The 30 most outrageously expensive foods in the world
Ever wonder what the rich eat when they go out to dinner, away from their private chefs? Well, it’s all here. Here’s a list of all the food you’ll never be able to afford.
30. Dry Cured Iberian Ham – $177.80 per lb
The black Iberian pig is a rare breed anywhere except in Spain and Portugal, where the ham is cured. The pig is fed exclusively acorns and grains while it freely roams oak forests, but for the last part of its life, it is only fed acorns. The ham is then cured for 3 years, and sold to high bidders.
Up until 2005, this ham was illegal to sell in the United States given its rarity. No exports of this rare ham could be sold outside of Spain (legally), but in 2007, a slaughterhouse in Spain was approved to cure these hams and sell them to people in the United States. The cost fluctuates year to year, but it is most often between $170 and $600.
29. Japanese Wagyu Steaks – $450 per lb
We have to admit, these cows get treated a heck of a lot better than we ever will, but we like to think our “end” will be a little bit further in the future than theirs is. These Japanese cows create such expensive beef because they are massaged regularly with both automatic massagers and by hand. They are brushed and kept extremely hygienic, and are fed top of the line meals.
To create such a beautifully marbled effect on their meat, they are fed beer and Sake regularly, which also helps induce a happy and relaxed state of mind for these majestic creatures.
With all these pampering techniques, the meat comes out with a famous buttery texture, which is why it’s so expensive.
28. Quintessential Grilled Cheese – $214
Grilled cheese and tomato soup — we can’t think of a more home-y meal than this. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s absolutely delicious. But, at Serendipity 3 in New York City, the grilled cheese has been reinvented to be a quintessential delicacy.
Despite the usual ease in which these are made, the chef requires a 48-hour notice before someone orders this dish.
What makes it so special? Well, it starts with plush French bread soaked in Dom Perignon champagne and baked with 23-Karat gold flakes. It is then stuffed with Caciocavallo podolico, a rare Italian cheese that requires a unique type of cow (there are only 25,000 in the world) that only lactates for 2 months out of the year.
The bread is then brushed with white truffle oil and more gold flakes, pressed in an oven, and then encrusted in more gold sheets. You can then dip it in a fresh tomato bisque with lobster.
27. Billion Dollar Popcorn – $250
This delicacy doesn’t actually cost a billion dollars but does cost around $250 for 1 gallon, $500 for 2 gallons, and $2,500 for 6.5 gallons. Why, you ask? Well, this popcorn is made with salt from the island of Laeso, is covered in 23-Karat gold, is mixed with Vermont creamery butter, and has strong hints of Neilsen-Massey bourbon vanilla.
Rapper 2 Chainz tried this extravagant snack during GQ’s “Most Expensivest Sh*t” and said, “It leaves gold on your fingers, and I think it makes my skin shine and glisten.” Well, if 2 Chainz approved of it, we must, as well!
26. Matsutake Mushrooms – $272 per lb
Did you know these mushrooms are extremely endangered? Since this kind only grows in certain parts of Japan and Asia, they were rare to begin with. Now, new invasive trees and hungry insects have found their way into the shaded areas that these mushrooms call home, making them even harder to come by.
As their environments get taken over, the chances of them disappearing altogether in the future are rising at an alarming rate. But, so are their prices. Recently, a chef purchased these mushrooms for around $550 per pound, which is more than double what they used to be worth before they became endangered.
25. Le Burger Extravagant – $295
This burger is definitely extravagant. It’s made with truffle-butter-infused Japanese Wagyu beef and topped with James Montgomery cheddar cheese, a fried quail egg, and black truffles. A gold dusted roll sits on top, spread with white truffle butter and topped with caviar, blini, and creme fraiche.
When you finish this burger (2 Chainz seemed to wolf it down just fine), you’re greeted with a complimentary solid gold, diamond encrusted toothpick. A little birdy told us that a Gurkha Black Dragon Cigar would help settle the meal, but that gem is priced at around $1,150. In our opinion, if you’re already buying the burger, you may as well splurge on the cigar, as well.
24. Kopi Luwak Coffee – $317.50 per lb
As the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak is also arguably the grossest. It is harvested by going through the poop of a cat-like animal called the civet, which eats the beans, digests them, and then excretes them. Once collected, it is sold to the highest bidders.
Although it’s not a rare coffee, the rare type of processing it undergoes is the reason this coffee sells for so much. Many people claim this coffee has uniquely special tastes from the process of digestion and the breakdown of the flavors from the cat’s saliva. On the flip side of that coin, other people say they taste no difference between this coffee and any other coffee they drink.
