With great taste comes great expense. We’ve toured the city and scoured the menus to find the most expensive dishes in the city (by category, not just overall, because then it’d be a list of places serving wagyu). If your tax returns have you feeling flush, treat yourself to a tour that will leave your taste buds tingling and your bank account busted. If your discretionary income isn’t up for the challenge, feast your eyes on the most expensive dishes in Denver—because nothing says sophistication quite like a towering seafood platter or a lobster-topped lobster roll. From Water Grill’s Live Red King Crab to A5 Steakhouse’s Tomahawk Ribeye, let’s see just how high Mile High meal prices can be.
Crustacean Coronation: Live Wild Barents Sea Red King Crab (ave. size 7–10 lbs), $85/lb
At Water Grill, they’ve embraced the adage “go big or go home” with a certain regal flair——introducing the Live Wild Barents Sea Red King Crab, which boasts an extravagant price tag of $85 per pound. All hail the king, indeed.
Red king crabs (aka Alaskan king crabs) can grow to be very large—up to 24 pounds with a leg span of 5 feet—but the average size available at Water Grill is 7–10 lbs. While this regal crustacean is priced by the pound, you can’t order à la carte—it’s an all-or-nothing affair. Prepare to shell out a king’s ransom for the entire crab. It’ll set you back a minimum of $600 (before tax and gratuity, as well as the inevitable parade of appetizers, sides, libations, parking fees, and assorted other whatnots).
Prime Cuts: Tomahawk Ribeye, $260
A5, the pinnacle of Japanese beef quality ratings, is more than just a catchy name. A5 isn’t just a fancy steakhouse name; it’s the beefy equivalent of winning the Nobel Prize for deliciousness. They source their tomahawk ribeye from Lazy Acres Farm in Otis, Colorado, where cows dream of marbling and tenderness.
Their grilling technique is a masterclass in crust and flavor: thick cuts cooked long enough to form a crust that’d make even King Arthur jealous, while the inside retains a rich, buttery essence.
For the ultimate indulgence, opt for the Highland Park Tomahawk, which undergoes an extended dry-aging process. Already aged for 28 days at the farm, these ribeyes enjoy an additional 30 days in A5’s dry-aging locker, where they’re regularly spritzed with 12-year Highland Park Scotch Whisky. As the water evaporates out, the spirit flavors soak in, infusing every bite with opulent flavor. The meaty marvel, weighing in at 35–45 oz., is a carnivore’s fantasy served on a silver platter. It’s indulgence served with a side of extravagance and worth every penny…if you’ve got a ton of extra pennies to spend.
Liquid Opulence: The High-Roller Vieux Carre, $100
When the words “luxury” and “cocktail” collide, you’d best be prepared to shell out a pretty penny—or in this case, a Benjamin. The $100 High Roller Vieux Carre at Guard and Grace effortlessly merges the worlds of mixology and high-end dining, creating an unforgettable experience that’ll have your bank account reeling.
The ingredients are a who’s who of luxury imbibing: Remy XO, Garrison Bros Single Barrel, A-5 fat-washed Benedictine, and shoyu bitters. But the little touches, like the Japanese A5-washed Benedictine and soju bitters, elevate this libation into the stratosphere of indulgence. The cherry on top? A velvety smooth cognac and a single-barrel bourbon, all smoked tableside in a CreativeChef smoking dome for that extra touch of umami and showmanship.
Glass of Bubbly: Dom Perignon P2 2002, $70
Sometimes, to truly appreciate the finer things in life, you have to raise your glass a little higher. At EDGE Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Denver, that’s a literal and figurative concept with their $70 glass of Dom Perignon P2 2002. This fine vintage has been carefully aged, spending an impressive 16 years on its lees, allowing it to develop a rich complexity and depth of flavor that lesser champagnes don’t deliver.
Tower of Terrific: JPL Shellfish Tower, $280
Feast your eyes (and wallet) on the magnum opus of Denver’s seafood scene: the JPL Shellfish Tower at 801 Chophouse. For a cool $280, this towering masterpiece of marine delights includes 2¼ lb lobster, 12 jumbo shrimp, 1 lb king crab, and a dozen oysters. It also proves that altitude isn’t the only thing soaring high in the Mile High City.
Caviar Dreams: Israeli Ossetra Caviar, $268
Flagstaff House is where you need to be if you’re in the market for a lavish dining experience. And when it comes to caviar, the Israeli Ossetra Caviar is the crème de la crème. Priced at a staggering $268, this delicacy is fit for a fat wallet. The caviar’s delicate pearls burst in your mouth like tiny flavor bombs, leaving a buttery richness that’s quite the indulgent way to whet your appetite for the meal that will follow. At Flagstaff House, they know that luxury doesn’t come cheap. But the Israeli Ossetra Caviar is worth every penny when it comes to caviar dreams.
On a Roll: Lobsterado, $36
Technically, the lobster roll at Water Grill is pricier by $2, but we’ve tried them both and Maine Shack’s lobster-topped lobster roll known as the Lobsterado deserves the attention.
Think of the Lobsterado as the Inception of lobster rolls: a lobster roll within a lobster roll. Featuring a butter-poached tail perched atop a brown butter base and dressed with a dash of chives, it’s the culinary equivalent of a double-dog dare.
What’s their secret? Maine Shack cozies up to a fleet of Stonington, Maine lobstermen, ensuring the lobster express delivers fresh, wild-caught crustaceans to their door multiple times a week. It’s like having a lobster hotline – but tastier.
Hail Caesar!: Palace Arms Tableside Caesar, $21 per person (two person minimum)
The Tableside Caesar at Palace Arms is a throwback to the days when salad was a spectacle. Gone are the pomp and circumstance of romaine tossing, Parmesan shaving, and anchovy wrangling, reserved now for only the swankiest establishments. Fear not, Palace Arms is one of them. They revive the art of the tableside performance, blending lemon juice, egg, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce with finesse. So grab your salad-loving partner in crime, and enjoy this classic culinary ritual that’s part dinner, part theater, and completely worth the $21 ticket.
Side Piece: Baked Lobster Mac ’n Cheese, $44
Satisfy your cravings with the indulgent Ocean Prime Baked Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, priced at $44. This dish is the epitome of decadence, featuring a whole Maine lobster perched atop creamy macaroni smothered in velvety Tillamook Cheddar. It’s an elevated twist on your favorite comfort food and if there’s a better use for your discretionary income, we’d like to hear it.
Lambtastic: Colorado Lamb Rack, $79
Del Frisco’s knows that when it comes to paying homage to Colorado’s culinary pedigree, subtlety is overrated. Enter the Colorado Lamb Rack: a $79 tribute to the state’s four-legged gastronomic ambassadors.
This succulent rack of lamb sports a pistachio and herb crust that’s more addictive than Netflix. It’s paired with a toffee carrot purée, sweet and sour pearl onions, and asparagus tips, making for a flavor profile that’s more complex than a Russian novel. And let’s not forget the finishing touch: a jus that adds depth to every bite.