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A Bottle of Water for $9.50? The Hidden Price of Hydration at Restaurants, Revealed

Staff Writer
Bottled water can cost as much as a cheaper bottle of wine at restaurants, but the prices are rarely actually listed

When you try to figure out your bill before sitting down to a four-star dining experience, you might factor in the cost of wine, dessert, and tip, but did you think to include the cost of water?

Unless you’re saying “yes” to plain tap water, ordering a bottle of sparkling (or even still) fancy bottled water could put a serious dent in your wallet.

A recent survey of a dozen upscale Miami restaurants found that only one actually listed prices of water on the menu. For the rest of the restaurants, bottled water is a “verbal sell,” meaning that many customers won’t know the price until they get the bill, because, as Anibal Maeisa, general manager of Bourbon Steak, told the Miami New Times, “customers don’t ask the price.”

Many restaurants opt instead for complex on-site filtration systems and offer the filtered results as regular “tap water” or charge a couple of bucks for the filtration process.. Some of the most expensive bottled water experiences you could get include Aqua Panna and Pellegrino for $9.50 at Prime One Twelve, Aqua Panna and Pellegrino for $9.50 at Quality Meats, and Aqua Panna and Pellegrino for $9 at Scarpetta.

But of course, instead of being shocked, we could just keep on ordering tap water.

 

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