Going out to eat can be about so much more than just the food, the space and atmosphere of a restaurant can make your lunch or dinner an experience versus just a dining moment. That’s especially true when you visit a restaurant in a distinct location — say a destination made out of ice, below the ocean, or above a forest. Before you’re even seated you’re already immersed in an extraordinary moment, one you’ll remember long after you finish your meal. Here are three remarkable restaurants you’ll want to dine at in 2019.
1. Snow Castle
Head to Kemi, Finland to eat at a restaurant made entirely of snow and ice. Every January Snow Castle is built and at some point in the spring just melts away. Snow sculptures adorn the restaurant space which is large and illuminated with various lights to make the ice glow in a myriad of colors. Here you can sip cocktails made from local berries (served in cups made of ice) or choose warm beverages like mulled wine or hot chocolate. Don’t worry about getting too cold sitting down, the stools are one of the few things not made of ice, and are made of wood covered in fur for you to sit on. At Snow Castle, the food is rich and reflects local flavors. To start you’ll have a creamy parsnip soup with porcini mushrooms and burnt leek. Then choose the main course, options include local lamb braised in dark beer, local lamb braised in dark beer, charred whitefish with a lemon-brown butter sauce, grilled chicken with fried with a creamy dijon-rosemary sauce and, as a vegetarian option, fried chickpea tofu with herb mayonnaise. Every dish is served with a side of mashed potatoes made out of the local almond potato called Lapin Puikula which is known for its buttery, flaky taste. With its stunning icy setting and tasty cuisine, Snow Castle provides an unforgettable meal in Lapland.
In April 2019 underwater restaurant Under opens in Båly, Norway. The restaurant has two aquatic distinctions, first, it’s said to be Europe’s only underwater restaurant and second, it’s alleged to be the largest underwater in the world. The restaurant sits on an incline where guests enter on land and then walk down a staircase to access the submerged chamber of the restaurant. The menu here will focus on local ingredients such as berries, mushrooms, and seabirds. Under has been designed to withstand rough weather and high waves, with walls over a meter thick. Additionally, the restaurant is designed to blend in with the marine life and the walls will eventually blend with the ocean life creating a mussel reef. Although it’s only opening in April, this futuristic dining destination is taking reservations and is already quite booked. Not surprisingly, because who wouldn’t want to eat under the sea?
Forget staying in a treehouse, how about dining in a private bamboo pod suspended above the jungle? At Soneva Kiri you can make this dream a reality, and even better, it involves zero climbing to get to the Treepod restaurant. The pod is attached to wires which are hoisted up above allowing you to be suspended 60 feet in the air. While you’re relaxing, the waiter pulls off the masterful feat of delivering food and drinks to you via zipline. The pod can be booked for breakfast, lunch, dinner or high tea and is an experience you’ll cherish for a long time. Not only will you enjoy delicious, fresh Thai fare you’ll do it while overlooking the beautiful ocean suspended in the trees.