23. Moose Cheese – $487.20 per lb.
On a small, wintery farm in Sweden roam three moose mavens — Gullen, Haelga, and Juno — who have a very special job. During the months of May through September, these moose sisters lactate to create about 5 liters of milk per day, which takes a delicate hand and a very calm demeanor.
Once the high protein milk is collected, it is then made into 4 different types of cheeses ranging from feta-like tastes to more blue-cheesy type flavors. The feta-tasting cheese is a best seller, but its price is still hefty at around $500 per pound, but many claim the creamy, smooth, and slightly acidic properties are worth the price.
22. Saffron – $500 per oz
If you like Indian food, I’m sure you’ve most likely had Saffron rice. But, what if we told you that was probably not real Saffron?
Saffron is notoriously expensive to purchase because of the limited time and conditions in which it blooms, so most restaurants use safflower as imitation Saffron to avoid the high cost of real Saffron.
Up to 90% of the world’s Saffron is grown in arid fields in Iran since it only blooms for 7 days per year in the autumn. Harvesters like Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani have to hire 30-50 laborers to harvest 4 pounds of Saffron per acre in the early mornings before the sun rises, which is around 680,000 flowers worth.
21. Douche Burger – $666
In an attempt to mock the Le Burger Extravagant, this burger was created and priced somewhat appropriately at $666. This beauty is actually for sale but, as of yet, only one person has actually ordered it. So, what does this D-Burger include that makes it so pricey?
Well, it starts with a Kobe beef patty stuffed with Foie Gras and edible gold leaves. It is then covered in caviar, lobster, truffles, Gruyere cheese melted with champagne steam, and covered in barbeque sauce made with Kopi Luwak coffee. Originally, it was created with some good-hearted satire in mind when the Le Burger Extravagant debuted.
20. Black Diamond Ice Cream – $817
Dubai is known for attracting the wealthiest people in the world, so we feel like it can get away with this one. For $816, you can buy one scoop of Black Diamond Ice Cream from Scoopi Cafe. It boasts Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream, Iranian saffron, Italian black truffle, and is topped with 23-Karat gold leaf.
Even better than the ingredients, though, is what it’s served in.
A Versace serving dish is provided, which you can keep after eating the delicacy. According to Business Insider, who interviewed the shop owner, only two of these ice cream dishes have ever been sold.
19. White Truffles – $3,600 per lb.
White truffles are strong smelling underground fungi that look similar to mutated potatoes or misshapen lumps of cookie dough. These special little truffles are found near oak trees in Italy and France and are found via special hunters and hunting dogs who are trained to sniff them out.
According to truffle harvesters, this fungus is impossible to control or cultivate since growth and production are entirely unpredictable. In 2015, a 4.16 lb. white truffle was sold for an incredible $61,250 to a Chinese buyer, but many say even this price was a bargain compared to the usual price per pound.
18. Bird’s Nest Soup – $1,361 per lb
No, this soup is not a collection of twigs and hair like most nests are — it’s actually much more disgusting. The swiftlet birds that make these nests use nothing but their saliva, creating a hard, waxy shell for their bird babies. However, collecting these nests is extremely dangerous because they only nest on the edges of incredibly high cliffs, or atop the tallest trees in the forests.
The collectors must assess the ripeness of the nest, as it can only be collected after one nest of eggs is born, and before the second is laid. The nest is then sanitized and cleaned before being sold as a chunk of swiftlet saliva. It has a soft and jelly-like texture, a sweet flavor, and is 70% protein.
17. Zillion Dollar Lobster Omelet – $2,000
So, this may not be exactly a zillion dollars, but it’s still wildly out of our budgets. For $2,000, you can get a lobster frittata (just a fancy omelet, in our opinion) complete with 10 ounces of Sevruga Caviar, an entire lobster, six fresh eggs, cream, chives, and lobster sauce.
If that doesn’t sound filling enough, it’s also served over a bed of Yukon gold potatoes. If $2,000 is out of your budget, they also serve a smaller version with only 1 ounce of caviar, an entire lobster, six fresh eggs, cream, chives, and lobster sauce for only $200. Apparently, this item is ordered multiple times a week and is often shared among friends or family.
16. Real Madagascar Vanilla – $4,000 per pound
As the second most sought-after spice in the world, this spice is also one of the most difficult to harvest. The vanilla flowers only bloom for a couple of hours once a year, which leaves vanilla farmers on their toes around the expected hours. The pods then must be soaked in alcohol for two years before their distinct flavor is extracted.
Meanwhile, the vanilla orchids can only be grown under certain temperatures and in very specific conditions in certain areas, thus making it incredibly difficult to farm in large quantities. This incredible price tag might come as a surprise since vanilla is used in so many households, but most vanilla extract is imitation.
