Unique Food Experiences: 12 Extraordinary Culinary Spots To Visit


As any foodie will tell you, an extraordinary culinary trip is not just about the food. Unique food experiences integrate delicious cuisine with great ambience and a touch of the amazing.

Some of the world’s most amazing restaurants have taken this to a whole new level, literally. They have turned the dining experience into an adventure. From under the sea adventures and floating restaurants to fly dining and dining in caves.

For all the food lovers in the house, here are the craziest foodie vacation ideas with the most spectacular views.

Under the Sea Restaurants

Do you love the idea of an underwater adventure but without the diving gear? How about combining your love for all things aquatic with one of the most unique food experiences? Here are some of the best places in the world to enjoy fine dining with a front-row view of marine life:

Nemo Restaurant and Lounge, Antalya, Turkey

Everything about this spot spells elegance. Step into the restaurant via a floating staircase to see some of the most stunning aquarium views. The interior consists of sparkling marble floors and low-key lighting that directs your focus to the exterior. Enjoy a taste of its European and Pan Asian cuisine, consisting of fresh seafood.

Aquarium Restaurant, Nashville, Tennessee

Technically, the Aquarium Restaurant is not underwater. Rather, it features dining rooms built around aquariums. The surrounding tanks feature hundreds of fish species from around the globe. If you love and dread the idea of underwater dining in equal measure, this is a great place to start.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

One of the world’s ultimate island vacation spots was also the first in the world to launch an underwater restaurant. Ithaa sits 16 feet (4.9m) below the surface on Rangali Island. It is essentially an acrylic tunnel offering an amazing 270-degree view of surrounding waters. Only hotel guests can access it and enjoy a blend of Maldivian and European cuisine. Launched in 2004, the restaurant only has a 20-year lifespan. So make haste to get here.

Cargo Hold, Durban, South Africa

Enjoy one of the most authentic and unique food experiences in the stern of the Phantom Ship – a replica of a shipwreck. The concept drew inspiration from the story of Durban’s lost ship. Situated in uShaka Marine World, this restaurant has shark tanks all around it as well as other marine creatures doing what they do best. In addition to a being a great culinary spot, it weaves in historical and cultural tidbits into the experience.

Poseidon Mysterious Island, Fiji

If you would love to extend your underwater adventure beyond dining, this is your best bet. Aptly named, Poseidon is an undersea resort located on a private island. After enjoying an exquisite meal at the restaurant, spend the night on a bed with a stunning sea view.

Floating Restaurants

If you love the idea of dining with a water view, but not being inside it, a floating restaurant offers precisely that. In addition to the stunning views you also get a cool breeze and unique scents – creating the perfect ambience. Take a look at some extraordinary floating restaurants around the world:

The Moorings Floating Restaurant, Mombasa, Kenya

Situated in Mtwapa Creek, off the island of Mombasa in Kenya, The Moorings is a unique take on fine dining. It has an open-air design, with no walls obstructing your views of the sea. You will love the smell of the breeze and the feeling of swaying gently in the waves of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant offers continental cuisine including seafood, pasta and pizza.

Aqua Pod Floating Food Truck, Dubai, UAE

The Aqua Pod set sail back in 2018 and set a record as the world’s first sustainable floating drive-thru restaurant. One of the best things about it is that you can come to it or order a fast-food delivery as you enjoy water adventures in Jumeirah. It delivers food via jet ski to yachts and boats in the surroundings. If you are on a jet ski or other small water vessel, you can opt for self-service and pick up your order. For sustainability, the food truck has the capacity to collect trash from the ocean and runs on electricity.

BBQ Donut, Germany

The name says it all – BBQ donut offers little boats that resemble a donut with a barbecue in the center. Using electric power, it is capable of running for up to eight hours on the sea, with a passenger load of up to 10. There is an adjustable sun shade, offering convenience and comfort. It offers one of the most unique food experiences for anyone who loves the idea of ‘grilling and chilling’ on the sea.

Fly Dining

For food lovers who also love aerial adventures, nothing beats the thrill of fly dining. There is a variety of unique food experiences under this bracket. Take a look at some of the most breathtaking:

Dinner in the Sky, Dubai

Dinner in the sky is among the world’s most unusual restaurants, and it’s easy to see why. The dining experience here involves enjoying your meal while suspended 164 feet (50 meters) above ground. A crane holds the table in place, gently rotating for a bit of thrill. High-quality safety gear keeps every diner at ease. From this vantage point, enjoy some of the most captivating views of Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and surrounding waters. Take in the sights as a chef prepares a 3-course meal on the suspended platform.

Treepod Dining Soneva Kiri Resort Koh Kood, Thailand

Treepod dining is yet another unusual experience for food and adventure lovers. Take a seat in an intricately designed bamboo pods and they will hoist you up to an incredible height. From here, you get breathtaking views of the island in all its glory. The foliage of trees in an ancient rainforest surrounds you on all sides, offering a gentle breeze and the rustling of leaves. As you take in the beauty of the Gulf of Thailand, a ziplining server delivers your meal. Nothing can compare to this experience of dining under the canopy in a gently swaying booth.

Cave Dining

Do you find caves fascinating? Well, how about dining in one? A number of unique restaurants around the world cater to cave lovers, literally. Take a look:

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant, Diani Beach, Kenya

One of the most enchanting food experiences of all time takes place in a magical subterranean landscape. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is located close to Diani beach along the Kenyan coastline. The cave in which it sits could be hundreds of thousands of years old according to estimates. It is a natural coral cave with multiple chambers 10 meters below the ground. Though it is the product of crashing waves from the sea, the spot is now landlocked. Daylight filters into the cavern through natural holes on its sides and at the top. At night, the romantic, candle-lit is dim enough to offer a great view of twinkling stars. Enjoy fresh seafood and a variety of other mouth-watering dishes.

Grotta Palazzese, Italy

Italy is world-renowned for its delicious cuisine and is among the top foodie destinations on the planet. One of its most exclusive and unusual dining experiences takes place at the Grotta Palazzese Ristorante. Located in Polignano al Mare town in Puglia, this is a luxurious seaside spot in a natural cave. It is carved into a grotto that hangs above the sea. The iconic cliffside restaurant sits on a site that was used for banquets back in the 1700s. Its dark interior stands in stark contrast with the deep blue sea, and is both mysterious and enchanting.

Blend Your Love for Food and Adventure in These Unusual Food Destinations

If you love a bit of the unusual, these unique food experiences can spice up any vacation. They all have that wow factor in addition to great food and amazing ambience. Most of these extraordinary spots are in beautiful locations with plenty of other attractions.

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant and The Moorings are located close to one of the best street food destinations in Africa, Mombasa. Treepod Dining in Soneva Kiri sits in a lush rainforest, ideal for hiking and trekking. And Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is in one of the most popular island destinations in the world, the Maldives. What more could a food-loving adventurer want?

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