Sometimes you travel to a destination just to chill. Sometimes you travel to a destination for, well, the destination. But when you’re traveling to a country for a restaurant, you know that it has to be one that blows your mind and goes down in the books as your best meal. In fact, there is one restaurant that is such a hassle to get to, in one of the most remote parts of Europe, that it’s easier to just chopper in which the hitters often do.
Also, about this list: don’t expect to always find the molecular smoke show or fine dining where you can hear a pin drop. More often than not, these restaurants to travel for are in off-grid quaint towns. Even a view of the mountains is almost as good as a meal. And a place that has sourdough and homemade butter that’s as light as air that it literally floats like a cloud onto your dish. So, this is your list of restaurants to put a pin on, whether it’s for a last-minute summer run to the border, or on your list of lifetime meals.
There are many reasons to travel, and an exquisite meal is often at the top of the list. This is when the journey becomes part of the experience. When the landscape and culture influence not only what we are eating but how it can change us. The restaurants that draw people from all over the globe to sit down for a meal vary widely. They can be in the center of a culinary capital or on remote islands that require ambition and curiosity to reach. Our list of six restaurants worth traveling for encompass all such kinds of journeys. But ultimately, it is all about the food.
The Restaurant: The Three Chimneys
The Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Three Chimneys is set on the shores of Colbost, overlooking Loch Dunvegan in Scotland. Its remote setting gives it idyllic views of the dramatic countryside and seascape that Scotland is known for. The restaurant is housed in an old stone cottage with three chimneys which is how it got its name. It has won multiple awards throughout the years including a Michelin star and three AA Rosettes. Scott Davies, the head chef, works with suppliers and local purveyors to showcase ingredients and dishes from the area. The sense of place and distinct pallet exhibits the natural bounty of Scotland. Additionally, there are six suites next door to the restaurant for guests to spend more time immersed in the environment.
The Restaurant: KOKS
The Location: Ilimanaq, Greenland
KOKS is the first Michelin-starred restaurant located on the Faroe Islands, an archipelago located between Norway and Iceland. It is considered the most remote Michelin-starred restaurant, gaining its first star in 2017 and a second in 2019. However, they are temporarily relocating to Greenland’s west coast while they renovate their space in the Faroe Islands. Running from June 12th to September 8th, KOKS will take over the restaurant of the Ilimanaq Lodge. Led by head chef Poul Andrias Ziska, there will be a seventeen to twenty-course tasting menu. The dishes will focus on local ingredients and flavors of the ocean. Guests who stay overnight at the Lodge will have the option to eat at KOKS during their stay. But, diners who don’t spend the night will have to fight for a reservation.
The Restaurant: Geranium
The Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Although Noma shocked the world by announcing its closing in 2024, Copenhagen is not short of Michelin-starred restaurants. The city has skyrocketed into a culinary capital with an array of restaurants at the cutting edge. That’s where Geranium comes in, with its three Michelin stars, fresh off of winning the best restaurant in the world in 2022. Geranium is located on the eighth floor of the National Football Stadium overlooking the Fælledparken Gardens. As a result, its full-length windows allow guests to see the changes between the four seasons. The menu mimics the seasonal changes with the ingredients used for its dishes. In 2022, co-owners Rasmus Kofoed and Søren Ledet decided to make the menu meatless and instead focus on highlighting other ingredients. With a roughly twenty-course tasting menu and a varied selection of wines, you’ll be in for a ride.
The Restaurant: Schloss Schauenstein
The Location: Fürstenau, Switzerland
You can find Schloss Schauenstein, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, in the smallest town in the world. It is something out of a fairytale, located in the Swiss Alps and housed in a remote castle perched atop a mountain in Fürstenau. The restaurant is led by Andreas Caminada, a local who transformed the town into a culinary destination. The menu combines a unique presentation with a Swiss sense of precision to make the senses come alive. Everything is hyper-local, with ingredients coming from the Graubünden region. In addition to their three Michelin stars Schloss Schauenstein has also garnered a green star for their focus on sustainability. They also provide nine boutique suites for guests interested in spending more time in the region.
The Restaurant: Mil
The Location: Moray, Peru
The town of Moray is located within Peru’s Sacred Valley, a site filled with Incan ruins surrounded by the Andes Mountains. This same town is where Virgilio Martínez chose to create his restaurant, Mil. It famously made it onto the list of 50 Best Restaurants of 2022. Although it is a trek to reach it is considered by many to be a culinary experience of a lifetime. The concept of the eight-course menu is divided into categories. For example, Preservation, Plateau, Extreme Altitude, Corn, Central Andes, Andean Rainforest, Frozen Cordillera, and Sweet Huatia. These dishes are often prepared using indigenous ingredients and techniques. Additionally, Mil offers a unique immersion experience for those interested in learning more about the culinary heritage. This has you journeying to ruins, farmlands, botanical routes, artisanal workshops, fermentation, and distillation sessions, and finally to your meal.
The Restaurant: SanBrite
The Location: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
SanBrite is a Michelin Star restaurant in the Dolomite Mountains. Although they only have a few tables, the big window offers stunning views of the surroundings. The interior is small yet elegant, furnished with recycled wood. Additionally, the restaurant was awarded a Green Michelin star as a result of its concentration on sustainability both in its atmosphere and gastronomy. SanBrite literally translates to “healthy pasture” so this is at the heart of what the restaurant is doing with its dishes. Likewise, Chef Riccardo Gaspari uses home-produced regional ingredients to elevate mountain traditions with his menu. One of the many notable dishes is the butter cloud served at the beginning of the meal. Made of creamy butter, it is eaten with their sourdough bread and is one of the restaurant’s highlights.