We live in a world where gold isn't only an acceptable form of currency and payment but is also edible. When it comes to the most lavish foods, topping a meal with an edible gold leaf simply makes it the epitome of extravagance. For some, this is a bit over the top, but for others, it's merely just considered another form of food art. Topping an already luxurious plate with a smattering of gold flecks is a way to make it stand out and present an unforgettable experience. As far as taste, that's a personal adventure—but in terms of looks, we're here to bring you only the best in gold-topped food for your eye-candy pleasure.
Some of these dishes are even available locally if one is so inclined to seek them out, while others can only be sought out in special restaurants that specialize in being extra. Topping a meal with gold isn't cheap either; all of these come with a rather hefty price tag—you're eating a rare mineral after all! Just when you thought a chocolate cake or a donut couldn't get any more luxe, chefs have swooped in to up the game and create works of art that should be showcased in a museum rather than on a plate. If you've never seen a burger topped with gold flecks, stay tuned... We're about to rock your goldmine.
20 Armani Hotel Goes For The Gold
In honor of International Coffee Day, the Armani Hotel in Dubai pulled out all the stops in order to showcase coffee like never before. This luxe cappuccino was topped with a mound of edible gold leaf, adding elegance and flair to an otherwise ordinary cup of coffee. Additionally, the hotel brought out a menu of coffee-themed desserts, each as decadent as the next. This coffee alone would push us over the edge, and we'd love to know exactly how much gold is sitting atop this drink. Dubai is known for its extras and for being regal in nature, but this latte is one of a kind.
19 Not An Average Burger
Gold isn't the only intriguing thing about this burger, however—it's actually made with camel meat. The burger is grilled then topped with 24k gold leaf, giving it an elegant appearance despite its unusual composition. Additionally, it's served with chickpea fritters on the side rather than traditional fries, which, of course, are also topped with a sprinkle of gold leaf. Even the bun has been decorated with a gold aura so as to give the entire meal a level of richness that a normal burger typically lacks.
18 The Kit Kat To End All Kit Kats
This chocolate-covered wafer candy has a long-standing reputation for pushing limits and incorporating internationally diverse flavors in between its chocolate layers, but gold is a new one. This 24k gold bar was created with the intention of celebrating the New Year in China and is flavored, appropriately, with Phoenix Oolong tea. When this Kit Kat was released, it was only available in the Melbourne, Australia store, which serves as the company's headquarters. Lucky customers found that this candy was topped with rosebuds and a special rose jelly—as if it could get any more perfect.
17 Small Dumpling, Big Presence
This superb little dumpling isn't a regular menu item at Bright Courtyard in London, but it did create quite the reputation for itself. The restaurant premiered this dumpling, topped with gold leaf, for London Fashion Week, which also happened to coincide with their fifth anniversary. Therefore, the idea of bringing something a bit luxe and over the top to the menu was a no-brainer. This dumpling-like dish called "Gold Leaf Dim Sum" on the menu was topped with just enough glitz to make it fashion-week-worthy while also celebrating the restaurant's long-standing success. Now, that's what we call a party.
16 Well, That's Quite Eggs-treme
There's what the average human being refers to as a "slow-cooked egg," and then, there's the work of art that a chef can create with a slow-cooked egg. This happens to be the latter and is a creation from chef Alessandro Frau. The only average thing about this dish is the faux hay that it sits upon. The egg in question has been slow-cooked and then wrapped completely in edible gold, making it something that far surpasses any dinner cost we'd be able to pay. Its elegance isn't understated in the slightest, as it's been finished with a slice of black truffle and bacon crumbs and sits regally atop parmesan fondue... What do you think? Good enough for your next dinner party?
15 Now That's Sushi
Just when we thought that sushi couldn't get any better, we stumbled upon gold-leaf-topped sushi. After all, why smother a sushi roll with wasabi when you can just lay some 24k gold over the top of it? While this might not be the average person's first instinct, it does make for quite an elegant sushi dish. The small gold flecks are unmistakable against the vibrant colors that sushi normally has, elevating it just ever so slightly. This is one dish that actually appears to suit its gold toppings quite well as opposed to other dishes that just look a bit odd and unnecessarily extra.
