World's 30 Best Restaurants for Sunset Slideshow
June 19, 2013
In addition to excellent food, these restaurants provide breathtaking views
30. Solymar Beach Restaurant & Bar in Mykonos, Greece
With a casual-chic bright interior inside a thatch-covered dining room, stunning views of Kalo Livadi Beach on the south side of the island, hip DJing, and delicious bites, it’s no wonder beautiful people flock to Mykonos’ boozy play land, Solymar, which appropriately translates to "sun and sea." The volume cranks up at sunset, when fabulous cliques dive into the watermelon, feta, and tomato salad. Also make sure to get your well-manicured hands on some baked feta with grapes and braised octopus with crab.
29. La Birreria at Eataly in New York City
Enjoy the contrast of the sun sharpening the cityscape of Manhattan from the rooftop at La Birreria at Eataly, the expansive gourmet food market masterfully run by curatorial co-owners and chefs Mari Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and her son, Joe. Beloved dishes are the fried shitake mushrooms with sage, the beer and apricot pork shoulder, and the braised chicken cacciatore. And did we mention they brew their own beers in their own on-site microbrewery? Score!
28. Sharky’s on the Pier, Venice, Fla.
Go for the casual sunset seafood at Venice, Fla.’s popular beachfront restaurant located on the Gulf in the Shark Tooth Capital of the World (who knew?) Start the night off right with the Beach Party — a platter of peel-and-eat shrimp, fried shrimp, grouper nuggets, and onion rings, and wash it down with a cold beer as the rosy sunset sets the mood. Then munch on mahimahi tacos, a mango BBQ pork sandwich or lump crabcake sandwich. Sharky’s is so popular, it's working on an expansion this year.
27. Astor Bar, Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janiero
Directly across from Ipanema Beach, you can watch the sun go down at Rio’s new hot spot, Astor Bar, which expanded after its fabulous success in São Paulo. Try Picadinho Astor, a beef stir-fry or steak tartare and traditional feijoada. Wash it down with a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil.
26. Mountain Room Restaurant & Lodge at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Yosemite, Calif.
For nature lovers, the Mountain Room Restaurant features a boast-worthy unique sunset scene of the 2,424-foot high Yosemite Falls. An emphasis on organic and sustainable ingredients shines on the menu with dishes like Cajun-spiced rainbow trout and an endive and local crab salad.
25. Pearl in Wellfleet Harbor, Cape Cod, Mass.
Go to Pearl for the ultimate Cape Cod dining experience and captivating sunset views of the harbor, Mayo Beach, and Great Island. Locals and seasonal tourists flock to this seafood joint, so get there early to ensure the best table… which will soon be covered with plates of fresher-than-fresh Wellfleet oysters on the half-shell, littlenecks, traditional clam chowder, and a fried fisherman’s platter with scallops, cod, whole belly clams, oysters, calamari, and shrimp. This is a picture of New England at its best.
24. Sunset Terrace at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.
Sit on the outdoor terrace and you won’t believe the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at this upscale American restaurant, which is an eight-time recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Hand-cut steaks like the bone-in porterhouse and sirloin are favored, as well as the classic rack of lamb. Don’t worry vegetarians: the chef excels at the vegetable ratatouille with olive oil polenta, too. And brace yourself for the stunning view — they call it Sunset Terrace for a reason.
23. The Skyline Queenstown Restaurant in Queenstown, New Zealand
After a gondola ride up a mountain, watch the sun go down on the hilly green landscape of Queenstown, New Zealand. Dig into Manuka honey-smoked Akaroa salmon, local roast meats, kiwi Pavlova, and New Zealand beers and wines at this experience-oriented eatery.
22. Tsunami in Baton Rouge, La.
Tsunami is off the beaten track — it’s a rooftop sushi restaurant in Baton Rouge with fantastic views of the Mississippi River highlighted in bold sunset hues of orange, red, yellow, and purple. Begin with their famous eggplant miso, tempura-floured eggplant and shrimp in a sweet miso sauce, then make your way to the restaurant’s sushi rolls with flair like the Michael Doumit Roll — fried soft-shell crab, masago, avocado, and Tsunami sauce — or the Ragin’ Cajun — panko-fried alligator, avocado, masago and Tsunami sauce. Finally, gorge on the crispy, twice-cooked duck finished with a raspberry hoisin drizzle.
21. Iguana Grill on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas
Austin is the precious and exotic green oasis tucked into hot and arid Texas. Beyond being the live music capital of the world, did you know that Austin is also called the sunset capital of Texas? And for a good reason. While the trendy Oasis restaurant is a hit for sunset views and margaritas, head over to the more low-key, reasonably priced, and delicious Tex-Mex joint, Iguana Grill, which overlooks the impressive Lake Travis spotted with the white sails of local boat enthusiasts. Get the large Mexican rum punch or house margarita and don’t miss the chili con queso and black drum fish tacos with pineapple, habanero onions, and chipotle coleslaw beneath the great big Texas sky.
