Ocean Grill

More Restaurants That Really Are Off The Beaten Path: International Edition 

Words: Lizabeth Scordo
Photo: Ocean Grill               

The journey to these hard-to-get-to dining spots is half the fun.

We’ve already showed you some of the country’s coolest restaurants that require everything from a boat, tram, seaplane or snowcat to reach. But if you’re an international traveler looking for a place that requires a little effort to visit, here are five more getting-there-is-half-the-fun spots to check out the next time you’re in that corner of the world.  

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Switzerland

© Matterhorn Zermatt Bergbahnen

Restaurant Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Switzerland

This restaurant housed in an eco-friendly, zero-energy building isn’t at just any cable car station, it’s located right alongside the highest cable car station in all of Europe, in the Swiss Alps, more than 12,700 feet up. For about $120, you get a gondola ride up along with a pre-dinner aperitif to sip during the ascent, a three-course dinner with drinks at sunset (when the views are sure to be killer), and then a ride back down. If you’re all about the ride, you can arrange to skip the restaurant part and just dig into wine and fondue on a private gondola

Ocean Grill, Mexico

© Ocean Grill

Ocean Grill, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This place is exactly how you’d imagine a quintessential beachside restaurant in paradise: an open-air, thatch-roof structure built into the cliffside of a perfect little sandy cove with a deck full of tables and lounge seating jutting out over the aqua ocean. Yep, it’s worth the 40-minute jungle hike and it’s definitely worth the short boat ride from the nearby fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan, about a 30-minute drive south of Puerto Vallarta. There are freshly squeezed margaritas, amazing grilled local seafood (don’t miss the octopus with kalamata tapenade), and an adorable resident Great Dane named Wilson who watches over it all.

Skoki Lodge

© Skoki Lodge / Lake Louise Ski Resort & Summer Gondola

Skoki Lodge, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Whether you ski in during the winter or hike there in the summer, the end result is the same: an off-the-grid rustic resort located in Banf National Park that was built in 1930, making it Canada’s first-ever ski lodge. If you want to stay a night, you’ll be treated to a family-style gourmet meal served by candlelight, since the place doesn’t have electricity. Chef Katie Mitzel prepares lots of what she serves by hand, including bread she kneads daily. She also runs her stove, refrigerator, and freezer run on propane, and she gets her ingredients and supplies delivered by snowmobile or pack horse (yep, they exist) weekly. Dishes might include halibut, elk, or a salad with edible flowers, but it really doesn’t matter. You’ll be eating whatever’s served since the next nearest restaurant is a good 7-mile hike away. 

Berowra Waters Inn

© thefoodsage.com

Berowra Waters Inn, New South Wales, Australia

This acclaimed riverfront restaurant near Australia’s Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is only accessible by 20-minute seaplane ride from Rose Bay in suburban Sydney or a boat ride down the Berowra River. And the dinner is pretty elaborate—usually a six-course tasting menu focused on seasonal produce and local ingredients, which can also be paired with wines from their serious cellar. Hey, you’re not driving. 

The Rock, Zanzibar

© Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The Rock, Zanzibar, Spain

Though it may be one of the least difficult to reach of the bunch (that’s assuming you’re already just hanging out in Zanzibar, of course), it certainly looks like the most remote—and very worthy of an Instagram post. A former fisherman’s shack, this seafood-focused restaurant with just 12 tables is perched on a rock that’s technically in the middle of the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar’s southeast coast. A boat can run you to the entrance from the nearby Michanvi Pingwe Beach, or during low tide, you can wade in and walk it. Just prepare to get a little wet.    

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