The World's Most Expensive Restaurants

The old saying that money can't buy happiness may be true, but if you want to experience the blissful food offered up at certain exalted restaurants, it's definitely going to cost you.

The World's Most Expensive Restaurants 2014

Fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world comes at a cost. But what you get for those high price tags are outstanding dining experiences that can take you to a castle in Switzerland or an underwater culinary experience in the Maldives. From Japan to Europe to the Big Apple, luxe dining menus are often carefully designed tasting courses paired with wines, which substantially adds to the consumer's bottom line.At Michel Bras Toya in Toya, Japan, guests pay for the view as much as for the three- Michelin -starred food. A night of dining at this restaurant means a decadent and delicious meal paired perfectly with views looking out at the rim of a volcanic crater in Japan's famed Lake Toya. 

Over in Paris, Alain Ducasse dazzles his guests with crystals (and stellar food, of course) at Plaza Athénée. Yes, 10,000 crystal pendants hang overhead in the dining room. Dishes here focus on the concept of "naturalité" and are meticulously delivered to diners for an average of $1,142 for two.  Many variables, besides the gourmet cuisine, can lead to a larger final bill. Ambience, service, and even geography all factor in. In the case of Ithaa, in the picturesque Maldives, the experience is all about going underwater in search of the perfect meal.

Our slideshow shares the most expensive restaurants in the world by average price per person. The per-person cost is an estimate based on the most recent menu prices and includes food and beverage pairings.

Beige (Tokyo) $190 per person

Alain Ducasse's Beige restaurant is at the top of the Chanel building in Tokyo's Ginza districts. Ducasse sources Japanese ingredients to adorn his French-focused menu, which allows for a three- or four-course dinner ranging in price from $150-190, or a cep and matsutake mushroom menu for $259. Founded through collaboration between Chanel and Alain Ducasse Enterprises, Beige is a simple and elegant dining experience, as well as an expensive one.

Le Pre Catelan (Paris) $255 per person

Husband and wife team Jonnie and Thérèse Boer went from working at De Librile (he as the chef, she as the host and sommelier) to owning it. Together they have gone on to earn three Michelin stars and various accolades and awards for their inventive cuisine, which you can sample for around $225 per person if you opt on adding caviar to an eight-course tasting menu featuring dishes like veal sweetbreads, pigeon with goose liver and goat's cheese, and North sea sole with immature juniper berries.