20. The Terrace Bar at The Ashbee Hotel in Taormina, Italy
Recline in a wicker lounge chair at the stylish rooftop Terrace Bar for fun sunset cocktails or champagne with the bright blue Mediterranean waters in the backdrop and panoramic views of Italy's southern peninsula. Then go to the hotel’s St. George Restaurant for a fine dining experience (dress for the occasion).
19. Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower in Paris
If you find yourself in Paris, naturally the view doesn’t get better (or wider) than at the top of the Eiffel Tower at the acclaimed Alain Ducasse restaurant Le Jules Verne. Explore the establishment’s high design and superb menu, created with the precision of a diamond cutter, while you sip champagne and watch the romantic sun sink into the City of Lights. Try the foie gras de canard confit, pan-seared frog legs, and roasted pigeon with fava beans and garden peas, followed by the rhubarb tartlet.
18. The Hilltop Restaurant at Biras Creek Resort in the British Virgin Islands
This treasure is so remote it can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, which means only the most devoted travelers and food lovers make it to this exclusive British Virgin Islands destination resort resting between two fertile hills on a peninsula. Here, the sun can be seen setting over the calm North Sound lagoon, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Dress up and head to the Hilltop for a perfect sunset over the North Sound with creative cocktails. Savor seared tuna with wilted romaine and black olive and shallot dressing, pan-roasted red snapper with a spicy ratatouille, or a spiced-rub lollipop pork chop with bacon mashed potatoes and island rum sauce, followed by coconut panna cotta with mango sorbet.
17. SFX Bar and Longue at the Vivanta by Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Goa, India
Chill out with great lounge beats at the SFX bar in the ultra-luxurious Goa resort that boasts spectacular Indian sunset views and sleek décor. Get the signature Tandoori chicken cornet and ham and cheese wontons and a couple of pineapple mojitos for a tropical ode to this happening beach spot.
16. The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Location, location, location. This charming hideaway rests next to the sea on the lush Isle of Skye, which is exactly why you should order the local fruits de mer or the bacon-wrapped monkfish with squid, root vegetables, Husabost carrots, braised lentils, and parsley relish. For dessert, toasted almond Genoise with a prune, pear, and armagnac parfait and Earl Grey syrup should do the trick.
15. Asiate at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City
The elegant Asiate occupies spectacular prime real estate in Manhattan, and chef Toni Robertson seriously holds court with stunning seasonal offerings like summer corn velouté with Maine lobster or Atlantic halibut with citrus sabayon. The cocktail list is equally inventive and well executed, with options like the Asian Poire, featuring a smooth combo of Purity vodka, pear nectar, passion fruit purée, almond syrup, and sparkling sake. Enjoy one at a corner table overlooking Columbus Circle.
14. Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif.
Chic and creative twists on classic tavern favorites under the California sun overlooking the Pacific Ocean keep you dreaming at the St. Regis in Dana Point, Calif. This Tony Chi-designed tiled tavern offers a burger with black truffle cheese and a root beer float, or you can kick it up a notch with Kurobuta pork short ribs braised in riesling with stone fruits, white polenta, and ginger. Or, stick a fork into the lobster pie with fennel and brandied lobster cream sauce. Order the Chauvinist cocktail — beyond the name, what’s not to love about the killer combo of Basil Hayden’s bourbon, fresh citrus juice, peppercorn and hefeweizen beer?
13. Aqua Taverna in Mykonos, Greece
Dance into the evening at Aqua Taverna with a picturesque view of the sea and surrounding windmills, seafood pasta, and feta wrapped in phyllo with honey and sesame and poppy seeds, and some of the best-priced, crispest white wines on the island. Go for the relaxed and cool adventure.
12. Hacienda Cocina y Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Savor beachfront views at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina as you take in the sunset shadowing the famous Land’s End rocks and enjoy the no-frills experience of casero — or homemade — Mexican cuisine enhanced by local ingredients. Don’t pass up the cool local tequila list, either. Start by sharing the sea bass ceviche with tomatillo sauce; the house salad with strawberry, mango, goat cheese, jicama, and tamarind vinaigrette; the fried calamari with poblano peppers and avocado cream; and the smoked marlin empanadas with cotija cheese and chile oil, and, extra belt loops permitting, try the rich chicken mole.
11. Kula’s Restaurant at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania
Get away from it all and escape with a date to the African-oriented Kula’s at the Four Seasons, where you will be surrounded by the captivating image of the orange sun warming the World Heritage-listed plains of the Serengeti. Expect theater-style cooking using local African produce like yams, plantains, mangos, oranges, and ugali (white corn polenta), plus great wines, an extensive cocktail menu, a mod interior, and exceptional service.
