Similar to the hotels on our list of the most unusual hotels in the world, some restaurants take innovation to the extreme level and come up with crazy twists. These completely bizarre-themed restaurants create an ultimate and unforgettable experience that their patrons would not find any place else. These restaurants target those who are bored with the ordinary and seeks alternative and strange dining experiences. They are also perfect for those who want to have fun extraordinarily. Many of these eccentric weirdly themed restaurants have become wildly popular and successful and have received many visitors from around the world. Next time you desire to dine somewhere deeply outlandish, here is the list of ten most unusual restaurants from around the world to choose from.
1. Devil Island Prison Restaurant – Tianjin, China
The Devil Island Prison is a restaurant located in China that was initially intended to scare people off committing to a life of crime. They wanted their customers to experience the unpleasant life of imprisonment and the rough conditions of living in detention. Inside the prison-themed restaurant, the customers become prisoners, are photographed with allocated inmate number tag, have their fingerprints taken, and have the option to be handcuffed.
The patrons in handcuff are led to their metal tables inside a prison cell and served fried, coffin-shaped bread. The waiters are dressed as inmates with black and white striped uniforms while the security personnel dresses up as correctional officers. Despite their food being served on prison trays and being replicas of a prison ice food, a lot of customers give positive reviews of how amazing the meals taste.
2. Disaster Café – Lloret de Mar, Spain
Disaster Café is a popular cave-like restaurant in Lloret de Mar, Spain where the customers have to hold on their food and drinks and try to keep on their balance during a simulated 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Customers are required to remain vigilant at all time because an earthquake can strike at any moment and the lights will go out. The café workers and staff wear construction helmets and serve dishes on heavy-weight plates to avoid spillage during the earthquake that typically goes on for about 20 seconds each time.
Many citizens of Lloret de Mar, Spain are willing to pay to experience the thrill of an earthquake shake while in the middle of having dinner. Because of the restaurant being beyond popular, tourists and visitors had to make their reservations a few weeks in advance. During the 7.8 earthquake simulations, there have never been any injuries, but many guests had reported that their clothing had been spilled on from the drinks and food. Sadly, you may never be able to dine at Disaster Café as it has now been permanently closed down.
3. Chillout Ice Lounge – Dubai
The Chillout Lounge is the first ice lounge in the Middle East. Located at Times Square Center Dubai, it was commissioned in 2007. It made a significant transformation in July 2014 to become one of the best ice lounges in the world for people to experience. The lounge decoration features ice sculptures, ice seating and tables and a uniquely lit interior, all at a temperature of minus six degree Celsius. It was made out of technological innovation of refrigeration, lighting, architecture, sculptured ice, glass, and steel.
The guests are given thermal clothing of hooded parka, woolen gloves, socks and shoes to remain warm and are requested spend two to three minutes in the buffer zone which is at a five degree Celsius for their bodies to adjust to the sub-zero temperature at the main Chillout Ice Lounge. The lounge serves a continental menu of hot soups, sandwiches, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, juices, desserts, confectionery, and mocktails for the guests to enjoy.
4. Modern Toilet – Taipei, Taiwan
Before Modern Toilet was launched, it was first known as a Marton Restaurant which is an ice-cream shop that serves chocolate ice cream in squat-like containers. The unusual display caused a surprising interest among the Taiwanese and gained popularity during 2004. In 2006, the name of the shop was changed to Modern Toilet, turning into a unique bathroom-themed restaurant.
Instead of chairs, diners get to sit on actually broken toilets. Their dishes are served on plastic miniature toilets and their drinks in urinal glasses. Everything inside the three-story restaurant is themed around items used from a bathroom. The meals they serve are french fries, cutlets and hot spots. The menu includes some variety of poop-shaped dishes. The Modern Toilet is not about the food but all about the experience and unforgettable memories. Today there are several Modern Toilet branches in Taiwan and throughout Asia.
5. Hajime Robot Restaurant – Bangkok, Thailand
Hajime Robot is a Yakiniku restaurant and one of the most popular eat-all-you-can Japanese eateries all over Asia. It is the first and only authentic eatery in Asia that has its entire staff made of robots and dressed in samurai outfits. They take orders, cooks the food and serves dishes to the guests. The robots can also become animators and perform a dance show every 30 minutes to entertain and to make it a truly unique experience for the guests.
Each table at the Hajime Robot Restaurant has an easy touch-screen system that displays all available choices of over 100 dishes and menus that ranges from Japanese BBQ Buffet, Shabu Buffet to a delicious selection of sushi, tempura, and gyoza dumplings. The BBQ Buffet menu consists of a raw collection of seafood, meat, and vegetables for the guests to cook on the charcoal grill built on the table. After selecting options from the menu, the orders are sent to the robots that will appear within 5 to 20 minutes to serve the tray of food at the window glass panel of the guests’ tables. They can also pick up the empty dishes and take it away.
