Photo Courtesy MGM Resorts International
Be it a birthday, holiday, anniversary, promotion, graduation or something different altogether, special occasions call for special meals at some of the best restaurants in America. Even though more and more people are eschewing fancy sit-down spots these days for less-expensive home-cooked and fast-casual meals, there will always be a reason to visit an expensive restaurant every so often, so here are the most expensive restaurants in every state and the District of Columbia.
Finding the most expensive restaurant in any given state is actually a little more difficult than one might expect. Even if there are $60 entrees on the menu, there are some spots where you can just order a $12 appetizer and a water and get out paying less than you would at your local Applebee’s. So for today’s purposes, expensive restaurants fall into two categories: those with very pricey entrees and those where the only option is an expensive tasting menu. Big high-end chain steakhouses are not included in the list, in the interest of keeping it local.
Some of the most expensive restaurants in a given state are so outrageously expensive that a dinner for two can cost the same as a MacBook. Some states, on the other hand, just aren’t really home to any outrageously expensive restaurants, so even the priciest spot in the whole state is within the budget of your average Joe.
Frank Stitt’s Birmingham showstopper, Highlands Bar & Grill, has a menu that changes daily, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that you won’t be leaving without dropping a pretty penny. Most nights, every entree costs more than $30. Good luck getting out without sampling the astounding oyster selection, which will cost you $18 per half-dozen.
Located in Anchorage’s luxurious Hotel Captain Cook, Crow’s Nest offers 360-degree views and a very expensive menu from chef Reuben Gerber. The least expensive entrée (octopus with hazelnut romesco) costs $38, and prices soar to $48 for a rib-eye, $58 for king crab legs and $72 for seafood paella. The tableside bananas Foster, a dessert favorite, will set you back $14 per diner.
A visit to Scottsdale’s popular Bourbon Steak, from chef Michael Mina, comes with sky-high prices. Chilled seafood appetizers start at $24 for oysters and go all the way to "market price" (changing based on the daily price, but generally accepted to mean “very expensive”) for a shellfish platter. Non-steak entrees average around $45, and steaks start at $45 for a 9-ounce skirt steak and go all the way to $174 for a 32-ounce tomahawk rib-eye. A-5 wagyu will also set you back $45 per ounce. If you’re eyeing that 16-ounce cowboy rib-eye for your birthday dinner, you’d better save up $79 for it.
Little Rock’s priciest restaurant is located inside the Capital Hotel, and is overseen by James Beard Award-winning chef Joël Antunes. At One Eleven, the appetizers range in price from $14 (chicken liver mousse) to $24 (oysters Rockefeller), and entrees start at $29 (roast chicken) and top out at $49 (steak). A six-course set menu with wine pairings costs $135.
The legendary Urasawa is one of America’s finest Japanese restaurants, with two Michelin stars to its name, and it’s also wildly expensive. It boasts a daily-changing omakase menu of 30 or more courses, which will set you back about $450 per person before tax, tip and drinks. The average check costs more than $1,000 per person. It’s not just the most expensive restaurant in California, it’s one of the most expensive restaurants on Earth.
Frasca Food & Wine/Yelp
If you decide to celebrate a special occasion at the famed Frasca Food & Wine, you better save up. The seven-course tasting menu costs $130, plus $98 if you opt for the suggested wine pairings. A $95 four-course prix-fixe menu is available Tuesdays through Saturdays, and the typical per-person tab at the restaurant’s Monday Night Wine Dinner is no less than $85.
David Burke Prime/Yelp
The popular Foxwoods Resort Casino houses one of the best steakhouses in America, David Burke Prime. This Connecticut restaurant dry-ages steaks in a room lined with Himalayan salt, and if you want to sample one you’re going to have to shell out. They start at $56 (30-day rib-eye) and stretch up to $75 for a 20-ounce T-bone. The most expensive menu item is a $79 Delmonico, and the least expensive entrée is a $35 salmon filet.
