Zagat: London priciest city for dining out

LONDON London has beat out Paris, Tokyo and New York as the most expensive dining-out city in the world, said restaurant-rating company Zagat Survey, which released the 2008 London Restaurants survey on Wednesday.

Zagat’s survey of more than 5,300 Londoners found the cost of the average meal in the city to be just over $79, which is more than the average meal in Paris, at nearly $72, and Tokyo, around $71. In New York, where Zagat is based, the cost of the average meal is $39. The prices include a drink and the tip.

The $79 price tag in London is up 2.9 percent from last year, when Tokyo boasted the most-expensive average meal.

London’s most expensive restaurants got even pricier this year. Among the 20 most expensive restaurants in London, the average meal cost $179.54, a 6.1-percent increase over last year's figure of $152.63, according to Zagat.

"It's astonishing to see how expensive the London dining scene has become, but as indicated by this survey, the city still offers many great values,” Tim Zagat, chief executive and co-founder of Zagat Survey, said in a press release. He pointed out the average price for a meal at the London survey’s top-rated restaurant, Chez Bruce, was around $100 less expensive than the runner-up, Gordon Ramsay.

Tim and Nina Zagat established Zagat Survey in 1979. The company now offers dining guides for more than 70 markets, as well as guides for hotels, resorts and spas, family travel, entertaining, shopping, nightlife, movies, music, theater and golf.