There are a million places to have a bite or a drink. However, if you are tired of the same old-style restaurants, and would be excited to try something completely extraordinary and fanciful for a dinner or a cocktail, we collected the best ones from all around the world.
1. Bar in the world’s oldest tree
In Modjadjiskloof, South Africa, a 72 feet tall, 155 wide, 1,700-year-old baobab tree has become one of the most unique, and amazing bars in the world. The size and age are already an incredible natural wonder, but the exclusive 15-person full bar attracts thousands of tourists. Sadly, 2 years ago the tree toppled – scientists blame climate change. Still, its trunk is intact and the bar is open.
2. Restaurant on top of a volcano
The chefs at El Diablo Restaurant on the island of Lanzarote, Spain use heat generated by an active volcano to cook the food.
An enormous grill is laid across the opening, and 6 feet below, the gentle giant is softly bubbling lava at 400 degrees Celsius, apparently the perfect temperature for volcanically grilled meals.
3. Underwater wonderworld
So, how would it feel to get dropped in a restaurant like this? Literally, the only way you can get there is being dropped in by the place’s own speedboat. Are you wondering where this fantasy place is? On a private island of Maldives, called Niyama, where you will be sitting 20 feet below the Indian Ocean off Dhaalu Atoll while eating your super-fresh seafood.
4. Church reinvented
The Jane is a spectacular restaurant in Antwerp that was a former chapel that is so beautifully renovated, it might have just become the most gorgeous restaurant in Belgium. Owners say that food is their religion and this is why the kitchen in The Jane is located on the altar. If you want to book a table, get prepared that you might have to wait up to three months.
5. Realistic hospital experience
At Clinic Restaurant in Singapore, you’ll find wheelchairs at the tables, and hospital beds for a more sophisticated dining experience. Drinks get served in test tubes, all the patrons are lit by bright lights shining from operating room lamps. The waiters wear medical whites, so this restaurant stays true to its Hospital theme.
6. Eternity in Ukraine
If you thought that the hospital restaurant is weird, this one will shock you. It is hard to tell the motivation behind building a realistic giant coffin, fill it with a bunch of normal-sized coffins and wreaths, and start serving dinner in it.
7. Taiwanese just know the secret of appetizing
Modern Toilet Restaurant is a unique, and extremely weird bathroom-themed restaurant chain, based in Taiwan. Unbelievably, they are so successful that they opened several branches throughout Asia. All the restaurants are authentic, not only in having the appropriate furniture, but the food is also served on mini-toilets, in the shape that reminds you the most of the bathroom results.
8. Enough of all these crazy, a bit too imaginative visuals?
Have you had enough of all these crazy themes? Let’s make it very simple. Some say that food tastes better in the dark. With your sense of sight gets minimized, your sense of taste really comes alive. You can test this hypothesis at Opaque, San Francisco. The waiters are blind or visually impaired people who have been trained to serve food in a completely dark room.
9. The freedom our world offers us is sometimes really hard to handle
Initially, the idea of creating the Devil Island Prison Restaurant was to scare people away from getting into a life of crime and show the crudity of being in prison. When you enter, customers become prisoners, they are photographed, fingerprinted, and optionally handcuffed.
The interior design realistically follows the outlook of a prison, with jail cell bars, metal floors, and even your meal is served on metal trays.
10. Let’s sail to a heavenly peaceful place in the middle of nowhere
Cloud 9 Fiji is a floating bar and pizzeria located literally in the middle of the untouched South Pacific Ocean, surrounded by nothing but unbelievably turquoise blue water, coral reef, and the horizon.
The nearest coast is about 45 minutes by speedboat, but guests can choose to get there via airplane or jet ski, as well. Staff and music are here to create a relaxed atmosphere while you are embracing the seascape.
11. A hot place to cool down
One of Alaska’s “hottest” and “coolest” attractions is Aurora Ice Bar, at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, near Fairbanks. After you dip into the natural hot springs rock lake in 106 F water, you can cool off in the Aurora Ice Museum with a constant temperature of 20F, while having a tour of the largest year-round ice environment in the world made from over 1,000 tons of snow and ice.
12. Crazy bars of old times – The Pig
Human creativity had no limits in old days, either. In the early 1900s, a bunch of super-funny bars grew out of the ground, trying to raise awareness. The concept was simple: build something that is designed to look like anything other than a restaurant. Well, this pig-shaped bar definitely reached its goal.
13. Crazy bars of old times – The Zeppelin
The next gem of the extraordinary dining architecture trend is a dirigible airship. What could be the cause for this explosion of culinary surrealism? The motor car. After the end of World War I, the era of cars began. People were now able to travel long distances much easier, and who would miss out such an attractive dining place?
14. Crazy bars of old times – Twin Barrels
This article headline from a 1928 newspaper says it all: “No longer content with displaying mere “Eat Here” signs, the owners of restaurants have camouflaged their establishments into the wildest sort of buildings in order to attract trade.” And the crazy shapes were really off limits: bulldog, Sphinx, cream can, frog, coffeepot, ice cream cone, hat, oil can and who knows what other insane stuff.
15. Dinner in the sky
Dinner in the Sky is a unique dining experience that takes place 150 feet above ground level, launched in Belgium in 2006. It originally was invented to make a child’s dream, a flying dinner table come true. Since then it has been an incredible success story, swiftly bringing its gravity-defying dinners to cities all around the world, touching the skies of Athens, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Los Angeles or Sao Paolo, just to name a few, all together to 45 countries up to now.
+1. “Lunch in the sky” – as they did it in old times
There is nothing new under the sun. The world-famous photograph of 11 ironworkers casually eating lunch while sitting precariously on a steel beam 850 feet in the air was published in The New York Herald-Tribune on October 2, 1932. Our days “Dinner in sky” restaurants provide actually exactly the same experience, except you are a bit more secured.