Harry's Savoy Grill/Yelp
Wilmington’s leading steakhouse, Harry’s Savoy Grill, is a very classy establishment, but don’t expect to get out without paying for that experience. Harry’s signature steak, a 45-day dry-aged rib-eye, costs $44.95, and other entrees start at $28.95 (Faroe Island salmon) and range to $48.95 (24-ounce porterhouse).
Every day, chef Kevin Cory gets the highest-quality seafood available and puts it on a sushi-centric menu that changes daily according to what he was able to procure. Only 16 diners have the privilege of sampling his creations each night at Naoe, and each will pay $220, plus a 20% service charge and sales tax, for the opportunity.
The incredibly luxurious and upscale Vintage Cave Club has played host to Barack and Michelle Obama, and if you want to dine like a president, you’ll have to pay for it. Two tasting menus are available: 10-12 courses that include Japanese A5 waygu and a 20-25-course Japanese sushi kaiseki menu with ingredients from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji Market. Both clock in at $300 per person.
Swanky steakhouse Chandlers spares no expense in its sourcing, and it expects its diners to spare no expense either. Pricey appetizers include a $99 seafood platter, $37 foie gras and $37 sautéed pink abalone. Steaks start at $42 for a 6-ounce filet and climb to $75 for an American wagyu filet (authentic Japanese wagyu is also available at market price). You can also splurge on a $72 surf and turf or $95 for Santa Barbara abalone meunière with jasmine rice and asparagus.
At chef Grant Achatz’s Michelin three-star flagship Alinea, a handful of different prix-fixe menus are available, and they’re all exorbitantly expensive. On the lower end is the Salon menu, which consists of 10 to 12 courses for $190 to $285 per person. The Gallery menu includes 16 to 18 courses and costs $290 to $355. And at the top of the heap is the Kitchen Table, a private experience for groups of six that costs $390 to $395 per person. Tip is included, but beverage pairings cost extra.
Indianapolis landmark St. Elmo Steakhouse has been going strong since 1902, but prices have gone up just a little bit since then. The least expensive steak on the menu, a 14-ounce rib-eye, costs $43, and a USDA Prime tomahawk rib-eye tips the scales at $104. If you want to pair your steak with a lobster tail, that’ll cost you $25 more.
801 Chophouse, Des Moines’ premier steakhouse, serves only USDA Prime beef, so diners should expect to pay for the quality. Steaks start at $38 for a 12-ounce New York strip and top out at the $72 24-ounce porterhouse. You can also drop $64 on a shellfish pan roast with lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels and king crab.
Scotch & Sirloin/Yelp
Scotch and sirloin both have a reputation for being pricey luxuries, and a visit to the restaurant with that name is a luxury too. Start with a $27 cheese and meat board, a $29 appetizer sampler or a $58 shellfish bouquet, and go for the $51 bone-in rib-eye or $49 slab of prime rib for your main course. You can also splurge on lobster or king crab for $65.
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse/Yelp
Louisville’s high-end Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is a must-visit for high rollers. Here, you can drop $23 on oysters Rockefeller or $26 for a tempura lobster sushi roll, $75 on a bone-in filet mignon or $115 on a 30-ounce tomahawk rib-eye. Japanese A5 wagyu is also available at market price. If you want to pair your filet with an herb-roasted lobster tail, surf and turf will cost you 92 bucks.
Yelp/ Ken P.
If you’re looking to drop some serious cash in the Crescent City, head to Doris Metropolitan in the French Quarter, where the beef is USDA Prime and dry-aged on-premises. Appetizers average $15, most non-steak entrees are over $40, and steaks start at $46 for a 21-day-aged rib-eye or New York strip and top off at $86 for a porterhouse. A-5 wagyu filets and rib-eyes are also available, at $155 and $185, respectively.
