Let’s face it, half of travel is all about finding incredible places to eat. Italy for pizza and gelato, France for Escargot, and Spain for the paella: it’s always great being in a new country and savoring a local cuisine. There truly are thousands of unbelievable restaurants around the world, but let’s just try our top ten international spots. Here are our top 10 bucket list restaurants around the world:
1) Ristorante Grotta Palazzese
This incredibly romantic restaurant is scenically situated on the Italian coast, carved into a limestone cave. Although the Grotto Palazzese is isolated in the small town of Polignano a Mare (in Southern Italy), the setting and views of the Adriatic sea are breathtaking. It might be a good honeymoon spot.. or first date spot if you can pull it off.
2) Sukiyabashi Jiro
If you’ve seen the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” you know why this spot is on the list. Jiro Ono is considered by many to be the best sushi chef in the world, and this restaurant of his is a three star Michelin restaurant hidden in a Tokyo subway station. It only has ten seats, but arguably has some of the best sushi in the world. If you’re in Japan, it’s worth checking out.
Culiair is the world’s only “hot-air balloon restaurant,” complete with an extraordinary Dutch chef and wonderful surrounding views to enjoy. Is it worth the price of about 4oo Euros? We’ll let you decide on that one, but we can definitely agree that it is unique, innovative, and has quite a view. And something related to hot air balloons is always on a “bucket list” so it’s definitely appropriate to add it to our “bucket list restaurants” list.
4) Ithaa Undersea Restaurant
We can’t write a list about international spots without mentioning the world’s only undersea restaurant, located about 17 feet below water in the Maldives. The food is delicious, incredible coral reefs and swimming fish dominate every view, and the entire place really is one of a kind. Part of you might want to try their seafood, while another part of you might want to try a salad, given your surrounding audience. Either way, it’s a pretty sweet restaurant.
5) Sobrino de Botín
Botín, located in Madrid, is the world’s oldest restaurant, founded in 1725 by a French cook. In addition, Botín was also one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite spots- well known for its famous suckling pig paired with Spanish wine. A lot of restaurants on this list are hard destinations to visit, but this is a great choice simply because it is in Madrid. If you’re in the city, be sure to stop by Botín.
6) The Grotto
We’re big fans of beaches, so what can be better than a restaurant on one of the world’s most famous beaches in Thailand? This place is seriously so cool. The Grotto is in a limestone cave on Phranang beach, with beautiful views of the renowned islands in the bay. Sink your toes into the sand, savor the food, and enjoy the view. Once again, this is not a bad date spot…
7) Hotel Edelweiss
We’ve mentioned restaurants in beaches and caves, so out of fairness we must mention a mountain spot as well. Edelweiss is in Switzerland’s incredible Jungfrau region (one of our favorite places) and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The image should speak for itself in terms of what this place offers (and the food is spectacular). If you’re in Switzerland, go give it a try.
8) Soroi Serengeti Lodge
This is another one we can personally vouch for. Soroi’s restaurant has incredible views of the Tanzanian landscape and world-class food, while also allowing you to watch giraffes, elephants, and more as you eat. Definitely go at sunset for dinner (or sunrise for breakfast) and enjoy the natural spectacle. And because Soroi is so isolated, we’ll bet you’re probably one of the only people eating there.
9) Osteria Francescana
As you can tell, one main reason we like restaurants is for the views- but Osteria is a spot with internationally acclaimed food. Led by chef Massimo Bottura, Osteria was voted “Best Restaurant in Europe in 2017” and it has been ranked in the top five best restaurants in the world since 2011. It might cost you a few hundred euros (and might look more like art than food) but kudos to you if you try it.
10) The Dinner the Night before the Palio Race
This is an odd one to end the list (because it is technically not a restaurant), but man oh man is this an awesome dinner, which only happens once a year but has occurred for over 700 years consecutively. The Palio di Siena is an incredible horse race that has happened every year since 1281, but few people know about the dinner beforehand- where long tables snake through the narrow city streets to feed about 25,000 locals. The energy of the dinner is palpable, the food is incredible, and the experience is unforgettable.
This completes our list for ten bucket list restaurants. Hopefully you’re either salivating or inspired to travel, but if you have any restaurants you think should be added to this list, feel free to comment below. If you are hoping to find more incredible restaurants in different cities, be sure to use the Rayka app to find the best spots in every city based on the input of people you know and trust. The app will launch in June on the App Store! Until then, keep wandering, and be sure to check out some of these restaurants.
- Grotta Palazzese by http://globalcitiesdialogue.com/visit-these-10-stunning-secret-places-of-the-world/
- “Octopus Sashimi at Sushi with gold flakes at Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi Hills”by Azchael is licensed under CC BY 2.0
- Culiair by http://www.culiair.nl/#!en/
- Ithaa by http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maldives/conrad-maldives-rangali-island-MLEHICI/amenities/restaurants-ithaa.html
- “Sobrino de Botin” by Candy Tale is licensed under CC BY 2.0
- Rayavadee by http://www.luxurytraveljourneys.com/2012/rayavadee-luxury-resort-krabi-thailand/
- Hotel Edelweiss by http://www.edelweiss-muerren.ch/en/restaurant/garden-terrace.html
- Soroi by http://www.mbalimbali.com/soroi-serengeti-lodge-mbali-mbali/
- Osteria Francescana by http://www.osteriafrancescana.it