In addition to excellent food, these restaurants provide breathtaking views.
For every traveler who has felt “templed-out” or been left mildly disappointed by the throngs of tourists at destinations like Angkor Wat, the ruins in Bagan, Myanmar will completely blow you away. The Nan Myint Tower functions as a viewing tower to offer a high-rise vantage point for visitors, and the ninth and tenth floors house a restaurant with basic Continental and Asian cuisine… and a bird’s-eye view of pagodas dipping off into the distance.
What’s more iconic to Santa Monica than its prized pier? Nestled right along the end of the boardwalk, MariaSol doles out mega-sized margaritas and giant glasses of sangria to its sunset-seeking patrons as they lounge out on the umbrella-covered patio. The inside features two stories of dining areas and a lively, yet laid-back bar with a definite cool Mexican vibe. Try their signature Boardwalk Enchiladas, chicken with mole poblano, or check out the build-your-own taco bar.
Still narrowly off the tourist trail, colonial Kampot, Cambodia has picture-perfect sunsets almost every night over the Elephant Mountains. While you can’t go wrong wherever you set up for the view, Rikitikitavi offers a beautiful terrace and an exquisite menu featuring both international and Khmer dishes made from locally sourced ingredients and fish caught daily. With no-nonsense staples like panini and satay skewers, the Khmer specialties like amok and loc lac are local favorites.
Known as one of Tokyo’s “secret” destinations, the pilgrimage to Roku Nana is reportedly worth the payoff, offering a unique slice of peace among one of the world’s busiest cities with sunset views that capture the Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower.
Korea is often known for its over-the-top amenities and offerings, and the Banyan Tree Club & Spa in Seoul is no exception. With eleven different bars, restaurants and lounges to choose from, there really is something for everyone. The Moon Bar up on the 20th and 21st floors offers up views of iconic Namsan Tower and is one of the best spots to see the sunset over the world’s largest city, enjoying upscale Japanese sashimi and sushi as the city’s 10.2 million residents pulse into nighttime. Want more options? Oasis restaurant offers up poolside Wagyu beef burgers, Margherita pizzas and Bolognese pasta (and the pool transforms into an ice-skating rink over winter!)
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 DJs, 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 guests 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.
When it comes to beachside dining it does not get more chic than The Grand Café & Beach. Known to attract international celebs, diners lounge with their feet in the restaurant’s private beach overlooking Granger Bay, with vistas cradled by iconic Green Point Stadium, Signal Hill, and Table Mountain. Regulars favor the wood-fired pizzas, seared steak with béarnaise sauce, and local mussels with chips.
The Blue Lagoon outside of Reykjavík is absolutely enchanting; opaque, crystalline blue mineral pools steaming among lava fields extending into the distance, the sun dipping below an almost extra-terrestrial terrain. So now pair that scenery with a glass of wine and the tasting menu from LAVA’s head chef, the Nordic Chef of the Year, including specials like slowly cooked cod with lightly smoke langoustine salad, fried front rack of beef, and beef cheek and cranberries in dark chocolate. Pure bliss.
A quaint capital city of Northeastern Europe, Tallinn has a distinctly medieval feel to it, with sprawling cobbled streets and centuries-old architecture. Then step into the ultra-modern Lounge 24 from its berth on the 24th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel, noshing on ratatouille tarts and deep-fried prawns to watch the city and its sleepy port off the Gulf of Finland wind down into dusk.
Overlooking Hong Kong’s spectacular harbor from the East side of the island, a live DJ sets a stylish atmosphere to Sugar’s outside terrace. With a bar equipped with a “Mojito Wheel” featuring hundreds of combinations, Sunday Roast specials with Australian beef with roasted bone marrow, and simpler options like sliders and pizzas, Sugar will satisfy your taste for flare while in Hong Kong. The bar also hosts a weekly Cuban night on Wednesdays, offering guests cigars and specialty drinks.
The Iguassu National Park draws visitors globally to experience the majesty of its falls dividing Argentina and Brazil. So why not be sipping on a caipirinha on the veranda of the Belmond Hotel’s Bar Tarobá as the sun goes down and the live music kicks up?
