Some restaurants are so stunningly beautiful, so exquisitely designed, and so perfectly executed in every detail, you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. An otherworldly experience. A fairy tale. These are the best restaurants in the world for tourists, where even just a meal feels like an exotic adventure. From the Parisian bistro to the traditional Japanese teahouse izakaya, all of these venues have one thing in common: they’re all incredibly special places to eat. Whether you want to try somewhere new while on holiday or just want to tick another bucket-list location off your list before you go back to work again, here is our round-up of the very best restaurants in the world for tourists right now.
B Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain
In a city full of incredible dining options, B stands out as one of the very best restaurants in Barcelona. The chef here is Carla Torres, who was named Best Female Chef in Spain in 2017 and is a huge talent. Torres’ food is a reflection of the city's mix of cultures and cuisines. And it draws on ingredients from the nearby Mediterranean Sea, too. Dishes at B might include prawns with crispy pigskin, squid and spinach, or monkfish with Chinese cabbage. B’s interior is just as beautifully designed as its food. The space is sleek and modern, with bold furniture and a black and white color scheme. But the real attraction is the terrace, which looks out over the rooftops of Barcelona.
Arola Madrid, Spain
Arola’s Michelin-starred Basque cuisine from chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is some of the best in Spain, and the restaurant itself is a uniquely special place. From the huge gold chandelier hanging in the middle of the dining room to the live flamenco dancers in the corner, everything about this restaurant is over the top. Arola is a fantastic venue for a special occasion meal in Madrid. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly, so you’ll always be able to find something new to try. For something decadent, try the Patatas Arola: a beautifully presented tower of crispy chorizo potatoes, truffle oil, and lobster, served with caviar. Arola is a glamorous and atmospheric place to dine, but the service is friendly and warm.
Arzu Steakhouse, Dubai
Arzu Steakhouse is an Ottoman Turkish grill house where you cook your own meat on an open fire. For many people, this will be the most unique dining experience they’ve ever had. The restaurant is located in Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar, a bustling cultural quarter that is full of restaurants, shops, and other attractions. Arzu is a great place to visit with friends or family, or even just to experience something new and different while on holiday. You can choose from a selection of meats and veggies, and once you’ve cooked your meal, you can feast on it with the pide bread. Arzu is a lively space, with plenty of Middle Eastern music, and it’s not the quietest place in Dubai, but it’s a fun environment and is worth a visit.
Arzuffi is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the city of Turin that serves traditional Italian food with a modern twist. The restaurant has a beautiful setting, with wooden furniture and a rustic aesthetic, while the food is served on stunning crockery. Head to Arzuffi for a special occasion, or just as a unique experience while you’re in Italy. The menu changes regularly, but as well as daily specials, there are also some staples like the oxtail risotto. Arzuffi is a very formal venue, so dress appropriately, but the staff is warm and welcoming, and you’re likely to be served by the chef himself.
Amber is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Singapore that serves contemporary Asian cuisine. The restaurant is owned by chef Shawn Lim, who also owns and runs Lim’s Restaurant, another popular dining destination in the city. Amber serves creative dishes with interesting flavour combinations that are both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Try the salmon and black truffle sashimi, the crab and salmon roe dumplings, or the slow-cooked Wagyu Short Rib. Amber has a very stylish interior: think lots of dark wood and moody lighting. The menu is Asian-inspired, but with a modern twist, so you’ll find lots of fusion dishes. The restaurant is very popular and always busy, so you’ll want to make a reservation as soon as you know you’re visiting Singapore.
Aqumi Japanese Restaurant, Tokyo
Aqumi is a unique restaurant in the city of Tokyo, Japan, where you can sit at a bar and drink cocktails made with beautiful, handmade ceramics. The ceramics and glassware are created by ceramic artist Kyoko Yoshida, and each set is different. Aqumi is a great place to visit if you’re also interested in Japanese culture and art, as there are other ceramics on display too. The kaiseki menu is a tasting menu that offers a selection of different Japanese dishes and desserts. You can book for a set time, or just pop in for a drink, so there are many different ways to experience Aqumi. This is the kind of place where you can relax and enjoy a night out, while also discovering something new and different.