(CNN) — A delectable meal and a sublime view of the water is the best dinner theater in the world.
Padstow, UK: Paul Ainsworth No. 6
This cozy Michelin-starred restaurant is housed in an elegant Georgian townhouse overlooking the River Camel in the picturesque Cornish town of Padstow.
Wildly popular chef Paul Ainsworth sends out wave after wave of modern British seafood. Oysters recently hauled out of the nearby Atlantic are a must.
Maui: Mama’s Fish House
A Maui institution since 1973, this intimate family-owned restaurant is perched right on the beach. Every day, fisherman head out in small boats to catch fish such as mahi-mahi, ono, uku and papio, all of which are brought directly to the restaurant and served within hours.
The daily menu takes “local” to the next level, listing the name of the fisherman and where they caught the fish.
Indonesia: Sundara Bali
Sunset is the time to visit this stylish-but-relaxed modern Asian-inspired restaurant with sublime views of Jimbaran Bay.
As the sun dips below the horizon, the fire pits are lit and families happily tuck into seafood sourced from the bay along with local Balinese produce.
Desserts are made in house by award-winning pastry chef Yusuke Aoki. Most memorable is a tropical parfait made with pineapple compote, tapioca, coconut dried meringue and passion fruit sorbet.
Menfi, Sicily: Da Vittorio Ristorante
Request a spot by the window at this Sicilian favorite, situated in the seaside town of Menfi, for the best views of the undulating waves.
The restaurant is justly famous for its pasta con I ricci di mare alla Vittorio, or pasta with sea urchin.
The ingredients are so simple: spaghetti, olive oil, white wine, garlic, parsley and local sea urchin. But they are of the very highest quality, making the dish truly otherworldly.
Pingwe, Tanzania: The Rock
Eating at The Rock is one of the most unusual dining experiences in the world.
Set on a small coral outcrop that was once the site of a fisherman’s post, this jewel-like restaurant is surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The African crew of chefs whips up dishes such as The Rock Special — lobster, cigal, king prawns, octopus and calamari, all expertly done on the grill.
At low tide, you can wade there from Michanwe Pingwe Beach; at high tide, you’ll be rowed there in a fishing boat.
Venice, Italy: Club Del Doge
Sip a Negroni and watch the gondolas glide by at Club del Doge, located inside Venice’s Gritti Palace Hotel, which sits magisterially on the Grand Canal.
Watching the water traffic is some of the most magnificent dinner theater in the world, but the food is equally sublime: small Venetian snacks known as cicchetti, homemade ravioli and heavenly risotto with shaved white truffles.
A night out in Miami calls for a memorable meal.
Magic City serves as a glittering backdrop for this glitzy spot, a former industrial warehouse on the banks of the Miami River.
The house-made pasta, meats grilled on hot stones and wood-fired pizzettas get high marks, but the buzzy waterfront scene is the real draw. Watch yachts drop off their owners at the restaurant’s 500-foot dock.
Big Sur, California: Sierra Mar
This restaurant sources ingredients from local gardens.
Perched on a cliff along the winding Big Sur coast with dramatic views of the glittering Pacific Ocean below, Sierra Mar has been the site of countless wedding proposals.
Chef Elizabeth Murray’s signature California fare is as glorious as the view. The four-course menu, a mélange of French, Mediterranean and Asian, changes with the seasons; produce is sourced from a nearby garden.
Santorini, Greece: Lycabettus
When you dine at this magical place, which sits directly on a cliff that stretches over the Aegean Sea, you’ll feel as if you are floating in blue — sky above, water below.
But the restaurant doesn’t coast on its breathtaking setting: Chef Pavlos Kiriakis makes innovative use of local Greek ingredients such as ripe pistachios, white fava beans and tomatoes grown in Santorini’s rich volcanic soil.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Nautika
Dubrovnik is famous for being a “Game of Thrones” filming location.
courtesy Nautika Restaurants Group
This restaurant, which sits alongside the western entrance to Dubrovnik’s Old City, is steeped in history: Formerly the Dubrovnik School of Maritime Studies, it has hosted famous seafarers since the 1880s.
The menu boasts local delicacies such as lobster from the Dalmation island of Vis, but it’s the deeply romantic vista that draws royal visitors from around the globe: On one side, the glittering Adriatic Sea, on the other, the dramatic fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar rise from the water.
Cape Town, South Africa: Azure
Fresh and sustainable seafood is a go-to at Azure.
Red Carnation Hotels
The breezy terrace at one of the Mother City’s most show-stopping restaurants seems to hover directly above the Indian Ocean.
Few experiences match tucking into local kabeljou fish as you watch the setting sun turn the sky pink and orange.
Chef Christo Pretorius, who is committed to using sustainable seafood on his menu, crafts a blend of local and international favorites, among them his signature Prawn Dahl, a mix of savory lentils, cauliflower and coconut puree, pickled apple, and tiger prawns seasoned with his fish spice mix, made in house.
Krabi, Thailand: The Grotto
Tucked beneath a craggy limestone cliff that borders the vivid turquoise waters of Phranang Beach, this restaurant, part of the luxe Rayavadee Resort, affords the opportunity of dining inside an ancient, cathedral-like cave.
As you burrow your toes in the sand and indulge in Thai favorites such as the sweet and sour soup known as Tom Yum Po Tak Talay, you’ll feel like the world’s most glamorous castaway.
Santa Monica, California: 1 Pico at Shutters on the Beach
The Pacific breeze and California-grown produce give the property singular local charm.
This bright, airy temple to coastal California cuisine seems to meld with the lapping waters of the Pacific.
The interior is done up in soothing oceanic tones, and palm trees sway in the sea breeze outside of the restaurant’s tall glass windows.
