New York is full of cheap eats — from your dollar slice to your dirty-water dog from a street vendor.
But this being a city of outsized taste (and expense accounts), you can also find elevated, expensive takes on these staples.
Whether chasing a Guinness World Record or celebrating fine ingredients, restaurants have long created decadent dishes. And for those ordering, it’s all about the fanfare — especially in the Instagram age.
“It’s an event thing,” says Aylon Hadar, general manager of Industry Kitchen in the Financial District, which is home to a $2,000 pizza. “It’s a story to go home with.”
If you’re looking for a story, here are a few places to find it.
$69 HOT DOG: Foot long haute dog at Serendipity 3
The house of the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate has long been big on gimmicky, Guinness World Record-soliciting fare. Take this upscale hot dog: that’s beef grilled in white truffle oil, served in a salted pretzel bun toasted with white truffle butter, and topped with medallions of duck foie gras with black truffles (condiments also include black truffle Dijon mustard). Like most of its high-end creations, the hot dog is by appointment only, and is ordered about a couple times a month. Other savory items on the restaurant’s record-breaking menu include a $214 grilled cheese sandwich with edible gold flakes and a $295 waygu beef-truffle butter burger with accoutrements like a solid gold, diamond-encrusted toothpick. (225 E. 60th St., serendipity3.com)
$100 MEATBALL (WITH WINE): Kobe beef meatball at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
What was once a one-time concoction for a food holiday has become a popular menu staple. Found under the appetizers, this indulgent combo features a Kobe beef meatball with foie gras and truffle caciocavallo cheese that’s sitting in a shallot and Champagne sauce, plus a glass of 2012 Prunotto Barolo, a dry red Italian wine. It’s only available Friday night through Sunday, with about 50 orders prepared per night. (447 Lexington Ave., davios.com)
$100 MILKSHAKE: Luxe milkshake at Serendipity 3
The newest addition to the Upper East Side restaurant’s Guinness World Record menu is this, indeed, luxe milkshake. The base is made with Jersey Milk, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, Devonshire Luxury Clotted Cream and Madagascar vanilla beans. It’s then topped with 23K edible gold, Jersey whipped cream, a rare caramel sauce called Le Cremose Baldizzone, and Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries. Oh, and it’s served in a custom milkshake glass bedazzled with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals. Since its debut in June, the restaurant has sold a couple dozen milkshakes. The item joins the restaurant’s other expensive sweet treat, the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, which also shimmers with 23K edible gold. (225 E. 60th St., serendipity3.com)
$180 SANDWICH: Ozaki wagyu katsu sando at Don Wagyu
NYC’s first restaurant devoted to wagyu katsu sandos, a Japanese delicacy, debuted in July to much fanfare — thanks to this offering. Each sandwich on the spare three-item menu uses wagyu beef and ranges from $28 to $180. What sets the priciest apart is the use of rare ozaki beef; only five cattle are shipped from Japan to the U.S. each month, according to the restaurant, and Don Wagyu has an exclusive on it all. Each day, 150 to 200 sandwiches total are made, and only about 10 of those are the ozaki, given the limited amount of meat. All three sandos come with fries and a pickle, and a gluten-free option is also now available, with slices from Free Bread. Try to grab a spot at the six-seat bar counter, or order to go. Caviar delivery is also launching soon. (28 S. William St., donwagyu.com)
$2,000 PIZZA: Guinness World Record 24K at Industry Kitchen
Under the South Street Seaport spot’s signature wood-fired pizzas is this indulgent creation: squid-ink dough topped with Stilton cheese, foie gras, Ossetra caviar, truffle shavings and 24K gold leaves. Want to make it even more expensive? Add 1 1⁄2 ounces of Almas caviar for $700. It must be ordered 48 hours in advance, so that the dough has time to rise. The rush has died down since it first debuted in late 2016, Hadar says, but the pie still gets ordered, typically by groups of six to eight. (70 South St., industry-kitchen.com)
$2,000 FRITTATA: Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata at Norma’s
The Parker New York restaurant dares you to expense this dish. The modest frittata — the Italian cousin of the omelet — gets a decadent upgrade, with lobster tail and 10 ounces of Hackleback caviar. The dish, which has been a menu staple since it debuted in 2004, used to run you a still-whopping $1,000, but the cost doubled about a year and a half ago when the price of caviar went up. If you don’t have deep enough pockets, you can order the frittata with 1 ounce of caviar, for a mere $200. (119 W. 56th St., normasnyc.com)
Correction: The price of Serendipity 3’s luxe milkshake has been updated to $100.