Skip to comments.America's 10 Most Expensive Restaurants
Posted on 12/08/2013 9:57:30 AM PST by Kip Russell
Determining which restaurants in the nation offer the steepest prices is a tricky task. Most of the restaurants on this list serve the rarest, most premium, and freshest ingredients available, from kitchens run by chefs with expert levels of craftsmanship and artistry, in dining rooms with an exceptional quality of service provided by the front of house staff. But regardless of the justifications, the fact remains that the restaurants on this list are outrageously pricey.
To arrive at the top 25 we compiled a list of restaurants commonly known for being outrageously expensive (such as Masa, which is known for its $450 per person omakase menu). We started by first pulling data from The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants in America for 2012, and then expanded the research to include a more comprehensive spectrum of fine dining restaurants across the country. From there we gathered data compiled by Bundle.com (a site that tracks average customer spending at restaurants) and Zagat's price ratings - finally, once the list was narrowed down to 50 restaurants, we contacted each one and asked a series of questions, such as their average party size, the percentage of diners that choose the tasting menu (where applicable), and what the average bill totals. From there, we ranked the top 25.
Of course, there are exceptions to consider. Some restaurants are known for offering a particularly expensive tasting menu based on seasonal ingredients. For instance, Spiaggia in Chicago offers a truffle tasting menu each December that costs $295 per person. However, during the rest of the year their tasting menu costs $90 a head (not pricey enough to land a spot on this list).
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#10 Victoria & Albert's, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. $552
#9 Guy Savoy, Las Vegas $556
#8 Moto, Chicago $570
#7 Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas $640
#6 Alinea, Chicago $693
#5 Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif. $750
#4 French Laundry, Yountville, Calif. $800
#3 Per Se, New York City $851
#2 Urasawa, Beverly Hills, Calif. $1,111
#1 Masa, New York City $1,269
Of these, I'm seriously considering eating at Victoria & Albert's the next time I visit Disney World. The most expensive meal I've ever had was at Blue, at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman. Price for 2 plus tip with non-alcoholic drinks was a bit over $350, as I recall.
Anybody ever eaten at any of the Top Ten?
A meal for $200 in Washington could end up costing millions, depending on who your dining partner was or is.
The French Laundry is on my bucket list.
I don’t’ think I would ever go to one of these restaurants. If I’m going to spend money like that, I would find a much better place to put it.
Five years ago I took an old boyfriend and his wife out to tasting menu dinner at Jean Georges in New York. The bill for the three of us came out to $800. It was the finest meal I have ever had and it was worth every penny. It wasn’t just a meal, it was an experience I will never forget.
Most expensive restaurant I have ever eaten at was the Court of two sisters in New Orleans-—great food. I ordered low and porkcops were $100 a plate. Good food but I knew it wouldn’t be cheap.
For $1,200 for a single meal, it’d better come with a complimentary happy ending.
I’d rather eat 100 times at In-N-Out Burger than once at one of these joints for the same money.
One wonders how many of these would survive if “business expenses” were no longer tax deductible.
Been to 5 of these.
Awesome and great time.
Cept French Laundry. spectacular but, don’t care if I go back.
I can get the best cafeteria food in the world, all you can eat, for less than $6. When I want to splurge, I go to Red Lobster or Finley’s and have a nice dinner for two for $50. And I never have to wear a tie
In my opinion, New Orleans food is the best in the nation. Love it all, from the Po boys to Commanders Palace. Some of the best places are unknown to the tourists.
If they don't offer "take out", they're not worth my dime.......
I could buy a new gun and do a BBQ for the family with that kinda cash!
French Laundry is the only one for me, back in better days. Most of the better resaurants I’ve hit were old-school places with history, many in Chicago, expensive but not wildly so. The Palm, Morton’s. Delmonicos over near Wall St. in NYC, that sort of place. Ruth’s Chris pales in comparison. Several trendy places in Manhattan but those come and go. Gotham Grill was great at one point, doubt it is now if it’s still there. Jimmy’s Harborside in Boston was an institution for decades but it slipped and is gone now.
I think the most I've spent is at a Ruth's Chris, which is a good meal and almost worth the money. Much less than the places on the list, of course. My wife wants to go to the French Laundry someday. Most expensive meal I ever ate was probably at 801 Grand Steak and Chop House in Des Moines but my first wife's boss was paying. I believe he dropped about four large for four couples.
I’ve eaten at two of those restaurant, and for a party of four didn’t even come close to the prices listed.
Sorry, I have no taste for that.
Dinner for two could get you a nice handgun, rifle, or at least two or three thousand rounds of 5.56 NATO.
hum? My husband and I were there just last year, and only paid $145 (cocktails, aps, dinner and a bottle of wine plus he got desert) and that was during jazz fest.
I am beginning to think people get handed different menus, based on some of the comments.
I’m with you.
I like good food as well as the next man.
I’m willing to pay a premium for really well-prepared food.
But there is a “law of diminishing returns” with this, as with all things. At some point you are paying more than the increase in pleasure is worth.
Or such is my opinion, anyway,
1. Article equates quality with price...they're not necessarily the same..people who eat here do so because they can afford to..and not necessarily because they understand/enjoy the food.
