One of the best ways for foodies to truly experience the world’s best restaurants is by ordering a multi-course tasting menu.
But it’s not for everyone — these carefully crafted and elaborate meals can sometimes cost as much as $US1,000 a head.
From the experimental Sublimotion restaurant in Spain to Heston Blumenthal’s quirky dishes in London, here are 33 restaurants with the priciest tasting menus in the world.
NOTE: We calculated the cost of a meal for two people, and included the price of a wine pairing where applicable. Unless otherwise indicated, the listed cost does not include gratuity or tax. Foreign prices were converted at today’s conversion rates.
Talia Avakian contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.
$US478 for two; nine courses (wine pairing $US142 per person)
Chef Massimo Bottura puts his own unique twist on classic Italian food. One of his most famous dishes, the 'Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano' is served in different textures and temperatures.
$US490 for two people; nine courses (wine pairing additional $US105 per person)
Australian chef Peter Gilmore's Quay serves a tasting menu that combines classic dishes with new seasonal additions. The meal flows flawlessly from the delicious starters to the guava snow egg -- one of Gilmore's signature desserts.
The intimate dining room has crisp white linens that only add to the ambiance of this serene meal.
$US490 for two; 24 courses
Run by Chef Tim Cushman and his wife, Nancy, O Ya offers imaginative sushi and Japanese small plates, like pork ribs soaked in a smoky-flavored lapsang souchong tea for over 24 hours. The dish is served with sesame seeds and Japanese leeks.
The small and welcoming space of its original Boston location is a comfortable setting for enjoying the various plates of seafood delicacies.
$US500 for two people; 10 courses
Addison has a four-course tasting menu that costs $US110 per person, but it's the $US250 10-course tasting menu that's truly unforgettable.
The chef's tasting includes an array of interesting dishes, which change depending on the ingredients that are in season. In the current menu, there is a coffee-roasted duck with koshihikari rice and candied peanuts.
$US516 for two; courses vary
Half of the charm of Blue Hill at Stone Barns is its setting. Chef Dan Barber, considered a pioneer of farm-to-table food, set up the restaurant at his own working farm in Upstate New York.
The menu changes with the season and, according to the restaurant's website, has 'the best offerings from the field and the market.'
$US524 for two; six courses
Chef Andreas Caminada experiments with innovative molecular dishes inside a historical castle in Fürstenau.
According to the 'World's 50 Best Restaurants,' the menu is designed to enrich the senses. One of the star dishes, the beef tongue, has different ingredients on each part of it 'to reflect sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami sensations,' writes a reviewer for the World's 50 Best Restaurants.
$US526 for two people; 10 courses
La Pergola has some gorgeous decor, with an elegant array of candles, trompe l'oeil ceilings, sliding glass walls, and views of Monte Mario. It also has three Michelin stars.
Chef Heinz Beck's menu takes Italian food to new heights, with dishes like the oil-cooked scampi with a purée of peas, broad beans, and artichokes.
$US532 for two; nine courses (additional wine pairing $US195)
Amber welcomes diners to an elegantly low-lit bar with leather sofas and bronze rods suspended along the ceiling.
The degustation menu has a collection of Amber's signature dishes. Each dish is paired with a different wine.
$US550 for two people; 20 to 25 courses
With around 25 courses to enjoy, the tasting menu at José Andrés's Minibar takes diners on a culinary journey.
The courses on the tasting menu aren't revealed until guests arrive, which keeps an element of surprise to the experience.
$US550 for two people; 20 sushi courses
The 91-year-old Jiro Ono is the most famous sushi master in the world. His sushi prix fixe is impeccable, and watching him work behind the counter at Jiro is worth the ¥30,000 price tag alone.
Jiro recommends that all his diners drink green tea with the meal.
$US550 for two people; around 12 courses (wine pairing additional $US250 per person)
The Restaurant at Meadowood caters to every guest's individual preferences so that the tasting menu perfectly suits your palate.
And even though the dishes may vary from night to night (or from customer to customer), they are all guaranteed to be presented and cooked by Chef Christopher Kostow and his team with impeccable attention to detail.
$US576 for two people; eight courses
Heston Blumenthal brought in Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts to oversee Dinner.
At the chef's table, guests can watch the team create some of their amazing dishes, such as sherried scallops and 'meat fruit,' a foie gras and chicken liver mousse stuffed in a mandarin jelly shell that mimics a citrus fruit.
$US590 for two; 11 courses (until June 7)
Despite the grandeur of Eleven Madison Park, which is set in a dazzling room with white tablecloths and high ceilings, the food here is anything but stuffy.
Chef Daniel Humm is known for his quirky dishes, such as a celery root cooked in a pig's bladder.
$US600 for two; eight courses
At Le Pré Catelan, diners can enjoy immaculate dishes prepared by Chef Frédéric Anton while sitting underneath the chestnut trees that rest on the restaurant's terrace.
The eight-course tasting menu includes savoury dishes like langoustine ravioli and foie gras cream. The restaurant also offers a six-course tasting menu at $US236 per person.
From $US600 for two; courses vary
Kurumazushi is a traditionally styled Japanese sushi restaurant run by Chef Toshihiro Uezu. Centered around the sushi bar, visitors sample omakase from one of the earliest destinations in New York.
The restaurant opened in the late 1970s and has been serving outstanding Japanese cuisine ever since.
$US620 for two people (service charge included); 13 courses
The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller's iconic Napa Valley restaurant, is a foodie mecca because of its stunning location, amazing service, and outstanding dishes.
