Dining

The World's Most Wonderful Underwater Restaurants

Submerge yourself into an unforgettable setting at these 5 places
Photo: Niyama Private Islands Maldives via Facebook

You've probably had a dinner or two at someplace that prides itself on waterfront views—but how often have you had the chance to enjoy a meal while fully submerged underwater? There are a handful of restaurants sprinkled across the globe that give guests the unique experience of dining beneath the water's surface. And you don't even have to hold your breath in the process.

Under

Earlier this year, Norway welcomed the highly anticipated Under, which became Europe's first underwater restaurant (and reportedly the largest one in the world). Housed in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean in southern Norway, the futuristic space exudes Scandinavian swagger and was designed by Oslo-based architecture firm Snøhetta. The dining room is enclosed by concrete walls and features a massive panoramic window that looks out onto the diverse marine life thriving beyond its threshold. According to Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, the goal is "to provide a unique dining experience that ushers our guests beyond their comfort zone."

 
 
 
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Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Tucked away in the tropical paradise of the Maldives, intrepid epicures will find Ithaa (which means "mother of pearl" in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi). The award-winning restaurant is part of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and sits 16 feet below sea level. The all-glass walls offer unobstructed, 180-degree views of colorful coral and its inhabitants. Both the four-course lunch menu and six-course dinner menu feature elevated contemporary cuisine inspired by European influences, meaning dishes like Oscietra caviar, prawn tartare and reef lobster-stuffed calamarata pasta served with burrata.

 
 
 
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Submarino Restaurant

Most aquariums offer guests the same sad food court, with a limited selection of overpriced prepackaged lunch options. But Spain's Oceanogràfic Valencia is anything but ordinary. The circular aquarium envelopes Submarino Restaurant at its center, giving visitors a front-row seat in the heart of the action. Known for modern fusion takes on Mediterranean classics, the restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and is available for group dinners on Sunday evenings for up to 200 people.  

 
 
 
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Al Mahara

Many consider Dubai's Burj Al Arab Jumeirah to be the most lavish hotel in the world, so it should come as no surprise that the luxe property is also home to a stunning underwater restaurant. Al Mahara ("the oyster shell" in Arabic) serves as its flagship culinary concept, with Michelin-starred British chef Nathan Outlaw at the helm. In addition to the extravagant interior design, the glittering restaurant is appropriately known for its seafood, such as hand-dived raw scallops, seaweed mashed potatoes and king crab risotto.

 
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Subsix

At Subsix (part of Niyama Private Islands Maldives), the journey to reach the restaurant is just as noteworthy as the food you'll find there. After taking a short speedboat ride, patrons descend a dramatic three-tiered staircase and submerge themselves 16 feet (or six meters, hence the name). Italian chandeliers and capiz shells draped from the ceiling create a decidedly aquatic atmosphere inside. Meanwhile, in the lagoon waters just beyond the walls, a lively array of marine life swim freely, including vibrant parrotfish, moray eels, groupers, butterflyfish and Hawksbill turtles.

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