Fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world can come at a price. But what you get for those high price tags (which can often be accompanied by sticker shock) are outstanding dining experiences that can take you to a castle in Switzerland or to an underwater culinary experience in the Maldives. From Japan to Europe to the Big Apple, luxe dining menus are often designed tasting courses paired with wines, which substantially adds to the consumer’s bottom line.
Japanese restaurants all over the world often charge premium prices for lavish seafood experiences. Masa in New York City, for example, costs $450 per person before beverages, gratuity, or tax, all of which can easily take the bill up to roughly $600 per person for its tasting experience. And be sure not to cancel a reservation at Masa — that, too, will cost you (close to $200 per person).
For a Japanese all-beef tour that costs a pretty penny, choose Aragawa in Tokyo. The menu, or lack thereof, highlights beef in all of its glory. But not just any beef — rather, the purebred Tajima cattle that are raised for more than 28 months in the Sanda region of Hyogo Prefecture.
Famed chef Alain Ducasse knows how to construct expensive menus over in Europe. Two of his restaurants, one in Paris and the other in the U.K., make The Daily Meal’s list for quite lavish tasting menus. In his only U.K. outpost in The Dorchester, guests come from all over to sample the exquisite cuisine and one of its signature dishes, the fillet of halibut and Irish sea urchin with sautéed baby squid.
And it’s not just the cuisine that adds to the overall cost of a bill; it’s the ambience and atmosphere to boot. In the case of Ithaa in the picturesque Maldives, it’s all about going under water in search of the perfect meal. Be sure to opt for the wine pairing here, which is all based upon a champagne theme.
Check out the most expensive restaurants in the world below, ranked with the most lavish dining locale at number one. The costs of the tasting menus are rough estimations and often include wine and beverage pairings which may fluctuate due to season.
1. Kitcho, Kyoto, Japan
One of the priciest dining experiences in Japan is at Kitcho, a beautifully designed restaurant run by award-winning chef Kunio Tokuoka. The chef believes every dish that is served to his customers is a work of art and represents the sights and smells of Japanese culture. A meal at this high-end establishment will run close to $600 per person, but it's worth every penny, according to the chef.
2. Restaurant Le Meurice, Paris
Famed chef Alain Ducasse makes our top 10 list twice this year. At Le Meurice in Paris, he knows how to put together a costly menu. His collection menu at Le Meurice costs a cool $509 U.S. (€380) per person for dinner, and his lunch menu will cost you $174 (€130), and those prices are before beverages, tax, and tip. While the food is outstanding, the ambience is arguably just as fantastic, as it was inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles.
3. Masa, New York City
Located in the Time Warner Center in the heart of New York City, Masa is one of the most luxe dining experiences you can have in the Big Apple. Run by chef Masa Takayama, who was born in Tochigi, Japan, the three-Michelin-star restaurant only offers a tasting menu. It costs close to $450 per person before beverages, gratuity, or tax, for the ultimate Japanese experience. To even cancel a reservation could cost you $200 per person.
4. Maison Pic, Valence, France
Maison Pic is a legendary French restaurant in Valence, France, that boasts three Michelin stars. Today, chef Anne-Sophie Pic is crafting the food and menus just as her father, Jacques Pic, did before her, and her grandfather, André Pic, before that. (All three Pics achieved three Michelin stars during their tenure.) For most decadent experience at the restaurant, guests can choose the Collection Pic menu, which costs roughly $445 per person. Anne-Sophie is known for putting her own twist on classic menu dishes that have been served going back to the 1930s.
5. Aragawa, Tokyo
Tajima cattle that are raised for more than 28 months in the Sanda region of Hyogo Prefecture, where only animals who meet specific criteria are selected for designation as Sanda beef, according to the restaurant. The prices are astronomical here, and a meal can cost up to $370 per person for the ultimate beef experience.
To see more of the world's most expensive restaurants, check out the full list.
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