Why There's Always An Up-Charge For Avocados And Guacamole At Restaurants

people enjoying guacamole
people enjoying guacamole - Fg Trade Latin/Getty Images

When going out for Mexican food, there are several cornerstones that make for a delightful -- and flavorful -- dining experience. There's nearly guarantee of tortillas in some form, as well as some spicy salsas to add a dash of vibrant flavor. And as all lovers of Tex-Mex cuisine know, you'll almost certainly get unlimited rounds of complimentary chips.

Other than the aforementioned salsas, or perhaps some queso, what better dip candidate than a crave-worthy guacamole? The fresh, textural, and spicy dish is one of the cuisine's best appetizer candidates. Oftentimes, the only deterrent is the price -- with the raw food oftentimes more expensive than a cooked counterpart. And at a casual burrito shop, even a simple avocado topping might be surprisingly costly.

It's all due to the fruit itself: avocados are one of the more finicky culinary ingredients. They require an abundance of water to grow -- as much as 50 gallons per pound -- so their intrinsic price is steeper before even leaving the farm. Plus, the logistics of distribution are complicated, since they have a day or two once ripened. And once cut, it's well-known how quick browning initiates, meaning that guacamole is hard to pre-batch, and must be made fresh at restaurants. Although such qualities present an extra hassle, it all contributes to the food's appeal.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Avocado's Delicate Nature Coupled With High Demand Leads To Steep Prices

guacamole served on platter
guacamole served on platter - Candice Bell/Getty Images

Another element of avocado's pricy nature is their constantly fluctuating cost. The fruit's importation from Mexico to the U.S. is a convoluted market, with occasional trade bans and tariffs leading to price swings. Throw in droughts -- which occasionally severely limit domestic production -- and the cost of fruit can encompass quite a range. However, since the 1990s, American demand for the fruit has only kept rising, both in home kitchens and during dining out. Dishes like a sourdough avocado toast, or a guacamole topped lunch have become trends, adding in extra pressure on the market.

So to combat such a tricky avocado landscape, many restaurants tack on an even steeper price on avocado products. It's the reason a side of bacon or extra egg is usually reasonable, but that extra slice of avocado sits above the rest. And with the large volume of avocados necessary for guacamole -- you bet the dish carries an upcharge. However, it won't stop many diners from still ordering the dish, and with its delightful taste, who can blame them?

Read the original article on Tasting Table.