2. If I was going to have a last meal...it would be a Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn..the best steak house ever..and two people can have a really great meal, with a good bottle of wine, and have change from $250.
3.Sometimes the restaurant experience is about something more than the food. For me, fro 20+ years, until 9/11..that was Windows on the World.. food was better than OK..two people could eat well for under $200..but the view..nothing could compare..imagine sitting at your table at twilight and looking DOWN at the planes coming in to land at nearby Laguardia..they could have served franks and beans, and it would have been worth it for that alone..
3. Most of the restaurants on this list employ "Stagaires"..basically UNPAID staff who work long hours in order to learn from a great chef...it's a cross between that of the medieval apprenticeship/indentured servant. You are enjoying great food made by people who work for nothing...a culinary sweat shop....
In 1998, I was fortunate to eat at elBulli, long considered the best restaurant in the world...or among the top three. I enjoyed the meal, though I'm not a fan of the new molecular gastronomy...and your only option is the chef's menu. I figure that at that price, I should be able to order and eat what I want. elBulli has a PAID staff of about 10, and some 70 (SEVENTY) unpaid who work some 14 hours a day for the 6 months or so each year it's open. Wonder what the chef/owner makes?
We’re headed out for In-N-Out in less than an hour....my tummy’s already rumbling in anticipation.
I ate at a laundry once. Coin operated. I had some Cheetos. Carmelized.
My expectations of a restaurant increase proportionately with the price, and there’s a point beyond which there’s no justifying other than exclusivity, ie snobbery. That I’ve never sought. Woe be unto the place with a stratospheric price with inferior food or service though, lol. High price means fulfilling high expectations.
I simply couldn't enjoy a meal in that price range.
Oh and here if it's not on the list: HillBilly Hot dogs
Famous for it's Homewrecker Hot Dog
It's 15 inches of pure beef weenie!!!
I always meant to get out to Peter Lugar’s but I was always in midtown and didn’t have a car. The locals raved about it but Brooklyn is a hike in a cab.
I dont think I would ever go to one of these restaurants. If Im going to spend money like that, I would find a much better place to put it.I had the same thought. What a waste of money. To each his own, I guess.
I guess the one in Biloxi is cheaper than Hawaii. I spent maybe $130 and had quite a bit to eat and some wine. Back then they had the Brussels Sprouts (which are to die for) but I hear they are gone now. One of the 2 best steaks I’ve ever had. The other one was from a little meat market in tiny meat market in Muenster, Texas where they raise their own cattle right there:
Ten more places for the president and family to go live it up!
“Most expensive restaurant I have ever eaten at was the Court of two sisters in New Orleans-great food. I ordered low and porkcops were $100 a plate”
Wow. Mom and I used to meet dad there for lunch a few times a year when he worked near the French Quarter. It was just a regular lunch price in the early 70’s.
Victoria and Alberts wouldn't make your short then. It's good but the main draw is its location in the Grand Floridan and steps away from the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Take the restaurant and everyone who works there, pick it up and move it outside the gates of Walt Disney World and it wouldn't make this list.
Biggest tab I ever had was at the Beefsteak and Bourbon in the King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Now keep in mind this was in 1998. It was the equivalent of a little over 1500 Yankee dollars.
Uh, did I mention that there was a guided missile cruiser and a couple of American destroyers tied up nearby?
I had one of the best nights of my life treating those swabbies.
Oh, for the days of the unlimited expense account again!
There was also the private sushi bar in the basement if the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas - whoa - dinner for two came to 335.00 not including tip / no wine, we had some beers.
My wife is a DISNEY addict and during one of our trips there a few years ago she arranged a meal at Victoria’s. Our meal was at the chefs table in the kitchen. We saw every meal prepared for the night as well as having the Chef serve us a sample of most every thing that went out to the customers. It was quite an experience to see how a really top level kitchen operates. This experience was limited to only one party per night. My wife got it a part of some special package but there was a surcharge for the kitchen table. It may have been $100 or $300 I don’t remember. While the food was very good It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had but it was a special treat she won’t forget.
"Hey there fella, I'll be glad to give you a happy ending for buying me dinner."
You are correct, IMO
By the way, does anybody know if edible gold has a taste? Because it seems to me that if it did, it would aste “metallic”, not a good taste, IMO.
On the other hand, gold is very non-reactive, so maybe there are no gold ions to tickle the taste buds at all.
Does anyone know?
One night, ( this is close to 20 years ago.. we actually walked off our meal..walking back over the bridge into Manhattan)
I've eaten at dozens of places more expensive, but Cracker Barrel is my day in and day out favorite.
The most expensive place I ate was US Army mess hall.
That’s because they saw you coming, and slipped you the menu that adds 100 bucks to everything on the list.
Aren't they just things of beauty? We need chefs in Congress.
These listed prices likely include several pricey bottles of wine.
. . . and somebody else paid the bill for the French Laundry and one of the two trips to Per Se.
I’ve eaten in some of the finest restaurants in many countries, but I couldn’t begin to say which one was “most expensive.” I just don’t think in those terms. I’d have to say my favorite of all, and the one I most look forward to returning to, is Grammercy Tavern in NYC.
Those prices are nothing compared to the blue plats specials that cost $10K a plate and up at Democratic fundraisers...
These make Morton’s look like a bargain.