31 August 2018
Food is a staple part of any good trip, but while there are thousands of fabulous eateries out there, some provide unique experiences alongside their delectable cuisine. We’ve rounded up our top restaurants that are set in caves, all in fascinating destinations perfect for your next holiday.
Carved out of limestone rock overlooking a sumptuous stretch of the Adriatic Sea, Grotta Palazzese is one of Italy’s most famous eateries. A rich history has seen the restaurant host elegant dinners at the behest of Italian nobility since the 18th century, but now it’s enjoyed mostly by locals and visitors, who dine on modern Apulian cuisine accompanied by glistening waters. It’s only open from May to October.
“It did not take long to fall head over heels with the area. It is unspoilt and the Pugliese are most welcoming. Apart from July and August, the beaches are deserted and the Adriatic is always crystal clear. The coast is rocky in parts and totally flat in others. The landscape is dominated by groves of olive trees, many hundreds of years old. The produce is delicious. There are daily markets that rotate on a weekly basis, and before you see them, the smell of garden-fresh produce can be detected by the senses.”
Rosanna, Travel Counsellor
One of Lanzarote’s biggest attractions, Jameos del Agua is a series of open-air lava caves created by a volcanic eruption over 4,000 years ago. Today it is one of the island’s cultural centres, with a natural lake, lush gardens and a population of tiny albino crabs. In Jameos del Agua’s first cave you’ll find a concert auditorium and restaurant, serving international cuisine, sometimes accompanied by live music.
In Jameos del Agua’s first cave you’ll find a concert auditorium and restaurant. This is where Jameos Nights takes place, with food served to the backdrop of various musical acts, creating a fun, romantic setting.
Nestled under an ancient limestone cliff on the edge of Phangan Beach on the island of Krabi, this enchanting spot in the Rayavadee Resort serves up delicious western and Asian cuisine, from pad Thai to pasta, to hotel guests and visitors alike. Barbecues are also hosted each evening, with advance booking required.
Romantic and quirky, this beachside restaurant is lit with candles flickering amidst the cave’s stalactites. The menu includes the likes of Indian Ocean oysters and Madagascan steak, which can be paired with something from an extensive wine list. If you’re there in the evening and want to see the stars illuminate the night sky, book a table at the mouth of the cave, which has brilliant views over Diani Beach.
Hanging high above the Yangtze River near Yichang in China’s Hubei province, Fang Weng provides one of the world’s most breathtaking dining experiences. Although the entrance to this Happy Valley eatery is an uninspiring grey-brick building, what lies behind it is an eatery caved into a cliff face, looking like it’s clinging on for dear life.
Most of the seating is inside a natural cave decked out with Chinese furnishings, while two terraces look over the river below and surrounding areas, affording diners stunning views.