When you’re on a luxurious vacation, an upscale restaurant can be your biggest splurge, and the meal itself can sometimes be just as memorable, if not more so, than where you stay. Few know this better than the people who save up for and plan trips around Michelin-starred restaurants, which the long-running Michelin Guide has deemed the best in the world. Before making a Michelin-starred wish list of their own, food-obsessed travelers might want to check out the ones that the chef resource site Chef’s Pencil deemed the world’s most expensive luxury restaurants.
The Chef’s Pencil team gathered menus from 450 restaurants with two and three Michelin stars. The list is based on the price for the restaurant’s most expensive tasting menu — but it should be noted that in some places, lunch is more affordable. At these revered restaurants, dinner tasting menus consist of anywhere from 8 to 12 dinner courses.
The average cost for dinner, based on Chef’s Pencil data, is about $276 per person. Location was a big factor in price. A Michelin-star restaurant in Thailand is more affordable, about $173 per tasting menu, than one in Germany, where the average cost is about $243 per person. The most expensive average cost for a tasting menu in the world is in Denmark, where the average cost to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant is $404.
The cost of the average Michelin star restaurant tasting menu in the most expensive countries:
- Denmark: $404
- Singapore: $364
- Sweden: $327
- Japan: $322
- USA: $313
- China: $310
- UK: $301
- France: $300
- Switzerland: $292
- Italy: $255
Denmark may have the highest average, but that’s far from the single most expensive Michelin star restaurant. The crown for the expensive tasting menu is the world goes to Sublimotion in Ibiza, Spain, which has a $1,740 tasting menu. Shanghai is home to the second most expensive restaurant in the world, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, where costs start at $618 per person for dinner and go up to more than $1,000.
The most expensive Michelin star restaurants in the world:
- Sublimotion in Ibiza, Spain: $1,740
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, China: $1,422
- Kitcho Arashiyama Honten in Kyoto, Japan: $910
- Azabu Kadowaki in Tokyo: $825
- Masa in New York City: $800
- Joël Robuchon in Tokyo: $637
- Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto, Japan: $637
- Gion Maruyama in Kyoto, Japan: $637
- Guy Savoy in Paris: $614
- Piazza Duomo in Alba, Italy: $580
- Ciel Bleu in Amsterdam: $574
- Alchemist in Copenhagen: $560
- Arpege in Paris: $533
- Forum in Hong Kong: $530
- Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London: $527
The next six spots all belong to Japanese cuisine — three restaurants in Kyoto, two in Tokyo, and in the number five spot is Masa, a sushi restaurant in New York City. A French restaurant doesn’t even make the list until ninth place, surprisingly.
Yes, a dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant might drain your bank account so be prepared to save up. Despite the cost though, it may end up being one of the most life-changing, memorable nights of life — an experience that some might even consider priceless.