From a backdrop of one of the healthiest underwater reefs in the Maldives to watching the northern lights from a pop-up restaurant in Manitoba, these restaurants are sure to enrich your appetite.
Food is an integral part of travel. It offers insight into the culture, community, and people in the most delicious of ways. A stunning view can elevate the food to a completely different experience. These 14 hotels offer up out-of-this-world vistas that steal the spotlight and become the highlight of the dining experience.
Souk and Sea Lounge in Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
WHERE: Mumbai, India
Souk and Sea Lounge in Mumbai’s iconic Victorian heritage Taj Mahal Palace are just two of the many restaurants within the hotel. They offer unprecedented views of the Arabian Sea and the early 20th-century monument, Gateway of India. Taj Mahal Palace is a heritage luxury hotel built in 1903, playing host to kings, dignitaries, and eminent personalities across the globe. Every table at Souk and Sea Lounge has a view of the sea, boats, and busy walkways around Colaba, where the hotel is located. Sunset is a particularly beautiful time of the day, as the fishing boats come in and are silhouetted against the sun–a fantastic addition to your meal.
WHERE: Churchill, Manitoba
Dan’s Diner in Churchill, Manitoba, is part of the Frontier North Adventures Tundra Buggy Lodge and provides a unique dining experience surrounded by wilderness beneath the northern lights. The pop-up dinner is a mobile tundra buggy driven across the frozen Churchill River. The restaurant features panoramic windows and overhead skylights so that guests can catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis while enjoying an exquisitely curated, multi-course menu that features regional and local fare inspired by land and sea. Dan’s Diner operates on select dates in February and March. Guests can either book individual tickets for dinner, or the experience can be part of a larger travel package with Frontiers North Adventures.
WHERE: Sölden, Austria
Austria’s highest gourmet restaurant, at 3,048 meters above sea level, is ice Q in Sölden. It is surrounded by more than 250 three-thousand-meter mountains and is connected to the Gaislachkogel mountain peak via a suspension bridge. With ceiling-to-floor glass windows and a panorama terrace, the view from each corner of iceQ is stunning. Every Wednesday at sunset–from December to March–the ice Q restaurant offers a toque-awarded menu as part of their Summit Dinner. It also was the filming location for James Bond’s Spectre and even has a museum dedicated to the British secret agent.
Wild Horizons Lookout Café
WHERE: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Wild Horizons Lookout Café is an iconic restaurant in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, with both indoor and outdoor seating offering dramatic views of the falls. It is casual dining fused with decadence–from cocktails and canapes to more elaborate meals. For a more elevated experience, try the dinner service on a full moon night. Panoramic views of the Batoka Gorge, Zambezi Rapids, and silver moonlight illuminating the Victoria Falls Bridge make this a dinner unlike any other. The lower deck is dotted with candle-lit lanterns for full-moon evenings.
Saimi Hoyer, international model and television celebrity, is one of Finland’s most famous personalities. After retiring from the world stage, she moved back to her hometown of Punkaharju, deep in the heart of Finland’s famous Lakeland community, and took ownership of a historic Hotel Punkaharju. It is one of Finland’s oldest hotels and is full of fairy-tale charm. Today the hotel has an updated look, thanks to Saimi’s design aesthetics, but retains much of the original charm. Guests can eat at the onsite indoor restaurant or opt for a rooftop dining experience, with sweeping views of Finland’s dense forests and Lake Saimaa. Post dinner, guests can also go for a traditional Finnish sauna in the lake and indulge in Finland’s Jokamiehen oikeudet (everyman’s right to nature).
M57 Rooftop Bar on Level 57 Petronas Twin Towers
WHERE: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Under the bright lights of the Petronas Twin Towers, M57 Rooftop bar on Level 57 is the perfect way to unwind with some of the world’s leading cocktail creators. The glass ceiling offers a close-up view of the Towers and panoramic views of the city skyline. Cocktails are inspired by the changing of international seasons, conceived by a single exotic ingredient, and even suggested by guests. Day or night, this is the place to be for an up close and personal view of one of the tallest buildings in the world.
SEA in Anantara Kihavah Villas
WHERE: The Maldives
From one of the highest restaurants, we go to one of the lowest. Anantara Kihavah Villas’ underwater SEA restaurant offers an opportunity to dine with a view of one of the healthiest underwater reefs in the Maldives. The glass sides of the octagonal dining room allow diners a view of marine life swimming around. The waters are so clear that you feel like you can reach out and touch the life swimming past. Breakfast is a specialty at Anantara, but you can also have a nice romantic dinner or a wine-tasting experience with hundreds of fish, sea turtles, eagle rays, and reef sharks swimming by.
