You’d be surprised to find that there are Michelin-starred meals that can cost just $1.50 While this is outside the norm, most restaurants that have earned this prestigious award charge much more. It’s not uncommon for a Michelin-starred restaurant to charge at least $300 to $400 per meal, and some command even higher prices. To find the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants, cooking site Chef’s Pencil researched dinner tasting menus at over 450 of the world’s best restaurants and has made a list of most expensive to least expensive.
The Top 10 Michelin-Starred Restaurants
According to Chef’s Pencil, the 10 most expensive restaurants that have either received a Michelin star, or helmed by a chef that has, are :
- Sublimotion, Ibiza, Spain — $1,740
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China — $1,422
- Kitcho Arashiyama Honten, Kyoto, Japan — $910
- Azabu Kadowaki, Tokyo, Japan — $825
- Masa, New York City, United States — $800
- (Tie) Joel Robuchon, Tokyo, Japan — $637
- (Tie) Kikunoi Honten, Kyoto, Japan — $637
- (Tie) Gion Maruyama, Kyoto, Japan — $637
- Guy Savoy, Paris, France — $615
- Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy — $580
* Price per person, often excluding taxes, tips, beverages, and extras
On this list, Japan is the only country that appears more than once. You can see that half the Japanese restaurants on the list are located in Tokyo and Kyoto. One thing to note is Tokyo-based Joel Robuchon, which is tied for No. 6 on the list, serves French cuisine.
The only restaurant from the United States to make the Top 10 is Masa, located in New York. While a small country, Japan is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, with Tokyo having more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city.
Japanese restaurants can be very expensive
There are many reasons why Japanese restaurants can be expensive. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, famously known as the start of television cooking shows “Iron Chef” and “Iron Chef America” explains why:
“Japanese restaurants source seasonal fish from all over the world, which increases the cost of the ingredients,” he said. “There is also a cost of proper shipping and storage for these ingredients, considering fresh seafood has a short shelf life.”
Other factors, according to Morimoto, include the skills the chefs possess, and the precision and artistry that goes into making and serving their dishes. Japanese restaurants can also be quite small. Omakase restaurants are famously known to seat very few people and are usually limited to just a few seatings per night. This allows for a more personalized experience from the chef.
“Restaurants with a limited number of seats usually try to provide an intimate and meaningful food experience for their guests,” said Morimoto. “Many notable sushi restaurants have a maximum of eight seats — no servers or additional staff.”
Many high-end Japanese restaurants elect to serve omakase-style. With omakase, chefs decide what to serve. Omakase allows chefs to prepare a “food adventure”, and seasoned omakase chefs are able to create unforgettable multi-course dining experiences which highlight the best of what they have to offer with the best and freshest ingredients used. Only the best is reserved for omakase, making it quite a unique dining experience.
Most expensive meals by country
Despite overwhelmingly dominating the list of most expensive restaurants, Japan isn’t the most expensive country overall for people seeking the best Michelin-star experience. A separate analysis by Chef’s Pencil analyzed the prices of the most expensive tasting menus at restaurants with two and three Michelin stars and found that Japan was only fourth on the list. In fact, for dining at top Michelin starred restaurants, Denmark is the most expensive country, with tasting menus costing $404 per person on average. Singapore was next, at an average of $364, followed by Sweden at $327, and then finally Japan at $322.