The White Barn Restaurant/Yelp
Going strong for over 45 years, The White Barn is the fine dining restaurant of the elegant and inviting Grace White Barn Inn & Spa, and the beneficiary of AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star endorsements. Chef Matthew Padilla and his team use local, seasonal ingredients to craft menus that change regularly. The resulting prix-fixe costs $125 per person with an additional charge of $75 for wine pairings.
Restaurateur Tony Foreman and chef Cindy Wolf’s Charleston has been the go-to destination for well-to-do Baltimoreans looking for New American fare with a Southern accent since it opened in 1997. The tasting-menu-only restaurant’s prices start at $79 for three courses ($135 with wine pairings) and stretch up to $124 for six ($222 with wine pairings).
A meal at Rare, a steakhouse located inside the Encore Boston Harbor, is going to be a pretty extravagant experience. Starters begin at $22 for vegan Swedish “meatballs” or roasted quail, and non-steak mains average over $40 (even a vegan cauliflower steak costs $31). As for those steaks, they range from $64 for a 14-ounce Pat La Frieda New York strip to $220 for 4 ounces of real-deal A5 Kobe.
The elegant and classy London Chop House has been in operation since 1938. Dining in this very fancy spot will certainly set you back, as steaks start at $32 for a small 6-ounce filet and go all the way to $75 for a 32-ounce porterhouse. “Premium Cuts” top out at $140 for a domestic wagyu rib-eye.
Serving Minneapolis’ finest beef since 1946, Murray’s features steaks with an average price around $50, and most non-steak entrees cost well over $30. If you’d like to sample the restaurant’s legendary Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two, a 28-ounce strip loin, it’ll run you $105. A 24-ounce Chateaubriand costs $115.
Char is a popular steakhouse with a New Orleans spin, and it’s a great spot in Jackson to drop some serious coin. A 16-ounce rib-eye for $36 is a relative bargain; the New York strip costs $49, the filet is $51 and the cowboy rib-eye costs $54. If you’re not planning on ordering steak, you should still expect to spend around $30 per entree on dishes like pan-seared scallops and veal Oscar.
This cozy Kansas City landmark looks relaxed and low-key, which makes the upscale French menu even more of a shock. Appetizers like seared foie gras and escargots average $16, seafood dishes like trout almondine average $35, and steak entrees like wagyu filet mignon Rossini will set you back up to $62.
The white-tablecloth TEN, located in Billings’ Northern Hotel, is a destination for locals with some cash to burn. The menu puts local ingredients to good use, and that comes at a cost. A tomahawk rib-eye costs $87, strips and filets cost $49 and wild-caught swordfish costs $48. All other entrees average well over $30.
Omaha has no shortage of great steakhouses, but the priciest one of them all might be Omaha Prime. Start with a $16 appetizer of roasted bone marrow or lobster mac and cheese, and follow up with a $60 porterhouse, a $53 New York strip, $56 lamb chops or market price Alaskan king crab legs and lobster tail.
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Located inside the MGM Grand, late French master chef Joël Robuchon’s eponymous restaurant is serving the most expensive meal in a city that’s chock full of them. The restaurant offers several tasting menus, which start at $127 per person for four courses. From there it’s $169, $198 and $250 before topping out at the crème de la crème of American tasting menus, the 18-course degustation for a whopping $445 per person before drinks, tax and tip.
The high-end Hanover Street Chophouse is well-known for its 200-plus-bottle wine list as well as its expense-account menu. Steaks start at $41 for an 8-ounce filet mignon, and the biggest spenders can opt for an $88 seafood tower, a $59 16-ounce bone-in filet, $61 surf and turf and $64 Prime bone-in rib-eye.
Located inside the bucolic Crystal Springs Resort, Restaurant Latour is the playground of chef Aishling Stevens, who works closely with local farmers and purveyors to source the finest seasonal ingredients available and craft them into very pricey New American dishes. Two menus are available: a five-course “Anthology” tasting for $115 (plus $55 for wines) and a seven-course degustation for $145 (plus $65 for wines). The wine cellar here is also very impressive, home to more than 6,000 labels.