Wind View Café
WHERE: Jaipur, India
Wind View Café in Jaipur, India, is located directly opposite Hawa Mahal, Jaipur’s famous pink palace. Night or day, this café offers unparalleled views. It is a great place for those Instagram-worthy photos, admiring the intricate architecture of one of Jaipur’s iconic structures, or just relaxing after a day of sightseeing in the city. It is one of the top best rooftop cafes in Jaipur, serving classics like masala chai, India’s iconic Maggie noodles, and sweet lime sodas, as well as dishes that appeal to a Western palate.
WHERE: British Virgin Islands
Saba Rock, an al fresco main restaurant in the British Virgin Islands, offers a private island-style dining experience with 360-degree views of the ocean, clear skies, and distant mountain ridges. With origins dating back to the 1960s, Saba Rock was put on the map by diving pioneer Herbert “Bert” Kilbride, when he founded his diving base for scuba diving, and launched the legendary Pirates’ Pub—known for being one of the best oceanfront bars in the Caribbean. Since then, visitors from both land and sea have flocked to Saba Rock for a taste of “old” Caribbean, on-the-water adventures, breathtaking scenery, fresh-from-the-sea cuisine, and lively Happy Hours. They even have a nautical collection of artifacts, old engines, Spanish coins, and even an anchor dating back to the 1500s.
Beatles Café Rishikesh
WHERE: Uttarakhand, India
The sleepy Himalayan town of Rishikesh is not only a spiritual hub for Hinduism but is also considered the yoga capital of the world. But this is not the only thing Rishikesh is famous for. In 1968, the Fab Four–John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr–traveled to take part in Transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And today, Beatles Café is a must-visit for all fans. From the huge wall panel done up with vinyl records, an LP player, and books to pictures hanging on every wall, the café itself is dedicated to the Beatles. The open-air feel of the restaurant, the ambiance, the vegan, gluten-free cuisine, and the jaw-dropping, dramatic views of the Holy Ganga as it flows in the gorge below the restaurant are a hit with everyone who visits.
Offshore Rooftop at Sable Hotel
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois
Located at the far East end of Chicago’s Navy Pier, just past the Sable Hotel lobby, Offshore Rooftop offers unencumbered views of Lake Michigan and the city’s famed skyline that cannot be found anywhere else. Celebrated as the world’s largest rooftop, this stunning, multi-seasonal space also boasts a world-class kitchen and full-service bar. In the summer, the floor-to-ceiling glass doors are thrown open for an open-air dining experience with water views all around.
Ragged Point Restaurant
WHERE: Between San Luis Obispo and Big Sur, Highway 1, California
Not many can resist the lure of ragged cliffs, dramatic drop-offs, and raging waves of California’s famous Highway 1. Ragged Point Restaurant has all that and more, where you can enjoy dinner with a Pacific Ocean view. If you’re craving a traditional seated dining experience, you’ll want to claim your own cliffside table. You can then watch the sunset over the Pacific, and after dinner, take a quiet moonlit walk to the edge of the Pacific beneath an umbrella of Monterey Cypress trees. Fresh seafood, regional produce, and local wine offerings give you a delightful taste of Highway 1’s vibrant culinary offerings, all while gazing along the azure horizon.
WHERE: Loen, Norway
Hoven Restaurant in Loen, Norway, is located at the edge of a cliff with panoramic views of Norway’s famous fjord landscapes and can be accessed via the Loen Skylift. Hotel Alexandra, a family-run hotel located in Loen, operates the restaurant, and between the restaurant, grill, bar, and café, there is something for everyone. On a beautiful day, you can even sit outside on the terrace and enjoy stunning views of the fjords. The food features local ingredients and traditional Nordfjord cuisine. Hoven Restaurant is open year-round with special holiday hours.
WHERE: St Johann, Austria
If you want to work for your meal, then the six-kilometer hike up the Hochgrundeck Mountain in St Johann is for you. Heinrich Kienerhaus is a family-run alpine hut sitting at 1,800 meters above sea level and features local fare and traditional Austrian and Bavarian cuisine. On a clear day, you can get 360-degree views of the Austrian Alps everywhere you look. The Hochgrundeck is a powerful place of healing. It is part of the Salzburg Summit Game and is one of the highest forested mountain peaks in Europe. This pet-friendly restaurant is open for day hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, as well as overnight guests, with the majestic alps as your backdrop. With lots of vegan and vegetarian options, it is a place for every type of eater.
I would add Tudor Hall restaruant at King George hotel, Athens to this list with a magnificient view of Acropolist particularly during the dinner time.