These restaurants are definitely not for everyday dining.
Diners at Moto should be prepared to eat anything from "trash" to a "Cuban cigar" — that is, with his sense of whimsy and cerebral molecular gastronomy, chef Homaro Cantu’s creative dishes have been known to fool his guests, leading to playful culinary optical illusions like a flowerpot with edible dirt or the Blackout dish on his current seasonal menu, which consists of black bass three ways, ranging from "black" to "blackest" on the plate. A full tasting menu of 16 courses is $175 per person; a full tasting menu with beverage alcohol pairings is $270. Moto also offers an 8 course tasting menu for $125 with beverage pairings starting at $55.
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 in Paris is one of the only restaurants on the list that allows diners the option to order from both a traditional menu with à la carte options, and a pre-set chef’s menu. Either way you go, the cost will be high. À la carte items rarely drop below the $130 mark and a seven-course meal hovers around the $255 range. Chef Frederic Anton’s menu, with items like prawn ravioli in olive oil broth, onion foam with broad bean soup, and veal with cinnamon-scented puree, has earned Le Pre Catelan two Michelin stars, making it a total count of three for the restaurant.
Kyoto is the backdrop for this prominent restaurant where kaiseki-style, or multi-course, cuisine has been on offer since 1981. At Misoguigawa, the focus is again on French food – this time with a nod to Japanese culture and spirit and a kaiseki-style of service. Located in a former teahouse, the restaurant houses several private rooms so that guests can enjoy their eight-course meal without watching eyes. Beef filet with potato soufflés and chocolate marquise with berries and pistachio cream are menu highlights that must be ordered in advanced, and that, by the way, will run you around $270 per person.
At the heart of one of the best hotels in the world, chef Jocelyn Herland delivers an innovative interpretation of the masterful cooking of Alain Ducasse. Signature dishes here include crayfish velouté and fillet of halibut with Irish Sea urchin and sautéed baby squid. The seasonal tasting menu costs $290 per person, but you can go the cheaper route by selecting the menu without pairings for just $195.
Diners visiting Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in London aren’t there to get a glimpse of the celebrity chef spouting insults at his line chefs. No; here, connoisseurs indulge in the seasonal, multi-course menu that has earned three Michelin stars and will cost you around $355 per person. Think Colston Basset Stilton with black figs, roasted roe deer loin with smoked chestnut, and creamy polenta with white truffle. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, splurge on an $18,850 bottle of Chateau Margaux 1er cru classé.
For the high-end diner who loves truly exquisite spaces, Aragawa in Tokyo is not to be missed. In 2006, Forbes named Aragawa the most expensive restaurant in the world for their $370-per-person menu price. This 22-seat restaurant — whose name comes from a Japanese translation of the novel by the famous French writer Honoré de Balzac, Le Peau de Chagrin — highlights purebred 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.
Considered one of the world’s best restaurants, Hertog Jan serves traditional and simple Belgian food with a hefty price tag. The first thing diners get upon sitting is “home-made water.” And you’re only getting a sip’s worth. The salad has over 40 individual ingredients. Run by head chef Gert De Mangeleer — one of the youngest chefs to have three Michelin stars — and sommelier Joachim Boudens, the venue emphasizes modern techniques to enhance the natural qualities of the ingredients. Hertog Jan offers diners an a la carte menu with three dishes at €90, or about $112. Additionally, there are currently four tasting menus, the most expensive of which is "the broad discovery" at €180, or $388 U.S., and exlcudes drinks.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the few chefs in New York City with the distinction of four stars from The New York Times. At his eponymous restaurant in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, his classic French technique bridges old and new worlds, eschews heavy sauces, and embraces the spice and flavors of Asian cuisine.
Using carefully sourced ingredients, Coi chef Daniel Patterson serves thoughtful Northern California cuisine, balancing classical methods with modern techniques to create unusual and evocative experiences for diners. Some of Coi’s many accolades include a two-star Michelin rating, four stars from San Francisco Magazine, and the title of 58th best restaurant in the world, according to Restaurant Magazine. The most expensive tasting menu at Coi is $165 for 12 courses, and they only take parties of eight guests or fewer.
This three-Michelin-starred restaurant is run by husband-and-wife team Benoît and Brigitte Violier and has a rich history of showcasing legendary chefs in the region for more than 40 years. The restaurant is known for its "sensory experience" menu, which helped Benoît Violier win the Swiss Gault Millau Chef of the Year award in 2013. Their $388 tasting menu currently includes scallops from the Seine Bay, Landes duck foie gras glazed with vintage Madeira Bual Millesime 1978, green sea urchin from the Vestmann Islands, and more. Add game fowl to your composition for an extra cost and figure in an additional $100 for wine pairings.
At Le Meurice, renowned chef Alain Ducasse knows how to put together a costly menu. His collection menu can cost up to $522 per person for dinner, while lunch will cost you $168. Oh, and that’s before beverages and tax.