Anasazi Restaurant and Bar/Yelp
The luxurious Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is home to Santa Fe’s most upscale restaurant, Anasazi. Chef Peter O’Brien sources the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the end result is a quintessential New Mexican dining experience. Appetizers range from $13 for tortilla soup to a $24 lobster tamal, and entrees range from $28 (butternut squash ravioli) to $52 (grilled elk chop), averaging about $40.
In order to be the most expensive restaurant in New York, you need to be really expensive, and chef Masayoshi Takayama’s Time Warner Center flagship Masa is without a doubt really, really expensive. Should you decide to blow your next paycheck on his (admittedly incredible) creations, which include Japanese appetizers and a succession of sushi made with super fresh ingredients, plan on dropping a flat fee of $595 per person before drinks and tax. At least gratuity is included.
Open since 1980 inside the AAA Five Diamond-rated Fearrington House Inn, Fearrington House Restaurant offers a seasonal fine dining New American menu with three ($95) or four ($115) courses, a seven-course chef’s tasting ($150) and a seven-course vegetarian tasting menu ($125).
40 Steak & Seafood/Yelp
Each room in 40 Steak & Seafood references a different period in North Dakota’s history, but if you want to take in that atmosphere, it’ll cost you. Seafood skewers cost $30, scallops cost $28, filet mignon costs $38 and a cowboy rib-eye costs $40.
Red, The Steakhouse has two Ohio locations as well as one in Miami, and they’re all expensive. At the Ohio locations, seafood platters cost $60 and $130, steaks range from $43 to $61 and several seafood selections are “market price” — and we all know what that signifies.
Red PrimeSteak is the best place in Oklahoma City for a nice steak, and it’s also the most expensive restaurant in the whole state. Steaks range from $39 (for a 10-ounce sirloin) to $62 (for a 16-ounce bone-in filet), lobster-crusted sea bass costs $45 and there are plenty of “market price” items like lobster tails and fresh daily seafood.
At Castagna, chef Justin Woodward is wowing Portlanders with his tasting menus, which put local ingredients to very good use via “progressive” dishes like “summer terrarium, garden herbs” and “aged duck, fine herbs, lola rossa.” Two menus are available, and they’re both pricey: a multi-course meal with a variable price (currently $75 plus $45 for wine) and an 11-course chef’s tasting that costs $165 (plus $85 for wine).
Vetri Cucina is the home base of star Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri, and the privilege of dining here will set you back a pretty penny. Guests are welcomed with snacks and a cocktail, then peruse the multi-course menu, customizing it to their liking. A meal at Vetri Cucina typically runs about 8 courses and will cost you $165 per person.
*Note: An earlier version mistakenly mentioned that the meal was 4 courses. We regret the error.
This warm and inviting Mill’s Tavern is a good place to visit when you’re looking to spare no expense. Shellfish platters cost $39 for the petite or a whopping $159 for the grand experience. Seared foie gras costs $24, a 16-ounce rib-eye costs $48 and 32-ounce wagyu and 36-ounce Prime tomahawk rib-eyes tip the scales at $100 and $120, respectively.
High-end tasting counter McCrady’s is a loving ode to native South Carolina ingredients, and the 12-course tasting menu elevates them to fine-dining heights via Southern-inspired dishes like “shrimp, corn, marigold” and “duck, raspberry, fennel.” A meal at the 22-seat restaurant will cost you $125 plus $80 for wine pairings, with an optional $35 caviar supplement.
Established by Myril Arch in 1986, the no-frills Cattleman’s Club is the best — and most expensive — place in South Dakota for a steak. Prime rib ranges from $18.99 (10 ounces) to $49.99 (32 ounces) and signature steaks range from $19.99 to $38.99. That’s one of the best things about South Dakota: Even the most expensive restaurants aren’t going to make you take out a second mortgage.
