Wacky, impressively beautiful or just plain wacky… Here is our selection of 12 unusual places to eat in the world!
Have you ever had lunch in a restaurant set on a rock in the middle of the sea? In a salt mine? In the air, on a platform lifted by a crane? Away from the local bistro, go out of the ordinary and focus on originality with our list of unusual places to eat in the world.
Unbelievable and confusing experiences that alone can justify a trip?
1- The Rock Restaurant, Michamvi Pingwe, Zanzibar
Why don’t you swim to your lunch? That’s what The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar offers. Perched on a rock in the middle of the water, it offers a breathtaking view and refined cuisine with Tanzanian influences. But it is in the way you reach it that its originality lies. Walking in the water, swimming, on a paddle… You are on an island in the Indian Ocean and you can’t feel more on holiday! This magical place is also a fabulous place for a romantic lunch.
2- Grotta Palazzese, Polignano a Mare, Italy
A candlelight dinner in a restaurant on the Italian coast is already a dream come true. So imagine this one carved into a cliff, overlooking the Adriatic Sea? Set in a cave in the village of Polignagno a Mare in Apulia, the Grotta Palazzese is one of the most beautiful and unusual places to eat in the world.
The establishment invites you to dine to the sound of the waves crashing on the rock. The Italian cuisine is traditional, with fresh seafood and an extensive wine list. To prolong the experience, spend a night in one of the rooms of the adjoining hotel!
3- Sounds of Silence, Ayers Rock, Australia
Can’t stand the hustle and bustle of the city? Never mind, we’ll take you to the quietest restaurant in the world. In the middle of the Australian desert in Yulara, only the sound of the didgeridoo may disturb your peace and quiet.
Here, the sunsets are breathtaking and the bush tucker cuisine typical of the Aborigines is delicious. Dance performances immerse you in this traditional culture. After dinner, under starry skies, you’ll get expert advice on how to spot the southern hemisphere’s constellations.
4- Snowland’s Igloo Restaurant, Rovaniemi, Lapland
For a dinner in the fresh air, go to the land of Santa Claus! Put on your most beautiful comforter and get ready for a real adventure. Nestled amidst the snow-covered pines of Lapland, Snowland’s Igloo Restaurant looks like an Ice Palace. From the bar to the tables and chairs, everything is carved out of blocks of ice.
Take out your camera, but keep your gloves close by: it’s -10° C in the room. The illuminated ice sculptures and pretty sparkling candles warm up the atmosphere somewhat. But it’s mostly on the plate that you forget the temperature. Smoking soup, local reindeer and fish specialties, the taste experience is delicious. To make sure you don’t spoil anything, we offer you a drink when you arrive!
5- Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland
If you’re claustrophobic, this restaurant is a place to forget. For the others, this experience at 125 meters deep is worth the detour! Located in a former salt mine, the restaurant l’Auberge des Mineurs (Miners Tavern) in Wieliczka offers light and cheap Polish cuisine… cooked with salt from the mine of course!
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of Poland’s major tourist attractions and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. It would be a pity not to visit it!
6- The Bustronome, London (and Paris)
Forget the classic sightseeing bus tour to see London’s monuments. Better yet, take a seat on board… for dinner! This panoramic and gastronomic tour promises you a unique experience. From the comfort of your seat on the upper deck, you’ll enjoy an incredible view through the Imperial Bus’ glass roof. The city’s major sights pass before your eyes as you savour excellent Franco-British cuisine. Great chefs are officiating for the greatest pleasure of your palate. Best tried in the evening, when the lights of the city give it its best finery. Little info: the Bustronome also exists in Paris.
7- Dans le Noir ?, Paris, France
Didier Roche, in his forties, lost his sight at the age of six in a common accident. It was he who came up with the concept of the Dans le Noir restaurant. The principle? To eat while being completely immersed in darkness. The other senses are then awakened and you find yourself losing your bearings. The menu is a surprise (guessing what you eat is part of the adventure, and it’s not easy!) and served by blind people. This sensory and convivial experience is now available in several countries, but the original restaurant is in Paris, in the 4th arrondissement.
8- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Rangali Island, Maldives
Enjoy a delicious meal somewhere about five meters below sea level… It’s possible in the Maldives! The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant serves gourmet cuisine in the depths of the Indian Ocean. Your table neighbours are nothing but multicoloured fish, manta rays, sharks and barracudas.
On the plate, Maldivian rice, perfectly spiced reef fish and lobster, coconut, curry, pistachios, ginger or vanilla… The Ithaa Undersea is part of the Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa and is worth a visit on a trip to the Maldives.
9- Dinner in the Sky, Brussels, Belgium
You haven’t heard of Dinner in the Sky yet? Born in Brussels in 2006, this unusual and gourmet concept is now being exported all over the world. Seated on a platform that can seat 22 guests, a crane lifts you up for a meal in the air, perched 50 metres above the ground.
The dishes are cooked on the spot and in front of you by a starred chef. From up there, the quality of the dishes is only equalled by the panoramic view of the city of Brussels. Every year, internationally renowned chefs take turns to provide their clients with an exceptional experience.
10- Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, San Pablo, Philippines
Lunch with your feet in the water, what a refreshing concept! Located on the edge of a wonderful little waterfall, the Labassin Waterfall Restaurant offers a unique natural environment. The tables are made of bamboo, we have lunch with our feet tickled by the crystalline water. No need for a mister, the drops of water coming from the waterfall are enough to soften the air.
In this enchanting setting, you can enjoy a traditional Filipino buffet while watching the birds and the local flora. Dance and music performances are often presented. This original establishment is located in the Philippines, in the Villa Escudero Plantations & Resorts hotel complex, built on ancient rice plantations.
11- Ninja New York, New York, USA
In New York, waiters are not very traditional! At least, not the ones at the New York Ninja Restaurant. To get to one of the most unusual places to eat in the world, you have to take an elevator that takes you to an underground Japanese village. There, the tables are laid out in small passages and nooks and crannies.
Dressed as Japanese warriors, the waiters greet you in the manner of samurai and deliver your dish with some facetious acrobatics. Don’t panic : they are friendly and only think of surprising you with their pranks. Japanese cuisine is delicious.
12- Vertigo Restaurant and Moon Bar, Bangkok
Eating your meal on top of a skyscraper can quickly become exhilarating. Both located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel, the Vertigo Restaurant and Moon Bar offer a 360° view of the Thai capital.
Wherever you look, the view is splendid. The shape of the restaurant is unique: its elongated bridge, which overhangs the building, gives the impression of flying over the city! To top it all off, the cocktails are delicious and the menu is well stocked. It’s chic, it’s expensive, but you’re in one of the best rooftops in the world!