Plenty of restaurants sport great decor, but it’s not every day you can say you ate with the fishes. Watching sea creatures glide past your meal can be a uniquely soothing experience, and several restaurants around the world are ready to provide it—whether that means actually descending below the surface of the ocean or eating in an above-sea-level world with a giant aquarium as part of the construction.
1. AL MAHARA // DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Al Mahara in Dubai has added its star chef to the restaurant’s name, and is now called Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara. Four-star seafood may be second to the view, however. The restaurant is at the Burj Al Arab hotel, but there are no windows. Instead, diners are seated around a floor-to-ceiling 700,000-gallon marine aquarium. Al Mahara is also famous for its prices, high even by Dubai standards.
2. SUBSIX // MALDIVES
Subsix is one of nine restaurants at the PER AQUUM Niyama resort in the Maldives. Located about a third of a mile offshore from the rest of the resort, it’s also about 20 feet, or six meters, below sea level—hence the name. The only way to get there is by speedboat. You can enjoy lunch and dinner daily while relaxing in the anemone-inspired chairs, dance at the Underwater Glow Party on Wednesday and Saturday nights, or rent the whole place for a private champagne breakfast or dinner.
3. CARGO HOLD // DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
How about lunch under the watchful eye of sharks? The Cargo Hold restaurant is part of the uShaka Marine World theme park, which boasts 32 aquarium tanks, with acrylic glass walkways leading to five shipwrecks. The Cargo Hold is nestled inside the stern of the Phantom Ship—a 1920s cargo steamer—with plenty…