world-class cuisine from a two-story stone cottage turned restaurant in Napa Valley. As its name suggests, the restaurant pedals in French cuisine, with oysters and pearls, poularde, and farm lamb all appearing on the menu depending on the season you visit. A visit can cost you anywhere between $325 to $450 a person.
This contemporary French restaurant known for the freshness of its ingredients and vegetable-centric approach has enjoyed three Michelin stars since 1996. With daily-picked produce proudly boasted as having to "never see the inside of a refrigerator," Arpege serves dishes like hot-cold egg, chausey lobster aiguillettes and ratatouille, with prix fixe prices going from $196 to $471.
6. Restaurant Guy Savoy de Paris
Guy Savoy actually runs two restaurants with his namesake, one is in Las Vegas, but the first and flagship location sits in the city of love. The chef who trained Gordon Ramsey offers a more meat-centric dining experience than some of his French peers, possibly explaining its higher price tag. You can expect marinated duck, John Dory, and "Festival of Lobster" to appear on the menu. If you spring for the 13-course set menu, it'll cost you about $536.
Located in the basement of an office building, this humble space is actually host to the most expensive steakhouse in the world. It serves exclusively Kobe beef, a prized meat from cows in the Kobe region of Japan and requiring special treatment involving, among other things, regular massaging and sake. For the premium 1976 Chambolle Musigny Pierre Bouree seasonal taste, you'll have to spend roughly $560.
4. Kitcho Arashiyama
Styled as a traditional tea ceremony house, Kitcho provides a modernized take on Japanese cuisine with offerings like boiled blue crab with vinegar jelly, sushi of barracuda, and field caviar with maitake mushrooms. This restaurant has earned three Michelin stars and is commonly considered one of the most beautiful in Japan. Meals prices start at $380, and a full 10-course meal requires $570.
One of the first (but not the last) luxury restaurants to attempt creating a multisensory experience for its patrons, Ultraviolet consists of 10 chairs surrounded by four bare walls. As diners enter the room, lights turn on to make the room come alive, transporting guests between simulations of a rainy day in Britain, autumn woods, or the French countryside as they go through their meal. Head chef Paul Pairet boasts the restaurant has the largest employee-to-patron ratio at three employees per guest. This likely explains why becoming one of those esteemed guests costs around $570.
The most expensive dining experience in the U.S. is the omakase restaurant run by the man who pioneered the haute sushi experience, Masa Takayama. You can find the spot hidden in the shops at Columbus Circle. If you're let in, you'll be face-to-face with several sushi chefs diligently working away on your meal, sometimes including Masa himself. No viewable menus exist at Masa, that's the omakase experience. The chefs only cook whatever ingredients are available that day. Dining there will cost you a minimum of $595.
More than three times as expensive as the next most expensive restaurant in the world, Sublimotion firmly sits atop the throne of priciest meal in existence. Though chef Pauco Ranchero would prefer you think of it as the "cheapest life-changing experience anyone can have." Located in the basement of Ibiza's Hard Rock Cafe, Sublimotion consists of a table seating 12 people and a bare room. A combination of lights and VR, however, make the room come to life as the patrons begin their meal. Twenty five staff members, including cooks, illusionists, DJs, waiters, and craftsmen, work to create a dining experience that incorporates laser light shows, floating desserts, drinks that mix themselves, and virtual reality adventures. All together, it comes to an eye-popping minimum of $1,850.
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