Sometimes driving up the road for a burger at McDonald’s or getting some comfort food at your local Mom and Pop restaurant hits the spot. Other times, something a bit more unorthodox sounds appealing, and nothing but the most remote and inaccessible restaurant will do. If you’re the kind of person who loves a bit of a rush before dinner, these ten restaurants will definitely give you what you’re looking for – they are some of the most difficult to access in the world, whether due to excessive travel time or the sheer amount of physical activity necessary to reach them.
After boat rides through rocky seas, long airplane flights, strenuous hikes and adrenaline pumping through your veins, you’ll definitely feel like you’ve earned your meal. The views are just another plus – the most beautiful scenery imaginable surrounds these remote restaurants. You’ll be tuckered out from traveling, but these ten restaurants will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.
10. Argentina – La Mesita de Almanza
La Mesita de Almanza is located on the Tierra del Fuego, an island on the southernmost tip of the South American continent. It can be found in the city of Ushuaia, one of the southernmost cities in the world. Tierra del Fuego means “Land of Fire” in Spanish and is often referred to as the end of the world. Tierra del Fuego is one of the last preparation points for expeditions to Antarctica, and getting there can be tough. There are numerous restrictions, which makes accessing the remote island even more difficult. If you do make it to the end of the world, make sure you stop for a bite of traditional Argentinean food at La Mesita de Almanza, the best restaurant in Ushuaia.
9. Peru – Tampu Restaurant
Although Machu Pichu in Peru is accessible by either a minibus or an expensive train ride, the best (and most difficult) way to reach the ancient site is by hiking Peru’s most famous trail. The Inca trail takes 2-4 days to hike and is so popular that it must be booked months in advance. Additionally, hiking the trail alone or in a small group is not permitted – you must travel in a group with a tour agency. Reaching Machu Picchu is a lengthy and expensive journey. Although, ancient history, staggering views and the delicious Tampu restaurant will greet you.
8. Sweden – Fäviken
Fäviken only serves twelve patrons per night. A man named Magnus leads his team to harvest and prepares all of the ingredients that go into the food. Additionally, he also operates the tiny restaurant. While the food may be excellent, getting to Fäviken is the difficult part. Fäviken is located in Järpen, Sweden and is extremely isolated. Getting to the restaurant from Stockholm requires a six-hour drive, much of which is along a rickety single lane road. Fäviken is in the midst of lakes, mountains and farmland, lending it an air of isolation that is well deserved, considering the amount of travel needed to reach it.
7. Scotland – The Three Chimneys
Scotland is a relatively small country with a population of just over 5 million, so it makes sense that it would have one of the most remote restaurants in the world. The Three Chimneys, which is located on the Isle of Skye, has been open for thirty years and is extremely difficult to reach – the nearest airport is in Glasgow, a six-hour drive and a ferry ride away. The Three Chimneys is another hour drive from Portree, the largest town on Skye. However, the journey will be worth it – the restaurant features fresh local food and has received numerous accolades and international fame.
6. Faroe Islands – Nordasti Hagi
The Faroe Islands are difficult to reach in the first place – located halfway between Iceland and Norway, they are fairly isolated. If reaching the islands is a labor of love, getting to Nordasti Hagi is even more difficult. The restaurant is only accessible by walking or taking an off-road vehicle – traditional roads don’t lead to the restaurant. After 45 minutes of a rocky and thrilling off-road ride across an unpaved moor, eager patrons must continue on foot for another 20 minutes. The restaurant is located in a century-old rustic farmhouse; the lack of flashiness is in keeping with the arduous journey.
5. New Zealand – The Furneaux Lodge
The Furneaux Lodge, located in New Zealand’s remote Marlborough Sounds, features a similarly named Furneaux Bar as well as the Howden Room Restaurant. The lodge and its two restaurants are extremely isolated and can only be reached via boat – there isn’t a single road that leads to the Furneaux Lodge. Rather than being a drawback, the isolation is all part of the experience at the Furneaux Lodge. The region is famous for its untouched wilderness, where outdoor activities like mountain biking and hiking are ideal. The vigorous activities in the open air will whet your appetite for the delicious food at either of the lodge’s secluded restaurants.
4. Pitcairn Island – Christians Café
Pitcairn Island is extremely difficult to reach, and is actually the least populated jurisdiction in the world. Located smack dab in the center of the South Pacific Ocean, the island is only accessible by boat, and even that can be difficult thanks to the sharp cliffs dominating much of the shoreline. To reach Pictairn Island, you must first fly to Tahiti, then to Mangareva, then finally take a boat to cover the remaining 300 miles. Every now and then, a lonely cruise ship will pass by but the island, which is home to only 50 people, is left alone for the most part. However, the island does have a relaxed café and bar called Christian’s Café. After working up an appetite from hours of traveling, a meal at Christian’s would definitely hit the spot.
3. The Maldives – Ithaa
The swanky Ithaa bears the title of the world’s first underwater restaurant. Located off of the coast of the Maldives, Ithaa, which means “mother of pearl,” can be found fifteen feet under the surface of the sea. The ceiling is glass, allowing patrons to spend their meal gazing at the beautiful underwater life including sharks, sting rays and tropical fish. This restaurant is inaccessible due to both location and price: the stunning Maldives are relatively remote, and the menu is anything but cheap. The restaurant only seats 14 and is highly sought after, so make sure you get your reservations in advance.
2. Zanzibar – The Rock
The Rock is aptly named: this relatively new restaurant, opened in 2010, is located on a rock just off the coast of Zanzibar Island. The nearest town is a fifteen-minute drive away, which isn’t too bad, but it’s getting to the restaurant itself that will be the strangest part of your journey. Methods of reaching The Rock depend on the sea itself – during low tide, patrons can reach the restaurant on foot, but during high tide, it is only accessible by boat. Depending on how long you’re there, you might have to travel by both methods. The unorthodox journey is surely worth it for the fresh sea air and the spectacular 360-degree views.
1. China – Mount Huashan Teahouse
The teahouse on top of Mount Huashan is number one on this list because of the sheer amount of adrenaline that the trail will pour into your veins. The first stage of getting to the teahouse is a gondola ride from the base of the southern peak. This leg of the journey is nothing compared to the hike that follows it. The path to the teahouse follows planks of wood about a foot across that are nailed precariously to the side of the mountain, with just a chain to hang onto, moves to toe holds carved into the rock, and culminates in a long series of stairs. A hot cup of tea is surely necessary to calm you down after the dizzying climb.