Three of the world’s smallest restaurants
Written by Greg Sunning
Service, exclusivity, luxury, and personalisation – modern customers demand uniqueness in their experiences and, in an ever-crowded world, their own space. Step forward small restaurants that celebrate the individual, keep the crowds at bay, and usher in a privacy many of us often crave. While pop-ups and market stalls excel at small, balancing scale and standards is key. Greg Sunning reveals where getting a table is hard because there aren’t that many, and the service and cuisine are extremely personal.
Pros of small restaurants
Intimacy, privacy, personalisation: a single-table restaurant grants the luxury of exclusivity, encourages a totally unique dining experience and, for romantics particularly, a direct input into the menu and ambience. But take away the other diners and there goes eavesdropping, conviviality, atmosphere and, perhaps, the sense of dining out at all.
Fäviken Magasinet, Sweden
Seven hours’ drive north of Stockholm, Fäviken is one of the world’s best (and the most isolated) restaurants. Diners at just four tables in the 18th-century barn enjoy hunted and foraged ingredients sourced from the 9,700-hectare hunting estate, many of them little known and unique to this frozen region. Five bedrooms are available.
Solo Per Due, Rome
An hour’s drive north of Rome is arguably the world’s smallest restaurant – just a single table seating two. In a magical setting in a classical villa formerly occupied by the poet Horace, guests are typically greeted by a candlelit driveway, attentive service, and an Italian-exclusive menu that makes the most of the region’s local ingredients.
Few places excel at confined, refined spaces so singularly as those in the Japanese capital. Takazawa hosts just four tables transporting 10 diners to another world, with husband-and-wife duo of Chef Yoshiaki Takazawa in the kitchen and front-of-house wife Akiko sharing their precise, contemporary take on Japanese fine dining using supremely seasonal ingredients.