Top Ten Sea Views to Dine For

Blissful vistas, the crash of waves on the shore, and fresh, salty air to whet the appetite make these oceanside eateries a treat for all the senses.
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Top Ten Sea Views to Dine For: Muisbosskerm, Western Cape, South Africa
LIVE CATCH: View from terrace at Muisbosskerm on South Africa's Western Cape  (Charlotte Turner)

10) Muisbosskerm, Western Cape, South Africa
On the beach just outside Lambert's Bay, this open-air restaurant offers a sand-between-your-toes setting and fixed-price menu featuring local seafood prepared in nearly any way you like, including baked in a clay oven. Despite much competition, Muisbosskerm remains a South African culinary highlight.

Planning: Meals last about three hours. When available, it is worth splurging on the crayfish supplement.

9) Café del Mar, San Antonio, Ibiza, Spain
In a location chosen for its twilight outlook over Conejera Island, this baroque fantasy—the birthplace of chill-out music—is the world's most-celebrated sunset bar. Thanks to its sublime fusion of music, vistas, decor, and climate, it remains the island's leading pre-party venue. As the sun sets, a hush descends over customers, followed by clapping.

Planning: At sunset the café, open summer only, is packed. Afterwards enjoy fire-jugglers at Mambo next door.

8) Reial Club Marótim, Barcelona, Spain
Normally members-only, Barcelona's royal yacht club, founded in 1881, also runs a restaurant open to all, drawing Spain's beautiful people with its harbor views and extensive first-class seafood menu. Highlights include seafood paella.

Planning: The club is on the Espanya wharf. Non-members enter the restaurant through the side door.

7) Club 55, St.-Tropez, France
Ever since 1955, when Brigitte Bardot was filming And God Created Woman in this fishing village on the Côte d'Azur, Club 55 has been at the heart of the St.-Tropez beach scene—with the rich and famous arriving by private yacht. The club's restaurant on Pampelonne beach offers fresh local produce and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. A large catch of the day for an entire table is a lunchtime favorite, with the house rosé almost mandatory.

Planning: For non-members, lunchtime tables get booked weeks or months ahead, especially on weekends.

6) Unawatuna, near Galle, Sri Lanka
This secluded tropical paradise on the south coast is Sri Lanka's prettiest beach resort and has some of its finest alfresco dining. With Dutch, Indian, Malay, Arab, British, Moorish, and Portuguese influences, Sri Lankan food is generally spicier than in other parts of the Indian subcontinent. A typical dish is fish curry, which you can enjoy at beach cafés, such as Kingfisher or Lucky Tuna, while gazing out on palm-fringed ocean vistas.

Planning: Unawatuna is just south of Galle and 76 miles (122 km) by road from Colombo.

This Top 10 List is just one item on the menu in FOOD JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe. This beautiful new book from National Geographic presents hundreds of delicious destinations—spotlighting specialties and ingredients, markets, seasonal delights, great food towns, kitchen secrets, ultimate luxuries, and the best in desserts, wine, beer, and more.

Published: 12 Jan 2010 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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