Food Culture

The 25 Most Expensive Foods in the World in 2024

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 | 0 Comments
Caviar is most expensive food in the world

Are you looking to splurge on the most expensive food in the world? Leave your budget-friendly tendencies aside, and enter the elegant world of wildly expensive dining. From priceless caviar to decadent truffles, there are plenty of expensive dishes that are ready to do a number on both your taste buds and your bank account.

If you’re ready to explore the most expensive foods and the most expensive meals in the world, read on to learn about a sliver of the culinary world that’s packed with over-the-top elegance. 

 

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What Is the Most Expensive Food in the World? 

The most expensive food in the world is widely considered to be Almas caviar, which is made from the female beluga sturgeon. Almas caviar has multiple qualities that it must meet in order to be deemed authentic. To be deemed Almas caviar, the product must:

  • Come from an albino Iranian beluga sturgeon.
  • Be harvested from a specific region in the South Caspian Sea. 
  • Be from a beluga sturgeon between 60 and 100 years old (female sturgeons can live to 150 years old).  

These high standards lead to an understandably expensive price tag. Almas caviar can sell for close to $40,000 per kilo. With that kind of price, it’s no surprise that Almas caviar is thought of as the most expensive food in the world. 

Almas caviar is the most expensive food in the world
via Canva

The Most Expensive Foods in the World

1.  White Alba Truffle

One of the most expensive truffles in the world, white truffles, also known as Alba truffles, are primarily grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. These pricey truffles require very specific interactions with their environment in order to properly grow, which adds to their scarcity. In terms of taste, Alba truffles are said to have an earthy flavor similar to oak and garlic. A single ounce of this expensive food can cost close to $300. 

White truffles are one the most expensive foods in the world
via Canva

2. Kobe Beef

One of the most expensive meats in the world, Kobe beef is a Japanese delicacy that comes from wagyu cattle. In order to be considered authentic Kobe beef, the cattle must be raised in a specific location in Western Japan. They must also be fed a strict diet, comprising of both grasses and grains, that results in the meat having a high fat content. It’s said that some farmers even give these cows beer and daily massages! Kobe beef can cost up to $35 per ounce, which puts most steaks in the $250 to $300 range.

3. Wagyu Beef

In the case of kobe vs. wagyu beef, these two delicacies are often considered to be interchangeable. While both expensive foods are prized for their high-fat content and tender texture, there’s actually a difference between the two. 

Kobe beef is a type of wagyu beef, so while all Kobe beef is wagyu beef, not all wagyu beef is Kobe beef. The main difference lies in where the beef was raised, as well as slight differences in the marbling and the flavor. While both Kobe beef and wagyu beef are pricey, A5 wagyu, which is considered the most valuable type of wagyu beef, can cost around $50 per ounce at steakhouses. 

If you're wondering why wagyu beef is so expensive, it's predominantly due to production. The cost of special feed for the cows is high and there is limited land for them to graze on which meets the specifications for beef to be wagyu. This low supply of land and high demand for meat drastically increases the market price. High import costs also add to the final price tag.

Slices of wagyu beef on a plate
via Canva

4. Almas Caviar

As mentioned, Almas caviar is often considered the most expensive food in the world as well as the most expensive caviar in the world. Almas caviar comes from a female 60 to 100-year-old beluga sturgeon from a specific region of the South Caspian Sea. Sourcing Almas caviar is nearly impossible, which is why this ingredient can get so pricey. A kilo of this expensive food can cost nearly $40,000 to try.

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5. Saffron

When you think of expensive foods and ingredients, saffron probably comes to mind. This pricey spice is primarily harvested in Iran, but it has its roots in Greece. Saffron needs to be harvested by hand, which is why it’s so expensive to produce and purchase. Saffron typically sells for between $10 and $20 per gram, and it’s an indulgent ingredient that’s typically used as a coloring agent or a seasoning for a variety of cuisines. This expensive ingredient comes in grades, with Grade A being the highest quality and the most expensive. 

Saffron and saffron flowers
via Canva

6. Edible Gold

One of the most opulent food trends in recent years is adding a pinch of edible gold flakes to give dishes a touch of luxury. Because it’s made from real gold, edible gold is one of the most expensive foods around. 

Typically glamming up over-the-top burgers, ice cream sundaes and pizzas, edible gold costs around $70 for a few grams. If you want to really splurge on this expensive food, you can even get edible gold-wrapped steaks at restaurants like Nusr-Et Steakhouse, one of the most expensive restaurants in Las Vegas.

7. Matsutake Mushrooms 

One of the most expensive foods in the world, and a worthy competitor to truffles, the Japanese Matsutake mushroom has a high price point because it needs to be foraged instead of grown. Plus, in recent years, the harvesting of these prized mushrooms has decreased considerably due to a specific type of worm that is damaging the environment where they grow. Matsutake mushrooms can go for as much as $2,000 per kilogram and are used in dishes like sukiyaki, a type of hot pot, and Matsutake Gohan, a Japanese rice dish.

