Number 10: Vu's Restaurant - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Renowned for: Panoramic views of Dubai's cityscape
Vu's is located on the 51st floor of the hotel and offers unbelievable views of the city's landscape. The menu is an eclectic mix, drawing on European and Middle Eastern influences.
Best of all, Vu's closes up shop as a restaurant and turns into a nighttime hot spot. The views get even better when enhanced by the bright city lights — not to mention a cocktail or two.
Signature dish: Can't decide between pasta and seafood? Split the difference with lobster and golden potato gnocchi with sage and lemon juice.
Number 9: The Fat Duck - Berkshire, England
Renowned for: Good English cuisine (no, really!)
The Fat Duck is consistently rated among the best restaurants in the world and, perhaps predictably, has been the subject of a great deal of criticism that it doesn't live up to the hype.
But you can't beat the audaciousness of the Duck's concept: the creation of a menu that wholeheartedly embraces English dishes and ingredients (with a generous nod to French influences as well), traditionally the bane of world cuisine.
Signature dish: If you ever deign to try snail porridge, this is the ideal place to do so.
Number 8 The Pointe Restaurant - Tofino, Canada
Renowned for: Its 240° view of the Pacific
Vancouver Island is known as one of the more staid places in Canada, home to acres of pastoral greenery and pastoral senior citizens. But along with lush grass and old people, the island has one of the best restaurant settings around.
The Pointe Restaurant is located on the edge of a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean, providing diners with a 240° view of the pounding surf as it crashes into the surrounding rocks.
Signature dish: The Crab for Two platters offers definitive proof of the versatility of our beloved crustacean. It includes whole steamed crab, crab and chorizo risotto, and chilled crab and snapped pea salad.
Number 7 Mars 2112 - New York City, USA
Renowned for: Cosmic kitsch
Mars 2112 requires you to get into the spirit of things. Dine on high-quality, though expensive, bar food near the Crater's Edge, as patrons..., earthlings, walk past the steaming Blue Lava Fountain.
You'll notice creepy mute aliens in rubber-and-spandex costumes lingering close by.
Signature dish: If you can order them with a straight face, the "Mars-tinis" and "Cosmos-politans" are some of the best drink specials in town.
Number 6 No. 5 Cavendish Square - London, England
Renowned for: Hip, histrionic decor
No. 5 Cavendish Square, located in the old Spanish Embassy building, pivots at the ultimate intersection of hip, swinging London and stodgy, Victorian London.
The Square serves as home to eight hotel suites, bars, a rooftop terrace, and, most notably, a great restaurant that serves up outstanding contemporary European cuisine with a slight Italian slant.
Signature dish: Got a ferocious appetite? Tame it with the wild boar with caramelized shallots.
Number 5 Gulai House - Langkawi, Malaysia
Renowned for: Cultured cuisine in the rainforest
For those who fantasize about living like a Malaysian sultan in the rainforests, Gulai House is the place to be. Located on Langkawi, a remote island in the Andaman Sea, the Gulai House is essentially a small palace masquerading as a restaurant, sitting in the midst of wildlife-infested treetops.
Along with the palatial digs and lovely surroundings, Gulai offers a delicious variety of Indian- and Malaysian-influenced dishes that will dazzle spice fiends with their complexity and potency. Not for the faint of heart.
Signature dish: It's not always on the menu, but if it is, don't pass up the delicious tangy tandoori snapper.
Number 4 Top of the World - Las Vegas, USA
Renowned for: Good eating with a bird's eye view
Located over 245 m above the Vegas strip in the Stratosphere Tower, the Top of the World Restaurant offers a jaw-dropping bird's eye view of the bright lights and mass debauchery below. At 350m, the Stratosphere (attached to the hotel of the same name) is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Top of the World is actually a great place to eat. With a traditional, straightforward menu filled with steaks, seafood and pastas, it's arguably the best eatery in Vegas.
Signature dish: Seeing as you can save at Vegas' many 99-cent buffets during the rest of your trip, go all out with the Colorado rack of lamb.
Number 3 Ithaa - Sea floor, Rangalis Island, Maldives
Renowned for: Deep-sea dining
Take a trip under water at the only all-glass undersea restaurant in the world, located at the luxurious Hilton Resort in the Maldives. Ithaa's glass aquarium design gives diners 360° views of the surrounding reef life, with fish, fauna and various crustaceans peering in at you as you feast on their cousins and in-laws.
If you're wondering how on earth it got there, Ithaa's structure was lowered underwater onto a coral reef five meters under the surface. It's an intimate setting, as the small room only seats 14. Cost averages at around $400 U.S. for a meal for two, which may leave even the most avid aqua fanatics scrambling for dry land.
Signature dish: On a menu that expertly fuses nouveau with local, the chile-pickled ini (Maldivian lobster) is the show stopper.
Number 2 Grotta Palazzese - Polignano a Mare, Italy
Renowned for: Spectacular seaside view
Seeing as many men tend to eat like their prehistoric ancestors, what better place to dine in style than a cave? Grotta Palazzese, located in a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, is one of the most beautiful hotel resorts in the world.
The base of the complex is carved out of the face of cliff, and its restaurant is set in an open-air terrace at the opening of a dramatic cave above the sea.
Signature dish: As you'd expect, the fish is fresh, delicious and dominant, but the fried calamari is the winner here.
Number 1 El Bulli - Roses, Spain
Renowned for: Voted the world's best
Voted the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine, El Bulli is a dining experience like no other. As a result, you'll have to call ahead of time — try four months ahead of time. Open only from April to September (genius chef Ferran Adri spends the rest of the year in a laboratory — yes, an actual laboratory — trying to figure out how to further humiliate his chastened colleagues with brilliant new combinations), El Bulli starts taking reservations in January and usually books up for the season in a matter of days.
Located in Roses, a small town just near the French border, El Bulli is nestled high in the moorlands of northeastern Spain. The setting is magical, with the entrance dotted with modern sculptures and a glorious view through the trees to the tiny bay abutting the restaurant. But the real draw is the astonishing food, as flavors are morphed in ways previously unfathomed.
Signature dish: The menu is ever-changing, but the Thai squid is a recurring favorite.