At the top of his profession, with three well-deserved Michelin stars, Savoy has translated the best in contemporary ingredient-based French cooking to the world’s most famous gambling mecca without missing a beat. The artichoke and black truffle soup, crispy sea bass, cold-steamed lobster, and other such extravagances will remind you why French chefs got so famous in the first place and why the bill is so pricey. In addition to a $258 per person signature menu, Guy Savoy also offers a $750 per person Krug menu (that’s served in their private room) and a $120 per person pre-theater menu.
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, the restaurant advises diners that dinner will take no less than three hours and will cost close to $450 per person before beverages, gratuity, or tax. The experience, though, will be the ultimate in Japanese shibui. The food is prepared quickly and plated as soon as guests are ready for the course to preserve the idea that each dish is still in a living state, and each dish is composed to ensure the character of the ingredient. It’s all very ethereal and could create the perfect calm to ready you for the sticker shock that comes with the bill, especially if you’re thinking of indulging in a 1995 Château Margaux Bordeaux for $1,500. If you think that’s steep, you should know that cancelling a reservation there could cost you $200 per person.
Kitcho, located in Kyoto, Japan, is the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Last year, it ranked number one on The Daily Meal’s most expensive restaurants list. Award-winning chef Kunio Tokuoka is at the helm here, taking over where his granfather left off. The food nods to tradition with dishes including turtle soup, raw salmon slivers with lemon, and green tea "snow,", all created with the very best ingredients and served with a spare-no-expensive attitude. The service is, of course, impeccable. What would you expect for $600 per person?
The cooking is simply exquisite in this opulently furnished dining room in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. As the first restaurant opened in America by the famed, award-winning Robuchon, commonly considered the greatest of the modern French chefs, it maintains the highest standards, from its superb service and impressive (and impressively pricey) wine list to such finely crafted dishes as truffled langoustine ravioli and guinea hen with roasted foie gras and braised potatoes. The 16-course tasting menu is a truly memorable experience — as it ought to be at $425 a head, wine not included. However, their most popular tasting menu is the two-course, which costs $120 a head. They also offer six-course and four-course menus.
There's little question that Grant Achatz, whose training includes stints with Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, and Ferran Adrià, deserves the title of America's most creative chef. The menu items at his Alinea sound deceptively simple (bass with black pepper, vanilla, and lemon), but what shows up on the plate is absolutely original. However, there are rumors going around that he and partner Nick Kokonas have plans to make some major changes to the Alinea concept now that they’ve successfully launched two new ventures, Next and The Aviary. Whether that means adjusting the $210 per head tasting menu has yet to be disclosed.
Chef Chris Kostow's widely acclaimed three-Michelin-starred restaurant recently underwent a full renovation under the direction of architect Howard Backen and designer George Federighi. They debuted their new digs in March, including a kitchen outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and a five-seat Chef's Counter. The renovation also included a bump up in the meal prices, which now cost $225 per person for nine courses. The restaurant must be a popular date spot, because reservations are overwhelmingly for parties of two.
Taking over what had been a good but far simpler restaurant, chef Thomas Keller approached contemporary American food with classical technique, and his The French Laundry established new standards for fine dining in this country. In 2012, Keller and The French Laundry received a coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, just another honor to add to the pile. Like Per Se, The French Laundry offers a daily rotating nine-course tasting menu; The French Laundry’s is $270 per head.
This elegant dining room overlooking Central Park in the Time Warner Center remains a must-have experience in New York, even for Sam Sifton, who chose the restaurant for his final review as The New York Times' restaurant critic last year — he gave it four stars. Per Se upholds the standards set by Thomas Keller at The French Laundry as it won a James Beard Award in 2011 for Outstanding Service and being named the sixth best restaurant in the world in this past year by Restaurant Magazine.
This Japanese culinary shrine, with a sushi bar and just enough room for 10 diners nightly, is located in a shopping center off Rodeo Drive. Some might call it the West Coast version of New York City's Masa, which is not surprising considering that not only did Urasawa chef-owner Hiroyuki Urasawa train under Masa Takayama before opening his restaurant, but also the space previously housed Ginza Sushi-ko, where Takayama made his reputation. Urasawa has a nearly 30-course omakase menu that changes daily.
There is a reason the world’s richest celebrities party in Ibiza. It’s not just the lush beaches that Leonardo and the Bieb love, but also the amazing dining experiences, the most indulgent of which is offered by Sublimotion. Described by head chef Paco Rancero as a “radically different show that you can only live by yourself,” the restaurant is located in the Hard Rock Hotel in Playa de Bossa and allows for only 12 guests at a time. The exclusive venue offers a 20-course “gastro-sensory” meal that is intended to “elicit an emotional experience” and allow you to experience humor, pleasure, fear, reflection, and nostalgia in one bite. It’s probably how you’ll feel when you get the $2,000 bill, too.