Foodies on an Urban Escape: Dining Sky High

Food Lovers — By Victoria Gutierrez on May 25, 2009 at 8:32 am

I’m definitely a city girl.  I love to experience the madness, the public transportation, the crowds, the street food, and what makes the city ‘hum’.  But you often lose perspective spending time involved in the gritty workings. How better to regain perspective than by viewing the city from a bird’s eye view, with some yummy bits to munch and sip on?

  • The quintessential spot with a view in NYC is Terrace in the Sky. The dining room is definitely a fancy affair and you’ll want to spiff yourself up. Good luck choosing a bottle from the 10,000 bottle wine cellar; you can view the list ahead of time here and call ahead if you want something chilled or decanted.  While you may be totally engrossed in your Vialone Nano Risotto, don’t forget to look out the window! You’d be hard-pressed to find a better view of New York in all its glory. Added bonus: if you’re looking for a more casual look at the city from above, Terrace in the Sky has recently opened an open-air terrace with a bar menu.
  • All dressed up in Chicago, and wanting to get a good look at the skyline? Head over to the Signature Room, perched on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center.  They definitely dish out a mean brunch, but I personally prefer dinner at the Signature Room so I can get the full effect of all the lights at night. A winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, true gourmands won’t be disappointed with either the wine list or the protein-heavy menu.
  • Afraid of heights but still want to say you dined sky high? Well then, head to Tokyo and make sure you’ve got a reservation (they accept private parties only) at Cellar in the Sky in the lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  It may be on the 35th floor, but you will be escorted down a staircase into what could easily be mistaken for a French wine cave instead of a room teetering high above Tokyo.  Make sure you’ve brushed up on your French wine knowledge, as you’ll want to use it to navigate the choices which range from rare vintage Champagnes all the way through serious Bordeaux powerhouses. Do not miss the cheese board!
  • Like to be tipsy while sky high? Sky Bar in Bangkok is the spot for you. This place is touted as one of the world’s highest bars and sits 63 floors above Bangkok. Enjoy the view both through the windows and in the bar itself as you sip away and enjoy the live jazz: this is definitely where the chic meet to see and be seen!
  • Alright big spenders: do sky high spots in NYC, Chicago, Tokyo, and Bangkok not do it for you? Pick your own spot and make a huge impression with Dinner in the Sky. One of the only meals I can think of where you need to wear a harness, Dinner in the Sky allows you to enjoy a full service gourmet meal at a table suspended by a crane 100ft from the ground, all at the site of your choosing.

These are my picks for a high urban escape. What are yours? Leave a comment or feel free to email the NileGuide foodies at

Tags: Cellar in the sky, Dine sky high, Dinner in the Sky, John Hancock, Signature Room, Sky Bar, Wine Spectator


  • Graham Master Flash says:

    I nominate Dinner in the Sky for the first annual nilefoodie WTF Award

  • Victoria says:

    @Graham Master Flash- Well, I think a Nile Foodie Award would be pretty fun to have… not so sure we’d have a ‘WTF’ category but I’ll keep it in mind 😉

  • Ame Ame says:

    I think the bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok is so much better than Sky Bar. It maybe technically #2 world’s highest, but it’s view and outdoor lounge experience is far better. Plus it’s not as snobbish and uptight as Sky Bar.

  • Victoria says:

    @Ame Ame, thanks for the tip!


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