Monocolumn: NYC Series – Restaurant Price Hikes Difficult To Digest

Monocolumn: NYC Series – Restaurant Price Hikes Difficult To Digest

In a city where nobody cooks, rising prices at New York restaurants have become a fact of life. Thomas Keller’s Per Se, awarded three Michelin stars, once charged $135 for a nine-course vegetarian tasting menu; the same meal will now set you back $295.

  • 17 may 2011

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

When the annual list of the world’s 50 best restaurants was published earlier this month, one establishment stood out: Eleven Madison Park, which jumped an unrivaled 26 places on the global list, to number 24. Its ranking isn’t the only thing rising, however. Only last year its standard lunch menu was a steal at $28; these days you’ll pay $56 at least.

In a city where nobody cooks, rising prices at New York restaurants have become a fact of life. Thomas Keller’s Per Se, awarded three Michelin stars, once charged $135 for a nine-course vegetarian tasting menu; the same meal will now set you back $295 (although service is now included). But food inflation isn’t just being felt at the top end: a slice of pizza in Brooklyn can now cost you $5 – and yes, that’s one slice we’re talking about.

“Price hikes are the story of the recovery,” says Ryan Sutton, food critic for Bloomberg in New York, who tracks the cost of dining out on a dedicated blog, After two years of restaurant closures across the crisis-shocked city, those still standing are making up for lost time, as discreetly as possible. “I’m trying to inject transparency into an opaque market,” says Sutton. “A restaurant is not going to issue a press release when it raises its prices.”

Much of the surge, Sutton insists, is linked to both rising global food prices and higher costs of production at the serious-minded local farms that New York’s better chefs rely on. “There is no Moore’s law for food,” he says.

Consider Momofuku noodle bar, the epicentre of informal fine dining in the East Village, using produce so hallowed the farmers’ names appear on the menu. The ramen costs a hefty $16, but David Chang, the restaurant’s owner and chef, recently said that he would need to charge $21 in order to turn a profit.

To continue reading click here.

Image by beebrisk


IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Penny Baldwin

Marketing, Branding, Business, Technology

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Retail Today

Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

An app for the wrist-mounted device is looking to revolutionize customer service for staff


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Financial Services Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.