Around the world, many millions of people don’t have enough to eat, and what they do eat must be begged or foraged. Many millions more eat meals that are spare and as cheap as possible — a few cents worth of rice, maybe, or something off a fast-food “dollar menu.”
At the other end of the spectrum, though, there are people paying hundreds of dollars (or more) apiece for dinner. Some spend more on a few hours’ worth of food and drink than a large percentage of humanity earns in a month or more.
How can a restaurant meal be so expensive? Many factors are at play. Luxury ingredients — wild mushrooms, caviar, bluefin tuna, and such — can cost hundreds of dollars a pound (or in the case of fresh Italian white truffles, as much as $10,000).
Then there’s what restaurants do with their raw materials. The preparation of pricey dishes can be extremely labor-intensive; there are Michelin three-star restaurants where the kitchen staff literally outnumbers the diners.
Add in the costs involved in creating a memorable environment for patrons — dazzling decor, the finest tableware, intricate service — and the cost of prime real estate, and then put a price on the prestige factor of being able to afford an extraordinary meal at extraordinary prices, and the sky is pretty much the limit. In case you find yourself at a place like this — here are 25 things you should never ever do at a fancy restaurant.
Some establishments — like Ultraviolet in Shanghai and SubliMotion on the Spanish island of Ibiza — even enhance the dining experience with music, art, and theatrical performances.
To compile this list of the world’s most expensive restaurants, 24/7 Tempo consulted numerous consumer and financial websites — including The Daily Meal, the Guide Michelin, GQ Australia, Fine Dining Lovers, Go Banking Rates, Groove Wallet, Work and Money, and Wealthy Gorilla — to compile a long list of establishments considered to be the priciest on three continents. Next we consulted the restaurant websites and local review sites to determine the cost of the most expensive meal served at each, whether with a fixed-price menu or à la carte (the latter is often more expensive for fewer courses). Prices are for one diner, and do not include tax (where applicable), tip (though some European restaurants include a service charge in the meal cost), or beverages (except where otherwise noted). Prices are subject to change.
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of some of the most expensive restaurants in the world, places where you’ll pay as much as $850 for a single meal, and in one case almost three times that. And in case you think there’s something fundamentally wrong with paying so much money to eat, however elaborate and enhanced, remember that people think nothing of shelling out $250 or $300 to see “Hamilton” or a Beyoncé concert — and that Super Bowl tickets this year started at $9,540 apiece. And after enjoying those spectacles, you’d still be hungry.