In our hectic everyday lives, it’s all too easy to grab takeout for a quick meal. So it can be nice to take the time to sit back and actually enjoy a true dining experience — bonus if it’s in a setting that inspires and wows you. There are breathtaking restaurants all over the world that put as much effort in their extraordinary decor as they do in their dishes: Here are 45 that are so stunning you may just forget they also serve food.
Underwater, on a cliff, in a former chapel — click through to see some of the most amazing places to enjoy a meal (and a view) around the globe.
Kitty Burns, Melbourne, Australia:
We can't think of a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than sitting in this minimalist cafe, taking in the high ceilings, greenery, geometric blond wood touches, and pale turquoise tiled bar.
Altitude at Shangri-La, Sydney, Australia:
Head up to the 36th floor of the Shangri-La hotel for an unobstructed view of Sydney's most iconic landmarks: Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and Sydney Harbour.
Steirereck, Vienna, Austria:
This ultra-modern restaurant has a mirrored exterior facade and floor-to-ceiling windows to create a clean, bright atmosphere. Inside, diners enjoy a two-Michelin-starred high-dining experience.
Cook & Book, Brussels, Belgium:
This hybrid bookstore/restaurant actually has nine different themed bookstores and dining experiences under two roofs — have a snack in a converted airstream in the travel section, dine under a ceiling of books in the novel section, or take tea in the English section.
The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium:
Housed in a former chapel, The Jane is a stunning work of design that offers Michelin-rated food. The restaurant has two floors with industrial chic decor, preserved stained glass windows, and an impressive modern chandelier that fills the space under the vaulted chapel ceiling.
Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China:
At first glance, the dining room at Ultraviolet may seem boring: There are no windows or decor and just one table that seats 10. However, the room is deceptively tricked out in multi-sensory technology. Each of the 20 courses is uniquely enhanced via LED lights, table and wall projections, infrared cameras, scent diffusers, and surround sound, providing a truly immersive dining experience.
Fangweng, Yichang, China:
In the Happy Valley of Xiling Gorge in the Hubei Province, mountain trekkers can eat at this unique restaurant built into the side of a vertical cliff. A narrow, vertigo-inducing bridge takes you to a natural cave, which has been transformed into a dining room overlooking the Yangtze River. (Photo via Walter Bibikow/Getty)
Playa Grande Beach Club, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic:
This nine-bungalow resort on the rugged north coast of the Dominican Republic has traditionally Dominican colonial architecture and beachy boho decor: Think patterned woodwork, wicker chairs, tiled floors, and pastel colors. The light-filled clubhouse serves as the lobby, bar, and restaurant — and it's the ideal spot to enjoy some Caribbean fare or a few mojitos.
German Gymnasium, London, England:
England's first gymnasium was built in 1865 for the German Gymnastics Society, and it hosted London's first Olympics in 1866. The two-story building is now a stunning space with a grand cafe, restaurant, two bars, and a terrace. Definitely the best reason to hit the gym.
The Gallery at Sketch, London, England:
This pink dream looks straight out of a Wes Anderson film
. British artist David Shrigley's original drawings line the walls, which you can admire during afternoon tea or dinner.
Wildwood Kitchen, London, England:
Wildwood Kitchen sits in the entrance of an old shopping center, and the main dining room is located under a tall domed glass atrium. The teal furniture adds a pop of color to the already bright space. (Photo via Design Command
Le Panoramic, Chamonix, France:
Le Panoramic provides extreme mountaintop dining — about 8,300 feet above sea level. The restaurant has amazing views of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, and half the fun is getting there via gondola or cable car.
Le Grand Canyon du Verdon, Aiguines, France:
At this hotel located on a cliff in southeastern France, you can enjoy your meal while looking out on the Gorges du Verdon, a river canyon formed by the turquoise-colored Verdon River.
Le Jules Verne, Paris, France:
When in the City of Light, there's nothing more iconic than visiting the Eiffel Tower: Le Jules Verne allows you to have a meal inside it as well. Look out on Paris below while you indulge in famous chef Alain Ducasse's Michelin-starred menu.