6. Dinner In The Sky – Multiple Locations
Dinner in the Sky is based on Belgium novelty restaurant which uses a crane to host its diners. Customers are security strapped on their chairs, along with the tables and waiting staff 150 feet above the ground to enjoy the floating in the sky and the breathtaking view of the city. The table can accommodate up to 22 guests to share the extraordinary experience with the best chefs. Over the past years, Dinner in the Sky has become extremely popular worldwide and has offered limited run periods to more than 45 countries and have arranged more than 5,000 events in cities around the globe.
Dinner in the Sky was designed safe to use and has never had an accident. The platform and machinery were built based on the flying structures of German guidelines and were regularly well-maintained in Belgium to provide a safe and entertaining experience for the diners and top chefs. The Belgium-based Dinner in the Sky company wants their guests to have an unforgettable experience of unique fine dining while being suspended at around the height of 50 meters by a team of professionals. According to the Forbes magazine, it is one of the ten most unusual restaurants in the world.
7. Hospitalis – Riga, Latvia
Hospitalis is a burlesque hospital-themed bar and restaurant in Latvia that features an interior that resembled an E.R operating room decorated with operating tables and a collection of medical tools. The meals are served in stainless steel dishes and eaten with syringes and scalpels instead of spoons and fork. Drinks are served in test tubes, medical beakers, and I.V bags. Patrons are treated as patients and will be bound in a straitjacket and spoonfed by the waitresses who are dressed in skimpy nurse uniforms and fluorescent orange wigs.
The food at Hospitalis consists of continental European selections, soup, and salad. Hospitalis also has a small “crazy menu” with entrees like liver-filled quail that resemble body parts that have already undergone surgery. Diners can choose to switch to another table in the faux dental office or the gynecologist’s exam room if they feel uncomfortable inside the surreal atmosphere of the operating room theme. The restaurant closed down several years ago after it didn’t pass the hygiene standards and business became slow.
8. The New Lucky Restaurant – Ahmedabad, India
The New Lucky Restaurant is located in the Lal Darwaza region of Ahmedabad. It is built on top of a Muslim cemetery and its known for its popular menu and exposure of gravestones and coffins. Instead of removing the graves to start a restaurant business, the owner chose to preserve the coffins as a way of paying his respect and set up tables around them. Each day the graves inside were wiped with damp cloth and decorated with fresh flowers by the waiters to show their respect to the deceased. Some local historians believe that the graves belong to the relatives of a Sufi saint from the 16th century.
Many curious travelers and locals visited this restaurant for the unusual experience and ended up not being bothered sitting next to the graves while eating. Steel bars have been constructed around the graves so that no one could step on the deceased. The owner of the café believes that the attraction of the burial has made his business flourished and turned his restaurant into a favorite local hangout because of the unique experience and atmosphere. Because of that, he claims that the presence of the graveyards is his good luck charms.
9. Kayabukiya Tavern – Utsunomiya, Japan
The Kayabukiya Tavern is a traditional-style Japanese “sake-house” and restaurant located in the city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo. It is the only tavern in Japan that has five monkeys as waiters which have become the main attraction and gain a lot of the attention of the locals. The monkeys are household pets that were trained to serve drinks and hot towels before they can be certified by the owner to work at the tavern. In 2008, the tavern attracted some international attention when the western media reported the location on its news. Nowadays, people from all over the world come to visit to be served by the monkeys.
The restaurant’s owner, Kaoru Otsuka, decided that having monkeys to work for him is much better than having to pay human waiters. A lot of clients expressed that the macaque monkeys performed an excellent service as servers and happily rewarded them with a tip of boiled soya beans. Between the time of 8 pm to 9 pm, the monkeys would perform their circus tricks and guests can have their photos taken with them. Due to Japanese animal rights regulations, the monkeys are only allowed to work for a total of two hours a day. The monkeys do not have working hours, but they are mostly seen being active early in the evening.
10. Opaque Restaurant – Los Angeles, USA
At the Opaque restaurant, the customers get to experience dining on a whole new, different level. After selecting their meals in the lounge area that is lighted, the customers are guided to their tables in a pitch-dark dining room by the specially trained blind staff members. Based on a European concept, having a dining experience in total darkness can enhance the sense of taste, smell, and touch. The idea of dining in the dark is meant to provide the best-tasting dining experience possible for the patrons, not to scare them in any way.
The first restaurant of Opaque was opened in Los Angeles. A few years later after its opening, the Opaque restaurant has become very popular in the USA, and a lot of people are willing to try the experience to see if dining while in the dark can bring the excellent taste of the food from their exquisite dishes. Many regular customers claim that the entire darkness significantly heightened the sense of their taste and made the meal even more delicious and enjoyable to eat. Opaque also has restaurants in Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, and Dallas.