Masutake mushrooms are an expensive food from Japan
via Canva

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8. Gooseneck Barnacles 

If you’re searching for the most expensive seafood in the world, this one is for you! Gooseneck barnacles are insanely valuable, primarily because they are nearly impossible to harvest. Professional fishermen have to navigate powerful tides and sharp rocks to harvest this pricey seafood. 

This expensive food can cost close to $500 per kilogram. Widely considered a delicacy, they are often eaten alone with lemon juice or garlic butter, with some also adding them to seafood dishes like seafood pastas.

9. Aceto Balsamic Vinegar

While you can probably pick up a standard bottle of balsamic vinegar in your grocery store for between $10 and $20, this variety is worth up to and over $200 per 100 ml bottle. Aceto (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale in full) is a label given to the highest quality balsamic vinegars that are produced in the Modena region of Italy. These bottles also come with a Protected Designation of Origin (D.O.P or Denominazione d' Origine Protetta) as well, certifying where the vinegar was produced, that it meets certain standards and how long it was aged for.

A jug of balsamic vinegar next to grapes
via Canva

10. Kopi Luwak Coffee

A world away from the cup of Joe from your local deli, Kopi Luwak coffee is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and digested by an Asian palm civet, which is a type of wild cat from Indonesia. The beans are then cleaned and brewed into coffee. Due to this unique, time-consuming process and the rich, bold flavors of the coffee, Kopi Luwak coffee can cost up to $700 for a pound of beans. 

While it may sound odd, to say the least, many believe this process to be a higher-quality way of producing a unique coffee beverage. If you do want to try this out-of-the-box expensive drink, check the source of the beans as increased demand has led to factory-farm-style operations being linked to some Kopi Luwak coffee.

11. Ruby Roman Grapes

Who knew that a variety of grapes would be one of the most expensive foods in the world? Ruby Roman grapes, which are exclusively grown in Japan, are far bigger and juicier than a grape you would find in the supermarket. 

These grapes are carefully grown on specific farms in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan and are handpicked when they are at peak freshness. Because of the time and care put into growing these grapes, they can cost anywhere from $100 for ‘superior’ bunches to $1,000 for ‘premium’ varieties. 

Ruby Roman Grapes are an expensive food costing up to $1,000 per bunch
via Canva

12. Bird’s Nest Soup 

Known for its healing properties, Bird’s Nest Soup (or Swiftlets Nest Soup) is an expensive food that’s considered a delicacy in China. This soup is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a soup that’s made from the nest of a swiftlet bird, which dissolves in water and adds a gelatinous texture to the soup. These edible nests can cost as much as $2,000 to $10,000. 

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13. Caciocavallo Podolico

Named after the type of cows the milk comes from (a species of bovine called “podolica”), this Italian cheese is one of the most expensive in the world. It’s aged in special caves and then hand-stretched, resulting in a cheese that is similar to provolone in taste but quite different in price. A kilogram of this hand-made cheese will cost around $140 to $200, sometimes more.

Caciocavaollo Podolico is one of the most expensive foods in the world from Italy
via Canva

14. Bluefin Tuna

One of the most well-known on this list of expensive food, bluefin tuna is a prized fish that’s particularly popular for use in Japanese cuisine, specifically as an ingredient for sushi and sashimi. Due to overfishing, bluefin tuna has become an endangered species, which only makes the already-pricey ingredient even more expensive. Pieces of quality bluefin tuna can be close to $80 at top-end sushi restaurants. A full fish can sell for around $300,000 at fish markets. 

15. Abalone 

Another of the most expensive types of seafood in the world is abalone, a species of sea snail. The main kind consumed is Australian abalone, from the coast of South Australia, and one mollusk can go for between $100 to $200. The meat is buttery and rich, with some describing it as a cross between escargot and other sea mollusks like mussels.  

Albalone mollusks in a bamboo steamer
via Canva

16. Elvish Honey

Harvested from the depths of a cave in Turkey, Elvish honey is one of the most expensive foods in the world due to the intricate process involved in obtaining it. Elvish honey is made from bees that collect pollen from wildflowers before turning that pollen into liquid in the cave. 

Harvesters collect the honey at nighttime to avoid the overly protective and dangerous black bees, and that, mixed with the tricky terrain and remote location, makes the process extremely difficult. Because of this, in addition to the unique taste of the product, Elvish honey can cost close to $5,500 per kilogram. 

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17. Iberico Ham 

This expensive food is a legendary Spanish delicacy that can set you back thousands of dollars. Made from the Iberico pig, a rare breed of pig that roams freely and feasts on an acorn-heavy diet, Iberico ham is known for its umami, smooth flavor. Iberico ham is aged for three years before it's sold, and a leg of this pricey pig can cost anywhere from $500 to $6,500 depending on the market demand.

