Smart Luxury

The World's Best High-End Restaurants

by  Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner | Apr 29, 2022
Courtesy of the restaurant/Justin Nicholas

Traveling to dine is one of those luxuries in life that is so worthwhile. The anticipation of scoring a sought-after reservation, the scoping of the menu, the planning of the trip, all to sit down and just indulge and enjoy...we’re salivating just thinking about it.

If you’re traveling for a special occasion or looking to book your next getaway based on securing a seat at an exclusive table, check out one of these top luxury restaurants around the world, located at the top of landmarks — and even under the sea!

Blue Hill at Stone Barns: United States 

Courtesy of the restaurant/Alice Gao

This Westchester farm and restaurant in the lower Hudson Valley is an all-day experience worth the excursion. Start with a tour of the property to visit the plants, animals, and people responsible for creating a hyper-local multicourse meal. Additionally, if you’re visiting early, head to the on-site cafeteria, which offers top-notch picnic food to enjoy on the property. Be sure to save room for mind-blowing veggie preparations, innovative platings, and more. 

Le Jules Verne: France

Courtesy of the restaurant

Is there anything more luxe than eating at the top of the Eiffel Tower? The answer is no (regardless of what some locals may protest). There’s no bad time to snag a reservation up here — the daytime offers incredible views across Paris, which makes sense, considering it’s the tallest restaurant in town — and at night, the city lights up with a magical sparkle. The menu is French with a contemporary twist (think: molecular gastronomy for the social media era).

Imàgo: Italy

Courtesy of the restaurant/Alberto Blasetti

There’s no shortage of excellent food in Rome — or all of Italy for that matter — but this restaurant, which is located atop the Hassler Hotel, offers an unparalleled experience. Enjoy city views from the patio with a pre-dinner prosecco before indulging in innovative Tuscan fare with a global twist (think: spaghetti with sea cucumber and fish prepared as if it were lamb). 

R-Haan: Thailand 

Courtesy of the restaurant

The two Michelin-starred R-Haan serves decadent Thai staples in an elegant ambiance. What's more, the menu highlights the authentic flavors of Thailand in the most upscale way possible. Dining here is a multicourse adventure, allowing guests to truly savor traditional Thai cuisine. 

Central: Peru 

Courtesy of the restaurant/Gustavo Vivanco

Known as one of the world’s top restaurants, Central is located in Lima’s glitzy Miraflores district. Here, chefs Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León dole out luxurious Peruvian cuisine highlighting indigenous ingredients and techniques. Over 100 species of plants grow in the adjacent vegetable garden, so you know you’re getting the good stuff. 

Arzak: Spain

Courtesy of the restaurant/Magdalena Staurino

A family restaurant in name and practice, this hugely celebrated home of huge taste is run by a father-daughter duo whose private flavor lab (think: endless containers of spices, dehydrated powders, imported ingredients, and so much more) ensures every course is unique, flavorful, and unlike anything you’ve tasted before. The restaurant is small and reservations are difficult to secure, so you may have to plan an itinerary when you score a table.  

Takazawa: Japan

Courtesy of the restaurant

Japan has no shortage of elegant, tiny restaurants, but the ten-seat Takazawa is especially noteworthy for its elegant kaiseki that blends Japanese fare with French influence. The intimate meal is still over-the-top with chef Yoshiaki Takazawa’s signature dishes like a bite-sized, 15-vegetable ratatouille served as a small jewel-toned mosaic with crystal salt. 

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: Maldives

Courtesy of the restaurant/Justin Nicholas

Ithaa is the world’s only official underwater restaurant, located in the blue waters beneath Conrad Maldives Rengali Island. Marine life will surround you from all sides as you munch through a prix-fixe lunch or dinner menu featuring haute cuisine like tuna ceviche with squid ink panna cotta and seared quail with truffled sweet potato. 

Want to take that trip for free — and score some valuable miles for your next excursion? Check out our top pick travel credit cards for the best welcome bonuses, perks, and plenty of cash back.

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