10. Beach House Restaurant, Kauai, Hawaii
At Beach House Restaurant, Watch the sun dip into the Pacific waves while you munch on slow-braised pork with sweet and spicy onion marmalade and mandarin orange-star anise gastrique, seafood corn chowder with rock shrimp and fresh fish, and the island’s catch of the day fish sautéed in macadamia nut butter. Local food is the name of the game (praise to the chefs for seriously supporting the fishing community).
9. La Tantina de la Playa in Bidart, France
If you love food you have to travel for, then look no further than this hard-to-find gem in Bidart, hidden down the Plage du Centre leading down a cliff. But once you get to this upscale seafood shack, you’ll be rewarded with very fresh fish of the day. And don’t miss the classic fish soup. Simplicity and privacy triumph at this locally recommended French delight.
8. Echoes Boutique Hotel and Restaurant in Katoomba, Australia
At the edge of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, you’ll find a diner’s Eden at Echoes’ Restaurant with views of mountains and exotic valleys. Cozy up next to an open fireplace in the stone-clad dining room and chow down on tempura soft-shell crab with green papaya salad and finger lime salsa, pan-roasted barramundi with creamy cabbage, and seared guinea fowl with mushroom duxelle, garlic purée, heirloom carrots, and truffle sauce.
7. Carl Gustaf Lounge in Gustavia, St. Barth’s, French West Indies
On the French West Indies island of St. Barths, the hillside Carl Gustaf Lounge offers some of the most extravagant views of the tony Gustavia harbor, a red-roofed home-away-from-home for the likes of hip-hop mogul and musician Jay-Z and iconic fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. You’ll forget about the celebrity culture, though, after a few refreshing glasses of Planter’s Punch, light tapas (they also have a "Made in France" cheeseburger) and homemade sorbets. Follow with late-night bites and music at Dõ Brazil.
6. GB Roof Garden Restaurant and Bar at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
Greeks are late-night folks, preferring to dine long past sundown, so sunset is all about setting the mood with cocktails and appetizers. The rooftop at Hotel Grand Bretagne offers views of the reddening sun sinking into the ancient Acropolis. It also offers mod-Mediterranean bites like roast scallops with celery, fennel, and pear; octopus terrine with sweet peppers, smoked eggplant, and wild oregano; and a stepped-up classic Greek salad with barley rusks (twice-baked bread), feta, and capers. Make a toast with a refreshing local Greek white wine.
5. Tuğra Restaurant and Lounge in the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul
On the first floor of the original Ciragan Palace, you’ll be transported back to the heyday of the Ottoman Empire at Tuğra. You’ll feel like royalty with the bedazzling Bosphorus River before you and a mouthwatering selection of Külbastı options — quail fillet, minced lamb loin, beef tenderloin, or free-range chicken — served with smoked mashed eggplant, roasted red pepper, and pomegranate and red onion relish. If you’re feeling adventurous, how about the goose kebab?
4. LAGOON by Jean Georges at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort in Bora Bora, Tahiti
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten applies his love of local ingredients to this French- and Asian-inspired feat with gorgeous views of Mount Otemanu (the restaurant hovers above calm, paradise waters). Start with rice cracker-crusted tuna or foie gras brûlée with strawberry and balsamic jam, then splurge on the slow-cooked moonfish with truffle vinaigrette and mashed potatoes or the grilled veal tenderloin with caramelized cauliflower and pistachio pesto.
3. Chez Hortense in Cap Ferret, France
Just because the dress code says casual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress to impress. This is, after all, arguably one of the most luxurious resorts in France, about an hour outside of Bordeaux. On the terrace of Chez Hortense you’ll watch the peninsula’s dunes silhouette against the bright sunset as you dig into fresh oysters and mussels, grilled turbot, and fried strawberry tiramisu.
2. Rock House on Harbour Island, Bahamas
Travel to the quiet, celebrity-driven Harbour Island in the Bahamas for an unforgettable food experience at Rock House. Opt for private dining cabanas or grab a good table in the main British Colonial-style building where you’ll feast on local stone crab claws served over Japanese seaweed salad, sake-marinated Chilean sea bass, and vanilla bean and honeycomb swirl ice cream made in-house.
1. Pesta Lobster at the Ayana Resort and Spa in Jimbaran, Bali
It doesn’t get better than Pesta Lobster on the Kisik private jetty at the remote Ayana Resort and Spa in Jimbaran, Bali. To get to this true "toes in the sand"-style eatery, you’ll wind down a path leading to a wooden pier with sunset views that literally stretch straight into the sea. Enjoy a five-course lobster dinner accompanied by tranquil bamboo xylophone music and you’ll feel like you’re in another world. Head over to Rock Bar for after-dinner drinks.