There’s something magical about a meal on water. Whether you’re on a barge floating through a tropical lagoon or under the stars while drifting in the ocean, dining on a boat is something that not many people get to experience. But if you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, there are plenty of unique floating restaurants around the world where you can eat like royalty while taking in amazing views of your surroundings.
In this roundup, we’re sharing some of the best floating restaurants across the globe. Each one has its own special features, so take a look below to discover which ones are worth checking out.
1. Ithaa in the Maldives: This incredibly intimate restaurant dips 16 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean, offering a menu that’s full of prawn tartare, lobster pasta and other local fish and seafood. It’s a must-do for anyone visiting the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort and if you’re brave enough, you can even dine under the sea while dolphins watch.
2. Rustar Floating Restaurant: Dubai’s Rustar is the largest wooden floating restaurant in the world, providing guests with the most delicious food and awe-inspiring views of the city’s skyline. This 155-foot long vessel can accommodate up to 400 passengers at a time and offers an array of entertainment including live performances from singers and Tanoura dancers.
3. Dinner in the Sky Athens: Elevated dining may be overused in the culinary world, but this one-of-a-kind restaurant takes it to a whole new level with its “floating” concept that delivers 360-degree views of the historic city and Acropolis. Each night, 22 lucky diners are strapped into a reclining seat on a suspended platform that hangs 130 feet above the ground.
4. Lemonade Factory: The lemonade factory in Bangkok is more than just a place to sip on refreshing drinks. It also focuses on food and serves an impressive selection of cuisines, from the traditional to the modern.
5. Cat Ba Bay: In Vietnam, there are numerous boats that act as floating eateries while cruising through the waters of Cat Ba Bay. The floating eateries are operated by locals, and are perfect for families with children or couples who want to spend some quality time together.
6. Jumbo Floating Restaurant: The iconic floating restaurant in Hong Kong was one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world. But this 260-foot-long three-story palace – which was decorated in the traditional imperial Chinese style and served traditional Cantonese dishes – has been forced to close after it capsized in the South China Sea on June 21.
It was a huge loss for Hong Kong’s tourism industry. The Jumbo Kingdom is a landmark that was a staple of the city’s culture, and it has received millions of visitors over the years, including Queen Elizabeth II. Sadly, it’s likely to be closed for good, but the restaurant’s fans have come up with creative ways to pay their respects. They’ve taken to Instagram with surrealistic pictures of the restaurant sinking, and illustrator Felix Ip has even re-imagined the structure as a massive robot.