Maldives Restaurants

It’s uncommon for visitors to dine anywhere other than the resort at which they are staying. Island-hopping in the Maldives isn’t a viable option. Most resorts have a number of different restaurants ranging from casual beachside to specialty restaurants (such as Mongolian or seafood) or fine dining. You’ll find that once in your little bit of paradise you really won’t want to leave it. However, if your resort is within reach of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island by speedboat, and you have dollars to spare, then a meal at Ithaa, their underwater restaurant, is a memorable (and very pricey—US$400 minimum) option. If you choose to stay overnight in Malé (primarily a choice for more adventurous travelers) then stick with our recommended restaurants or seek highly recommended ones from reliable sources.

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  • 1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island


    Dining at Ithaa ("mother-of-pearl" in Dhivehi) is the experience of a lifetime. The simple thatch-roof entrance appears to suggest just another water villa on stilts, but when you go in, you descend 16 feet (5 m) under the Indian Ocean to an extraordinary all-glass venue with 180-degree panoramic views, where you can watch thousands of brightly colored fish and other creatures of the deep dart, float, mooch, glide or swim above and around you. The décor has been kept deliberately understated so as not to compete with nature itself —simple wooden tables and chairs, plain white crockery, wooden floors. There's a 4-course lunch menu every day and a 6-course set dinner menu in the evening. Think caviar, truffles, lobster, duck, chocolate pralines (a superb contemporary European menu), plus a wine menu of over 20,000 bottles. If your pocket isn't deep enough for the lunch and dinner prices, settle for a mid-morning cocktail.

    Rangali Island, Alif Dhaal Atoll, 20077, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Reservations essential, Jacket required
  • 2. Sala Thai Restaurant


    Said to be the best Thai restaurant in the Maldives (though for balance we should point out it doesn't have many rivals), this place secures its authentic status by having fresh ingredients flown in from Thailand on a regular basis. The décor is more Bangkok than Malé—all the better to enjoy spicy red beef curry or delicious pad thai noodles. Service is friendly and professional and the setting is relaxed.

    Hithaffinvaa Magu, Malé, Kaafu Atoll, 2004, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch Fri.
  • 3. Al Barakat


    You need to be a guest at the amazing Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru to dine at this rooftop Lebanese/Moroccan restaurant named after the Arab scholar who introduced Islam to the Maldives. It overlooks the brilliant blues of the Indian Ocean, and its amazing sunset views complement the couscous with marinated lamb chops or falafel. Conjuring up images of 1001 Arabian Nights, there is a more down-to-earth hookah lounge on the ground floor where you can puff a shisha water pipe.

    Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch., Must be a guest of the Four Seasons, Reservations essential
  • 4. Jazz Café


    This simple and laid back central Malé restaurant gives visitors a chance to enjoy a range of affordable dishes, from couscous to hamburgers, in a relaxed and informal dining atmosphere. As the name hints, there is often live music provided by local Maldivian groups, although—as the name slightly misleads—it covers all genres and styles and is not restricted to jazz.

    Haveeree Hingun, Malé, Kaafu Atoll, 20282, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Fri.
  • 5. Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky.


    This dining complex in the Anantara Kihavah Villas resort is actually four restaurants in one, but you'll need to be a guest here to enjoy the food. Sky is a rooftop bar that serves tapas and is perfect for sunset cocktails. Salt offers a range of fish and meat dishes served on salt blocks to add depth of flavor. Fire is a Teppanyaki lounge where Japanese chefs theatrically prepare dishes before your eyes. But the real showstopper is Sea, an extraordinary and romantic underwater cellar–restaurant with panoramic glass windows where parades of colorful tropical fish glide past as you dine on gourmet creations. Only Sea has breakfast on Sundays (reservations essential), and lunch every day.

    Kihavah Huravalhi Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch except at Sea, Must be a guest of Anantara, Reservations essential
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  • 6. The Sea House


    Serving an eclectic menu that ranges from beef stroganoff to fish curry to pizza, this restaurant which is very touristy, nevertheless offers great seaside views because it sits on a waterside jetty beside the ferry terminal. Granted, part of that view is the airport on the neighboring island, but time your visit right and a glorious tropical sunset is yours at no additional cost. By day, it's fun to watch the little seaplanes that service the resorts taking off and landing. There is also free Wi-Fi, and live music in the evenings.

    Marine Drive, Malé, Kaafu Atoll, 20057, Maldives

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch Fri.

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