Price may not perfectly correspond with quality at restaurants, but they do tend to follow each other’s footsteps. Nobody’s going to pay $500 per person for store-bought mashed potatoes.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the most expensive restaurants in the US. Before we begin, though, there are a few things to discuss.
First, we are judging these restaurants entirely by price. Elements like Michelin stars, celebrity staff members, or value for the meal are not factors for our list, though they tend to show up in the results. Any restaurant on this list is a splurge, no matter how you try to explain the experience.
That said, we’re judging the restaurants by overall pricing rather than the cost of individual dishes. A chef could price a bottle of wine at a million dollars, but if everything else costs $5/meal, it doesn’t qualify as an expensive restaurant.
Second, the most expensive restaurants in the US tend to congregate in major urban areas like New York City and San Francisco. Expect to be visiting a city to eat anywhere on this list.
Finally, many of these restaurants require reservations well ahead of time, possibly several months. Be sure to check their policies if you want to eat there.
Check out some of the priciest restaurants in America. If you’re willing to spend big money, these restaurants are famously delicious as well as expensive!
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019
Masa is the primary restaurant of Chef Masayoshi Takayama, one of the most experienced sushi chefs in the world.
Dining options are only available for a short time around lunch and a few hours for dinner.
Dining is omakase, which means it’s generally up to the chef to prepare and serve food according to their own experience and judgment.
Pricing here starts at $750 and goes up from there, with the more expensive Hinoki Counter Experience providing a two-hour meal.
Masa refuses all gratuities, so the real price (absent tax) is what you see on the menu.
178 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Saison is an upscale restaurant in San Francisco, offering cuisine emphasizing the use of wood fires for cooking.
Notably, the kitchen and the dining area share a space, so you see much more of the food preparation than usual.
The wine list is almost 150 pages long, too. I’ve seen longer, but it’s still on the high end.
Dining options change frequently based on what ingredients they currently have in stock, so there’s no fixed menu.
Rather, Saison is someplace to go when you want good food, but not any specific food. I’m not a big fan of that style for any restaurant, but I can’t deny the quality of what they serve.
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Per Se is a particularly upscale French-inspired restaurant in New York City, boasting three Michelin stars and a wine list of more than two thousand bottles.
This restaurant has two main nine-course menus each day, covering a vegetable menu and a chef’s tasting option. I find the second one to be the better of the two available.
Dishes are not particularly large at Per Se, but it’s an excellent place to go for variety because they don’t repeat a single ingredient throughout the meal.
Prices start at $200 per person most of the time, but they also have an occasional first-time diner’s lunch where children can eat free if accompanied by paying adults.
3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Set just outside of San Francisco Bay, Atelier Crenn is a luxury dining experience focusing on pescatarian options.
Atelier Crenn is a forward-thinking restaurant, and the first in the country to become entirely free from single-use plastics.
Each bit on the tasting menu is good here, but like many restaurants with more than a dozen courses in the meal, each course is essentially a bite-sized option.
Atelier Crenn is a good place to visit for interesting flavors, but not for big meals. Expect a lot of artistry and poetry, rather than just food.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Restaurant Guy Savoy is the highlight dining experience at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Built to match the original location in France, the US version (unsurprisingly) serves outstanding French meals. Individual dishes start around $65 and go up quickly from there.
What I like most about this restaurant is that you’re going to get a lot of food for what you pay.
Many expensive restaurants charge incredible amounts for what’s just flavored foam, but you’re going to be full after a great night here.
Also, if you happen to win big at the casino, this restaurant is a great place to spend some of your winnings.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
431 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is a restaurant with three Michelin stars, set in the back of one of New York City’s top grocery markets.
The menu features a collection of Japanese and French influences, emphasizing sea life and including a selection of desserts. Expect 20-30 courses throughout the meal on most days.
Pricing starts at around $430 per person, not including additional services or wine.
The dress code is always formal, but if you don’t have an appropriate outfit, the staff can suggest somewhere you can pick up better attire.
22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Benu is another top restaurant in San Francisco, boasting everything from three Michelin stars to five diamonds from the AAA.
Meals here are Asian-American with some French techniques and twists, making it surprisingly similar to the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.
They have a fixed menu but can accommodate some dietary restrictions, and try to plan new menus for each visit.
Pricing is usually a fixed $350 per person, with an additional 20% for service. I’m surprised the pricing is this low, as Benu is among the best restaurants in the country by quality alone and worth a flight to visit.
The French Laundry
6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
Behold, an expensive restaurant that isn’t in San Francisco or New York City! It’s not too far away from SF, though, as The French Laundry is set in Yountville, California.
It’s part of the Thomas Keller restaurant group (which also owns Per Se), with daily menus that typically include a mix of vegetables, seafood, farm butter, and fruits in a nine-course meal.
Prices here start around $350 per person, not including wines. Their cellar is moderately impressive – not the largest list I’ve seen, but big enough to suit almost any tastes.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Eleven Madison Park is another restaurant in New York City, overlooking Madison Square Park.
It focuses on entirely plant-based meals, with a separate bar that offers a much smaller tasting menu, snacks, and wine.
Eleven Madison Park is also socially conscious, using proceeds from meals to help provide meals to food-insecure citizens within the city.
This restaurant has occasionally struggled under its ambitions, but it’s managed to maintain three Michelin stars.
I suggest stopping by if you’re interested in what chefs can do with plants or want to be charitable with some of your dining.
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S Las Vegas, NV 89109
Joël Robuchon is a highlight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
I haven’t experienced things like that often, and it was worth the trip.
The restaurant has a wide variety of awards, including three Michelin stars, five diamonds from the AAA, and plenty of others that mostly just repeat what we already know.
The food here is deceptively simple-looking by design, with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and natural flavors.
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Set in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Alinea is an interesting experience. Seats mostly cluster around tables here and aren’t quite as luxurious as I expect in this price range, but the menu is worth it.
However, the Alinea Kitchen Table – their best menu – requires a party of exactly six people at $475 per person, so it can be a little hard to get without some friends.
More likely, you’re going to go with their first-floor gallery, which has two showings per night and can accommodate just two people.
The menu changes regularly and they don’t like advertising it, but it typically includes fruits and land-based meats, in small serving sizes.