The legendary Barn at Blackberry Farm celebrates the bounty of the Smoky Mountains, and it single-handedly invented what’s described as Foothills Cuisine. If you want to dine there (and are somehow able to get a reservation) there are two things to know: Jackets are required, and it’s very expensive. Dinner costs $155 per person (and $250 with wine pairings), with tax and tip extra.
Texas’ most expensive restaurant can be found just south of Houston, in chef Ronnie Killen’s hometown of Pearland. Steaks at Killen’s start at $44 for an 8-ounce wet-aged filet, and top out at $195 for a New York strip flight. In between, you’ll find a $175 36-ounce Mishima Ranch tomahawk rib-eye, a $125 six-ounce Japanese A5 wagyu New York strip, a $120 Australian wagyu strip and several other luxury cuts for those looking to burn a whole lot of cash. But if you're in the mood for a simple, 16-ounce dry-aged rib-eye, that'll set you back $72.
Located inside Park City’s luxurious Waldorf Astoria, the season-driven menu at Powder is creative, delicious and quite expensive. A plate of local cheese and charcuterie costs $32 and entrees include a $39 wagyu bavette steak, $40 Alaskan halibut and a $42 herb-rubbed buffalo tenderloin.
Burlington’s Guild Tavern supplies everything you might need for a fun night out on the town — if you can foot the bill. Even the burger is pricey at $19.95, and a big plate of barbecue will set you back $49.95. If you want to go super upscale, spring for a steak, which range in price from $24.95 to $48.95. A steak for two costs $79.95.
The Inn at Little Washington/Yelp
Patrick O’Connell’s Michelin three-star Inn at Little Washington, located in the colonial village of Washington, Virginia, is about as good a restaurant as you’ll ever encounter. There are three different tasting menus (one for “gastronauts,” one seasonal, and one vegetarian) to choose from, but they all have the same price tag: $248 — $418 if you include wines — before tax and tip.
Located just outside of Seattle, The Herbfarm offers a seasonally inspired dining experience that celebrates the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Each nine-course meal features the freshest ingredients from forest, farm and sea and is paired with five or six wines. The menus, with themes such as Truffle Treasure and The Moon and the Stars, change about every two weeks as different ingredients become seasonally available. The cost of your meal varies day to day, but expect to pay anywhere from $225 to $285 per person.
Chef José Andrés’ Michelin two-star masterpiece, minibar, is the crown jewel of the D.C. dining scene, and a must-visit for those interested in avant-garde cooking. A meal here, which consists of many small courses, costs $275 per person. You can add wine pairings for $195 or $500.
The Chop House/Yelp
Located in the heart of charming Charleston, The Chop House is a classy joint that serves some fine USDA Prime steaks aged for 28 to 34 days. Steaks start at $39.95 for steak frites and top out at $53.95 for the porterhouse and cowboy rib-eye. Other entrees average $35, with Dover sole and South African lobster tail offered at market price.
This classy Green Bay steakhouse is a great place to drop some serious cash. A $26 cheese plate is a good way to start your meal, followed up by a $47 filet, $49 lamb chops or $53 cowboy rib-eye. If you’re feeling especially spendy, opt for one of the “reserve cuts,” which include a $69 Kansas City strip, a $79 bone-in, dry-aged 22-ounce rib-eye and an $88 14-ounce wagyu New York strip.
Yelp/ Merlin O.
You’ll need to ride a gondola up to Piste Mountain Bistro in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, but you’ll be glad you did if you can afford it. Start your meal with a $22 appetizer of Hawaiian tuna sashimi, follow up with $45 halibut cheeks or a $42 wagyu hanger steak and finish with a $15 chocolate s’mores torte. It may be pricey, but it’s nowhere near as outrageously expensive as the most expensive restaurants on Earth.
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