The most outrageously expensive food
The £15 cappuccino
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
The hotel promises a “superior blend of aromatic coffee” below the foam, and 24-karat gold flakes and chocolate drizzle above. Presented on a silver tray with side bites of dark chocolate and date, this Instagrammable caffeine fantasy may be outrageous in design, but it’s not as bad as you might think when it comes to price. Each cup costs 60 dirhams (£12.60) but, with service charge, tourism tax, and a municipality fee added in, guests will pay a total of 72 dirhams (£15.15) for the posh sip.
The £130 hot dog
Tokyo Dog, Seattle
Available by pre-ordering a minimum of two weeks in advance, Tokyo Dog’s $169 (£130) Juuni Ban dog furthers the restaurant’s focus on Japanese flavours by topping a foot-long smoked cheese bratwurst on a brioche bun with slices of wagyu beef, teriyaki-grilled onions, maitake mushrooms, foie gras, shaved black truffles, caviar, and Japanese mayonnaise. After two weeks of waiting, diners shouldn’t feel too bad for not being able to finish it during the five-minute meal; all proceeds from the sale of the Juuni Ban go to the American Red Cross.
The £600 burger
Burger Brasserie, Las Vegas
Although the Guinness World Record for most expensive burger goes to a £3,800 meat monster created by Juicy’s Outlaw Grill in Corvallis, Oregon, its 350-kilo weight makes it suitable only for the likes of Godzilla. So to enjoy the priciest burger that can comfortably be consumed by one person, head to Las Vegas’ Le Burger Brasserie for the $777 (£600) burger (triple seven is the luckiest number combination in Sin City). Wannabe high rollers are in for a burger of Kobe beef and Maine lobster topped with prosciutto, caramelised sweet onion, triple-cream brie straight from France, and a drizzle of 100-year balsamic vinegar between fresh-baked buns crusted with aged parmesan cheese. A bottle of Dom Perignon Rosé (included) helps to wash down such a big burger (and the big bill).
The £775 ice cream
Serendipity 3, New York
It’s a dessert so infamous that it gets its own Wikipedia entry. You’ll need to pre-order at least 48 hours in advance for the Golden Opulence Sundae: a $1,000 treat of Tahitian vanilla ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla, blanketed in 24-karat (edible) gold leaf, and topped by Amedei Porcelana chocolate syrup and chunks of Chuao chocolate from Venezuela. Parisian candied fruits, gilded almonds, truffles, and marzipan cherries decorate the sundae, and it all sits in a Baccarat crystal bowl goblet that you can take home after. Oh, and don’t forget the caviar! A dainty glass bowl of American Golden caviar is topped with yet more gold leaf and added to the ensemble.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, in 2007 the restaurant upped the ante by briefly adding a $25,000 (£19,300) dessert to their menu. The “Frozen Haute Chocolate” came complete with a gold bracelet encrusted with white diamonds wrapped around the base of the bowl. Excessively expensive eats have become a hallmark of Serendipity 3; the restaurant also lays claim to the world’s most expensive sandwich – a £165 grilled cheese whose bread is baked with Dom Perignon champagne and brushed with truffle oil before it hits the grill.
The £1,500 cronut
Dum Dum Donutterie, London
Is it a doughnut or a croissant? It’s both, kind of, and costs £1,500. This luxury version of the “Cronut,” called a “Cro” by Dum Dum Donutterie in London, is made of saffron-infused black-and-white croissant dough created with Tahitian gold vanilla beans and Amedei Porcelana chocolate. Fresh out of the oven, it’s then topped with more chocolate, gold flakes, and Cristal rosé champagne caviar. Dum Dum has hinted that “more secret projects are on the way”, but until they debut a platinum-dusted pączki, we’ll settle for one of their other signature pastries: a £55 giant doughnut with a 10-inch diameter.
The £1,500 pizza
Industry Kitchen, New York
Assuming it takes you 40 bites to consume the entire, $2,000 (£1,540) pizza at Industry Kitchen in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport neighbourhood, you’ll be paying $50 per bite. Chew through a wood-fired, thin-crust pizza topped with white Stilton, foie gras, French truffles, Osetra caviar, and sheets of gold flake garnished with edible flower petals. Introduced at the end of last year, the pizza requires a two-day advance reservation and, to help you cut your losses, we recommend a posse of four more friends to split the price among the $400 slices.
The £19,000 taco
Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort, Mexico
It’s not a headline-making dish unless gold flakes and caviar are involved, and the world’s most expensive taco doesn’t disappoint. Available from the Frida restaurant at this five-star resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the $25,000 (£19,300) taco features Kobe beef, langoustine, Almas beluga caviar (the most expensive in the world), black truffle brie cheese, and a salsa of dried Morita chile peppers, civet coffee, and Ley .925 añejo tequila. Gold flakes infuse both the corn tortilla and garnish the finished taco and yes, that five-figure price tag is for a single taco. Not even a night in a room at the resort is included.