What Does MP Mean on a Menu?

MP stands for “market price.” This means that the price of the menu item is subject to change based on the current market value of the ingredients. In other words, the cost of the dish is determined by the cost of the ingredients at the time of purchase. This can fluctuate due to factors such as weather conditions, crop yields, and supply and demand.

Why Do Restaurants Use MP on Their Menus?

There are a few reasons why a restaurant might use “MP” on its menu. One of the most common reasons is that the dish in question includes ingredients that are difficult to source or that have a high level of variability in price. For example, a dish that features wild-caught fish might have an “MP” designation because the price of the fish can fluctuate depending on the season and the catch. Some restaurants might also use “MP” for dishes that include luxury ingredients like truffles or caviar, which can be quite expensive and subject to market fluctuations.

Determining the market price of an ingredient can be a tricky task, as it can vary depending on various factors such as the location of the restaurant, the season, the supplier, and the demand. Restaurants often have relationships with local farmers, purveyors, and suppliers that help them stay informed about the current market prices of ingredients. They also keep a close eye on global market trends and prices to ensure they are competitive.

Another reason why a restaurant might use “MP” is that the dish is designed to showcase a particularly expensive or high-end ingredient. In this case, the restaurant wants to highlight the ingredient but also wants to be transparent about the cost to the customer.

The Importance of Seasonality:

Many restaurants use “MP” to reflect the seasonality of the ingredients used in their dishes. For example, a dish that features tomatoes in the summer might have a lower market price than the same dish in the winter, when tomatoes are out of season and must be sourced from a different location, resulting in a higher price. This allows the restaurant to provide their customers with the freshest and most flavorful ingredients while being transparent about the cost.

How Should I Interpret an MP Menu Item?

When you see an “MP” menu item, it’s important to keep in mind that the price may be higher than the listed price. Be sure to ask your server or the chef about the current market price of the dish. They should be able to give you an estimate of what you can expect to pay. If the cost is a concern, you can always ask for recommendations for similar dishes that might be more affordable.


Understanding the meaning of “MP” on a menu can help you make more informed decisions about what to order when dining out. By keeping in mind that “MP” stands for “market price” and that the price of the dish may be subject to change, you can better navigate restaurant menus and make choices that align with your budget and preferences. Remember that MP items are often a reflection of the restaurant’s commitment to using the freshest and most high-quality ingredients available, so if you’re willing to splurge, it can be a great way to try something new and delicious.” So next time you see “MP” on a menu don’t be afraid to ask your server or chef for more information and make your dining experience more pleasant and enjoyable.”

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