Koks: The World's Most Difficult Michelin-Starred Restaurant To Get To

When it comes to unforgettable dining experiences, Koks sets the bar extremely high. According to the restaurant, head chef Poul Andrias Ziska and the crew are dedicated to "exploring the ancient practices" of the Faroe Islands, where the iconic dining establishment is usually found. This island chain, a territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, is situated in the Northeast Atlantic, serving as the midway point between Iceland and Scotland.

As for the ancient practices alluded to by chef Ziska, the restaurant sources many of its ingredients from foods native to the Faroe Islands, while also relying on traditional preparation and cooking techniques. One technique, known as ræst, involves hanging fish or meat in a special drying hut (per My Faroe Islands). To obtain the desired umami flavor, the meat must be subjected to very specific weather conditions for a period of weeks or months. This dedication to upholding the culinary culture of the Faroe Islands resulted in Koks being awarded two Michelin stars. This prestigious honor is just one of many interesting things about the establishment.

A dining adventure you won't forget

In terms of access, finding your way to Koks' Faroe Islands location is nothing short of an epic adventure. As explained in the Michelin Guide, the process isn't quite as simple as pulling up to a valet booth and handing over your car keys. Instead, guests are instructed to arrive at a fermenting hut, where they'll be served lamb broth while awaiting an escort. The next leg of the journey is via a Land Rover capable of traversing the rough road ahead. Upon arriving at Koks, guests are finally ushered to a grass-topped farmhouse, dating back to the 1700s, to enjoy their meal.

While it might seem like the effort required to visit Koks would work against it, this isn't the case. Research and Markets explains that the food tourism industry is booming and expected to continue to rise over the next few years. It's estimated the industry could be worth a whopping $1.8 billion in 2027. Based on these figures, it appears culinary enthusiasts won't be deterred by remote locations, with immersive culinary travel a foodie travel trend set to steal the spotlight.

Intrepid foodies looking for a challenge will also be heartened to know that Koks has recently moved even further off the beaten path, albeit temporarily.

Relocating to even more remote and rugged terrain

Travel and Leisure reports that Koks has moved to the Ilimanaq Lodge in Greenland. To call this a small town is a wild understatement, as Ilimanaq has a population of just 53 people (compared to the population of Koks' previous location, which totaled almost 150). The reasons for the move have much to do with the limitations imposed by the small size of the Faroe Islands' restaurant, which made it challenging to maintain the high standards the establishment is renowned for. There are plans in place to open a larger venue on the Faroe Islands in 2024, making this latest move a temporary one, but there have been building delays.

So, just how remote is Koks' new (temporary) home? According to the Ilimanaq Lodge website, guests must first access Ilulissat — the third largest town in Greenland — via plane from either Copenhagen, Denmark or Reykjavik, Iceland, which should definitely be on your bucket list. Upon reaching Ilulissat, guests take a boat from the town to reach the restaurant. Guests planning a trip for 2023 only have the option of staying one night as part of the Koks Ilimanaq experience. While great effort is required and the stay is relatively brief, the memories made during this excursion are sure to last a lifetime.