Header image courtesy of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Home to turquoise blue waters and luxurious secluded islands, Maldives is the ultimate destination for the spectacular things in life. Many flock here to indulge in the five-star hotels, swim the crystal-clear seas, and tan in sun-soaked glory.
But there’s more—as with most highly sought-after paradises, comes the best of dining experiences. With its extensive range of celebrity chefs and culinary variety, Maldives showcases some of the best restaurants in the world. Here we have it: the best restaurants to try on a trip to the Maldives.
Dine under the sea—probably not a sentence you would’ve strung up without a visit to the Maldives. Whilst we love swimming in the blue waters, sometimes it’s nice to just chill and admire the natural reefs from afar. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant does just that—housed 16 feet below the surface at Conrad Maldives Rangali, the eatery serves fusion cuisine, with a transparent window view of its surrounding marine life. Expect to see sharks, fish, and exotic sea creatures, in an intimate setting of only 14 tables. The restaurant hosts regular set dinners, but be sure to book it in advance.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Rangali Island 20077, Maldives | (+960) 668 0629
Soneva Fushi’s Shades of Green is a celebrity-clad haven (with visits from Madonna, Paul McCartney, and the Beckhams). Perched on a private island, the restaurant offers some of the best plant-based cuisines. Diners visit the Soneva Fushi gardens to start their tasting menu by Carsten Kyster by picking and tasting the freshest ingredients and looking for the hidden amuse-bouche.
Shades of Green, Soneva Fushi, Kunfunadhoo Island, Eydhafushi, Maldives | (+960) 660 0304
In terms of food, it’s pretty obvious what the Maldives is partly known for: its delectable seafood. Make a trip to Sea.Salt.Fire at Anantara Dhigu, which overlooks the crystal waters of the azure lagoon. Dishes from the land and the sea are grilled, with highlights including freshly-caught Maldivian reef fishes, lobster, tuna, and beef from Australia.
Sea.Salt.Fire, Anantara Dhigu, P.O. Box 2098, Dhigufinolhu, South Male Atoll, Malé, Maldives | (+960) 664 4100
On the elegant Velaa Private Island in Noonu Atoll, chef Gaushan de Silva at Aragu cooks modern European cuisine with a touch of Asian influence. The menu is bespoke and based on the diner’s personal taste buds—a truly unique and luxurious experience for the upmarket traveller. Expect dishes with international flavours catered directly to your palette—sign us up!
Aragu, Velaa Private Island, Maldives | (+960) 656 5000
Combining traditional and modern French cuisine, Fenesse is Jumeirah Vittaveli’s fine-dining venture, looking over the azure Indian Ocean. From the Kobe beef tartare to the lobster thermidor, one can expect only the finest quality produce and ingredients. The venue is even visited by Michelin-starred chefs, including Anthony Demetre and Ollie Dabbous, who give their nods of approval.
Fenesse, Jumeirah Vittaveli, South Malé Atoll, Maldives 08160, Maldives | (+960) 664 2020
How many times have you eaten in a treehouse setting? Probably not too many, one could note. Joali Maldives opened two years ago as an ultimate wellness destination with an eco-conscious motive. Manta Ray Treehouse invites guests to eat amidst the trees, in a naturally-made space, designed to resemble two giant aquatic creatures. Feast on the Maldivian cuisine here, with local specialities including the fish curry and native lobster.
Manta Ray Treehouse, Joali, Muravandhoo Island Raa Atoll, Maldives | (+960) 658 4400
W Retreat and Spa’s KITCHEN serves reimagined modern bistro food, taking it to new heights. Boasting an open cooking station, gourmands can feast eyes on the professional cooking methods and preparation prior to devouring the dishes. This destination is also perfect for a sunset meal—it is the Maldives, after all.
KITCHEN, Fesdu Island North Ari Atoll, 09110, Maldives | (+960) 666 2222
Escape to the most secluded space in Maldives—Sandbank Dining at Baros—for an intimate meal like no other. Sit in the middle of the Indian Ocean on the pure white sand, where a discreet chef and waiter will cater to your every need. The hidden spot exhibits the most breath-taking sunrise or sunset, whilst you devour succulent sushi or a picnic brunch. If you’re wanting to get away from it all—this is the place to be.
Sandbank Dining, PO Box 2015, Malé 20-02, Republic of Maldives | (+960) 664 26 72
At Dusit Thani’s Borderless Dining, diners can indulge in a feast for all senses, in a place which combines gastronomy, atmosphere, and nature together. Explore the tantalising flavours of this unique destination whilst embracing its natural, surrounding wonders.
Borderless Dining, P.O. Box 2188, Mudhdhoo Island, Baa Atoll, Republic of Maldives | (+960 660 8888)