Our pick of the world’s most unusual places to eat

10 January 2019

Food is an important part of any great trip, and while a good restaurant isn’t too hard to find, uncovering an exceptional foodie experience can be a difficult gem to unearth. That’s why we’ve made it easy and rounded up some of our most unusual places to eat.

Grotta Palazzese – Puglia, Italy

Carved out of limestone rock overlooking a sumptuous stretch of the Adriatic Sea, Grotta Palazzese is one of Italy’s most famous eateries. A rich history has seen the restaurant host elegant dinners at the behest of Italian nobility since the 18th century, but now it is enjoyed mostly by locals and visitors, who dine on modern Apulian cuisine accompanied by glistening waters. Grotta Palazzese is only open from May to October.

“It did not take long to fall head over heels with the area. It is unspoilt and the Pugliese are most welcoming. Apart from July and August, the beaches are deserted, and the Adriatic is always crystal clear. The coast is rocky in parts and totally flat in others. The landscape is dominated by groves of olive trees, many hundreds of years old. The produce is delicious. There are daily markets that rotate on a weekly basis and, before you see them, the smell of garden-fresh produce can be detected by the senses.”

Rosanna, Travel Counsellor

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – Maldives

The Maldives is known for its idyllic location, comprising of approximately 1,200 small coral islands in the Indian Ocean. While you can dive, swim and snorkel in its clear, warm waters, visitors to Rangali Island can also get acquainted with the country’s marine life at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.

Situated five metres below the surface of the water, the world’s first undersea restaurant serves up panoramic coral garden views in addition to fine wines and flavoursome fusion cuisine, pairing local flavours with western influences. Ithaa, which won Global Restaurant of the Year at the 2017 World Luxury Restaurant Awards, is open for lunch, dinner, mid-morning cocktails and can also be booked privately for weddings and other special occasions.

"These islands may not offer the most inexpensive accommodations, but the price is right for upscale, often all-inclusive, accommodations nestled in the most exotic, breathtaking locations. People visit the Maldives for the beaches and the water sports, and if you’re happy lounging on the beach with a good book and a cocktail close by, then this is the place for you.”

Linda, Travel Counsellor

Dinner in the Sky – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Quite literally take dining to the next level with Dinner in the Sky Dubai. Whether you’re in the mood for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, feast on tasty food as you and your table are suspended 50 metres in the air by a crane. It is also a great way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, taking in unique views of Dubai as you eat your way through an unforgettable meal.

“You cannot believe that you are in the desert when you are surrounded by the incredible skyscrapers of Dubai. But you should experience a desert safari in a four-wheel drive jeep and discover some of the native wildlife. Plus, if you go in the afternoon, you’ll be able to watch the sun set over the sand dunes before you leave. Shopaholics will also love Dubai as the malls are huge and filled with stores from many top designers.”

Sandi, Travel Counsellor

Dans le Noir ? – Paris, France

Created by Edouard de Broglie and Etienne Boisrond, Dans le Noir is an immersive dining experience for your taste buds. The restaurant has diners sit and eat in absolute darkness, putting the theory that food becomes more satisfying when you’re relying on senses other than sight to the test. In keeping with the theme, you’ll be hosted and served by the visually impaired.

“If you’re visiting Paris, you must make the obligatory visit to the Eiffel Tower and soak up fantastic views across the city. You can also take a nice stroll along the banks of the River Seine, taking in sights such as the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral along the way. Walking through streets of the Latin Quarter and Canal St Martin is a great way to get acquainted with the city’s atmosphere, and here you’ll also find a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars and cafés.”

Emma, Travel Counsellor

Giraffe Manor – Nairobi, Kenya

On the outskirts of Nairobi’s city centre is Giraffe Manor, a building with a beautiful façade and elegant interior. However, the main attraction is not the building itself, but rather its population of endangered Rothschild giraffes which roam the manor’s grounds. Guests at Giraffe Manor are usually joined at breakfast by these furry creatures as they poke their heads through the window in hope of a feed. While there, visit the Giraffe Centre to learn more about these beautiful creatures, then take a guided walk through the sanctuary.

“Combine a trip to Nairobi with a safari in Masai Mara. This was my first safari experience, so seeing the extraordinary animals for the first time was magical – Giraffes with their super long necks and knobbly tufts on their heads, Elephants with their young, and we were even lucky enough to spot a leopard resting under a tree.”

Katie, Travel Counsellor


If you would like to book a trip and try one of these unusual places to eat, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits such as financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and even after your trip.

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