From the freshest seafood caught in the bath-warm waters of the bountiful Indian Ocean to cutting-edge creative cooking techniques, panoramic clear blue views and unforgettable underwater dining rooms, the Maldives offers a diverse and enticing array of bucket-list dining experiences. Whether you’re planning a romantic honeymoon, a family trip of a lifetime, or a pampering solo adventure, the best restaurants in the archipelago will help you dive deeper into your experience of this paradise location and create lifelong memories. Here’s our guide on where to eat in the Maldives.
Ozen Life Maadhoo – M6m
Imagine dining six metres below the sea, surrounded by colourful marine life, bathed in the aquamarine hues of the ocean. This is the reality of a meal at M6m, Ozen Life Maadhoo’s signature restaurant. Begin your culinary journey with champagne and caviar at the upstairs lounge, before descending into this magical world; a sublime setting for any anniversary, proposal or bucket list experience. All tables are placed to face the watery spectacle, so you can enjoy the freshest seafood and wine pairings, while mesmerised by the view. M6m serves lunch and dinner, with the latter reserved for over 12s. Read our review of the Ozen Life Maadhoo
View Menu – theozencollection.com
Ozen Reserve Bolifushi – ORIGINE
Ozen Reserve Bolifushi offers several restaurants, including this multi-sensory dining experience at ORIGINE. Many of the veggies and herbs come handpicked from the Chef’s Garden, these are paired with the freshest local seafood and high-quality cuts of meat. The hotel’s Elite Cellar Selections provides a choice of over 80 labels of wines to accompany your meal (the illuminated “Cuvee Library” collection can be seen through floor-to-ceiling glass panels). Comfy armchair-style seating, ambient lighting and glowing amber hues create a convivial and warm atmosphere. Read our review of the Ozen Reserve Bolifushi
View Menu – theozencollection.com
Soneva – Flying Sauces
Follow a 200-meter trail by zipline through a canopy of trees, to reach this dining platform and open kitchen. Part of Soneva Fushi, Flying Sauces is an incredible treetop culinary experience set 12 metres above ground. It has the largest collection of wine and fizz in the Indian Ocean, thanks to the resort’s library-like cellar and incredible views. Once you’ve arrived and removed your harness, you’ll take seats around a huge circular table seating up to 12, for breakfast, lunch, high tea, or dinner, by Chef Rasal Jayawardene. Flying Sauces meals range from one hour and 15 minutes to around three hours.
View Menu – soneva.com
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – Li Long
This experience is designed to feel like you’ve been invited to a meal at one of Shanghai’s noble residences. Choose to dine in the main restaurant or reserve the private dining room, with a direct outlook on the lagoon. The timber construction houses polished wood floors, leather seating booths and traditional aesthetic elements such as carved screens. And there are a handful of candlelit tables outside on the overwater deck. The kitchen boasts Maldives’s first classic wood-fired oven in which most of its recipes are perfected; do try Li Long’s signature roasted Peking duck and finish your meal with a nourishing Chinese tea.
View Menu – waldorfastoriamaldives.com
Six Senses Laamu – Zen
Enjoy a contemporary Japanese Omakase experience at this chilled-out restaurant. Set on an upper deck and open to the elements, it provides lovely views, the sounds of the ocean and the feel of the gentle breeze. The thatched roof has rustic wooden beams on the underside, there’s a natural wood balustrade and dark wood floors, offset by terracotta accents in the furnishings. Zen has a live cooking station, so you can observe much of the action before receiving your food. The drinks menu includes many sake options and signature Japanese cocktails.
View Menu – www.sixsenses.com
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort – The Fire Pit
As the sun sets, you step onto the powdery white sand, to take a seat made of sand and finished with plump cushions, at your table that’s also made of sand, with a glass top (wooden tables and chairs on the beach can also be booked). Surrounded by the glow of lanterns and burning torches, your unobstructed view of the ocean could not be more serene and romantic. Here you’ll be brought delicacies, such as giant scampi with smoked tomato gremolata, Snake River Farm beef tenderloin with chimichurri and, the ultimate choice for two, the sublime seafood platter.
View Menu – www.raffles.com
JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa – Kaashi
It may be the Maldives, but this hotel restaurant is all about the Thai flavours. Set overlooking the infinity pool and ocean, it’s housed in a rustic thatched construction, that’s covered but essentially al fresco. Surrounded by natural wood, the treetop eatery provides fantastic views with the freshest of food and a selection of rum cocktails. Kaashi is open for lunch, from 1 pm to 4 pm daily and has a relaxed, Robinson Crusoe vibe.
View Menu – www.marriott.com
LUX South Ari Atoll – Umami
You may be in the Maldives, but you’ll be in for a feast of Japanese food at Umami. A glowing blue bar stands at its centre, where the skilled chefs transform local catches into sashimi, nigiri and maki. Meanwhile, the robata grill is on hand for the likes of Kobe beef and Australian lamb and the teppanyaki flames with wagyu beef, Hokkaido scallops and glacier toothfish. Wash your meal down with a glass of sake (there are more than 30 varieties on the menu), or an authentic Japanese whiskey. Umami offers a lunch and dinner service.
View Menu – www.luxresorts.com
One&Only Reethi Rah – Reethi
Perched over the clearest of waters, with a thatched indoor area and an al fresco terrace shaded by gently swaying palms, Reeth is pure island chic. It offers exquisite Indian Ocean views, enjoyed with a leisurely breakfast of baked pastries, tropical fruits and superfoods. Or you can experience the theatre of food, with its evening offer, after dark (lunch is available elsewhere in the resort). A menu of pan-Asian dishes, including Indian curries and Thai stir-fries, is cooked primarily in a charcoal oven, with ingredients fresh from the nearby land and sea.
View Menu – www.oneandonlyresorts.com