14 But Are They Spicy
The magical thing about edible gold leaf is the fact that it can give anything, including a classic bar snack such as fried buffalo wings, the ability to appear decadent. These insane wings can be found at the Ainsworth in none other than New York City because only there would customers spend $60 to indulge in gold-encrusted buffalo wings. There are plenty of options to accompany this gold standard, including a choice of hot sauces ranging from mild to blow-your-socks-off raging heat. The trick to this gold shimmer is the use of gold butter, allowing these wings to be completely transformed into something King Midas himself would be envious of.
13 Move Aside, Mister Softee
There's a new ice cream flavor on the loose, and it's quickly becoming all the rage: gold. This 23k gold ice cream cone was available in London at Food Fest this past July, and one food guests looked forward to was this gold leaf ice cream. There were a limited number of cones that were given away for free, a process the festival called "Golden Hour." Underneath the gold leaf is just regular soft serve, but it was very much an Instagram-worthy photo for those lucky enough to get their hands on the elevated dairy treat. And we thought a trip to Ben & Jerry's made us feel like royalty...
12 Is That A Taco
That's right—deemed the "most expensive taco in the world," the chef at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico has finally created a taco to rule all tacos. The process of obtaining this is a bit of a fiction-novel-like process. For starters, a down payment of $12,500 is required in order to even start the cooking process. That's only half of it, literally... The entire taco will cost you $25,000. For the price of a new car, guests will receive a taco that's completely outfitted in gold leaf and filled with Kobe beef and caviar. Even the shell has been infused with gold leaf, which makes this something that should be in a jewelry counter, not on a menu. If none of this has put you off yet, then guests will need to either meet their food provider in the middle of the desert or stage a marriage proposal in order to obtain their long-awaited golden taco... No, we're not kidding.
11 Gold And Chocolate Are A Winning Combination
This chocolate decadence comes from blogger Kate, of Kate's Creative Space. The notion of placing edible glitter atop a chocolate dessert isn't a new one, but it's fascinating every time we see it. This chocolate, which is already filled with yummy goodies, has been carefully adorned with gold leaf to add a bit of extra something to its appearance. The neat thing about this photo is that it showcases exactly how to add a gold leaf if you're doing this at home—by using a small, clean paintbrush, the gold leaf will easily adhere to any surface it's pressed on top of. Fun and educational!
10 Yes, That's Spam Wrapped In Gold
It doesn't take much to boost a menu item when it's wrapped completely in gold, but luckily, 808 Poke Shack in San Fransisco is serving up a menu item that's quite popular on its own. Spam musubi is a classic snack dish in Hawaii and something that natives of the state, as do the San Franciscans that frequent 808 Poke Shack, love. The owner, Cijay Phakeovilay, decided to up the ante a little on this traditional dish by covering it in edible gold. While it's lavish and quite pricey at $100, it's worth it for a one-time splurge if you're into the extra things in life.
9 Taking Wraps To A Whole New Level
We're going to go ahead and place our bets on the fact that very few people have ever seen a wrap topped with edible gold. We're willing to take this bet because we haven't, either—until now, that is! These simple meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato wraps have been turned into something just slightly more elegant with the addition of some gold flecks. It seems quite unusual but is fun for a party; however, we're not too sure that your children would be thrilled with pulling one of these out of their lunch boxes... It could be what gets them voted king or queen of the cafeteria, though.
8 A Golden Donut To Start The Day Off Right
We've seen golden coffee, but now, it's time for something a bit more extravagant. This donut, completely encased in edible gold leaf, was created by chef Björn DelaCruz, who's the owner of Manila Social Club in Brooklyn. This incredible pastry was created by using only 24k edible gold and will cost New Yorkers a whopping $100 for one or $1,200 for a dozen. It's carefully crafted and makes use of other elegant ingredients, such as ube mousse and Cristal champagne jelly. The dusting over the top takes this donut to the next level entirely, making it appear as though it's been cast from straight gold. We're not sure if we want to stare at it or devour it.