15. Pizza Royal 007 – $4,200
Domenico Crolla, a chef in Scotland, has created a pizza fit for none other than the famous 007. This creation boasts Dom Perignon soaked caviar, Scottish smoked salmon, lobster marinated in cognac, medallions of venison, the finest Italian prosciutto, vintage balsamic vinegar, sunblush tomato sauce, and is sprinkled with gold flakes.
Crolla put his creation up on eBay and said he would go to the highest bidders’ house to make this delicacy, or he would fly the bidder out to one of his restaurants. The best part? Well, he won’t keep the money — all proceeds will be given to charity.
14. FleurBurger 5000 – $5,000
In none other than Las Vegas, Nevada, Chef Hubert Keller has created the most expensive burger to ever be made — the FleurBurger 5000. This burger is supposedly completely worth the hefty price, but we’re not going to spend any money trying to confirm or deny it.
The burger starts with a flash-seared patty of Wagyu beef doused with gourmet butter. Then, a few slabs of foie gras, duck fat, butter, and white truffles are seared together to create a perfectly crisp and flavorful saucy mixture, which is added to the Wagyu beef. The two items are then put in between the finest fresh brioche bread, and it is served with a bottle of 1995 Petrus that is perfectly matched with the meal.
13. Louis XIII Pizza – $12,000
This pizza may just be the most extravagant of them all. Starting with the dough (which needs 72 hours to rest before baking), the chef spends hours stretching it and pampering it to the perfect level before flattening it out for the Bufala mozzarella.
The cheesy base is then topped with three different types of caviar, lobster from Norway and Cilento, and is dusted with hand-picked grains of pink Australian sea salt straight from the Murray River. More often than not, the chef of this pie will visit you in your home to make it since it is such a delicacy.
12. Meat Pie – $14,260
At the Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire, UK, customers can purchase the world’s most expensive meat pie which costs around $1,781 per slice. The ingredients include $870 worth of Japanese Wagyu beef, $435 worth of Chinese Matsutake mushrooms, Winter Black Truffles, $348 worth of French Bluefoot mushrooms…
…and gravy made from 2 bottles of vintage 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine ($1,740 each). Finally, it is topped with edible gold leaf valued at around $174 per sheet. Only one table of customers has ever eaten this extravagant meat pie, and that was a group of 8 guests on November 14, 2005.
11. Stilt Fisherman’s Indulgence – $14,500
A resort in Sri Lanka has created this artful dessert by infusing fruit into Irish cream, soaking it in Dom Perignon, creating a sugary fortress around the cylindrical cream, and topping it with fruit. It is then connected to a chocolate carving in the shape of a man on a stilt.
This little chocolate man is said to be a fisherman, and his stilt is held in place with a small chocolate cup at the bottom. To keep it balanced, an 80-carat aquamarine gemstone is placed on a carved chocolate platform, which guests can keep for their own personal use.
10. Yubari King Melon – $29,000
In Japan, fruits and vegetables are often traded or given as gifts between friends and families. The wealthy take the quest for premium produce to the next level. For example, in 2015, a single bunch of grapes was bought for $8,200 by a chef who used them in his restaurant to make desserts for high-paying guests.
For the more elite, specially shaped produce is preferred — like this perfectly round Yubari King melon. These melons only grow in Yubari, Japan, and they are among the most expensive fruits in the world. The president of a large company bought two of these melons for $29,000 in 2018, which is $2,000 more than the previous year’s melons were sold for.
9. World’s Most Expensive Taco – $25,000
Don’t get us wrong — we love out $1.25 street tacos, but if the Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort is pricing this taco at 20,000x more than our street tacos (which is the price of a new car), then it must be worth it. This taco includes Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar, and black truffle brie cheese with a gold-infused corn tortilla, but you must put down a $12,500 deposit before you receive the dish.
For only $150,000 more, you can pair it with a Ley 925 Pasión Azteca Ultra Premium Añejo tequila. The chef, Juan Licerio, has been cooking professionally for over 20 years and considers this one of his favorite (and priciest) creations.
8. The Golden Cannoli – $26,000
Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr. has outdone himself. Not only is this arguably the most delectable cannoli ever made, but it is is also the most expensive, and he made sure of it. This recipe contains his family’s secret weapon — his great grandmother’s tried and true recipe.
The inside is made of rich dark chocolate, whipped ricotta cheese, and is sprinkled with candied lemon pieces, chocolate, and lemon peel. It is then spread delicately on sheets of gold leaf, and carefully wrapped up and pinned to hold its shape. Tiny chocolate chips are sprinkled on the ends to finish it off.
