Getting hungry can cost one dearly in London, now the most
expensive city in the world for dining out, research showed
The dubious distinction belonged to Tokyo last year but it has
slipped into third place behind London and Paris, a survey by Zagat
restaurant guides revealed.
An average meal, including a drink, tax and service for London
diners runs to US$79.44 per person, up 2.9 percent from last
A roughly equivalent meal would cost US$71.93 in Paris and
US$71.38 in Tokyo.
Eating out in the US is a relative bargain, leaving New York
City diners only US$39.25 out of pocket. In Los Angeles, people
could expect to pay US$31.78 for the same.
"It's astonishing to see how expensive the London dining scene
has become," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey, which published
its 2008 London Restaurants guide yesterday.
"But as indicated by this survey, the city still offers many
great values, both in terms of quality and price," he added.
London residents are less likely to eat out, visiting
restaurants 2.5 times per week, compared to 3.6 times for those in
Tokyo or 3.4 times in New York. Zagat suggested that London's high
costs could explain the difference.
Restaurant inflation at the upper end of the spectrum has been
especially severe in London. An average meal at the city's 20 most
expensive restaurants hits diners to the tune of US$168.65, 6.1
percent higher than last year.
But these first-class venues were still cheaper than their peers
in Tokyo and Paris, where meals cost on average $209.22 and $205.62
The findings come from about 300,000 surveyors working in 80
cities around the world. They rate restaurants for their food,
decor, service and estimated cost.
(China Daily September 13, 2007)