Les Bains - La Salle-à-Manger, Paris, France:
Les Bains has quite a history: It was built as a private bath house in 1885, served as a hot nightclub beginning in 1978 (Andy Warhol, Bono, and Naomi Campbell were among the guests), and finally turned into a boutique hotel in 2011. The restaurant inside is a "neo-brasserie," complete with striking ceiling domes, mahogany furniture, and a retro vibe.
Cristal Room at Maison Baccarat, Paris, France:
Maison Baccarat is housed in the former mansion of French artist Marie-Laure de Noailles. Baccarat has created its famous crystalware for noble families all over the world, and dining in The Cristal Room — with opulent decor and grand crystal chandeliers — will likely make you feel like royalty as well.
Épure, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong:
Yes, Épure is located inside the massive Harbour City shopping center, but it is not your typical mall restaurant. The Michelin-rated restaurant serves fine French food in a dining room inspired by French royalty. One side of the restaurant has booths set in front of a continuous mural of King Louis XIV’s hunting forest.
Grotta Palazzese, Polignano a Mare, Italy:
You're in good company if you dine at this candlelit cave restaurant, which sits above the Adriatic Sea: Italian nobility has hosted elegant dinners here since the 1700s.
La Sponda, Positano, Italy:
Located inside Le Sirenuse Hotel, La Sponda is draped in romantic vines and candlelight and looks out to the idyllic Amalfi Coast. And the food is nothing to scoff at either: The restaurant boasts a Michelin star.
Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant, Diani Beach, Kenya:
This romantic restaurant is a converted cave thought to be between 120,000 and 180,000 years old. Its interlinking chambers provide various dining areas, and the natural holes in the cave's ceiling provide skylights perfect for enjoying a seafood dinner underneath the stars.
Liza Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon:
Lebanese restaurateur Liza Asseily's Beirut eatery (she also has a restaurant in Paris) is housed in a 19th-century palace. The interior is airy and bright with Moorish touches, and each of the four rooms has a distinctive theme demonstrated by its patterned wallpaper (including banana leaves, skyscrapers, and the country's former currency). (Photo via Marco Pinarelli)
While the Maldives is generally known for over-the-water bungalows, at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel, you can dine under the water. Ithaa is an all-glass restaurant 16 feet below the sea where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding coral reefs and have a meal among local marine life.
Hueso, Jalisco, Mexico:
Hueso means "bone" in Spanish, and this restaurant is true to its name. The monochromatic interior has minimalist furniture so you can focus on the decor: handmade tiles and 10,000 collected animal bones.
Stratosfare Restaurant, Queenstown, New Zealand:
After riding up the Skyline Queenstown Gondola — the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere — grab a bite at their Stratosfare Restaurant while you take in views of the city, mountains, and Lake Wakatipu.
Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant, San Pablo City, Philippines:
It's no shoes, no problem at this restaurant. Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant invites diners to eat traditional Filipino food at the base of a small waterfall on a former coconut plantation. The water is the runoff from the Labasin Dam, the first hydroelectric plant in the country.
Biutiful by the Lake, Bucharest, Romania:
The summer-only outdoor restaurant is located on a floating terrace on the banks of Herastrau Lake. Airy, bright, and full of colorful decor, Biutiful is truly beautiful.
The White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia:
Instead of heading down the rabbit hole, go up to the 16th floor and dine under a glass dome overlooking Moscow. The food is modern Russian, and the colorful interior provides a whimsical nod to Alice in Wonderland
Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain:
Spain's Basque Country is known as a gastronomical destination, and at Azumendi the deliciously inventive food (three-Michelin-star rated) is served in a modern, sustainable building. There's also a rooftop vegetable garden, an indoor greenhouse, and giant windows displaying the countryside.
Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain:
The food at this Spanish restaurant is inventive (the three chefs are from El Bulli, the former molecular gastronomy mecca known for being the best restaurant in the world), as is the decor. The white dining room was inspired by fishing villages, and a corridor lined with patterned ceramic tiles runs through the open kitchen.
