Love for travel often goes hand in hand with a love for food. Enjoying a delicious meal in a place where you’re surrounded by peace, quiet, and the beauty of nature may sound like a dream come true to many people. Whether you want to catch a break from the crowds that frequent popular tourist spots or are simply looking for a new experience to cross off your bucket travel list, this article should help you.
Below, you will find a list of some of the most amazing remote restaurants in the world and tips on how to visit them. Some of them are so secluded that you shouldn’t be surprised if you spot portable generators working hard to keep the whole place going. They range from places relatively close to home, such as the Willows Inn on the Lummi Island in Washington, to locations in Europe, South America, and Asia. Even though they’re located all over the world, they all have one thing in common – delicious food that you can enjoy while admiring truly breathtaking views.
Continue reading below to explore the list of unique destinations for your inner foodie so you don’t sleep on these truly hidden gems!
Willows Inn, Lummi Island, Washington
Lummi Island is a tranquil and intimate place that you can visit by taking a ferry from the mainland part of Washington state. Full of charming and secluded roads, Lummi Island is filled with dense forests with tall and majestic trees such as Douglas fir, Western red cedar, or Western hemlock. The island is a paradise for every lover of the great outdoors – here, you can hike, bike, picnic at the beach, go kayaking, and so much more, including enjoying good food.
Willows Inn is a small and intimate restaurant nestled on a bay view property among tall evergreen trees and thick shrubs. It’s been welcoming guests for over a hundred years, starting as a summer bungalow built by the Taft family before the 1920s. In 2010, the Willows Inn was taken over by Blaine Wetzel, a young chef and Washington native who continues to run it to this day, acting as a head chef.
Willows Inn is a perfect choice to try innovative dishes made with local ingredients. You can order meals consisting of grilled oysters with spices and tequila, nettle soup with mussels, or smoked salmon, among others. The menu is built around fish, shellfish, vegetables, berries, and herbs. Besides delicious food, Willows Inn is often praised for its quiet atmosphere and Instagram-worthy views. To visit the restaurant, you need to book well in advance and keep in mind that Lummi Island is accessible only by ferry.
Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France
Accessible by cable car or a steep hike up, this hilltop refuge offers stunning views of the French Alps. It’s a popular food stop among hikers and sightseers. The building, which serves both as a mountain hut and a restaurant, has a terrace that you can sit on during your meal to admire the beautiful valley of Chamonix.
The refuge is open for tourists and food enthusiasts from May to late October. It remains unstaffed outside of this period, meaning that you’ll only be able to take shelter, have a hot shower, access Wi-Fi, or stay the night there. It sleeps about forty people in summer and only ten in the winter. If you’re going on a longer hike and need accommodation, you can book it ahead of time.
The menu consists of traditional French dishes – salads, omelettes, fruit pies, homemade pastries, local meats and cheeses, and other regional specialities. Before heading out to visit the restaurant, keep in mind that the food is served only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
La Mesita de Almanza, Argentina
Argentina is a vast country with so much to offer, and the Tierra del Fuego (the Land of Fire) archipelago is likely to be one of its most interesting destinations. It’s home to innumerable species – you’ll be able to see the penguin colony at Martillo Island, cross your path with woodpeckers in the forests, or watch the eagles soaring over the icy blue waters of the Beagle Channel. The archipelago is accessible by multiple routes from the city of Ushuaia, but one of the easiest ways to get there is probably by helicopter.
La Mesita de Almanza is located in the picturesque fishermen town of Puerto Almanza. It’s a small restaurant that serves mostly seafood accompanied by exquisite Argentinian wines. Here, you can try prawns, shrimps, spider crabs, octopus, mussels or excellent and unbelievably fresh salmon. The portions are hearty, and the prices are reasonable. You can either enjoy your meal inside the restaurant or sit on a terrace overlooking the Ushuaia Bay, accompanied by majestic Patagonia mountains and vast forests.
Treepod Restaurant, Koh Kood Island, Thailand
Located on the remote Thai island of Koh Kood, which is accessible by a ferry or a speedboat, Treepod Restaurant may be the only foodie destination in the world where the waiters wear safety harnesses.
The island of Koh Kod boasts pristine white sandy beaches, untouched dense jungle and clear turquoise waters. In the Treepod Restaurant offered by the five-star Soneva Kiri resort, you can enjoy a meal while sitting in rattan pods that are suspended about 16 feet above the ground. It might not be an experience for the faint of heart, but the food here is exceptional and definitely worth the thrill. Keep in mind that you don’t have to stay at the resort to visit the restaurant.
You can indulge in a super-fresh meal, from mouthwatering white fish (caught the same day) to local seafood and fresh fruit platters. Just don’t get too surprised when your meal gets delivered by a waiter on a zipline!
As you can see, there are many exciting places that combine the peace and beauty of untouched nature with fine dining. Some of them require you to jump on a ferry, while others are accessible by multiple different routes, including a cable car ride, a short helicopter flight, or a simple uphill hike.
If you’re looking for a good place to start visiting remote restaurants, you can try something more local by going to Willows Inn on Washington’s Lummi Island. When traveling abroad, you should definitely try to check out La Mesita de Almanza in Argentina, Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille in the French Alps or the famous yet still secluded and private Treepod Restaurant on the Koh Kood island in Thailand. These destinations are perfect for those who want to enjoy exquisite food while staying close to nature. Happy travels!