10 Most Beautiful Restaurants in the World (Slideshow)
March 10, 2014
10. Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain
On the outside, Mugaritz may seem deceptively simple: a rustic cottage ensconced in a canopy of green, but don’t be fooled into thinking low key translates to low class. Inside, the restaurant is cleverly designed with a cozy modern rustic feel and affords stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz offers some of the best farm-to-table fare in the world, and this gorgeous dining experience will have guests feeling like the most sophisticated country holidaymakers in the world.
9. Hakkasan, Beverly Hills, U.S.A.
Hakkasan might just be the coolest restaurant you’ll ever visit. Intricately decorated to resemble a futuristic nightclub, the venue is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, a prince in Abu Dhabi's royal family. The space is definitely tailored to royalty, from the neon bar to the intimate dining spaces adorned in a contemporary tip-of-the-hat to art nouveau. The menu is classic Cantonese in elegant fashion. The restaurant is dim, but look carefully, you might spot a Kardashian, or even Gordon Ramsey, who’s been known to frequent.
8. Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
The original Maiden's Tower was constructed in 1110, and legend has it that the tower was built by an emperor to protect a beloved daughter, prophesied to die on her 18th birthday by snakebite. On her birthday, the prophecy came true, and the poor girl was said to have died in her father’s arms right there at the top of the tower. Today, however, the tower is pest controlled and used as a truly unique restaurant offering spectacular panoramic views of the city and the old-world ambiance of the Byzantine era.
7. L’Opera, Paris, France
Like the best French food, architect Odile Decq’s L’Opera can only be described as decadent. From the plush red carpets and upholstery to the chic domed ceiling, this restaurant is rich, posh, and all the other adjectives that spring to mind when the topic is Paris. The food is French, of course, and diners will feel that they’ve stepped onto a movie set to film a scene in which two beautiful strangers fall in love over a feast.
6. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
Guests at this gorgeous hotel are invited to step outside the traditional restaurant setting and are welcome to dine on the Mewar Terrace, overlooking both the Monsoon and City Palaces and beautiful Lake Pichola, or beside the romantic lily pond. The menu is also changeable, as guests are invited to collaborate with chef Manish and their own private dining captain for customized, made-to-taste meals.
5. Tori Tori, Polanco, Mexico
Architect Michel Rojkind’s Tori Tori is visually stunning, both inside and out. The restaurant is housed in a massive contemporary sculpture, which Rojkind intended to suggest the creeping ivy that surrounds the retaining walls, and each room within is meant to evoke some Earthy element, be it grass, wood, or lush vegetation. The menu is a twist on traditional sushi service, offering standard sushi fare along with exciting new takes on classics.
4. La Maison 1888, Da Nang, Vietnam
Chef Michael Roux opened his first restaurant in Asia in a sprawling, multilevel French mansion. Nestled on the side of a hill, diners at La Maison 1888 are treated to spectacular views of the water, but they might forget to look outside as they wander through the multiple, exquisite dining rooms, accented with eclectic knick-knacks from all over the world. The menu is worldly as well, blending classical French with contemporary Asian for a masterful and surprising dining experience.
3. Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Chef Alain Ducasse opened this venerable Monaco institution on a dare from Prince Ranier III, who bet the chef that it was impossible to win three Michelin Stars in four years. The prince was wrong, and one of the world’s greatest restaurants, Le Louis XV, was born. The food is classical French, and the interior is nothing short of astonishing, with glittering crystal virtually dripping from the magnificently high ceilings. Truly, an experience fit for a king.
2. The Four Seasons, New York, U.S.A.
This beacon of modern dining is truly part museum and part restaurant. Opened in 1959, the building was designed by architectural superstar Miles van der Rohe, the interior by design luminary Phillip Johnson. Their intention was to combine art, architecture, and food to create a dining experience like no other. The Four Seasons was designated an interior landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1989, and even the glassware and chairs have appeared in museum exhibitions. Along with their James Beard Award winning meals, diners at the Four Seasons are treated to up close viewings of Picasso's Le Tricorn curtain, which has hung on the wall connecting the restaurant's two dining rooms since its opening, although the curtain may currently be in danger. This restaurant is a genuine triumph of American architecture and should not be missed by anyone who appreciates fine art, fine food, or both.
1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
To gain entrance into this unusual restaurant — the first of its kind in the world — guests must descend a spiral staircase at the end of a long jetty. Once inside, they find themselves in Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, dining beneath a clear acrylic canopy, viewing the ocean from underneath like fairy-tale mermaids, as they’re treated to a scrumptious modern European menu.