Architectural masterpieces are probably best when visited before or after a meal, because you can usually expect a tour that includes a lot of walking and educational information. But what if you could go to these masterpieces for a meal, as opposed to before or after? You’re about to learn that amazing architecture doesn’t just have to be for opera houses. Here are 10 restaurants around the world that are housed in buildings with amazing architecture.
If a restaurant is ambitious with their architecture, you can pretty much guarantee they will be adventurous with their food — unless they are housed in historical buildings and stick to traditional food. Either way, none of these restaurants use their architecture as a ploy to distract you from mediocre fare. The surroundings and the food work together to satisfy — not distract — you.
We found the items on this list by looking through Architectural Digest’s notable restaurants, as well as perusing our list of 25 hard-to-get-to restaurants around the world, because we (rightly) assumed that remote restaurants often have exterior design that makes them stand out from their uncrowded surroundings. While we toyed with the idea of limiting these restaurants to ones located in buildings that look modern and, well, cool, we believe that good architecture integrates the old and the new, the historic and the inventive.
In this article, “amazing architecture” refers to exterior design; we’ll leave restaurants with amazing interior design for another article. However, some restaurants in this list, like 1135 A.D. in Jaipur, are lucky enough to have both. Some restaurants in this list are a part of hotels or palaces that have amazing architecture, but others, like Mexico City’s Tori Tori, are landmarks of their own. While we were tempted to include buildings like Norway’s TrollVeggen Restaurant, the fact that the establishment is a tourist center and cafeteria rather than a table-service restaurant made us exclude it from this list.
If you see that we’ve missed any restaurants with notable architecture on this list, feel free to tweet at us @thedailymeal.
1135 A.D. (Jaipur, India)
Located right on the top of Fort Amer, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits on top of a mountain and looms over the “pink city” of Jaipur, 1135 AD serves North Indian food (try the dal makhani with the Rajasthani khuba roti) as rich and decadent as its décor, which models itself after the dining rooms of Rajput maharajas. Though technically a fort constructed of red sandstone and marble, the fact that it has four levels, each with its own courtyard, makes people often refer to it as a palace.
Britta’s Restaurant (Harads, Sweden)
Britta’s Restaurant, located in Sweden’s Treehotel, an architectural masterpiece consisting of mirror-like boxes suspended among trees, promises unpretentious food that has nothing to do with “Michelin stars, white table clothes and oyster gloves.” You’re likely to find reindeer on their ever-changing menu, as well as delicious homemade ice cream with cloudberries. Treehotel is probably one of the best places in the world to watch the Northern Lights.