When it comes to brunch, “decadence” is a sliding scale. For some, springing for the “bottomless mimosa” option is a luxury akin to flying first class, while for someone like Jay Gatsby, it can’t truly be called brunch without oyster something and champagne everything. But there are certain superlatives to be found in the food world, and the most expensive brunch items sure don’t come cheap.
Whether it’s a champagne housed in a diamond-encrusted bottle or a bacon, egg, and cheese dusted with gold, brunch is nothing short of an art for the one-percenters, who know that a true breakfast of champions often comes with a four-figure check. So bring your appetite (and your wallet) and be prepared to be amazed at the great lengths to which brunches can go.
Bacon Bling Sandwich (£150 or about $220.50)
When it comes to a bacon, egg, and cheese, the greasier the better (I think). And if that grease just so happens to be from truffle oil? Well, so be it. That’s what this sandwich, the Bacon Bling, is cooked in, and the bacon comes from a rare breed of pig, plus a free-range egg, truffle oil with black truffle shavings, watercress, a fancy bun, and some saffron and edible gold dust to top it all off. Best not to ask for a side of ketchup with this one.
Goût de Diamants Champagne ($1.8 million per bottle)
If you think that diamonds shouldn’t just be for wearable items, look no further than this incredibly luxe bottle of champagne. Sure, the champagne is from a small family-owned business in France, but it’s the bottle that knocks the price into the stratosphere—it’s festooned with a 19-carat diamond and a logo made of 18-carat white gold, making it a very expensive mimosa ingredient.That’s definitely not something you’d want to toss out in the recycling bin with your bottles of Two Buck Chuck.
The Zillion-Dollar Lobster Frittata ($1,000)
Even though the name is a bit hyperbolic, this feast of crustacean and caviar at the luxury hotel’s upscale restaurant, Norma’s, will still set you back a cool grand. But is this Guinness World Record-breaker for the world’s most expensive brunch really worth it? Sadly, I haven’t tried it, but I imagine it tastes like winning.
Pu-erh Tea ($4,000 per pot)
Sure, tea at brunch may feel a little prim (unless Mary Poppins was adding a spoonful of bourbon to hers to help it go down), but hear me out—not only does tea have a bevy of health benefits, but there’s a whole world of people who believe fine teas are like fine wines, and they get better with age. Such is the case with China’s pu-erh tea, a fermented black leaf tea from the country’s Yunnan province. Aged pu-erh tea cakes can cost a fortune, like one that sold in 2013 for more than $1.7 million. One thing’s for sure—this ain’t your mother’s Lipton.
Decadence D’Or Cupcake ($750)
For those who think brunch isn’t complete without a little something sweet to finish, may I suggest the aptly-named Decadence D’Or cupcake available at the Palazzo Hotel store, Sweet Surrender, in Las Vegas. But what makes a humble cupcake worthy of such a price, you ask? For starters, the sweet treat is made from the rare Palmira Single Estate Chocolate in Venezuela, Tahitian vanilla buttercream, Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac, and is topped off with edible gold leaf and a hand-blown fleur-de-lis made entirely of sugar. If that’s not sweet, I don’t know what is.
Donkey's Milk Cheese ($600 per pound)
I firmly belief that cheese just makes brunch worth it, in the same way that a good night’s sleep is that much better with a 500 thread count. In short, cheese is awesome, and no self-respecting omelet is complete without it. And for those with a taste for the rare—and maybe a little strange—there is a cheese that puts all others to shame. Pule is a unique cheese comes from an endangered breed of donkeys native to the Balkans. Around a hundred donkeys are producing milk, but even at their best, it takes more than 24 gallons to make a pound of pule. If all that’s a little too rich for your blood, you can always try moose cheese, a Swedish delicacy that will only set you back $450 per pound.
Truffle Bagel with Gold Leaf and Riesling Jelly ($1,000)
Long before New Yorkers had Pizza Rat, there was the $1,000 bagel, yet another colophon of a city known for its extremes of greasy street eats and one-percenter feasts. It costs roughly $996 more than your typical carb-filled staple. But if you’re talking novelty bagels, this one (which you can sadly no longer order) takes the cake for sheer extravagance.