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12 bucket-list worthy culinary adventures

Travel isn’t just about the places you visit—it’s also about the incredible food you get to try. Sometimes
it is so good that it alone is worth the plane ticket. I’m not talking about just any food, I’m talking about
jaw-dropping, once-in-a-lifetime culinary experiences that deserve a place on your bucket list. From
dining under the sea in the Maldives to eating on top of the world in Dubai, I’ve got you covered. Check
out my top 12 unforgettable culinary experiences that will blow your mind.

Dine underwater at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

Imagine having dinner surrounded by the vibrant marine life of the Indian Ocean. Ithaa sits 16 feet below sea level and is encased in glass, so you’re literally dining under the sea. The six-course menu is as luxurious as the setting, featuring delicacies like caviar and Maldivian lobster.

Experience multi-sensory dining at Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China

Ultraviolet is like a sci-fi movie come to life. This exclusive 10-seat restaurant pairs each dish with visuals, sounds, and even scents to create a dining experience that’s out of this world. Chef Paul Pairet is a genius at blending flavors and sensations, making each course a delightful surprise.

Explore the Andes at Mil, Cusco, Peru

Mil isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a love letter to the Andes. Perched above the ancient Moray Inca terraces, the eight-course menu is a journey through the region’s diverse ecosystems. The chefs collaborate with local farmers to source rare ingredients, making each dish a celebration of Andean culture.

Eat local and foraged at Wolfgat, Paternoster, South Africa

Wolfgat is a cozy 20-seater restaurant where Chef Kobus van der Merwe crafts a menu from locally foraged ingredients. Each dish is a tribute to the Western Cape, capturing the essence of both land and sea. It’s a deeply personal and intimate dining experience that connects you to the heart of South Africa.

Have a royal feast at La Grande Table Marocaine, Marrakech, Morocco

La Grande Table Marocaine is like stepping into a Moroccan dream. Located in the luxurious Royal Mansour hotel, the restaurant serves a modern twist on traditional Moroccan dishes. The decor is as sumptuous as the food, with intricate tiles and plush furnishings, making you feel like Moroccan royalty for the night.

Be on top of the world at Atmosphere, Dubai, UAE

Why settle for ground-level dining when you can eat on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa? Atmosphere offers a panoramic view of Dubai’s skyline, and the menu is just as impressive. The modern, chic interior adds a layer of sophistication, making it a dining experience that’s literally above the rest.

Travel back in time at Medieval Tavern, Prague, Czech Republic

The Medieval Tavern in Prague is like a time-travel experience. The candlelit setting, servers in period costumes, and a menu based on medieval recipes make it a feast for all senses. Live music and dance performances add to the atmosphere, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Chase waterfalls at Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, San Pablo City, Philippines

At Labassin, you’re not just dining near water; you’re dining IN it. Bamboo tables are set in the shallow part of a waterfall, allowing you to feel the water flow over your feet. The menu is packed with traditional Filipino dishes, and the sound of cascading water adds a natural, serene touch to your meal.

Dine in a historic cave at Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant, Diani Beach, Kenya

Ali Barbour’s turns a 120,000-year-old cave into a dining venue like no other. Moonlight filters through natural skylights in the cave’s roof, and the menu offers a mix of seafood and international favorites. The cave’s unique acoustics add a touch of magic to an already extraordinary setting.

Enjoy Spanish creativity at El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

El Celler de Can Roca is a three-Michelin-star wonder where the Roca brothers serve up innovative dishes that honor their Catalan heritage. The wine cellar is a spectacle in and of itself, boasting over 60,000 bottles. The restaurant’s design is sleek and modern, making it a culinary experience that’s both rooted in tradition and forward-thinking.

Participate in the art of kaiseki at Gion Moriwaki, Kyoto, Japan

Kaiseki is the epitome of Japanese fine dining, and Gion Moriwaki offers an experience that’s as meticulous as it is beautiful. The multi-course meal changes with the seasons, featuring dishes that are both visually stunning and incredibly flavorful. The intimate setting ensures that every detail is perfect, making it a meal you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Swing from the trees at the treepod at Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand

Picture this: you’re dining in a bamboo pod, hoisted up in the tropical trees of Koh Kood. Waiters zipline to serve you, and the sounds of the jungle provide the perfect background music. The food is as thrilling as the setting, making it a meal that’s both adventurous and incredibly romantic. All of this is reality at the treepod.

Trust me, these aren’t just meals; they’re stories you’ll tell for years to come. Which one is going to be your next unforgettable culinary adventure?

Kristin Winkaffe

Kristin Winkaffe is the Founder of Winkaffe Global Travel. Winkaffe Global Travel designs extraordinary journeys for travelers seeking transformative, culturally immersive, and conscientiously luxurious travel adventures.

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  1. The pod in the trees in Thailand really appeals. Once I’d got over the problem of getting into it – I’m neither the most mobile or graceful person. It could be a real possibility as we are beginning to plan a Far East trip for sometime next year.

  2. You’ve given me another bucket list. I already had several. Now, I’ve got to start checking this one off. There are some amazing culinary adventures here.

  3. I’ve heard of undersea restaurants before and even read a couple of reviews. An undersea restaurant is something that I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. Ticking that off in the Maldives would be a very special place to achieve that ambition.

  4. Food always tells us so much about where we travel.

    Our of these 12 options, if I could only do 1, my choice would be the restaurant in Peru. Having an 8 course menu that is a journey through the region’s eco-systems is such a clever idea. I always like to eat my way around the places I travel to. And my parter just likes to eat. Full stop !

  5. Ultraviolet must be on to a winner in Shanghai. Often we talk about things that get in the way of enjoyment of food in a restaurant such as it being too hot or too loud or the smells of other people’s food spoiling enjoyment of our own food. I can see this multi-sensory approach that enhances our enjoyment of a meal spreading way beyond Shanghai.

  6. Kristin, you’ve intrigued me, no surprise really as I’m a gourmet food addict. I had to take a look at your website. 55 countries and counting. Impressive.

    1. Yes, it was such a fascinating post that I was also tempted to take a look at the website. It’s pretty high-end but I can always dream of a gigantic bonus to bring one or two of these experiences within reach.

    2. While traveling I love to be immersed in the culture and life of the destination and, in my opinion, one of the best ways to do that is through the cuisine. These are the best outrageous and incredible experiences I have found, but there are so many other incredible meals to be had all over!

  7. Dining under a waterfall in the Philippines is quite unique. Something I’ve done which could be a contender is when you have a BBQ on a Mauritius catamaran cruise with your chairs and tables shin deep in the warmth of the Indian Ocean. It’s a difficult one to classify as it probably happens at a different bay every day and within 10 minutes of the catamaran leaving no one even knows you’re there. It was probably the most magical eating experience that I’ve ever had.

  8. I’ve always had a thing for Moroccan cuisine as long as it’s nicely done. For me the spices used are nowhere near as hot as those that attack your throat and mouth when you travel further east. I must admit to having some poor Moroccan meals, more couscous than meat, at the bottom end. When Moroccan food is well done, in the very best restaurants, it’s on a par with any other cuisine.

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