Dining by candlelight gets the star treatment in Hollywood flicks, but some of us — the early eaters, arsonphobics, and iPhone-ready photographers — prefer to set our gastronomical groove to the beat of a gorgeous sunset. There is nothing like the five-sense experience of soaking in the early evening’s rosy glow, indulging in seasonal mojitos and the sea’s catch of the day while watching the swelling sun dip into the breathtaking surrounding landscape on a hot summer’s night.
From the pristine nature of the Scottish Highlands and New Zealand to the thrilling rooftops of Manhattan and Monarch Beach, Calif., to the clubby hotspots of Mykonos, St. Barths, and Goa to the quiet mountains of Asheville, N.C., and Yosemite National Park to the private corners of the Earth, Bora Bora, Cap Ferret, and Bali, you’ll find that some of the greatest views are accompanied by stellar food. From fried alligator sushi rolls in Louisiana to stone crab claws in the Bahamas to quail Külbastı in Istanbul to roasted pigeon in Paris, there is something for the adventurer in each of you.
Mark Twain used his wordy wit to give passionate praise to sunsets: "They are soft, sensuous, lovely — they are exquisite, refined, effeminate." Perhaps fittingly, that quote is from the Connecticut native’s travel book, The Innocents Abroad.
The Daily Meal agrees and has your go-to list of the very best restaurants with food and sunsets worth the trip halfway across the globe. The culinary concoctions at these scenic restaurants are executed with local flair and fresh ingredients in a fabulous atmosphere (from live DJs to ultra-romantic privacy).
To compile this list, The Daily Meal chose from restaurants set in a variety of landscapes and countries around the world, and ranked them based on both the menu offerings (high-quality food, good value, excellent drinks) and the quality of the view, as well as overall ambiance (evaluated through customer reviews and images available to the public). You can’t go wrong with any of the establishments on this list, however, many of which offer open-air seating and are set against such gorgeous backdrops they’d be worth the trip for the view alone.
Whether you fancy rooftop dining as cities dazzle to life during dusk, are after the some of the most stunning natural landscapes the restaurant world has to offer or simply want the best of the best beach views, our list of restaurants with world-class sunset views will render the cuisine itself as merely an afterthought.
Check out our slideshow to see these stunning views for yourself!
50. Nan Myint Tower in Bagan, Myanmar
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 9th ninth and 10th tenth floors house a restaurant with basic Continental and Asian cuisine… and a bird’s-eye view of the sprawling pagodas dipping off into the distance.
49. MariaSol Restaurant at The Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California
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.
Leslie Finlay is a contributing writer to The Daily Meal.