For me, I find myself often booking a trip based on the culinary experiences I want to have, and what better reason to get back out on the traveling scene than to try once-in-a-lifetime restaurants? Check out my restaurant bucket list around the world.
Do you keep seeing photos decorating Instagram of a breathtaking restaurant nestled under rock formations that make it appear to be floating in the ocean? Well, this is it. This in-cave dining experience in Puglia, Italy is a must for anyone’s dining bucket list. The chef serves both a tasting menu option along with an Á La Carte menu. Both of these menus range from €190 - €230.
Eating at the Giraffe Manor is an absolute dream of mine - a hotel and restaurant where wild giraffes poke their heads through the windows while you’re eating your meal in an ivy-covered brick mansion. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and private diners at not cost to their overnight guests. However, when they are out-of-season, they will occasionally allow outside visitors to join for meal services depending on the manor’s occupancy. While staying at the manor starts at $2,000 a night with over a year-long wait list, those lucky enough to be able to dine as a guest will only pay between $50 and $90.
I ate lunch here on my first trip to Paris and was completely blown away, so much so that I was able to ignore my looming fear of heights and enjoy the spectacular views of Paris. Oh, did I forget to mention this restaurant is on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower? Their dinner menu ranges from €190 - €230, and their lunch menu is a prix fixe of €135.
Another famous restaurant you’ve probably seen frequently by influencers lies under the sea in the Maldives. This glass restaurant is built under the ocean, where you are surrounded by various fish species in your own life-sized fish tank. However, this restaurant won’t be here for long. Due to corrosion, the estimated lifespan of the construction is 20 years, giving the restaurant only three years before destruction.
Being a major Lord of the Rings nerd, this restaurant is on the top of my list - and in my opinion, one of the coolest restaurants in the world. On The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit’s actual movie set, you can go to a restaurant in The Shire. Inside this hobbit hole, you’ll experience a real hobbit feast ($199), or you can even rent out the restaurant for private events. Don’t want to invest in a whole meal? Stop in on your movie set tour for one of their custom brewed ales, ciders, or ginger beer.
This restaurant is another with world renowned views, overlooking the cave city of Matera. From the outside patio, adorned with fairy lights, you can see the entirety of their unique rocky landscape. Surprisingly, this dream destination is more affordable than you would think - their tasting menu ranging between €40 and €60, and their second course menu ranging from €16 to €24.
In the jungles of Koh Kood, you can enjoy a meal above the treetops with the Treepod dining excursion at the Soneva Kiri Resort. Luckily, you don't have to be a guest at the hotel to secure this excursion (overnight stays can cost upward of $3000 a night). However, this experience doesn't come cheap; the dinner option starting at €330.
While this restaurant may not have a breathtaking view of a european city, or have a thrill seeking element, Alinea is all about offering a dining experience that you’ll never forget. With rosemary air pillows that fluff scent onto your plate, vegetables that are disguised as fruits, and centerpieces that become a part of your dish, Chef Grant Achatz puts on a show for his guests. You must purchase a ticket before dining, where you pay between $210 and $395 depending on the experience you want.
In the far north of the Finish Lapland, in the town of Rovaniemi, you'll find a restaurant & bar made completely of ice and snow. Whether you want a full meal including Lapland favorites such as Roast Elk (dinner starts at 119€ per adult), or just a cocktail, you can do so bundled up with a reindeer pelt here. Not interested in the cold? Check out their Sky Bar, where you can enjoy drinks and snacks while watching the Northern Lights.
Are you an adrenaline junkie who will try anything once? While Dinner in the Sky sounds like my nightmare, it's become a hit all over the world, with over 60 locations in some of the most popular cities to travel to. They offer a variety of different airborne experiences, including dinner, concerts, a cocktail lounge, and even weddings from 150 feet in the air.
What are your favorite restaurants around the world? Let us know in the comments below!