Why Is Mediterranean Food So Expensive

Tourists, especially those from the United States who visit Mediterranean countries, often complain about the high prices of Mediterranean food in various regions. There’s a reason for those higher prices.

expensive mediterranean food

Mediterranean food may be expensive compared to other types of food primarily due to the cost of the ingredients used. Some ingredients are difficult to source and this results in higher food prices. This is also why following a Mediterranean diet is costly in some cases.

Read on to find out more about why Mediterranean food is expensive and what exactly it consists of. Happy reading!

Why is Mediterranean food so expensive?

So why exactly is Mediterranean food so expensive? The main reason for Mediterranean food is a bit more expensive than other regional cuisines around the world is perhaps the cost of ingredients used in the food.

Mediterranean cuisine is famous for the wide variety of fresh ingredients used and sourcing some of these ingredients might not be easy for restaurants in a certain region. 

In some places, certain ingredients have to be imported from other countries or brought in from faraway regions of the same country. This increases the final cost of the meal prepared from those ingredients. 

What does Mediterranean cuisine consist of?

Mediterranean cuisine consists of a variety of foods that are consumed by people living in countries such as Greece, Morocco, Italy, Spain, and Tunisia. Foods in these regions are prepared using fresh ingredients that are grown locally for the most part. 

Here are some other defining characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine:

  • Most of the dishes are based on fresh, locally-produced plant-based ingredients
  • Most foods are made using a variety of different ingredients
  • Olive oil is widely used in many foods
  • Meats are used in moderation in Mediterranean dishes 
  • Other ingredients include spices, herbs, garlic, and other condiments

Why is Mediterranean cuisine so good?

It’s no secret that Mediterranean cuisine is widely regarded as being one of the best on the planet. The various regional dishes are all delicious and made from fresh ingredients including fruits and vegetables, olive oil, seafood, legumes, cheese, and limited quantities of meat.

The quality of the ingredients used in Mediterranean dishes is what makes them so good. The fresh, locally-produced ingredients further enhance the flavor of these dishes. 

Another reason people love Mediterranean food is due to its health benefits. Mediterranean dishes are made using a wide variety of ingredients that contain all the necessary nutrients your body needs.

Which cuisine is the most expensive?

Determining which region has the most expensive cuisine is difficult since each type of cuisine around the world is different. Moreover, many factors can affect the price of various foods in a region. Some cuisines that may be priced higher than others perhaps include Japanese and Mediterranean ones.

While there is no single region that has the world’s most expensive cuisine, different food items from different regions may be collectively called the most expensive dishes in the world. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Japanese Wagyu beef
  • White truffles
  • Oysters
  • Caviar
  • Saffron
  • Moose cheese

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet has recently become quite popular and many health-conscious individuals and fitness enthusiasts have started following it. But what exactly is it, you might ask? 

As the name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is a certain way of eating that is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and the health benefits it provides. Mediterranean food is known to be made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, particularly fruits and vegetables. Mediterranean dishes are typically rich in essential nutrients and provide wholesome nourishment for the body.

People who follow a Mediterranean diet typically consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain food items, olive oil, fish, yogurt, and cheese. Red meats are consumed in moderation. Junk food and fast food items are avoided or eaten infrequently.

What is the average cost of the Mediterranean diet?

So how much does following a Mediterranean diet cost you, exactly? There is no simple answer to this question since it depends on several factors such as the type and quantity of ingredients bought.

As a very rough estimate, a low-budget Mediterranean diet can cost around $ 250 to $ 300 for one person. This cost can easily go much higher if pricier ingredients in larger quantities are bought. 

Pros and cons of the Mediterranean diet

Let’s explore the pros and cons associated with following a Mediterranean diet in detail.


The pros of a Mediterranean diet are well-known. The dishes are delicious and have a balanced flavor profile. In addition, a Mediterranean diet is good for the overall health of your body. Here are some ways in which it can improve your health:

  • Helps in managing weight and fitness goals
  • Helps in preventing diabetes 
  • Helps in preventing cancer
  • Improves blood circulation and leads to better heart health

Moreover, a Mediterranean diet is more environmentally friendly since it is mostly dependent on locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, and poultry and relies less on meats and manufactured food items. Due to this, following a Mediterranean diet also helps and promotes local farmers and agricultural communities.


Perhaps the biggest con of a Mediterranean diet is its cost. While it doesn’t typically include expensive imported ingredients or other special supplements, basic ingredients such as olive oil, fish, and other foods aren’t exactly cheap.

Other problems associated with a Mediterranean diet include difficult dietary restrictions and the need for some sort of guidance regarding some aspects of the diet. Consulting a dietitian or nutritionist might also be expensive.

Lastly, a Mediterranean diet might be difficult to follow for some since it does not have any specific guidelines regarding portion sizes, calorie intake, what to eat, and what to avoid.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, Mediterranean food may be more expensive than other cuisines due to the cost of the ingredients used in various dishes. Sourcing and preparing these ingredients requires time and effort, which leads to higher prices. The cost of ingredients used is also why following a Mediterranean diet might be expensive for some people.

Andrea Arthur