OneOcean Club, Barcelona, Spain:
The reflective ceilings, white lattice walls, and hanging plants inside this restaurant help create an airy space that brings the calm waterfront views into the dining room.
Hotel Cort, Mallorca, Spain:
The restaurant inside this small boutique hotel has incredible details: The floors are made of 15 different mosaics, the room is lit with various lamps and chandeliers, and the decor is awash with blue and ultramarine to represent the nearby Mediterranean Sea.
Aescher, Wasserauen, Switzerland:
To get to this Swiss cliffside restaurant, you can hike several hours or take a cable car to Ebenalp (the northernmost summit of the Appenzell Alps) and then hike down. The mountain inn was used by hermits and herders as far back as 1800 and now houses this restaurant with views that are worth the trek.
Piz Gloria, Mürren, Switzerland:
This mountaintop rotating restaurant sits on the Schilthorn summit, over 9,700 feet above sea level in the Bernese Alps. Scenes from the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service
were filmed here, so there are 007 touches throughout the restaurant, including a bar where you can sip on a martini (shaken, not stirred, naturally).
The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar, Tanzania:
Originally a fisherman's post, this simply (and aptly) named restaurant sits on a rock in the Indian Ocean, off the shore of Michanvi Pingwe beach. Depending on the tide, restaurant access is by foot or boat.
Shugaa, Bangkok, Thailand:
Who says you can't eat cake for dinner? This Thai dessert bar will fulfill your sweet tooth with its almost-too-cute-to-eat confections, candy-colored interior, and sugar cube spiral staircase.
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand:
At this resort, you can enjoy a meal high in the rainforest. The intimate bamboo tree pod is 15 feet above ground, with ocean views, and the waitstaff zip-line to serve your table.
The Grotto, Krabi, Thailand:
There's cave diving, and there's cave dining. You can do the latter at the Rayavadee Resort in picturesque Krabi, under limestone cliffs on the sandy edge of Phranang Beach.
Baan Rim Pa Patong, Phuket, Thailand:
This is beachside dining at its best: Baa Rim Pa is an open air, two-story teakwood house on a cliff with sweeping views of Patong Beach and sunset views to die for.
71Above, Los Angeles, CA, US
: On the 71st floor of the US Bank Tower, in the former executive suite, 71Above is high dining in a contemporary space. The best part of the meal, though, is its 360-degree view of the City of Angels.
Commissary, Los Angeles, CA, US:
At the hipster LINE hotel in Los Angeles' Koreatown, you can find one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in the city: Commissary, an eatery inside an urban greenhouse with a menu that pays particular attention to vegetables.
Parq, San Diego, CA, US:
This Gaslamp-district restaurant features roll-up garage doors and a chandelier-lit tunnel that leads to an adjoining 20,000 square foot nightclub. The restaurant looks like a technicolor urban forest with an open ceiling, indoor trees, living walls, and twinkling lights.
Leo's Oyster Bar, San Francisco, CA, US:
Relive the golden era in this glam oyster bar, where you can wash down your seafood with a craft cocktail or two. At Leo's, the bar is brass and onyx, the walls are lined with tropical wallpaper, and the Champagne is always flowing. (Photo via Brittany Griffin)
Cecconi's, Miami Beach, FL, US:
The beachy, open-air vibes are part of the reason why this is the
place to see and be seen. Located in the courtyard of Soho Beach House, Cecconi's serves beautiful food to beautiful people in a beautiful setting.
ABC Kitchen, New York, NY, US:
You wouldn't expect to find a high-end farm-to-table restaurant inside a home-design store, but this is New York, and anything is possible. White brick walls, white furniture, and rustic wood beams overhead — this is the chic farmhouse you've been dreaming of.
Milk and Roses, Brooklyn, NY, US:
If there were ever a perfect date spot, this would be it. Enjoy the southern-Italian-influenced food inside at a cozy booth among book-lined walls, or try the rustic courtyard, which is so romantic that summer weddings are held here.
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