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Food + Drink

Are These the Most Scenic Restaurants in the World?

Michelin-starred chefs, standout tasting menus, and extensive wine lists can only get you so far. When it comes to the world’s greatest meals—ambiance is as big a factor as any. That's why we're all about these 10 next-level restaurants where mouthwatering plates are met with jaw-dropping scenery.

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Sierra Mar, Big Sur, CA

Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn has built up a high-profile clientele list thanks—in part—to its more than enviable locale: on a 1,200-foot ridge overlooking the Pacific. Those who don’t have time for a stay would do just as well with a four-course prix fixe dinner at the spot’s elegant restaurant, Sierra Mar. The innovative menu revolves daily, but you’ll find options like Morro Bay oysters with black garlic and horseradish hollandaise, pot au feu-style beef tenderloin and Wagyu short rib, and honey glazed ricotta fritters. No matter your choice, don’t sleep on the drink list—Sierra Mar’s award-winning wine cellar has more than 14,000 bottles from producers around the globe.

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Le Jules Verne, Paris

Having a view of the Eiffel Tower from your seat at the dinner table is pretty killer, right? But what if you flipped that thought on its head, and dined inside the monument itself. Beyond taking in 360 degree City of Light panoramas from behind the iconic structure’s wrought iron lattice, diners at Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne are treated to modern sensual design (think: low-lit, all-white tables and chairs by the same company behind Ferrari's interiors) a la Patrick Jouin, and ambitious, contemporary French cuisine from executive chef Pascal Feraud. Come for the venue, but stay for the food: five- and six-course menus (with optional wine pairings) feature elegant dishes like blue lobster with tender baby leeks and truffled vinaigrette, cocotte-cooked free-range chicken with lemon confit, and vacherin cheese with peach currant.

RELATED: 10 Killer Restaurants to Try On Your Next Trip to Paris

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andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania

Situated on the rim of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater (a former volcano turned caldera)—this lodge isn’t easily reached. But should you find your way in via game vehicle, you’ll be treated to decadent baroque decor (see: brocade sofas, gilt mirrors, and beaded chandeliers) and alfresco dining areas—split between three camps—that give way to the dramatic African landscape. Despite the outdoorsy nature of the lodge, dinner here is no picnic basket affair; intimate Pan-African meals are complemented by personal butler service and a table done up in glittering silver and crystal.

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Sirocco, Bangkok, Thailand

Lebua at State Tower's rooftop Sirocco holds a pretty cool title: the world’s highest alfresco restaurant. Hovering 820 feet over Bangkok’s lively streets, it’s no surprise that celebs and A-listers crowd the hotel’s vertigo-inducing Sky Bar and open-air dining room. Go for a boozy mango Ice Poptail and catch the sunset before going for dinner; Chef de Cuisine Gabriele Castellanza’s six-course tasting menu is a more-than-worthwhile splurge with plates of yellowfin tuna tartare, foie gras, and poached salmon, or you can go for Sirrocco’s signature steak served with chanterelle mushrooms, potato fondant, and natural jus.

RELATED: What to Do in Bangkok: Your Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary

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Dasheene, St. Lucia

On a cliffside fronting the famous Piton Mountains with the Caribbean Sea lapping the shore a thousand feet below, Ladera Resort is as romantic as St. Lucian hideaways come. Like the rest of the hotel, onsite restaurant Dasheene takes full advantage of its verdant tropical surroundings with open walls that provide unobstructed views. Diners are in for a Caribbean/Cajun/Creole treat as Executive Chef Nigel Mitchel spins sophisticated twists on regional dishes using fresh native ingredients from local island farmers and nearby plantations. Keep it traditional with sweet potato and coconut soup, roast conch with pickled veggies, jerk chicken sausage, and plantain gratin with coconut rum sauce.

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Altitude at Shangri-La, Sydney, Australia

In the heart of Sydney’s Rocks district, the sky-high Shangri-La Hotel is one of the city’s most unabashedly luxurious stays. With 36 floors soaring over the harbor, it’s only natural the property called for a restaurant of equal caliber, and that’s where Altitude comes in. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Sydney Harbour’s Circular Quay and the neighborhood below—from the tippity-top floor—the elegant dining room serves up meticulously plated, modern Australian dishes (think: Finders Island lamb loin, Gold Band snapper sashimi, and Snowy Mountains squab).

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Elements, Scottsdale, Arizona

Located in Paradise Valley, an upscale neighborhood about 10 minutes from Scottsdale, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort is surrounded by the stunning Arizona desert. You''ll get a prime viewing spot at the hotel's luxe restaurant Elements, where Chef Beau Macmillan (of Food Network acclaim) crafts a farm-fresh American menu with innovative Asian accents. Go for hoisin braised shortribs, edamame and sticky rice dumplings, or Maine lobster hotpot, but leave room for dessert; we’re talking caramelized lemon tarts, crème fraiche panna cotta, and pineapple tarte tatin. Between the gourmet dishes and mountain meets desert views, we’re certain you’ll have a hard time picking just one photo to post on IG.

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Lycabettus Restaurant, Oia, Greece

Greece is no stranger to breathtaking settings, but the cliffside Lycabettus at Andronis Luxury Suites is one for the books. Nab a private table on the dramatic rocky outcrop that juts out over the turquoise Aegean Sea and you’ll find a Mediterranean menu that complements the landscape with traditional Greek dishes like fresh micro green salad with white truffle vinaigrette and flowers in volcanic soil, rack of lamb with eggplant puree, and warm yogurt cake with caramel miso ice cream and mango sauce.

RELATED: 9 Amazing Restaurants to Try This Month

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Asiate, New York City

New York isn’t hurting for restaurants with panoramic skyline views, but the 35th-floor Asiate at Mandarin Oriental, may be the city’s best. Not only does the elegant Columbus Square dining room have floor-to-ceiling picture windows that frame Central Park, it’s also got an uber-talented culinary team that elevates modern American cuisine to an art form. Order the hamachi sashimi with swith saffron aioli and pickled market veggies to start, then dig into arctic char with cherry blossom miso, maitake, and scallion as your main affair.

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Le Panoramic, Chamonix, France

Nearly 9,000 feet above sea level—at the crosshairs of the ski resort towns of Courchevel and Meribel—Le Panoramic offers unrivaled Alpine views with Mont Blanc front and center. If it’s sunny, head out to one of two terraces to breathe in the fresh mountain air; if it's cold, the indoor dining room will also do with its modern lodge decor (think: enormous stone fireplaces, well-worn wooden tables, tufted leather sofas, and exposed beam ceilings). Either way, you’ll find Chef Sylvain Piguet has crafted a hearty menu heavy on Savoy specialities like duck confit, Morteau sausage, and raclette-style melted cheese with black truffle.

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