Going out to eat is one of life’s most decadent pleasures. Heading into a restaurant, perusing the menu, being doted on by the staff, and having someone else make us a meal – it’s a nice way to treat ourselves. Also, it’s these moments around the dinner table that become the benchmark for important events. Birthdays, graduations, and everything in between are celebrated over food. It helps us connect with people. Some of our most treasured memories become integrated with a certain meal or restaurant that reminds us of the time we laughed until we cried with old friends, or the time our parents told us how proud they were. And we wouldn’t trade that for anything.
While memories are priceless, food certainly isn’t. Restaurant prices can range from $10 to over $10,000. (Yes, really.) Everyone’s baseline for what they think is an appropriate amount to pay for food ranges. Some feel like spending more than $30 on a meal is ridiculous, while others think dropping a few hundred on a meal for a special occasion is worth the experience. And we have to admit, we’ve spent more than we probably should on weekly Sunday brunches with friends.
However, there are a few expensive restaurants in the U.S. that don’t just cost hundreds of dollars, — they cost thousands — which makes us feel like only celebrities the Kardashians could afford them.
The menus are comprised of some of the most innovative meals in the country and are top tier quality. (Like flakes-of-real-gold top tier.) Many of these expensive restaurants also feature tasting menus so you are offered course after course of decadence. While we may not be able to afford it, the food looks mouth-watering, and hey, there’s no harm in looking right? Here’s to booking the reservation of our dreams.
Masa is the most expensive restaurant in New York City, which naturally makes it one of the most pricey places to grab a plate in the country.
The sushi spot was opened by famed chef Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama in 2004. Chef Masa crafted his menu heavily on experience saying, “I try to bring 100 percent of the essence of something, the umami to the outside – that is what I’m trying to do.” A meal at Masa will cost you $595 per person, not including tax or drinks.
Originally opened in Paris, France, Guy Savoy is a three-star Michelin restaurant.
Located in the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, the cuisine is centered around contemporary-ingredient French food. The 14 course pre-fixed tasting menu costs $385 per person. It sounds like a lot, but the thought of truffle soup has us drooling. Plus, according to Zagat, eating there is “almost a religious experience” and might just “bring a tear to your eye.” We can write off expensive restaurants as a religiously affiliated write-off on our taxes, right?
The French Laundry
Chef Thomas Keller has been in the upper echelon of the food world for decades.
He has seven Michelin stars to his name, and three of those belong to The French Laundry. The Napa Valley-based restaurant just celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019 and has become ubiquitous for its menu and how impossible it is to get a reservation. In fact, past customers recommend making your reservation two to four months in advance.
The establishment has been remodeled over the years, and Chef Keller remains humble about his position in the food world.
In an interview with the The Washington Post, he credits his success to “being born at the right time.” The menu is French with American influences and has two daily tasting options. This tasting menu starts at $325 per person. Which celebrity’s DMs do we need to slide into to get into expensive restaurants like this? Seriously.
Chef’s Table Brooklyn Fare
Have you ever thought about trying Japanese-French fusion?
Well, that’s what’s being served at the three Michelin-starred Chef’s Table Brooklyn Fare. The restaurant became so popular that in 2017 it moved from Brooklyn to New York City’s Westside. Helmed by Chef Cesar Ramirez, dinner costs $362 and features a 20-course tasting menu that is mostly fish-based including plates like “caviar foie gras.” The trendy spot is also notoriously hard to get into since the restaurant has only 18 seats. The good news is once you eat there, you’ll always have a spot on their reservation list.
According to their website, “they’re not a restaurant, at least not in the traditional sense.”
The restaurant was founded back in 2005 by Chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. The menu changes seasonally and features between 18 and 22 courses. The tasting menu focuses on bringing a full sensory experience to each guest and often features dishes with scented vapors, blind tasting, and table-side preparations.
The courses are also meticulously blended with architectural and design elements.
We can’t get over how cool this sounds — after all, how many expensive restaurants offer table-side preparation and food that complements a city’s skyline? Located in Chicago, we suggest making reservations a few months in advance. Prices range from $290 to $350 per person.
In the heart of San Francisco, Saison puts guests front and center.
The dining room and the kitchen all share one open space so diners can see the chefs preparing each meal. The restaurant is only one of 14 in the U.S. to have the coveted three Michelin-star rating and focuses on modern American cuisine. And trust us when we say, this American cuisine elevated to the umpteenth level.
Dishes are made using wood-fired cooking techniques and uses seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
According to their website, they partner directly with “fisherman, hunters, gatherers, and ranchers” to provide one of the best meals you’ll ever have. Prices for their eight course tasting menu start at $248. At the end of the day, it somehow doesn’t sound entirely too crazy of a price for such fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
Victoria & Albert’s
Normally we’d head to Disney World to snack on turkey legs and all the Mickey Ice Cream Bars we can get our hands on — but this has our interest piqued.
