It’s no news that eating out can be pricey. In America’s largest cities, a meal for two can cost more than a thousand dollars. While in other parts of the country, restaurants offer more modest fare. Regardless, every state has a restaurant that can break the bank.
Just how high can the price of a dinner possibly be? At some of these restaurants, the cost of a dinner for two far exceeds the amount you may have paid this month for rent or student loans. While it’s hard to predict what an individual may spend in one evening at dinner at any restaurant, steakhouses and restaurants with tasting menus tend to have the most expensive options.
To identify the most expensive restaurant in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on the average price of an entrée and the most expensive entrée on a restaurant’s menu.
It’s important to note that the most expensive restaurant differs greatly from state to state. In states with bustling urban cities like California, Illinois, Nevada, and New York, the cost to dine in the most expensive restaurant is significantly higher than in a state like Delaware or Utah.
For example, the most expensive place to dine in the United States is Masa, a Japanese restaurant with three Michelin stars in the heart of New York City. For just one person it costs $595, so if a friend or significant other is tagging along dining at Masa will set you back over $1,300. In Delaware, the most expensive meal at The Green Room costs $40, which is a fraction of what you would spend at Masa.
To determine the most expensive restaurant in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on the average price of an entrée and the most expensive entrée on the menu of more than 130 U.S. restaurants. The average price of an entrée was given a full weight, and the most expensive entrée was given a half weight in the index. Restaurants taken into consideration were either pegged as the best restaurants in or near a particular city in the state on Zagat, awarded four to five stars by Forbes Travel Guide, awarded four to five diamonds by AAA, or specified as expensive in other media sources. When a menu-only restaurant was compared with a traditional à la carte menu, the price of the tasting menu-only restaurant was compared with the average price of an equivalent number of courses as the à la carte restaurants. For example, in Kentucky, we considered 610 Magnolia, a restaurant that charges a flat $75 bill for a four-course meal. For fair comparison, we compared the average price of a four-course meal — appetizer, soup or salad, entrée, and dessert — at other restaurants in the state. For restaurants that did not include a price for their tasting menu, we relied on Open Table and Forbes Travel Guide. We excluded caviar from our index because it is not considered an entrée.