8 of the World’s Most Amazing Floating Restaurants (Slideshow)

From boats to barges and flotillas, here’re some of the best floating eateries across the globe

8. BBQ Donut’s Floating Restaurant Tables, Germany

This restaurant takes waterfront dining to a whole new level — it’s really not a whole restaurant but rather a series of floating tables, part barbecue, part lounge, part table (literally), and part water activity platform. Each restaurant table, which can seat up to 10 people, floats in its own inflatable electric-powered platform in the shape of a giant doughnut that’s about 12 feet across.

What’s special about this floating restaurant is that it can be moved around to wherever you’d like to host your party: rivers, lakes, the ocean, even large pools. And thanks to its super-silent electric propulsion system, (which can cruise at up to 2.5 miles per hour) you can dine in the most serene of locales without disturbing the sensitive aquatic environments. And if you do get bored listening to the sounds of splashing water (or your fellow diners) don’t worry, the doughnut also comes with an onboard speaker system so you can play your favorite music too!

7. The Plastic Dining Room, Canada

The first of its kind in the world, Vancouver’s Plastic Dining Room is an entire floating dining room  made from 1,675 recycled plastic soda-pop bottles, which keep it afloat alongside the False Creek Yacht Club. An initiative of the School of Fish Foundation, this is green dining at its most innovative.

The dining room can seat 12 people and they don’t skimp on the food either. The lavish six-course dinner is provided by C Restaurant and is packed with sustainable seafood options. The goal of the restaurant is really to raise money for the school, which aims to put sustainable seafood programs in culinary schools across the world. 

6. Rustar Dhow Restaurant, Dubai

The Rustar is the world’s biggest wooden floating restaurant and delivers guest a luxury dining experience away from the bustle of Dubai’s streets. The Rustar is a renovated dhow with an Arabian theme and complete with a rock waterfall at the entrance.

The fully air-conditioned dhow drifts down the main creek, giving guests a full view of the city’s night skyline while dining on food catered by the Moven Pick Hotel. There are three decks available with capacity for 397 people On board entertainment includes musicians and henna painting. 

5. Petit Verdot @ Riviera on Vaal, South Africa

The Petit Verdot doubles as a floating restaurant and a luxury hotel barge. As a restaurant, The Petit Verdot can accommodate a 70-guest sit-down dinner or 80 guests for a cocktail event that cruises down the Vaal River. The dinner cruise is the highlight — a moonlit, three-hour-long jaunt by candlelight with two deck levels. The upper level hosts al fresco dining while on the lower level, an enclosed area features a cozier ambience. The food is buffet style and provided by the mainland Riviera Hotel.

4. Veli Lake Floating Restaurant, India

Located in the heart of Kerala State and just eight kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram, Veli Lake is a spectacular natural attraction that flows right into the Arabian Sea. In the center of the lake, locals have built an entire floating village that can only be reached by a series of floating bridges. The beautiful Veli Lake Floating Restaurant is part of this complex, connected to the rest of the floating village with its own tiny floating bridge. Dinner is a seated affair with a selection of spicy dishes from the region prepared with locally produced products.

3. Sea Palace, Amsterdam

Built in 1984, the Sea Palace was the first floating restaurant in the whole of Europe. Three-stories high and topped with a glittering, glazed roof, this giant Chinese pagoda was built in the typical Empiric style and is the showcase of Lake IJ which is its permanent location. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, near Central Station, the beautiful venue delights guests with nighttime views overlooking the city skyline and the menu includes an array of Oriental dishes from various regions throughout China including Cantonese, Sichuan and Beijing specialties. 

2. Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, Hong Kong

Jumbo Kingdom is by far the world’s largest floating restaurant. The palace-styled restaurant can accommodate a whopping 2,300 people in its multipurpose floating complex which includes a gourmet restaurant, tea gardens, and food courts. Located in Aberdeen Harbor on the south side of Hong Kong, Jumbo has been in operation for more than 30 years and can be reached by free shuttle boat from the Aberdeen waterfront. While outside may appear ornate, and perhaps a little over-the-top, the inside has been renovated in a very comfortable, contemporary style.

Jumbo Kingdom specializes in seafood but there is plenty of traditional fare on offer too from Peking duck, to roast goose and dim sum. There are also a variety of seasonal dishes to choose from. 

1. Nusa Penida Floating Restaurant, Indonesia

Just off a tiny island of the same name next to the Bali Island in Indonesia is the Nusa Penida, a massive floating pontoon where you can feast, drink, languish on the sundecks, partake in watersports, and even moor your yacht for the day (if you have one). It’s the very definition of an island paradise with a wide sampling of local food choices — plenty of seafood including grilled fish skewers with delicious satay sauce.

Docked just off Toya Pakeh you can only get to the island by ferry or boat from the mainland. While the restaurant doesn’t boast any a prominent chef or impressive menu, it’s clear the diners are not coming just for the food — Nusa Penida comes in first because the location is hard to beat, and who wouldn’t want to dine near an island getaway with spectacular views and floating in turquoise waters?