Restaurant Foods That Are Consistently Overpriced

April 21, 2017  |  
1 of 15 and women, black and Latin people, eating late in Korean eatery

If you’re like me, then on principal, you won’t buy something if it’s over-priced even if it’s well within your budget. Sometimes it seems like vendors are performing some sort of social experiment to see how much money they can get out of consumers for something that really isn’t worth much. Restaurants are some of the worst offenders; if they serve it on an oval plate and add a pretty garnish to it, they think they can charge you $28 for white fish and rice. Really? You just paid for an hour of that fisherman’s workday! It’s nice to splurge on restaurant food sometimes, but if you’re going to do it, get something that really is worth the money, and is difficult to make at home. Here are restaurant foods that are consistently over-priced.

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Side salads

Some restaurants charge as much as $8 for a side salad—and a tiny one at that. They purchase giant bags of lettuce at a wholesale price of around $2 to $5, and from those bags make nearly twenty side salads.




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Considering that you can purchase free-range eggs for about fifty cents a piece, it seems a bit outrageous that a restaurant may charge you $6 for two scrambled eggs. And who knows what the quality is of those eggs?



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Mac and cheese

It doesn’t matter if they add mushrooms, bread crumbs or even lobster—at the end of the day it’s mac and cheese. Keep in mind they often charge you the same price for barely a handful of lobster that they would for an entire tail.



 on crushed ice with oyster knife, old silver fork and lemon fruit on a porcelain plate on slate.


Let’s not forget that oysters do not require preparation. Unless they’ve been fried or turned into some sort of shooter, the chef literally just cleaned them and put them on a plate with lemon slices.



 view alba white truffle on wood board and truffle’sknife

Truffle anything

If there is truffle oil or truffle anything in your dish, the serving is likely comparable to how much watermelon there is in a watermelon lollipop. But the restaurant will charge you as if you bought a basket of truffles.







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Cheese platters

Any sort of platter where you get a few bites of this and that, like olives, cured meats, and cheese, is typically over-priced. You’re paying for the presentation, and the restaurant presents it to make it look like you got a lot of food, when really, you probably got one-third of the small prosciutto packets you find at the grocery store, to split amongst three people.





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A side of vegetables

A side of vegetables, such as asparagus and mushrooms, can often be two or three times the usual cost. And what did the chef do? Saute them in oil—just like you do at home.








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Potato dishes

Potatoes are some of the cheapest food out there and since they are in season year-round, they are never difficult to get. And yet, you can pay a lot for gourmet fries and potato gratin.







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Simple pasta plates

Let’s take spaghetti alla puttanesca , for example. The ingredients are capers, olives, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and anchovies. And you really only get a few drizzles of anything that isn’t the tomato sauce. Meanwhile, you may pay $12 to $15 for this dish.



Cups of soup

A cup of soup at a restaurant is barely even a real measured-out cup. They serve it to you in a thick bowl with a raised bottom to make it look like you’re getting more than you are, and they charge you almost the same price as a full bowl.







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Soft drinks

A full diet soda costs a restaurant pennies. That’s right—PENNIES. But they may charge you $3 for it. And no free refills.








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Making a simple medium cheese pizza with a few veggies on it costs a restaurant under $3 to make. The restaurant will charge you $12 to $15 for it.







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Kobe beef

According to research done in 2016, there are only 9 restaurants in the United States that offer genuine Kobe beef on the menu. What are the chances you’re eating at one of those?







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Fancy burgers

A restaurant adds some caramelized onions and half a hot dog to your burger, and suddenly the price goes up $5.







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You already knew this one. But what’s most offensive is that some “sides” of guacamole at restaurants provide barely enough of the green stuff for a quarter of your dish and cost six times the price of an avocado.

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