The menu leans Mediterranean and focuses on meat, seafood and California-grown produce.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: aMare
Chef Luis Guzman playfully fuses his Puerto Rican roots (tostones, or fried plantains) and Serafina Beach Hotel’s Italian origins (spaghetti festively prepared tableside in a giant Parmesan wheel).
Watch the sun set over the sparkling Atlantic on the restaurant’s sleek, sophisticated terrace, done in clean blue and white to match the vibrant colors of the sea.
St. Barts: Plage
This chic but laid-back beachside bistro was recently unveiled at La Sereno following the property’s top-to-bottom rebuild after Hurricane Irma. And it’s sublime: situated right on the pearly white-sand beach, it overlooks the dazzlingly clear teal-green waters of St. Barts’ iconic Grand Cul du Sac.
The fare of burgers and salads is casual and satisfying — and best enjoyed with your toes in the sand.
Hong Kong: Lung King Heen
Dim sum and dumplings are a few fan favorites at this Michelin-starred restaurant.
Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Not only is Lung King Heen the world’s first Chinese restaurant to be rewarded with three Michelin stars, but it also offers ridiculously picturesque views of the gleaming Victoria Harbor.
Chef Chan Yan Tak, a Hong Kong native, crafts refined Cantonese dishes that reflect his heritage and a riotously popular dim sum — think baked whole abalone puff and steamed lobster and scallop dumplings.
There’s only one catch: If you want a coveted window table, book it a few months in advance.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica: The Gazebo at Goldeneye Resort
This breezy, treehouse-style open-air restaurant, reached by a charming lighted drawbridge, overlooks a serene lagoon.
Popular Jamaican chef Colin Hylton uses ingredients grown on Goldeneye’s 2,500 acre farm, such as the callaloo, a leafy green popular in local dishes and a fitting accompaniment to The Gazebo’s charred ribeye.
New York City: Grand Banks
The floating New York City oyster bar offers creative oyster preparations to enjoy with the view.
Doug Lyle Thompson
Inspired by the barges that plied oysters in 19th century Manhattan, the Grand Banks is a raucous floating oyster bar aboard the Sherman Zwicker, a historic wooden schooner docked at Tribeca Piers.
As gulls wheel overhead, enjoy nautical-inspired cocktails, ceviche and soft shell crabs while gazing at the magnificent cityscape — and marvel that you’re still in New York.
Dubai, UAE: Scape
The Cote D’Azur-inspired menu also comes with Insta-ready views of Dubai.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
The breezy terrace restaurant at the soaring Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which stands higher than the Eiffel Tower, is the perfect vantage point to watch the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf below.
The Cote D’Azur-inspired menu includes Nicoise salad and grilled lobster or caviar if you’re feeling flush.
Porto Ercole, Italy: Il Pellicano
It doesn’t get more dreamily romantic than Il Pellicano, set on a Tuscan hill overlooking the bracingly clear Porto Ercole bay.
The menu is locally sourced, from the fish presented every morning at the kitchen door to the lamb that arrives from a nearby Tuscan farm.
As evening falls and the stars emerge, rosemary scents the air, and lights from fisherman’s boats flicker to life in the bay below.
Stockholm, Sweden: Oaxen Krog
Seasonal menus give this Michelin-starred restaurant authenticity.
Set in Djurgarden, an island in central Stockholm, this dockside Michelin-starred stunner offers clean, deceptively simple takes on Nordic classics.
The menu changes often, but it’s always seasonal, and often flavored with wild herbs harvested from the surrounding woodland.
Light floods the huge picture windows that look out at the former shipyard that occupied the site.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: COMAL
Get your smartphones ready for Technicolor sunsets at COMAL.
Suspended above the shores of Chileno Beach, the restaurant’s open-air layout spreads across three levels, offering unencumbered views of the cerulean Sea of Cortez.
Mexico City-born Chef Yvan Mucharraz (formerly of The French Laundry) prepares a fresh twist on Los Cabos cuisine using fresh local catches, from giant totoaba to sea bass.
The Maldives: Terra
At Terra, a restaurant in the newly opened Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, dine in one of seven spectacular private bamboo pods.
Perched on an elevated treetop, each overlooks the blue horizon of the Indian Ocean.
The menu offers splurge-worthy fare such as Waygu beef with white truffles — after all, as it’s not every day you dine in a bamboo pod — and boasts an extensive wine list.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island: COAST
Coast, the bright, clean-lined restaurant from The Ocean House, offers the quintessential New England experience: the freshest flavors of the Rhode Island coast and vast, unobstructed vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.
Its delectable vegetarian menu, hailing from nearby farms, is tempting even for carnivores: spicy fava beans, maple-glaze sweet potatoes, Maine grains spelt gnocci and white chocolate cremeux.
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand: The Dining Room at Cape Kidnappers
The bird sanctuary surrounding the Hawke’s Bay property further amps up the scenery.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Shaggy cliffs give way to epic views of the rolling Pacific Ocean at this striking cliffside restaurant at the rustic-yet-plush Farm at Cape Kidnappers. To amp the scenery even further, the property is surrounded by a bird sanctuary.
Fruits and vegetables are picked daily from Cape Kidnapper’s own garden and prepared using classical French technique.
Perched on the tip of a steep cliff between Anguilla’s Barnes Bay and Meads Bay, Coba brings the drama. So mesmerizing is the sight of the surging Caribbean Sea that diners may trail off in mid-conversation.
Aside from jaw-dropping views, tempting dishes on offer in the hip Kelly Wearstler-designed space include spiny lobster with local crayfish bisque and curry crouton.
Jancee Dunn writes frequently about travel and lifestyle for publications such as Travel & Leisure, Vogue, and the New York Times. She has also written six books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.