The Most Beautiful Restaurants in the World
April 24, 2017
These restaurants are stunning inside and out
The Most Beautiful Restaurants in the World
What exactly makes a restaurant “beautiful”? Is it the interior design? The views? The exterior? Or some combination of all of the above? The answer is most likely even more complicated than that; beauty isn’t just something that’s seen, it’s experienced, and when you’re experiencing beauty, you definitely know it. If you visit any of these 12 restaurants, you’ll definitely experience some serious beauty.
Designed by Roland Terry in 1950 and since gently remodeled nine times by architects and designers including Jean Jongeward, Jim Cutler, and Doug Rasar, this Seattle landmark is an icon of mid-century Modern Northwest architecture. The restaurant is comfortable and refined, with plenty of rustic natural elements and a warm, neutral color palette; little surprises like millstone floors, a Japanese kura door, and stunning bathrooms keep guests pleasantly surprised from the minute they walk through the door. The views of Seattle, Lake Union, and the Cascades through the massive windows are icing on the cake.
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.
La Maison 1888, Da Nang, Vietnam
Chef Michel 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.
Le Grand Véfour, Paris
One of Paris’ earliest society cafés, Le Grand Véfour first opened its doors in the arcades of the Palais-Royal way back in 1784. During the 1800s, the restaurant was redesigned to become one of the finest examples of nineteenth-century neoclassical décor, with large mirrors in gold frames, delicately carved wood paneling, neoclassical paintings, ornate frescoed ceilings, plush red banquettes, and windows overlooking the gardens outside. You can easily imagine Napoleon and Josephine, Victor Hugo, and Jean-Paul Sartre dining here, because they did.
Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Chef Alain Ducasse opened this venerable Monaco institution on a dare from Prince Rainier 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.
Le Meurice, Paris
One of Paris’ most opulent hotels is also home to what’s arguably its most beautiful and refined restaurant. Chef Alain Ducasse has been at its helm since 2013, when a gentle redesign by legendary interior designer Philippe Starck ushered in his reign. The soaring, opulent Louis XVI-style dining room has plenty of marble, ornate chandeliers, and a massive fireplace; as well as some modern touches including Knoll armchairs covered in white leather and a Murano glass sculpture by Aristide Najean. High windows overlook the adjacent Tuileries Gardens.
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.
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.
Restaurant Alexander, Lucerne, Switzerland
Located in the luxurious Hotel Seeburg on the shores of Lake Lucerne, the modern Restaurant Alexander boasts floors, walls, and ceilings made entirely of dark oak. The back wall, however, is one large window, which looks out onto the lake and Mount Pilatus beyond. You might spend so much time gazing out to the fantasy world outside that you’ll forget all about your meal.
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Polignano a Mare, Italy
Set into a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the seasonal restaurant in Puglia’s Hotel Grotta Palazzese is literally nestled inside a limestone cavern. A fabled fine dining spot since Italian nobles first took notice back in the 1700s (they hosted banquets here), today it’s a dramatic grotto with white tablecloths, dark wood floors, and waves cracking directly below your feet.
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 Joshi and their own private dining captain for customized, made-to-taste meals.
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.