While the Orlando-based family park has no shortage of incredibly dining options, Victoria & Albert’s is the creme de la creme. The atmosphere is classic Victorian elegance and food features modern American cuisine made using the finest ingredients from around the world. Italian truffles, beef from Japan, and the top tier caviar come together to make a fine dining experience that will anyone satisfied. The tasting menu starts $235 per person. Hey, maybe Disney will add it to the dining plan one day. *Crosses fingers and toes*
Considered one of the premier sushi destinations in the world, Urasawa has become a staple of Japanese fine dining.
Hiroyuki Urasawa studied under Masa Takayama of Masa fame in New York City. After leaving NYC Urasawa headed to Beverly Hills to open his own restaurant. The intimate dining experience only fits ten people at a time and costs $395. The menu changes daily, but each night features a 30-course omakase tasting menu that feature dishes like Scallop and Duck Foie-Gras Shabu Shabu, and Wild Japanese Red Snapper.
Per Se is also owned by famed chef Thomas Keller.
He opened the restaurant in 2004 as his New York City Version of The French Laundry. The menu features his famous nine course tasting and starts at $355 per person. Keller prides himself on using the finest ingredients and believes that a chef’s ability to transform a food is only as good as the quality of the base.
The best part? Each tasting menu doesn’t repeat a single ingredient.
The wine list is award-winning and features over 2,000 bottles that pair directly with the tasting menu. Most wines are either older reserve wines or limited batch wines from small vineyards. Per Se is one of the expensive restaurants to visit if you consider yourself both a food and wine connoisseur.
Joel Robuchon is regarded as one of the greatest chefs of modern French cuisine in the world.
His Las Vegas restaurant was his first location in the United States. Located in the MGM Grand Hotel, the menu features classic dishes like truffled ravioli and frog leg fritter. His 16-course prix fixe menu costs $425 per person but the restaurant also features a smaller five-course option for $195.
The Restaurant At Meadowood
In the heart of the Napa Valley, The Restaurant At Meadowood is putting a modern twist on fine dining.
The restaurant specializes locally sourced sustainable cuisine. The menu features dishes that are distinctly Californian and partners with local growers and farmers around the Napa region to make the community stronger. The dining experience is crafted by Chef Christopher Kostow and according to Zagat is “inventive, bold, and unforgettable, with wine pairings to match.” While there is a cheaper bar tasting menu option, a regular meal here will cost $275.
The Inn At Little Washington
Delicate country style, a five star hotel, and an art gallery come together to create the Inn At Little Washington.
But somehow all of that comes second to their legendary restaurant. The property is located in the Blue Ridge Hills of Washington, Virginia, and features a tasting menu that can’t be beat. Prices start at $238 per person. Featured courses include an amuse bouche of chilled lobster will Imperial Osetra caviar, and pepper-crusted duck breast locally sourced from Long Island. We don’t know about you, but reading this menu has our mouths watering.
Comprised of dishes that blend together the best local ingredients, Herbfarm’s menu is a staple Seattle fine dining.
The menu is built around foods that highlight the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and combine foods from forest, farm, and sea. They also have their own farm where they source a lot of their ingredients. Prices start at $225 and also include wine pairings for each course.
The dishes are always inventive and even come with inspired themes like the “100 Mile Dinner,” where nothing comes from farther than 100 miles of the restaurant. Dining at Herbfarm promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience and we are so, so here for it.
Baumé, located in Palo Alto, California, focuses on heightened simplicity.
The restaurant only has a two-person staff and a handful of serving tables. According to the website, this is to ensure the experience is peaceful, memorable, and private for each guest. The menu is French modern and starts $388 per person for their eight-course dinner.
The dishes change seasonally and are “crafted from collective memories, colors, and moods.” When dining at Baumé it is clear that each guests happiness is front and center to truly enjoy the art of food.
Eleven Madison Park
Owned and operated by Chef Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park reinvents the New York City dining scene.
The restaurant overlooks Madison Square Park and is located in an art deco style building that perfectly accentuates the ambiance of the menu. Dishes feature American cuisine like roasted duck with honey and lavender.
His signature dish also sounds delicious and is made with celery root cooked in a pig’s bladders (yes, really) and paired with a black truffle sauce. The menu is constantly changing so customers can always expect a meal pushing the envelope of modern dining. Prices start at $315 per person.
Momofuku Ko opened in 2008 and quickly shot to the top of the New York City dining scene.
The menu is crafted by Chef Sean Gray and focuses on the tradition of Japanese kaiseki. The tradition entails a multi-course menu featuring traditional Japanese dishes served on an individual tray. Gray also brings seasonality to his menus, ensuring the food is always fresh. Momofuku Ko has two Michelin stars, and prices for their tasting menu start at $255.
Have you ever gone buck-wild and treated yourself to any of these expensive restaurants? If so, we’re jealous — like really jealous.