7 Don't Just Settle For Normal Fruit
We're just getting crazy now. Not only can you have your fruit, but you can top it with edible gold, too! Pictured are some of the most perfect strawberries we've ever seen, topped with rather large flecks of 24k gold. The interesting thing about working with edible gold is that it'll almost always adhere to whatever it's placed over, barring the food in question isn't overly wet or soggy. That makes fruit an excellent adhesive surface, as you can tell by this oh-so-extra bowl of strawberries. We're not sure if it adds any nutritional value, but we can definitely sense the richness just exuding from this dish.
6 A Bit More Gold Leaf, Please
It's unclear whether or not eating soup that's been topped with edible gold leaf will encourage a cold to pass, but it does look pretty sophisticated. It's one thing to believe in the holistic healing powers of a bowl of soup; it's another to top it with gold leaf and call it beneficial. However, we're not saying we'd turn it away! As stated prior, gold leaf will adhere to practically anything it's placed on top of, hence why it functions so well sitting atop a bowl of soup. Rice and broth are no issue for this 24k dream sheet, and it's just waiting for some lucky customer to dive in and go to town.
5 Gold With A Side Of Cake
If you're careful and possess a steady hand, it's possible to cover an entire cake in edible gold leaf. While it does come off as slightly gaudy, it's a fun and unique way to say "happy birthday" to someone or celebrate an anniversary. These gold leaf cakes would typically cost you some serious bucks, so we'd recommend reconsidering your skills and taking a crack at it yourself. With the cost of labor included, it would be much more cost efficient to carefully cover a cake with this delectable gold layer rather than pay someone else to do it for you.
4 One Gold Slice, Please
Pizza lovers, unite! To take on this outrageous pizza, that is. While it'll cost you upwards of $2,400 for a whole pie, it's well worth it for the white truffle and gold infusion this specialty brings to the table. This delight can be found at Margo's Pizzeria in Valetta and isn't any old pizza. Surrounding each (huge) gold leaf are fresh leaves of lettuce and buffalo mozzarella, adding a level of freshness to what's already an awesome pizza. The white truffle adds earthiness and luxury that you won't find anywhere else in the world on a traditional pizza pie.
3 Fruit Dipped In Chocolate, Dipped In Gold
While not everyone takes their chocolate-covered strawberries dipped in gold, it's a possibility that one might be able to find these around Valentine's Day (it's fast approaching). If not, these are easily made at home with a bit of edible gold. If you're willing to pay the price, then some shimmering, sparkling strawberries can be all yours and your sweetheart's... Or just yours, if you're anything like us and despise sharing good food. There's no denying that gold bits add a bit of elegance to this otherwise simple sweet snack. We're here for it, whether we're eating alone or with someone we love.
2 A Bit Of Gold For An Elegant Dish
A macaron is an elegant pastry, to begin with, so it doesn't really come as much of a surprise to see it painted with edible gold. The sweet and slightly crunchy cookie from France definitely requires some level of royal treatment, and gold is precisely the thing to make a macaron stand out from the competition. Making these specialty treats isn't the easiest thing in the world, which is why a gold-speckled cookie comes off as even more impressive than one that's not. We're not sure where you can find these, but if you do, send some our way.
1 The Glamburger To Reign Supreme
Surprisingly, the gold leaf bun isn't the only thing that keeps the outrageous cost of this burger above the thousand-dollar mark. At roughly $1,770, this New Zealand burger features plenty of gold with an additional patty made from a mix of Kobe beef, venison, and smoked Himalayan salt. That's not all, however; customers lucky enough to order this burger will also get black truffle brie, caviar, and lobster poached in saffron atop their golden bun. As if that alone wasn't enough, this burger is also flavored with matcha mayo. Needless to say, it's the most expensive hamburger in the world... if you can even call it that. Check, please!