What makes a good meal? Taste is a given. But what about the sights, smells, sounds, and textures? A memorable meal should be a full sensory experience; it’s as much about what is on the plate as it’s about what surrounds it—the decor, service, and of course, the story behind each ingredient. Whether you’re a design nut or just appreciate a delicious bite, these six restaurants are guaranteed to inspire your next foodie getaway.
Room4Dessert is tucked away in the lush hills of Ubud, Bali. James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Will Goldfarb initially started the restaurant in New York City’s Nolita neighbourhood before packing up and moving to paradise. Recently expanded, the not-so-secret garden that surrounds the property houses herbs and fruit trees––such as pandan, lemongrass, and galangal––that the kitchen uses to incorporate local flavours into their signature dishes and cocktails. The tasting menu takes you on a tour through the restaurant, beginning in the north garden and ending in the south, with stops along the way for various courses. The bites here are varied in texture, vibrant in colour, and are plated on handmade ceramics. Room4Dessert encourages you to expect the unexpected.
From the team behind Copenhagen’s famed Noma, Barr is a casual restaurant and bar idyllically overlooking Copenhagen’s waterfront. The menu features elevated takes on classic dishes of Northern Europe, such as schnitzel and Danish meatballs, along with a selection of traditional style beers and wine. A gray brick exterior opens up into an airy, minimalist dining room, where guests can nosh on what the chefs call ‘Northern Sea Cuisine.’ Think light wood, thoughtfully placed plants, grand windows, and a view of the calm water. Adjacent to the main dining room you’ll find a 30 seat bar where you can grab a snack and drink. Similarly inspired by the region, the focus here is on beer, but spirits, cocktails, and wine are also on offer.
Tucked into a hillside on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, La Sponda is the place to see and be seen. What you’ll most want to see, though, is the view. The terrace overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea, making for a picturesque backdrop as you sample fresh seafood and sparkling drinks. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find crisp white walls, gold chandeliers, and furniture tangled in bright green vines. In the spirit of dolce vita, La Sponda is illuminated in the evening by four hundred candles.
Carbón positions itself as an ode to nature, dedicated to the most ancestral cooking technique in the world—fire. The cooking itself is simple yet extraordinary, backdropped by flagstone walls and exposed-brick floors (a nod to Buenos Aires), industrial globe lamps, wooden benches, and a touch of greenery. Once you’ve filled up on flame-grilled delicacies, head downstairs to cocktail bar La Mina for a nightcap sprinkled with charcoal.
Palmenhaus is housed in a former emperor’s greenhouse located near Vienna’s city center. Tables are surrounded by glass, steel, and lush plants. Overlooking the impressive Burggarten gardens, the room is magically transformed by the sun’s varying qualities of light throughout the day and night. Come for breakfast to savour your feast in a bright setting (hello, Instagram-friendly), or catch the sunset through the towering windows over a glass of Gruner.
Nautika sits on the very edge of the sea at Pile, near the western entrance to Dubrovnik’s Old City. Multiple terraces provide a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea and old fortresses. The focus here is on products sourced from local waters, with fresh seafood offered daily based on what the fisherman catch. Housed in the former school of maritime studies, the space is rich in history. Consistently voted one of the world’s most romantic restaurants, you absolutely don’t want to miss a terrace sunset here.
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