If you’re tired of having the same ten things for dinner over and over, you might be thinking that it’s time to take a break from the kitchen and head out to a restaurant. The thing about restaurants is that while the decor and menu might change a bit from place to place, most are mundane.
Not these ones! These 13 restaurants each offer a weird theme for your dining pleasure. You might want to check them out the next time you’re on vacation, so here they are.
Modern Toilet – Taiwan
If you’ve ever wanted to eat diarrhea looking food out of a miniature toilet, this is the place for you. Modern Toilet opened its doors for the first time in 2004 and has expanded to 12 different locations throughout Asia, including sites in China and Japan. They have quite an extensive menu, including chocolate ice cream in the shape of poop. You sit on a toilet stool and have the option to upgrade your drink (which means that it will be served to you in a urinal instead of a cup).
The US briefly attempted to bring the idea to their side of the pond; in 2013, LA opened up a toilet restaurant of their own called Magic Restroom. Americans evidently weren’t fond of the whole eating in a bathroom idea and the restaurant was closed within a year.
The Clinic Cafe – Singapore (closed)
The Clinic Cafe was created by a Dutch architectural firm as a tribute to a British artist Damien Hirst. In the spirit of staying in tune with the theme, meals were served in bedpans, drinks came in test tubes, ketchup came in syringes, and waitresses dressed as nurses brought everything to you in your wheelchair or hospital bed.
It’s since closed, probably because folks tend to detest hospital food.
Cannibalistic Sushi – Japan
There’s this weird practice in Japan called “Nyotaimori” where people eat their sushi off the naked body of a woman; Cannibalistic Sushi in Tokyo takes that practice to a whole new level of weird – At this restaurant, you actually eat the woman.
A body is wheeled out to diners on a gurney and everyone gets to dissect her (she even bleeds!) to get to their dinner of inner organs. Most of the edible stuff is stored in her abdomen, so at least it’s not like a game of hide-and-go-seek your dinner.
Cabbages & Condoms – Thailand
Because who doesn’t want a condom instead of a mint after their dinner? This restaurant was created by the Population and Community Development Association (yep… PDA), a non-profit organization that apparently thinks family planning should take precedence over enjoying a meal. There are condoms all over the walls and they have what is perhaps one of the strangest slogans in existence – “Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy”.
Owl Cafes – Tokyo
Dining with cats has started to become all the rage (you can do it in Europe, Asia, and even in North America), but only in Tokyo can you dine with owls. There are four cafes; while enjoying their coffee, customers can hold, pet, and even take pictures with these birds of prey. They do, of course, have to remember to move slowly so they don’t scare them.
Fortezza Medicea – Italy
If you’ve ever wanted to be serenaded by a guy who’s doing life for murder and served dinner by a real deal Mafiosi, this is the place for you. Fortezza Medicea is actually a 500 year old prison near Pisa and your cooks and waitstaff are all inmates. You’ll have to plan for this one – Tables are booked weeks in advance and you have to pass all kinds of security screenings before they’ll let you in. Oh, and you’ll need to be okay with eating their strictly vegetarian menu off of plastic plates and with plastic cutlery.
The concept was created as a rehabilitation program; it’s become so popular that a second prison restaurant opened up in Milan.
New Lucky Restaurant – India
If you’ve ever wanted to dine in a graveyard but thought that people might look at you weird, you’ll be happy to know that people do it in this place all the time. The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad, India is built right around a cemetery; the owner didn’t want to pave over them when he bought the property so he capitalized on them instead.
Weird? Maybe, but he doesn’t mean for it to be disrespectful at all – Every morning, he apparently cleans and puts flowers on the graves. He claims that dining with the dead is good luck, not morbid.
The Soldaten Kaffee – Indonesia (closed)
Controversy abound, this cafe was filled to the brim with all sorts of Nazi symbolism and memorabilia. It was named after a WWII Parisian coffee shop that was apparently frequented by German soldiers on their off time. The owner closed it down briefly in 2013 because he was receiving death threats but reopened it with the promise that it would be more like a WWII themed cafe. Nearly nothing changed though, and it closed down again this year.
The owner is undeterred and plans to reopen again in a bigger location (because that’s exactly what a cafe with no customer base should do).
H.R. Giger Bar – Switzerland
This is the place for all of you Sci-Fi fans. If you think that the name Giger sounds familiar, that’s because he was the Swiss surrealist artist behind the set designs and visual effects for the movie Alien. There are two different locations that you can go to see his incredible skeletal displays and feel like your heart is going to jump right out of your chest while you’re trying to eat dinner. Good times, right?
Zauo – Japan
This is a chain restaurant that could be coming to the US sooner than later. At Zauo, they give you an option – either you can fish for your own meal or the waitstaff can choose for you. Not only is it cheaper for you to catch your own meal with your shrimp-laden fishing hook, it will give you a whole new view on the whole “farm to table” thing.
The Grand View Topless Coffee Shop – Maine (closed)
Vassalboro, Maine is a tiny rural community of about 5000 people; a lot of them were shocked to the core when the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop opened its doors in 2009. At this place, your coffee and donuts were served to you by half naked waiters and waitresses.
After an arson attack and constant complaining by the locals, the shop shut down for good two years later over the size of a posted sign.
The Sweatshop Cafe – Paris (closed)
I think that this is actually a pretty brilliant idea – While you’re drinking your coffee and nibbling on various snacks, you can learn to sew or knit! The theory here is that we’ve become such a consumerist society that we’ve lost any sort of relationship with the clothes we wear (which is true), and that learning to hem or construct your own clothing will help build that relationship again.
This one has since closed, but many others like it are starting to pop up all over the place.
Robo Cafe – Japan
Japan’s population is aging and they had to come up with a solution to the question “who will work when all the people are too old to?” The answer to that question? Robots. At this cafe, you either verbally give your order to a robot or punch your request into its touch screen belly and it will bring out whatever you’d like.
The boss gets all the tips and the only mistakes made are if you hit the wrong button; maybe robot waiters aren’t such a bad idea after all.
Which one of these restaurants would you most like to visit? I think I’ll be saving up for a trip to Switzerland, myself.