Some say haute cuisine is best enjoyed at higher altitudes — and indeed, many of the world's best restaurants are located high above the major metropolises they inhabit. There, your courses are served with a side of breathtaking vistas, which is especially helpful when you're visiting a new city: Getting your bearings from the top can set the right pace for the next few days of your trip. Here's a list of the six sexiest rooftop restaurants worth the elevator ride.

1. Kong, Paris

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This ultra-trendy spot is perched atop the highest two floors of the LVMH building. The Asian-inspired restaurant/bar is filled with light and you can enjoy views that stretch to the Seine. Designer Philippe Starck didn’t hold back on eye-catching design elements (when does he ever): think a fluorescent green stairway and chairs that feature Asian women’s faces. The food is very good-looking  and the crowd even more so. Nibble on black angus beef tataki with yuzu or dim sum to start, then dine on Sichuan roasted duck or whole lobster with udon noodles. 

1 rue du Pont neuf, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 40 39 09 00; 
kong.fr

 

2. Topo, Lisbon

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Topo merges cozy and chic with warm wooden interiors and floor to ceiling views of the Portuguese capital. The restaurant lives on the 6th floor of Comercial Center Martim Moniz and features both an indoor and outdoor area. The menu is on the lighter side; perfect for after-work drinks with some great bites. Try their fresh tuna tartar or hamburger served on brioche bread with bacon and cheddar. 

Centro Comercial Martim Moniz Piso 6, Lisbon, Portugal. +351 215 881 322; 
topo-lisboa.pt

 

3. The Top of the Standard, New York City  

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In a city full of skyscrapers, The Top of Standard boasts the best 360 views of Manhattan. The swanky lounge and restaurant serves up a great and varied all-day menu, featuring sea Urchin and caviar crisps made with puffed rice, yuzu and osetra caviar, or grilled shrimp tacos avocado served with salsa verde and chipotle crema. The place turns into quite a scene at night, so your dinner might turn into a past-midnight cocktail jaunt. 

High Line Hotel, 848 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014, USA. +1
 (212) 645-4646; standardhotels.com/new-york/features/top-of-the-standard

 

4. Capital M, Beijing

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M is a luxe rooftop restaurant located in front of Qianmen Gate with views of Market Street. The pricey, European-style restaurant is very invested in seasonality and high-quality ingredients. For the sophisticated seafood lover, it has a whole section dedicated to oysters and caviar. Their Mediterranean mezze platter is also a great starter for you to share tzatziki, hummer and htipiti over warm flat bread. They also serve a delicious crispy suckling pig if you’re feeling carnivorous. End things on a sweet note with their Eton Mess served with caramelized figs, thyme-poached pears and rose petal curd. 

No.2 Qianmen Street, Pedestrian Area (overlooking Tian’anmen Square), 196135 Beijing, China; +86 10 6702 2727; m-restaurantgroup.com/capitalm/

 

5. Clouds, Zurich 

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Clouds is a spectacular, open-kitchen restaurant that lives on the top floor of the Prime Tower in Zurich. It offers a 360-view of the city, great food and ambiance. It’s equally great for dinner (where you can see day turn into night) or brunch, where you can eat from a buffet to your heart’s desire for just 65 CHF. Stock up on oysters and cheese (this is Switzerland, after all) and leave room for their tasty steak tartare. 

Maagpl. 5, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland. +41 44 404 30 00; clouds.ch

 

6. Vertigo, Bangkok

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This restaurant is the pinnacle of views. Located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree in Bangkok, here you can dine and practically touch the sky while you’re at it. Enjoy opulent dishes at this al fresco palace — the menu changes regularly but there are always beautiful and fresh shellfish, seafood and meat dishes. You can also opt for a wine pairing to try a variety of white, rosé and red wines. The perfect rooftop dinner at the very top of Bangkok! 

21/100 Banyan Tree Hotel, South Sathon Road, Sathon Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand. +66 2 679 1200; banyantree.com/en/ap-thailand-bangkok/vertigo-and-moon-bar


By Rana Good

Rana Good is a writer and editor who hails from Switzerland but calls New York home. She's on a quest to scour the world for the best eats, sites and experiences and share them with you. Whether she's traversing the wilderness of Mongolia or swimming with sharks in Bora Bora, she's happiest when she's discovering a new place.