If you want to compare prices of BTC across multiple exchanges, is there a central mechanism or place to do so? I have been unable to find such a thing from my research
Yes, there are such services.
bitcoincharts.com offers such an overview, though you may get confused from the many fiat currencies.
CoinDesk's chart is much cleaner, only uses USD, and you can easily choose which exchanges to regard. However, CoinDesk lists far fewer exchanges than bitcoincharts.com.
There are several services – for example BitcoinAverage – which attempt to plot the average price.
If you want to, you can use the APIs of the exchanges you're interested in, and write a script or small program which shows the current prices.