While some people, myself included, are throwing pennies into a wishing well dreaming of dining at luxurious — maybe even Michelin-starred– restaurants, others have relished in the unparalleled experience of unblemished service, unimaginable flavor combinations, and the superior quality and craft of masterful chefs with the asking of an average American’s monthly grocery budget as a starting price and all but take an entry fee.
When I enlisted the help of a handful of Yelpers I asked the question “What is the most expensive meal you’ve had and what made the experience worth?” and received a load of responses.
Keep scrolling to find out the answer to the question above..
“The most I ever spent on a meal was in NYC with my husband and I’s honeymoon. It was at The River Cafe in Brooklyn. The place has been around for a long time and I yelped a bit before booking the reservation to see if the quality and passion was still there too. It was so we reserved it. It’s located right under the Brooklyn bridge alongside the river that overlooks Manhattan. Make sure to check out the pictures in my review of it. The food was amazing. The attention to detail was crazy. That combined with the view and the quality were well worth the $600 bill. I will be going again someday in the near future.”
– Charles P.
“About $2400 total for 3 people at O Ya in Boston. It’s the restaurant where Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds fell in love! We did the grand omakase, ordered a couple sake flights and another side dish. There were about 20 courses, and it was a total fine dining experience, each dish was carefully crafted (and in that order for a reason). The quality of the food was second to none and the service was fantastic. The experience was a little over the top at times, there were multiple dishes with caviar and one dish had edible gold flakes.“
– Katie G
“The most money I’ve spent eating out was around $900 (for two) at minibar by José Andrés, here in DC. Surprisingly enough, this didn’t even include alcohol! We opted for the non-alcoholic drink pairings because we wanted to keep our wits about us in order to fully experience the meal.
And what an experience it was! They justify charging such a premium by delivering a truly one of a kind dining experience. It is an intimate, yet fun, setting that allows you to interact with the other diners (12 seats total) and the kitchen staff as they prepare the meal. Each course is explained in detail. It’s really a work of art to see the head chef orchestrating the operation and the rest of the staff delivering under pressure right before your eyes. The service overall was top-notch.
The food itself was delicious and super inventive. The menu consisted of around 20 courses with very few “misses”. The quality and freshness of the ingredients were evident, and you can tell they had as much fun designing the menu as we had eating it.
For as much fun as this experience was, was it worth $900? Probably not. I don’t regret going here one bit, however, as this truly was a unique experience. I consider it a nice one-time treat, as there are too many other great restaurants in DC to experience these days, where my money goes a bit further. “
– Adam G.
“The most I’ve ever spent solo is $525 for one at Per Se in NYC and it was at the peak of Jonathan Benno’s time there. The combination of service, ingredients, and presentation was very worthwhile.
The most for 2 was El Celler de Can Roca at $640. It was memorable for location and its place in culinary history, though less for the food.“
-Michael U., endoedibles.com
“Probably about $1300 for lunch for two of us at the French Laundry.
It was exceptional food and service. A special occasion for sure
An event more than a meal“
– Ari P
“Service!!! That’s the most important. If it’s bad service no matter how good the food is, it’ll leave a poor impression. 500 dollars for 2 people. Pineapple and Pearls. The way they present the food and walk you through the ingredients, where it is sourced, and how the dish is made /composed. Small freebies. Always helps. It’s a nice touch.“
“The most I ever spent was close to $400 (that didn’t include my friend’s cost) on dinner at Joel Robuchon in Vegas. It was a splurge for my birthday. The food was really good, the wine amazing, and the service was so attentive. I’m glad I had the experience.“
– Dawn G.
“The most money I’ve ever spent eating out was definitely on dinner at The River Cafe in Brooklyn, NY. Each person spent a fixed price of $130 for a beautiful meal consisting of an appetizer, palate cleansers, main course, and desserts/coffee. My table got champagne as well. The reputation of this restaurant was enough to ensure my patronage – before even getting there, I knew that the food would be of the best possible quality, presentation, and taste. The restaurant is set right on the East River, decorated on the outside with a beautiful cobblestone path and surrounded by lit-up trees. However, what stands out the most about the River Cafe is the amazing view of the NYC skyline, which we had a view of right from our dinner table. Every aspect of the food and environment was perfect, and I can’t wait to return. “
“$1,128.60 not including tip for a party of 4 at Minibar in DC on June 25, 2014. I’d say it was worth it since I haven’t seen my cousins in a few years and wanted to share a unique experience with them. I’ve been to Minibar a total of 4 times, but I don’t think I’ll be back since main dishes were being repeated.“
Fancy, schmancy indeed.
Share in the comments if you’ve ever had on of these experiences and what made it worth it!