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By Laura Walkinshaw | July 23 2013
When dining at one of the most expensive three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, it would probably come as no surprise that the ingredients on the menu have made an 5,000-mile trip, or that the view from the dining room is of a volcanic lake.
For a glamorous dining experience, you and your party could dine privately on a table surrounded by several thousand fiber optic lights, or admire the view of a chandelier made up of 10,000 crystal pendants in one of Paris’s grandest dining rooms. Or, dine at a 18th century castle in an alpine valley, where exquisite dishes match the medieval surroundings.
These are all a reality and feature in Elite Traveler‘s list of the most expensive restaurants in the world — and that’s before you’ve factored in the price of the unique wine selections, which can set you back around $600 alone.
Known for using the finest ingredients and applying age-old cooking techniques to create classic and beautiful dishes, the French are the crème de la crème when it comes to food — and it is perhaps unsurprising that their cuisine is the most popular among the world’s priciest restaurants. Grand dining rooms with chandeliers are commonplace in France’s most glamorous eateries, such as Paris’s Plaza Athénée and Pic in Valence.
While in Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands — where France’s presence dates back to the late 18th century — chefs combine fine ingredients with innovative techniques to create legendary food, all in the setting of a beautiful, historical building.
Japan — and Japanese cuisine — also features on our list of the most expensive restaurants in the world, with one of the most memorable dining experiences being at a French restaurant with views of the breathtaking Lake Toya, on the coast of Hokkaido, where diners can experience the real France with imported snails.
But the prize for the most expensive restaurant in the world goes to Kitcho, which is run by award-winning chef Kunio Tokuoka. Traditional Kaiseki cuisine at this eatery will set you back around $600 per person, but it is famed for being one of the best meals you can get in Japan. Sharing the spotlight with Kitcho is Masa, which flies in a dozen types of exotic seafood directly from Japan to give diners arguably the best sushi they can get their hands on in New York.
Click through to see the Elite Traveler list of Most Expensive Restaurants in the World.
Ask any foodie where to go for the best, most traditional meal in Japan and you’re likely to be directed to the same place every time: Kitcho.
Famed for its exquisite Kaiseki, which is considered to be one of the best in the country, Kitcho is the most expensive 3 star Michelin restaurant in the world (a spot it shares with Masa restaurant, which also specializes in Japanese cuisine).
Award-winning executive chef Kunio Tokuoka, whose grandfather Teiichi Yuki founded the restaurant in 1930, is a master of the tea ceremony and Kaiseki. He has maintained Kitcho’s tradition, while finding ways to create innovative dishes that harmonize with modern times.
A meal for two will set you back around ¥122,503 ($1,200), but a large private room, faultless service, and course after course of delicious food made with the highest quality ingredients make this dining experience worth every dime.
Featuring more than a dozen types of exotic seafood flown in from Japan, it’s no wonder that Masa is considered to be the best — and most expensive — sushi restaurant in New York.
After setting up his famed sushi restaurant in LA, chef Masa Takayama came to New York in 2004 looking for a new challenge. In February that year he opened Masa and Bar Masa in an upscale, Time Warner Center, next door to Per Se.
Diners should expect to pay a minimum of $450 and up to $600 for Masa’s multi-course prix fixe menu, which consists of five appetizers, followed by a sushi entree that includes 15-20 types of exotic seafood, and finishes with a dessert course.
Guests are seated in a beautiful dining room, which features a chandelier of 10,000 crystal pendants, while they choose from a menu made up of rare ingredients by head chef Christophe Saintagne.
A meal costs around $550 per person (steamed langoustines served cold with caviar will set you back around $256, alone), but if you’re looking for the best in Paris, Plaza Athénée will undoubtedly satisfy your taste buds and provide the classiest of dining experiences.
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée has been voted by Elite Traveler readers as one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
The restaurant won back its third Michelin star in 2007 thanks to third-generation chef Anne-Sophie Pic, daughter of Jacques Pic who achieved three stars in 1973, and granddaughter of Andre Pic, who won three stars in 1934.
The menu features Pic’s classics — some of which have been modernized by Anne-Sophie – while others celebrate the memory of dishes in their former fully glory, for example, “The Line-Caught Bass with Caviar Alverta, as my father liked it – 1971” (part of the seven-course Collection Pic menu for around $434).
Presented beautifully, Pic’s classic dishes show French cooking at its best — with a price to match.
Maison Pic has been voted by Elite Traveler readers as one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
With views of the volcanic Lake Toya, located 228km from Sapporo on the coast of Hokkaido, the restaurant’s dining room offers French dining with a Japanese difference.
Diners can choose from two menus, costing around $285 and $200 per person, complemented by a wine list of over 500 selections (which can easily bump up the price, especially with a Ridge Monte Bello 1996 priced at about $500).
Creative French cooking techniques are applied to Hokkaido’s local food to create dishes that match the originals served in the restaurant in southern France. But the Toya equivalent still maintains its differences with unique dishes that illustrate the coming together of French and Japanese flavors, such as snails from Bourgogne, carrot jus and kohlrabi, combined with
Use of the highest quality produce is a driving force at Hôtel de Ville, located in Crissier, near Lausanne, which sources fish from the Léman lake, meat from the Fribourg Canton, as well as Swiss cheese.
Benoît Violier took over the reins at Hotel de Ville in 2012, after working in the kitchens for 16 years.
Together, he and his wife Brigitte have continued the restaurant’s legendary status for creating exceptional food with a seasonal menu that focuses on impeccable ingredients.
Restaurant Hôtel de Ville has been voted by Elite Traveler readers as one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Located in a 18th century castle in an alpine valley, Schloss Schauenstein’s medieval decor combines with simple, regional produce to offer guests creative dishes with exceptional taste, color and precision.
With a focus on a few ingredients, head chef Andreas Caminada manages to create masterpieces that match the beautiful surroundings.
De Librije creates modern, inventive dishes made from selected regional and seasonal products, coupled with creative cooking techniques.
Located in Zwolle, the Netherlands, chef Jonnie Boer owns the restaurant with his wife Thérèse Boer. Together, they have achieved three Michelin stars with their modern cuisine.
Little touches, such as a plate of seed bread proving on the table to be baked for you later, make De Librije a unique dining experience to not be missed.
De Librije has been voted by Elite Traveler readers as one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Offering a taste of France in the heart of London, Ducasse’s seasonal menu of French cuisine is delivered by passionate head chef Christophe Moret and features a seven-course tasting menu.
Although not as expensive as its Parisian counterpart, Plaza Athénée, there is certainly the opportunity to splurge with a private dining room experience (prices start at $450). Placed in the centre of the restaurant, Table Lumière is surrounded by 4,500 shimmering fiber optics, which give guests privacy, while allowing them to enjoy the buzz of the restaurant.
Located just outside of Bruges, the restaurant has a staff of 30 who provide an excellent service to 50 diners.
The food created by head chef Gert De Mangeleer, one of the youngest chefs to have achieved three Michelin stars, is complimented by sommelier Joachim Boudens’ varied wine list.