Increasing Costs of Dining Out

Just saw them for $3 in WI.

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From Grubstreet-- GS does I don’t remember 4 or 8 “free” articles a month so might be behind a paywall if one browses there a lot-- I can’t read any more after this one :sob:

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If you copy and paste the link to the article you want to read (once you’ve met the monthly limit of free views) into this site:

you may be able to get around the paywall. Doesn’t work with all sites but seems to with GS.

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Private browsing will work.


Also try clearing cookies. That’s how they keep track of how many articles have been read.

But the story only recaps what has been going on and what the new normal is. Previously restaurants charged unsustainably low prices because people were working for too low wages and owners were willing to operate on perilously narrow margins. $100 per person for dinner at an independant sit down restaurant in NYC is a minimum these days.

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I can absolutely eat for less than that.


I agree. Of course it depends on where and how much.

When I was visiting NYC more frequently, I was usually keeping my solo dinners to less than $50 USD. Maybe one splurge lunch at the Bar Room at the Modern for around $75, so nearing $100 once the tip was included.

The rare times I have $100+ lunches and dinners have been when I’ve met up with friends or family, or for business meetings.

I also get that some people only do the $100 dinners, so they probably are not ordering the same kinds of foods as I am, when they dine out.

I also don’t drink anymore, so that keeps my bills cheaper.

I would bet there are dozens of independent sit-down restaurants in Chinatown alone where you can eat very well for well under $100 per person.


Easily. And hundreds of perfectly decent places where it’s not at all difficult to have a starter, a main & a drink for $60ish before tax & tip.


Doesn’t have to be in chinatown for this to be true

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Ok, sure you can eat for less than $100 but maybe I need to modify this to a what my English friends would refer to as a proper dinner, not cheap eats. Three courses with an adult beverage. What the article was referring too. Did everyone read it? A place where you sit in an atmosphere that’s pleasant without fluorescent lights flickering and clattering and banging of dishes being the primary soundtrack. Solicitous service too.

$100 all in means about $76 pre tax and tip. I drink. If I go to a proper sit down restaurant with a full bar and wine list, a drink is easily high teens to 20 plus. Let’s go with $16 to keep my math simple and only a sad single drink. Leaves $60 for food. An app is again in the high teens to low 20s. If we use $16, that leaves $44 for a main. Even if I stick with a cheaper option I am in the high 20s to low 30s. A $30 main leaves $14 for dessert. I don’t think this is particularly extravagant. The point of the story and others like it isn’t that you can’t get food for cheap, but that if you want a meal in a pleasant setting with service and food to match, it’s going to cost you. My comment was agreeing with the author. If you know of a place in NYC where I can get what I’ve described for significantly less than $100 for dinner, please let me know.

60s ish before tip if you add a drink gets right to that $100 mark so that comment actually reinforces my point.

I never eat three courses unless I split with a companion. That’s way too much food for me. But I can have a “proper dinner” for about $80 pretty easily. These are just the places I can walk to:

Cervo’s. Asparagus ($18), sea bream ($32), daiquiri ($16) = $66
Ernesto’s. Chestnut soup ($18), Monkfish ($32), Martini ($18) = $68
Bacaro. Fritto Misto ($19), Baccala ($22), Negroni Blanco ($17) = $58


Well after tax and 20% tip you’re within spitting distance of $100. If your typical bill is about $65 after tax and tip you’re at $85 or so. Close enough to $100 without dessert that I wouldn’t say it’s a material difference. The prices you listed are pretty close to my estimates.

I guess I eat and drink more than you but I am also a bit of a workout nut. In the end it all balances out for me.

And we rarely order an appetizer or dessert, and still often have more food than we can finish. And the only alcohol we order is a single glass of house wine for me if I’m getting something like a steak.

Given that drinks seem to cost as much as actual food, one really needs to specify if drinks are included in “dinner” prices/estimates. If someone says a dinner at some restaurant cost them $150, and it turns out that includes two $18 drinks plus wine, that’s a fair chunk of the amount. BKeats’s itemization makes things a lot clearer.


Our restaurant checks would be 50% less if we were teetotalers.


In my state, alcohol is taxed at 9 % at the consumer level. (Regular sales tax is 6 %) With the markup on alcoholic beverages high already, it makes a noticeable difference in a restaurant tab.

Went to Khlong Toei market (Bangkok) around 6am; snagged a few single-use plastic bags of breakfast merch.

Back in my room, I loaded up the tray with everything; that grilled banana sticky rice was the bee’s knees:

Anyway, at $2.50 for the entire thing, that low cost / high quality combo is just one of a number of reasons why more and more U.S. folk are moving overseas. Last month while in Tokyo, I met a couple of families that mentioned hitting up Tokyo Disney – even with flights – was still cheaper than going to either Disney in the states.

I empathize with those who can’t just get up and go, but for travel writers like myself, I’m just contemplating which world kitchen to savor next. (I’d be glad to discuss pros AND cons, but that’s a horse of a different color)


My other response is more light-hearted:


To follow up with prices at one of the sit-down, real-plates-and-silverware Chinese restaurants in our area: six soup dumplings $7.95, lamb with cumin flavor $18.95, eggplant in hot garlic sauce $10.95, plus tax and 20% tip is about $48. (They don’t have desserts, so I added a side vegetable instead ) They also don’t have a liquor license, so it’s BYOB.

Frankly, I could never eat all that; the portions are not skimpy.

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