Most Expensive Food in the World

Some say it is better to spend money on experiences than worldly possessions. These people are definitely connoisseurs of great food.

Although we firmly believe you don’t need a lot of money to eat well, some flavors come with a significant price tag. Some you can find in exclusive restaurants or hidden gem-kinda places, and some are relatively easy to purchase or try.

Regardless, you have to be prepared to spend some cash if you want to try these delicacies.

Below, we prepared a list of the most expensive foods in the world. On it, you will find a variety of flavors and ingredients, from meats to spices. Those with a sweet tooth will also find something tasty here.

The list is in no particular order, and you will find foods in a few different price ranges on it.

The wait is over – let’s travel the world together to find the most expensive food items!

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef is our first stop. It’s a relatively known item among the most expensive foods. Wagyu beef gained its reputation from a very rigorous process of production, to which it owes an absolutely amazing flavor profile of the meat.

It originates from Japan, but you can find American variants as well. Traditionally, Wagyu beef is cut from four breeds of Japanese cow. These cows lead a very specific lifestyle, having a special diet and being carefully overseen in order to ensure the most exquisite flavor and texture of the meat.

The cows cost around $30,000 for one animal, which is why Japanese Wagyu steaks can reach a price of $120 to over $300.

Foie Gras

Foie gras is defined as a duck or goose liver fattened by gavage.

It’s a delicacy that is getting less popular due to how the meat for this dish is being acquired.

In some countries and US states, like New York, it is illegal to produce it, as to get this meat, animals are force-fed corn to increase their fat content. This, for many reasons, is considered unethical, but still, France and Hungary are two of the biggest foie gras producers in Europe.

Foie gras has a very delicate flavor and can be served as a side dish to other meals, like steak. It comes with a hefty price tag of $90 – $110 per pound.

Almas Caviar

Caviar is a true synonym for luxury. One of the most expensive kinds of fish eggs is the Almas caviar. Why you may ask?

Well, this caviar comes from the Albino Beluga Sturgeon, a fish that lays its eggs once it reaches 60 to 100 years of age. This, of course, means that the species is rare, therefore, caviar is also in very limited quantities.

You will have to pay even more than $22,000 for 2 pounds of this product, but the nutty, creamy, unique taste of the caviar may be worth it.

Fugu Fish

Staying on the topic of seafood, the Fugu fish is a puffer fish that is mostly known for its deadly properties. It contains enough toxins in its skin, liver, and eyes to kill a man.

It’s a well-known rarity in Japan, and the preparation of this fish is conducted only by very skilled cooks who know how to remove the toxic parts of the animal without contaminating the rest of the meat. They have to go through three years of training to be able to do that.

Fugu fish is often served as sashimi and nabemono, traditional Japanese dishes, and it costs $135 for a pound.

Coffin Bay King Oysters

When we think of really luxurious food, it’s often the oysters that we have in mind. They are so popularized around the world nearly all major cities have them in their culinary offer.

We can still find oysters that are not overly expensive (although due to overfishing, it starts to change), but we will focus on the world’s most expensive kind, Coffin Bay King Oysters from Australia.

These oysters can cost $100 each… which is a lot! The good news is that this species is quite large, with some specimens being even 7 inches long. They have a sweet and distinguished flavor, with some characteristic oceanic saltiness, so these expensive oysters might be worth the sin.


Not many mushrooms can enjoy this level of fame and desirability as truffles do.

They have a very distinctive taste, with many earthy and nutty notes. Their high price tag is due to the fact of how hard they are to cultivate and extract. They usually grow in oak forests, only in a very specific climate.

To dig them from the ground, hunters use animals with a very acute sense of smell, such as dogs and pigs. Truffles must be gathered by hand, and it can take up to six years for the mushrooms to be ready for harvest.

Both white truffles and black truffles achieve staggering prices. For Burgundy Black Truffle, you might pay even $400 for a pound, while Italian White Truffle goes for more than $1500 a pound.


On the list of the most expensive food items, we couldn’t forget about Saffron.

Commonly known as”red gold,” Saffron is one of the few ingredients in the world that are more expensive than gold.

Its high price, again, has everything to do with how challenging it is to harvest Saffron. Crocus flowers that it comes from can be picked only for a short window of time in fall, and you have to get more or less about a football pitch amount of the plant to acquire 1 pound of the spice.

This obviously is reflected in its price, as Saffron costs up to $2,000 per pound.

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla might be a surprising sight on the ranking of the most expensive foods, but those who are avid cooks know very well that this is the case.

Vanilla beans are mainly found and harvested in Madagascar – a country that, in recent years, has been frequently exposed to severe weather conditions like heavy rain and winds. This resulted in a decrease in the number of vanilla bean plants, which of course, makes them more expensive.

If you wish to use an authentic vanilla extract in your kitchen, you have to be prepared to spend $300 per pound for the extract. If that’s not an option for you, there are many artificial vanilla extracts on the market at much more budget-friendly prices.

Bluefin Tuna

If you’re interested in the most expensive seafood, Bluefin tuna from Japan takes the cake in this ranking.

This fish offers a salty and fresh flavor with a meaty texture, and its fat content is the highest among all tuna species we consume. Additionally, due to overfishing, the population of Bluefin tuna is decreasing.

When we add the fact that it’s expensive to import the fish to the United States, we end up with a price of $5,000 per pound. For this reason, Bluefin tuna is definitely justified to appear on the ranking of the most expensive food items in the world.

Manuka Honey

There are many people in the world who believe there’s nothing quite as good as quality honey. We have a lot of reasons to love this sweet treat, and those who are dedicated to trying all different kinds of honey may be interested in Manuka honey.