The menu changes daily, and no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. 'What we want you to experience is that sense of surprise when you taste something so new, so exciting, so comforting, so delicious, you think 'Wow' -- and then it's gone,' says the restaurant's website.
$US650 for two; seven courses (additional wine pairing $US100 per person)
Enclosed by glass and submerged more than 16 feet in the water, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant has a seven-course tasting menu and a setup that lets diners gaze out at stunning views of the ocean.
The tasting menu includes everything from a lobster stuffed with calamarata pasta and served with burrata to veal tenderloin. There's also a lighter four-course menu that's offered at lunchtime and costs $US210 per person.
$US660 for two people; courses vary
At three-Michelin-starred restaurant Brooklyn Fare, the tasting menu is focused on seafood with both raw fish and shellfish options. It changes daily to reflect the freshest ingredients of the season and lasts approximately two hours.
Sit back and watch as Chef Cesar Ramirez and his team prepare the elaborate courses right in front of you.
$US708 for two people; 6 courses
One of several Alain Ducasse establishments, Le Louis XV has resided in Monte Carlo's Hôtel de Paris for the last 25 years.
Its three-star rating in the Michelin Guide is well-deserved, with decadent Mediterranean dishes like a roasted Pyrenean baby lamb or the rum baba dessert served with rum and whipped cream.
$US718 for two; 10 courses
Chef Anne-Sophie Pic is one of few female chefs to run a Michelin three-star kitchen. At Maison Pic, the 10-course 'Essential Menu' includes an array of simplistic modern dishes, including a 70-day aged beef.
With round tables that offer privacy and large sofas for an intimate experience, diners can enjoy a delectable meal in an inviting setting.
$US770 for two people; 21 courses
Alinea is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant with avant-garde dishes that showcase the molecular gastronomy skills of Chefs Grant Achatz, Mike Bagale, and Simon Davies.
The restaurant was renovated in early 2016 and reopened doors with three different tasting menus, which cost between $US175 and $US385. The most expensive menu, AlineaKT, costs $US385 per person and is hosted in a private room that seats six guests only.
$US784 for two; 11 courses
Led by Chef Benoît Violier, this three-starred Michelin restaurant takes diners on a culinary journey beginning with crab flavored with basil and spicy purple artichokes, and on to white asparagus cooked mimosa-style with caviar powder and egg yolk.
A selection of fine cheeses offers a light change of palette before you dive into dessert.
$US796 for two; 8-10 courses (wine pairing additional $US298 per person)
Saison offers a playful and inventive tasting menu.
The dishes change nightly based on the local ingredients and what's available from their own garden. Currently, the 'Whole Radish Plant', which is part grilled, poached, and raw vegetable, is one of its most exciting dishes.
$US828 for two; five courses
Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, run by Chef Alain Ducasse and Executive Chef Christophe Saintagne, serves up grand French cuisine.
Set within luxurious decor that resembles the royal apartments of Versailles, the restaurant offers diners a collection menu that currently includes staples such as lobster, vegetables cooked in a salt crust, and chicken cooked in wild garlic with morel mushrooms.
$US848 for two people; 12 courses
Alain Passard's L'Arpège centres most of its courses around vegetables from the chef's garden -- and by garden, we mean five acres of farmland.
His entrées all live up to the three-Michelin-star rating, but it's the Oeuf à la Coque that's the signature dish. It's a lightly cooked egg yolk with crème fraîche, maple syrup, vinegar, and spices.
It may sound complicated, but some diners will make a special trip to Paris just for this amuse-bouche.
$US848 for two people; five courses
One of France's finest restaurants, Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée serves food made with simple yet unforgettable ingredients.
Located in the Plaza Athénée hotel, it's also one of the most elegant environments to dine in.
$US860 for two people; 11 courses
Guy Savoy runs his eponymous restaurant with the precision, service, and finesse worthy of one of the most expensive tasting menus in the world.
His 11-course, €395 'Colours, Textures and Flavours' menu includes an artichoke black truffle soup and barbecued pigeon.
$US890 for two people; 18 courses
Even the butter will blow away your taste buds at Joël Robuchon. Each dish prepared by Chef Robuchon is richly flavorful, with every ingredient contrasted expertly.
Osetra caviar (with smooth cauliflower cream and gelée of green asparagus) is a particular favourite.
$US978 for two; 12 courses
Kitcho is run by Chef Kunio Tokuaka, who serves every dish as a work of art. Plates are served in priceless antique tableware with local and seasonal ingredients, and the restaurant offers beautiful views of the nearby river and sloping hills.
Inside, there are several private tatami rooms with separate gardens for a more intimate experience.
$US1,190 for two people; 20-25 courses (wine pairing additional $US250 per person)
Masa Takayama is the famed sushi chef behind this New York restaurant, and he delivers some of the highest quality Japanese food America has to offer.
If you go, try and sit at the bar and watch Masa himself create the dishes, for the ultimate experience.
$US1,742 for two (from Thursday to Saturday); 20 courses (including beverage pairing)
Ultraviolet is an experimental restaurant by Chef Paul Pairet, where a four-hour meal is served with accompanying sounds and visuals.
This tasting menu is all about heightening your senses with different sights, sounds, and smells.
$US3,266 for two; 13 courses
Sublimotion, located at the Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, is run by Chef Paco Roncero and includes an extensive three-hour-long tasting menu for 12 people.
With 25 staff members catering to diners, the tasting experience includes everything from DIY cocktails, 360-degree projections, neon dining tables, and dishes that incorporate experimental techniques.
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