Iberico ham slices on a slate surface
via Canva

18. Densuke Watermelon

More commonly known as the “black watermelon,” this expensive food is far more pricey than its classic green-skinned counterpart. Black watermelons need to grow on a certain island in Northern Japan where they have access to a specific breed of volcanic soil. There are only around 10,000 of these fruits grown every year, with the largest ones going for close to $6,000 at auction.

The Most Expensive Meals in the World

19. Tacos at Frida’s Restaurant

These tacos are a long way from their humble street food origins. One of the most expensive meals in the world, the decadent tacos from Frida's Restaurant at the Grand Velas Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico feature a variety of some of the world’s most expensive foods, like Kobe beef, beluga caviar, black truffle, brie cheese and a gold-infused tortilla. Add it all up, and you have a $25,000 taco, plus a unique story to tell about trying it. 

A taco with edible gold
via Grand Velas Resort

20. Louis XIII Pizza by Renato Viola

Pizza isn’t generally thought to be a particularly expensive food, but the Louis XIII Pizza, created by legendary pizza chef Renato Viola in Italy, proves to be an exception. This $12,000 pie is topped with opulent ingredients like lobster tails flamed in cognac, three different types of caviar, seven types of cheese and exotic shrimp fresh from the Mediterranean. It also comes paired with three high-end alcohols, Remy Martin Cognac Louis XIII, Cardenal Mendoza Sanchez Charter Real Romate Finos and Champagne Krug Clos Du Mesnil 1995.

21. Stilt Fisherman Indulgence at The Fortress Resort and Spa

Paying tribute to Sri Lanka’s tradition of stilt fishing, The Fortress Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka created a wildly expensive dessert using a variety of expensive ingredients, like gold flakes and Champagne. But the “cherry” on top is an 80-carat aquamarine stone that rests atop the indulgent dish. A whimsical addition to the expensive food category, this creative dessert will set you back around $14,500. 

The Stilt Fisherman Indulgence features expensive food ingredients
via The Fortress Resort and Spa

22. The Golden Boy Burger at de Daltons

The Golden Boy Burger from de Daltons in The Netherlands is one of the most expensive dishes in the world. Priced at around €5,000 ($5,300), this lavish burger is made from A5 wagyu, king crab, beluga caviar, Iberico ham and smoked duck egg, amongst other pricey accouterments like a barbecue sauce made from Kopi Luwak coffee. It’s essentially a ‘Greatest Hits’ of all the world’s most expensive foods. 

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23. Almas Caviar at Beluga Restaurant & Lounge

It’s only fitting that the world’s most expensive food is part of one of the world’s most expensive meals. The Almas caviar at Beluga Restaurant & Lounge in Dubai costs close to $14,000 for 250 grams of caviar and comes with a golden cigar. If that isn’t enough, you can also order a $2,450 King’s Burger with Japanese wagyu beef, white truffle, 30g of Almas caviar, truffle sauce and French fries dusted in 24-carat gold flakes.

A women at a bar holding a golden cigar with caviar
via Beluga Restaurant & Lounge

24. Chocolate Pudding at Lindeth Howe Country House

If you have a sweet tooth, this is one of the most expensive meals in the world that you’ll be craving even if not splurging on it! This wildly decadent chocolate pudding, which is served at the Lindeth Howe Country House in England, is the pinnacle of luxury. 

This expensive food features ingredients like extremely high-end chocolate and Champagne jelly, and it’s topped with 24-carat edible gold leaf and a 2-carat diamond, all wrapped up in an edible Fabergé egg replica. If you have $35,000 to spare, this chocolate pudding is sure to provide some lasting memories. Do note that if you want to try this, you need to pre-order at least two weeks in advance. 

25. Billion Dollar Popcorn at Berco’s Popcorn

If you thought movie theater popcorn set you back, you’ll be surprised to learn about a brand that serves a kernel of popcorn for $5. Or, get a 6.5-gallon tin of Berco’s Billion Dollar Popcorn for a hefty $2,500!

One of the most expensive snacks in the world, the Billion Dollar Popcorn features caramel corn dusted with 23-carat gold flakes and difficult-to-come-by Laeso salt. If that’s a little out of your price range, you could splurge on the Way Too Expensive White Truffle option at $150 for a 6.5-gallon tin. 

Billion Dollar Popcorn is a sweet expensive food worth trying
via Berco's Popcorn

The world of expensive food is definitely not accessible to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to read about! From pricey ingredients to the most expensive meals in the world, there are plenty of decadent delicacies that are definitely worth splurging on if you can swing it.

Whether you’re dreaming of snacking on Almas caviar or planning your next trip to England to drop $35,000 on a chocolate pudding, the universe of lavish dining is certainly reliable for providing endless entertainment. At the very least, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your knowledge of the world’s most expensive foods, which is priceless in itself.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.