This edible gold comes from New Zealand and only from there. This means it’s in limited quantities, therefore, its price reaches $30 for a 250-gram jar. Due to its many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s one of the most valued types of honey available to purchase and, for sure, one of the rarest in the world.

Kopi Luwak Coffee

We didn’t forget about the coffee lovers – the true drink of the gods. Although the majority of us enjoy the taste of the average-quality coffee available in supermarkets or online, if you have enough cash, you can reach the new territories of flavors with the most expensive coffee in the world – Kopi Luwak coffee.

Coffee beans used to brew this coffee come from Indonesia and the Philippines. These coffee beans first go through the process of fermentation in the Asian palm civet’s digestive system, and after being defecated, they are collected by the farmers.

This process gives them their unique flavor profile, and although the civet coffee is not widely enjoyed (some call it thin and rather unpleasant in taste), its prices still reach $100 to $600 for a pound.

Ayam Cemani Black Chicken

Ayam Cemani is a chicken breed known for its characteristic black color. These chickens are bred in Indonesia and are extremely rare, hence the high price.

What sets them apart from the rest of the poultry is the fact that not only their feathers and skin is black, but their meat and bones are also that color. But in flavor, they are very similar to regular chicken, so how they end up tasting on your plate depends very much on the cook’s skills.

Still, you would have to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 for one animal. If you’re interested in buying hatching eggs, these go for around $50 each.

Moose Cheese

Those of you who absolutely love cheese will be happy to know that we have something in store for you as well.

Moose cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world. It’s produced at the Moose House Farm in Sweden. To make it, farmers collect up to 1.3 gallons of milk from each animal a day.

The process of milking Moses is a complex one, as these animals need special conditions to be milked, which means it usually takes much longer (even a few hours) to accomplish this task than in the case of more common farm animals, like cows.

There are a few cheese varieties, like blue, feta, and a rind style. Moose cheese has a smooth, creamy texture and unique, softer flavor, so the price tag of $500 per pound seems justified.

Yubari King Melons

We’re closing our list of the most expensive food items with… melons!

Not with just any melons, of course, but Yubari King Melons, created from two other cantaloupe varieties: Earl’s Favourite and Burpee’s “Spicy” Cantaloupe. They are known for their very sweet flavor and are often exchanged as gifts in Japan, which seems fitting considering their price.

One Yubari King Melon reached the price of $13,000 at an auction, while most customers can purchase this fruit for a humble price of $200. These expensive fruits are a truly prized gift not only in Japan.

Most Expensive Food Around the World

As you can see, expensive foods come to us from various corners of the world, but one thing links them all – their hard-to-overlook price.

But, once in a while, it’s good to allow ourselves to experience some luxury, and what is better than white truffle butter, the finest caviar, or wagyu beef? These are the experiences worth living for!

If you want to learn more about foreign delicacies, we invite you to visit our International Food section. You can also find many valuable recipes on our site, perfect for beginners as well as more experienced cooks.

And remember – you don’t have to rob the bank to eat exceptional things. Sometimes is just a matter of imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top six luxurious dishes?

  1. Almas Caviar: This Iranian caviar is among the most expensive foods globally, with prices reaching thousands of dollars for a 2.2-pound tin.
  2. Italian White Alba Truffle: Harvested only in Italy’s Piedmont region, these rare truffles have prices exceeding $3,000 per pound.
  3. Bluefin Tuna: Considered a high-end sushi ingredient, this fish can sell for over $3,000 per pound in Japan’s fish markets.
  4. Saffron: Known as “red gold,” saffron is the most expensive spice globally, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per pound.
  5. Yubari King Melon: These Japanese melons are incredibly rare and regularly sell for thousands of dollars at auction.
  6. Matsutake Mushroom: This rare Japanese mushroom can cost upwards of $2,000 per pound due to its scarcity and unique flavor.

Which ingredients make certain foods expensive?

Various factors contribute to a food’s price tag, including scarcity, location, time and effort required for harvesting, and labor-intensive cultivation processes. Rarity, exclusivity, and demand usually drive the high prices for these luxurious ingredients.

What are some well-known expensive food dishes?

Some examples of costly dishes include:

  • FleurBurger 5000: Made with Kobe beef, foie gras, and truffle, this burger is available at Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas and costs $5,000.
  • Sushi Del Oriente: Priced at $1,978, a plate of this sushi contains gold leaf, rare pearls, and several exclusive ingredients.
  • Serendipity 3’s $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae: This dessert includes three scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream decorated with edible gold leaf, rare chocolates, and luxurious caviar.

What are the priciest ingredients used in cooking?

Some of the most expensive cooking ingredients include:

  • Saffron: A rare and labor-intensive spice, it can take over 80,000 flowers to produce one pound of saffron.
  • White truffles: These highly sought-after truffles are notoriously difficult to farm, making them extremely costly.
  • Bird’s Nest: A Chinese delicacy, bird’s nests can cost up to $2,500 per pound due to the intricate harvesting process.
  • Almas Caviar: The scarcity of the sturgeon fish producing these eggs makes this Iranian caviar extremely expensive.

Which is the most expensive food by volume?

Several foods can contend for this title, but due to its scarcity and high prices, Italian White Alba Truffles are often considered the most expensive food by volume, selling for well over $3,000 per pound in some cases. However, prices can vary depending on the season and availability.

What is the most costly food per pound?

The most expensive food per pound is often a matter of debate and can vary based on season, rarity, and market trends. Examples of high-priced foods per pound include White Alba Truffles, bluefin tuna, and saffron.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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