Convenience food. No one over the age of eighteen will claim that their favorite food is a Big Mac or a Chili Dog. We typically buy junk food like burgers, hot dogs, and pizza because it’s quick and affordable. In some cases you don’t even have to leave your car to get these kinds of food. When you’re in a hurry this kind of convenience can be a relief. It leaves you with one less thing to do in your busy schedule and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Even if you purchase a burger at a casual diner instead of a fast food joint, you probably won’t find yourself paying more than ten bucks with an order of French fries and you probably won’t wait more than eight minutes. In the event you can’t leave the house and need to cook cheap, a bowl of ramen noodles takes ten minutes and might only set you back a mere seventy-five cents.
Currently, a lot of chef’s are trying to put their mark on classic fast foods and have stripped them of their convenience and affordability to make some dishes that are truly unique. In some cases, you may need to order three days in advance and you may even have to use plastic to pay for them. No many people would just carry the amount of cash on them that is necessary to buy some of these supped up convenience foods!
10. $110 Bowl of Ramen ($110) – Fujimaki Gekijyo – Tokyo, Japan
In Tokyo, ramen is considered a comfort food. You can find a place selling this noodle soup on almost any street corner and at most it won’t cost you more than $10.
This $110 bowl of ramen had more humble beginnings when it was first conceived. Originally Chef Schoichi Fujimaki just wanted to have a bowl of ramen with more than the average ingredients, resulting in a $33 bowl of ramen. Later it became the $110 bowl of ramen being served today with more than 20 ingredients and both Thai and Chinese influences.
If you ever visit Fujimaki Gekijyo don’t expect to find this bowl of ramen on the menu. There is no menu. At Chef Schoichi’s restaurant you order based on sampling cheaper items at one of his less expensive restaurants.
9. The MacDonald ($170) – Selfridge’s – London, England
Don’t confuse Selfridge’s MacDonald sandwich with something you might find on the menu of a popular fast food chain with a similar name. It’s actually named for its creator Chef Scott MacDonald.
According to MacDonald, this wasn’t simply an attempt to make a record-breaking sandwich; he insists everything was lovingly sampled and combines some of the best flavors in the world. What are those flavors, exactly? Well, once you see what the sandwich contains you begin to understand why it’s so expensive. Wagyu beef from Kobe cattle, black truffle mayonnaise (the truffles alone cost $600 a pound), fresh lobe foie gras, unpasteurized brie, and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread make up this rich sandwich.
8. The Von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich ($197) – Cliveden’s Waldo Restaurant – Berkshire, England
Cliveden’s Waldo Restaurant in Berkshire boasts both a Michelin Star and at one time was considered the most expensive sandwich in the world. This take on the club sandwich was created by Chef James Parkinson and contains an extremely rare ham from black-footed pigs known as Iberico that takes 30 months to cure! It also includes expensive white truffles (nearly $1,000 per pound), quail eggs, and checks in at a weight of 530 grams!
7. The Bacon Bling Sandwich ($235) – Tangberry Café – Cheltenham, England
This pricey sandwich was created for charity. All proceeds went towards getting children involved in sports and helping military veterans return to regular employment. The bacon was taken from a very rare breed of pig and it also contains that ingredient we’ve seen popping up on this list – truffles. This sandwich doesn’t just put a few truffles on for flavor. The Bacon Bling contains truffle spread, truffle slices, and ingredients are cooked in truffle oil.
At this price you might think the sandwich is made out of gold and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. The Bacon Bling contains edible gold flakes!
6. Berco’s Billion Dollar Popcorn ($250/gallon) – Berco’s Popcorn – Chicago, Illinois
This expensive caramel popcorn contains edible gold flakes, organic sugar, Vermont Creamery butter, Nielsen Massey Bourbon Vanilla, and white truffles. Okay, so it doesn’t really contain truffles but there is a rather unique ingredient that factors into the cost of the corn – salt.
Berco’s popcorn doesn’t use just any salt. This is salt from the Danish Island of Laeso where the most expensive salt in the world is created from 1,000 year old ingredients. According to Norse mythology this island was home to Aegir the King of the Sea and the feasting place of the gods.
5. Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata ($1,000) – Norma’s – New York, New York
At the Le Parker Meridien hotel in New York City you’ll find Norma’s restaurant, a place featuring some of the finest and most expensive ingredients in the world. When looking at the menu and scanning the dishes served at Norma’s you might be surprised to find that a $1,000 dish is an omelet!
The six-egg Zillion Dollar Lobster Fritatta contains some ingredients typical of an omelet such as cream and chives but soon you’ll see why this omelet rings up to $1,000. In addition to the typical ingredients fritatta contains a whole lobster and $65 per ounce sefruga caviar.
4. Golden Opulence Sundae ($1,000) – Serendipity 3 – New York, New York
After you finish your Bacon Bling Sandwich in England you should book a flight to New York for desert. On second thought, you wouldn’t want to get tired of the flavor of gold flakes. Yes, this sundae contains edible gold flakes as well with gold covered almonds to boot. The ice cream itself is Tahitian vanilla infused with Madagascar vanilla beans and a rare Venezuelan chocolate. The whole thing is topped off with caviar, marzipan cherries, and candied fruits.
The real reason for the hefty price tag is probably the Baccarat crystal goblet it’s served in that anyone willing to pay the $1,000 price tag gets to keep.
3. The 230 Fifth Dog ($2,300) – 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge – New York, New York
There is nothing fast about this food. You’ll need to call a few days in advance and like the Bacon Bling sandwich the proceeds of this meal go to charity.
Yet another dish that includes those expensive truffles (seriously this time!) and they are infused with Wagyu beef to make the dog. Meat prepared this way costs nearly $1,200 itself. The onions are caramelized in Dom Perignon champagne and the sauerkraut is cooked with caviar. The ketchup, mustard, and pickle are all high end and the whole thing is topped with a gold leaf.
2. The FleurBurger ($5,000) – Hubert Keller’s – Las Vegas Nevada
This burger made by a former Top Chef contestant uses a lot of ingredients we’ve seen already. This is either a testament to how good the ingredients are or they are just go to ingredients when trying to make a pricey dish.
The patty is made with Wagyu beef from Kobe cattle, foie gras, sliced black truffles, and a black truffle sauce.
The FleurBurger is served with the standard side of fries but the other side plays largely into the cost of the meal: A $1200 bottle of 1995 Petrus wine.
1. Luis XIII Pizza ($12,000) – Luis XIII – Italy
Many reasons other than premium ingredients go into this pizza. For starters you can’t get it in a restaurant. You will order delivery like many people order their pizzas, but this is slightly different: Three Italian chefs come to your house and make it in your kitchen. Don’t expect a “thirty minutes or less” guarantee either. The dough takes three days to prepare!
Of course all the flash in the preparation isn’t the only reason this pizza rings up at $12,000. The toppings on the Luis XIII pizza include bufala mozzarella, three types of caviar, lobster from Norway and Cilento, and then each grain of pink Australian sea salt that tops the pizza is handpicked by the chefs to ensure maximum flavor.