Japan dominates the world’s most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants

Michelin-starred meals can cost as little as $ 1.50 a plate.Most restaurants that have received the prestigious award charge much more.

Many cost between $ 300 and $ 400 per meal, but some offer even higher rates.

To find the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants, culinary website Chef’s Pencil researched dinner tasting menus at over 450 restaurants around the world, according to its website.

TOP 10

According to Chef’s Pencil, 10 most expensive restaurants * who either received a Michelin star or led by a chef who are:

1. Sublimation, Ibiza, Spain – USD 1,740

2. Ultraviolet – Paul Pere, Shanghai, China – USD 1,422

3. Kitcho Arashiyama Honten, Kyoto, Japan – USD 910

4. Azabu Kadovaki, Tokyo, Japan USD 825

5. Masa, New York, USA – 800 USD

6. (Tie) Joel Robuchon, Tokyo, Japan USD 637

6. (Tie) Kikunoi Honten, Kyoto, Japan – USD 637

6. (Tie) Gion Maruyama, Kyoto, Japan – USD 637

9. Guy Savoy, Paris, France – USD 615

10. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy USD 580

* Price per person, usually does not include drinks and service charges.

Japan is the only country to appear on this list more than once, and its restaurants located in Kyoto and Tokyo dominate half of the 10 locations. It’s worth noting, however, that Tokyo-based Joel Robuchon, the sixth highest on the list, offers French cuisine.

The only US restaurant in the top 10, Masa is also a Japanese restaurant.

Japan has the highest number of Michelin restaurants per capita in the world, and Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city. according to Chef’s Pencil.

Why Japanese restaurants can be so expensive

According to chef Masaharu Morimoto, known to millions of people as the star of the television cooking shows Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, there are reasons why many Japanese restaurants are expensive.

“Japanese restaurants are sourcing seasonal fish from all over the world, which adds to the cost of the ingredients,” he said. “These ingredients also come with proper shipping and storage costs, given that fresh seafood has a short shelf life.”

Chef Masaharu Morimoto has 15 restaurants around the world, from Tokyo to New York.

Dave Kotinsky | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Morimoto said that “the skills a chef possesses – precision and artistry in preparing and serving dishes,” are other factors.

Japanese restaurants can be quite small, and the chef pays special attention to them.

“Restaurants with limited seating usually try to provide an intimate and meaningful meal for their guests,” Morimoto said. “Many well-known sushi restaurants have a maximum of eight seats – no servers or additional staff.”

A chef prepares sushi at a restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

BEHROUZ MEHRI | AFP | Getty Images

Many dishes in high-end Japanese restaurants are served in the omakase style, where chefs choose what to serve. This allows the chefs to prepare “an adventure unlike any other” for “an unforgettable multi-course dinner featuring the freshest fish and various other special ingredients for this truly unique dish,” said Morimoto.

The most expensive dishes by country

Despite dominating the list of most expensive restaurants, Japan may not be the most expensive country overall for people looking to enjoy first-class Michelin-starred restaurants.

A Chef’s Pencil Separate Analysis a price analysis of the most expensive tasting menus in restaurants with two and three Michelin stars published in September.

Japan came in fourth on this list.

Denmark is home to Noma, the # 1 restaurant in the world in 2021 according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.


Denmark is the most expensive country to dine at the best Michelin-starred restaurant with tasting menus averaging $ 404 per person. Restaurants cost $ 364 in Singapore and $ 327 in Sweden.

According to the report, the average cost of dining at a restaurant with two or three Michelin stars in Japan is $ 322.

$ 1,740 food?

While Japanese restaurants are often basic, the most expensive restaurant on the Chef Pencil restaurant list is the opposite.

Located on the Spanish island of Ibiza, Sublimotion is the world’s first “gastronomic show,” said founder Eduardo Gonzalez.

Part of a 20-course meal at the Sublimotion Restaurant in Ibiza.

Courtesy of Sublimotion

His most expensive tasting menu costs $ 1,740 per person for a 20-course lunch. The restaurant, which seats 12 people at a time, uses virtual reality and special effects to add light and sound elements to food, he said.

In addition to chefs, a team of engineers, illusionists, screenwriters and composers have worked together “for over 10 years to maximize the pleasure of sitting at the table,” Gonzalez said.

The restaurant, opened in 2014, is headed by Michelin-starred chef Paco Ronsero, although the restaurant itself has yet to receive a star.

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