10 Extraordinary Fine-dining Experiences Around the World

Add these captivating, one-of-a-kind culinary destinations to your travel wish list.

Dinner under the sea. Lunch inside an ice cave. Small bites in a subterranean root cellar. A wine-paired picnic on a lava field. They say you eat with your eyes first, and nowhere is that truer than at the world’s most unique fine-dining restaurants and otherworldly environments where the settings are as epic and imaginative as what’s on the plate. There’s nothing wrong with a beautiful restaurant and exquisitely prepared meal, of course. But for those who crave surprises, suspense, or even adventure with their supper, there are some exciting options out there. 

We’re talking one-of-a-kind eating experiences that are unavailable anywhere else on the planet. Some of these destinations lean toward theater, while others border on the surreal. Though wildly different, all of them marry a truly extraordinary landscape or design — say, Catholic garb inside a chapel-themed kitchen — with fun, memorable food for a several-hour journey that makes for the meal of a lifetime. Without giving it all away, here’s a taste of what’s being served up in the rarest settings that will totally blow your mind. 

Klein Jan at Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa 

The adventure begins en route to this one-of-a-kind dining destination, since wildlife and matchless landscapes encompass the drive in. Combine a century-old farmhouse in the midst of the Kalahari Desert’s iconic orange sand, an awe-inspiring subterranean root cellar 13 feet below, and a soaring dining room open to the wild, and you start to get the picture of Klein Jan, a transportive culinary experience created by Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen for South Africa’s largest private safari reserve. The surprises are endless and stupendous, both in the way diners physically move through the meal and the flavors, textures, and stories packed into the delectable journey that is distinctly of the Kalahari. This is no passive lunch or dinner; it’s participatory, immersive, and wildly thrilling, mysteries unfolding with every exceptional bite.