7. Chocolate Pudding – $34,700
When a wealthy businessman was dumped by his girlfriend of three years, he went out and purchased this dessert which took only 15 minutes to devour. Each bite was around $1,025, and he confirmed that this dessert was, in fact, the perfect pick-me-up. However, we don’t think there are many people in the world who can afford to get a $35,000 pudding cup every time they break up with someone.
This chocolate pudding is far from your childhood pudding cup. With four types of Belgian chocolate, champagne jelly, a chocolate molded Faberge egg, edible gold leaf, and caviar, it is then topped with a two-carat diamond (which makes the price so dang high).
6. Almas Caviar – $36,868 per teaspoon
As one of the rarest foods in the world, it’s fitting that this item is only sold in one small store, the Caviar House & Prunier in Picadilly, London. They can only be harvested in Iran, are a light gold color, and are sold in a 24-karat gold tin can.
This caviar reigns from the sturgeon fish, which is believed to be able to enhance the physical endurance and strength of those who eat the fish eggs. Since the sturgeon is now in danger of extinction, these eggs have increased in price. These eggs are also only derived from the albino sturgeon, which is even rarer.
5. Tullibardine Whiskey (1952) – $41,000
It’s rare to see a 60+ year aged whiskey, especially one of this quality. Among the rarest of the rare, this is something only the Scottish highlanders can produce from the casks of an ancient spirit. This bottle began to age about three years after the distillery was founded, “maturing its way through the reign of King George VI, seen through 12 British Prime Ministers, 12 US Presidents, the moon landings, Concorde and a new Millennium,” according to Tullibardine.
Only 70 bottles were made, which was a lot considering only one barrel was created. Each bottle was designed by French crystal maker Baccarat who designed the bottle to bare gold and crystal elements. “Aged for 60 years, this goes far beyond whiskey, you are drinking in the history of our ancestors,” says Tullibardine’s commercial director.
4. Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani – $60,000 per 750 mL
This is, without a doubt, the most expensive bottle of water in the world. The water is sourced from France, Iceland, and Fiji — which are on completely opposite sides of the earth, which only adds to the high price. It is sold in a bottle designed by Fernando Altamirano, who also designed the Cognac Dudognon Heritage Henry IV bottle which is the most expensive bottle of cognac in the world.
The bottle itself holds 750 mL and is made of 24-Karat solid gold, and the artwork is based on the Italian artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani. The water inside has glacier water from Iceland and is mixed with tiny flakes of gold dust.
3. Thanksgiving Dinner – $76,000
The Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City has created America’s most expensive meal yet. For $76,000 (which is $16,000 more than the median U.S. household income), you receive:
$475 per pound imported Japenese Wagyu beef lollipops
Gravy infused with $3,300 special reserve Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
Whipped sweet potatoes topped with $1,600 per ounce black caviar
Mashed potatoes with $455 per pound imported cheese
Stuffing with $46 sourdough, $54 per pound foie gras, and Wagyu beef
$105 per pound turkey seasoned with $17 per ounce olive oil
Cranberry sauce infused with $1,750 French Cabernet Sauvignon
The meal is topped off with 4 tickets to Hamilton, a $7,500 shopping spree on Fifth Avenue in NYC, a two-night stay in a Mandarin Oriental Luxury suite overlooking Central Park, and a watch from Swiss manufacturer Ulysse Nardin that costs more than $20,000.
2. Chateau Margaux 1787 – $500,000
In 1985, a construction worker tore open a Paris cellar wall to find more than a dozen dark-glassed bottles with dates ranging from 1794-1789. The bottles bore the signature “Th.J” beneath the inscribed dates. They soon discovered this signature matched that of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and who was known to be a lover of Bordeaux. But, this wine would end up as the most expensive bottle ever unused.
A Manhattan wine merchant, William Sokolin, purchased the wine for $500,000 and very quickly got a proper insurance policy on it. One evening during an annual Bordauex dinner, Sokolin decided to bring the bottle with him to share it with his friends. When attempting to open it, he bumped the bottle into the wooden knob of the chair and broke it. His insurance policy only covered up to $225,000.
1. Christmas Cake – $1.72 million
Jeong Hong-Yong, a pastry chef in Tokyo, took 6 months to plan this elaborate cake, and another whole month to bring the marzipan-covered fruitcake to life. With 223 diamonds totaling 170 carats, including a 5-carat stone in the shape of a heart, it has attracted inquiries, but no serious buyers (hmm, any guesses as to why that is?).
Priced at $1.7 million, it is on display at Takashimaya, a department store in Tokyo, and is guarded 24/7. Meanwhile, us normal folk will just have to pretend to enjoy normal Christmas cakes, pies, and tarts (just kidding, Costco pies are the best).