As the only hotel actually at Machu Picchu, there is literally no comparison for the views you’ll get from its Tampu restaurant, specializing in Peruvian dishes like causa limeña and lomo saltado (but with a wide array of international fare available, too). If experiencing dusk settling perched up above one of the most famous ruins in the world, Pisco Sour in hand, isn’t enough, the restaurant opens at 5:30 a.m. so you can experience the absolutely mystical sunrise over the ancient Incan 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.
A staple of the Gulf Coast of Florida since 1999, its dazzling sunset experience is just one of the factors that keep The Turtle Club such a popular place. With its relaxed atmosphere and excellent menu specializing in dishes from freshly-sourced fish like marinated blue crab claws and seafood chowder to its famous secret-recipe oysters “turtlefeller,” the place fills up nightly, so make sure to make reservations ahead so you’re not stuck sitting inside and missing the sunset!
Sure, a sunset view from New York City is gorgeous enough, but what about a view with the city itself as the backdrop? With romantic views of Manhattan from its location beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, The River Café’s noteworthy service and a turntable of world-class chefs serving up high-end delicacies from tuna carpaccio and Wagyu steak tartare to the highly recommended rack of lamb and Maine lobster, the experience from Manhattan’s brother borough is a hard one to beat.
With its location self-described as “smack dab on the beach,” new expansions to the restaurant means now there’s even more room to enjoy 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 mahi mahi tacos, a mango BBQ pork sandwich, or lump crab cake sandwich. Sharky’s is so popular, it's working on an expansion this year.
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.
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.
Lake Atitlan is an untouched gem, a true representation of Mayan culture and the beauty of the Guatemalan landscape. From 6.8 Casa Palopó, the views extend over Lake Atitlan outward against three magnificent 10,000 foot volcanic peaks: Toliman, Atitlan, and San Pedro. The fresh tuna tartare, fish filet slathered in cilantro sauce, and white wine roasted chicken are simply accompaniments to the sunset experience.
Seeing the sun set over the Arabian Sea from AER’s 34th floor bar and lounge is just a short step up from watching Mumbai itself slowly glitter to life. Known for its taste of luxury without the pomposity (but not without an ambience set with candles and lanterns,) guests can take advantage of an extended Sunset Happy Hour menu with half price cocktails, international mezzes, and tapas.
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!
Beyond being the live music capital of the world, did you know that Austin is also called the sunset capital of Texas? 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.
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.
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 mar 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.
If you find yourself in Paris, naturally the view doesn’t get much better (or wider) than that from 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.
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.
With beaches situated on some of the farthest Western points of Europe, the sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal are stuff of legends. Praia Da Gale Restaurante does not disappoint. Right on the edge of Gale beach, guests rave about the service, staff and atmosphere, enjoying entrées like freshly caught fish, clams and grilled lamb chops to the tune of a world-class sunset.
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.
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?
While known internationally for its infinity pool, the Marina Bay Sand’s stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Singapore skyline should not be overlooked. After taking in the sunset to the West of the hotel, cozy up in the patio lounge with one of the restaurant’s expertly-designed cocktails while snacking on pan-fried foie gras with curry bread, bamboo-roasted Pacific black cod, or Berkshire pork belly and watch the nightly light show ignite 57 levels down in the bay below until the party picks up later into the night.
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.
This bar is actually situated atop an active helipad 34 floors up the Menara KH building. With its no-nonsense plastic and fabric folding chairs, drinking and eating is almost an afterthought as you enjoy an unobstructed, 360 panorama of the city as the sun sets beyond the KL Tower; but the bar and restaurant offers a basic menu of burgers, bar food, and its signature Heli Wings.
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.
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.
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).
Gaining fame from its cameo scene in The Hangover II, Sky Bar offers the most stunning panoramic view over one of the world’s most sprawling cities. With four restaurants to choose from — Breeze, Distil Bar, Sirocco, and Mezzaluna — each offering uniquely different culinary options, you can watch as the city dips into dusk as you sip on signature gastronomically-inspired cocktails while noshing on almond-garlic gazpacho, Sri Lankan mud crab meat balls, or slowly roasted Atlantic Turbot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dazzling sunsets aren’t just reserved for beachfronts and cityscapes. A quick gondola ride whisks diners up nearly 8,000 feet above sea level to the restaurant of the Kicking Horse Resort, offering unparalleled views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains tilling off into the distance. With fireside dining available, the food matches the environment: hearty meat and fish entrées paired with local British Columbian wines.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.