According to a 2019 Skift report on food tourism, an estimated 39 million travelers choose a destination based on the availability of culinary activities. With this continued uptick in food tourism, restaurants around the world are now elevating their offerings for the one percent looking to travel globe for unique, ultra-luxe culinary experiences by award-winning chefs. From exclusively imported A5 wagyu beef served 820 feet in the air to carefully-crafted veg-centric dishes, the ultra-rich are booking flights (via private jet, of course!) to indulge in once-in-a-lifetime flavors around the world.
Here are six of the most divine restaurants UHNWI are traveling around the world for:
Bangkok, Thailand: exclusively imported wagyu beef A5 at Mezzaluna (pictured)
Soaring over 800 feet atop the world’s first vertical destination, ultra-luxe travelers can indulge at one of Thailand’s only two-Michelin star restaurants, Mezzaluna. Known as offering the most expensive tasting menu in Thailand, Chef Ryuki Kawasaki utilizes a hyper-local sourced ingredient (from his hometown!) in his signature wagyu beef dish, featured on every seasonal tasting menu. UHNWI travel from all over the world to experience this wagyu beef A5 ingredient as the Niigata, Japan prefecture only allows distribution of 100 cows annually, and Chef Ryuki receives one cow per month. After a decadent 7-course tasting menu (starting at $210 per person), wayfarers can explore on the other ten unique bars or restaurants at The Dome at lebua, like the recently opened millennial pink hotspot, Pink Bar specializing in lebua Hotels & Resorts-exclusive champagne blends.
Moscow, Russia: caviar sophistication at The Beluga
Tastefully decorated with bohemian crystal chandeliers, The Beluga located in Moscow, Russia is the perfect restaurant for UHNWI looking for a glamorous caviar experience. The menu is hyper-focused on caviar with over 36 different caviar options in a variety of preparations and prices can reach $170 (depending on the type of caviar) and paired with a shot of exclusive Beluga vodka or fresh lemon iced tea per 25 grams. This restaurant is perfect for ultra-luxe travelers who want to learn as they eat, as the staff is educated and willing to show the correct ways and pairings to eating each specific type of caviar.
Brusaporto, Italy: trust the chef at Da Vittorio Ristorante
Ultra-luxe travelers can experience creative culinary genius at Da Vittorio’s by opting for the Carte Blanche option (starting at $310 per person). Carefully crafted by award-winning Chef Enrico Cerea, guests can enjoy a special trust me dining experience with chef preparing each dish with an original style that also takes into account the new frontiers in healthy cuisine. He incorporates fruits and vegetables as accent flavors in all his elegant dishes including roasted pigeon and burned tomatoes or duck breast with grilled oriental flavored apricot.
Paris, France: farm-to-table tasting menus at Arpège
A veg-centric paradise, Arpège is a three-Michelin star restaurant and a bucket list destination for vegetarian travelers. Helmed by Chef Alain Passard, each seasonal offering is hand-picked off his biodynamic farms in Sarthe, Eure and Manche. Guests can indulge in the vegetable tasting menu (starting at $375 per person) for an 11-course meal crafted with fresh produce delivered daily from one of Chef Passard’s farms. Known in the culinary world as never seeing the inside of a refrigerator, chef has fresh produce hand-picked and delivered daily.
Berlin, Germany: sensorial dining at Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer
Known as one of the most extravagant restaurants in Germany, Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer’s elegantly plated European dishes stimulate the diners’ senses with vibrant colors, tastes and scents. Chef Hendrik Otto draws inspiration from original family recipes – combining authentic cuisine with adventurous ingredients to create bold new flavors and edible plate décor. At this two-Michelin star eatery, guests can indulge in a 6-course tasting menu (starting at $330 per person) featuring a variety of dishes like cream and parfait of goose liver sweetened with citrus fruits or Langoustine and Octopus with an artichoke and green coriander base.
New York, New York: extravagant omakase tasting menus at Zuma
Zuma offers an innovative spin on contemporary Japanese cuisine, pairing exotic, internationally-inspired dishes with downtown chic décor to create an exceptional dining experience. Inspired by the informal style of Japanese dining, Izakaya, Zuma’s extravagant omakase tasting menus feature a myriad of dishes made with exclusive ingredients hand-picked and sourced from small farms across Japan. Regularly rotating to match the best available seasonal product, Zuma’s omakase (starting at $225.00) includes offerings like the signature black miso cod and yellowtail sashimi. While providing an authentic and interactive atmosphere for high-level executives and UHNWI to indulge in all elements of the Japanese culture without leaving New York!
Athens, Greece: Elevated (literally!) dining at Dinner in the Sky Athens
Guests can strap in and prepare for lift off – 130 feet above the city of gods in Athens at the Dinner in the Sky venue for an authentic 6-course Greek tasting menu (starting at $150 per person). The innovative experience is fully equipped to accommodate all guests’ needs from specific dietary requests before takeoff to floating back to the ground to use the lavatory. The Sky platform is perfect for ultra-luxe travelers seeking to transform a regular fine-dining experience into a thrilling one-of-a-kind culinary adventure. Menu offerings include Sautéed Shrimp exclusive from the Koilada area and Caramelized Mille-feuille with Masticha cream, strawberry confit, salted caramel topped with caviar from Masticha liquor.