There are certain criteria we all look for when picking a restaurant – things like great food, polite waiters and a friendly atmosphere are all key to an enjoyable dining experience. So how about a restaurant where your meal is served by dancing monkeys, or a sushi bar where the dish of the day is shaped like a naked woman? We’ve rounded up 10 of the world’s most bizarre eat-out spots, where the unusual is embraced and conventional dining are thrown out of the window.
Copyright Nick Cornish/Rex Features
Fortezza Medicea, Italy
Italy’s Fortezza Medicea offers tasty food, great service, and a lively atmosphere – so what’s the catch? Well, do you see that charming gentleman serving your wine? His name is Santolo, and he is serving a 24-year prison sentence for murder. In fact all of the chefs, waiters and entertainers in this prison-based restaurant are convicted criminals. In an ironic twist of fate there is actually a huge waiting list to get in to this prison, so if you want to pay a visit you’ll have to book well in advance.
Kayabukiya Tavern, Japan
Japan’s Kayabukiya Tavern has decided to build on the boring practice of human waiters, by throwing the owner’s pet monkeys into the mix. This simian workforce is actually surprisingly efficient – the monkeys have been trained to serve drinks and offer customers hot towels, and thankfully manage to do so with a minimum amount of mischief. You’ll be given a bowl of soy beans at your table to tip the monkeys with, so be sure to reward your newfound furry friends for all their hard work.
Dick’s Last Resort, United States
We’ve all had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of poor service in a restaurant, but at Dick’s Last Resort the wisecracking waiters are the stars of the show. At Dick’s an obnoxious atmosphere is encouraged, so you’ll be given an embarrassing paper hat to wear, have your napkins and menus hurled at you, and be insulted left, right and centre by the staff. Visitors will need a good sense of humour and a thick skin to enjoy the experience, but if you can handle the constant jokes and jibes at your expense it’s one not to be missed.
O’Noir is a Canadian restaurant in which food is served in complete, pitch black, ‘can’t see your hand in front of your face’ darkness. The idea is that without being able to see your food you’ll grow to rely more heavily on your sense of smell and taste, offering a culinary experience like never before. In reality the food isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s still worth a visit for the darkness dining experience, as well as the admirable work the restaurant does with local charities for the blind.
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A380 In-Flight Kitchen, China
Complete with plane seats, oval windows and cabin crew waiting staff, the A380 In-Flight Kitchen successfully recreates the air travel experience for diners in China. Food is served on plastic trays, but thankfully this is high quality cuisine rather than the usual offerings you would find when travelling by plane. If anything, it’s worth visiting this restaurant just for the sheer novelty of eating plane food that doesn’t taste like fillet of rubber with a side serving of cardboard garnish.
Cannibalistic Sushi, Japan
This Japanese restaurant takes Nyotaimori (the art of body sushi) to a whole new level. Instead of diners eating sushi off the body of a naked woman, that naked woman has now made her way to the top of the menu. Now before you leave to throw up/phone the police, you should be aware that this woman (or man) shaped dish is actually made of dough, boasting disturbingly accurate internal organs made out of sushi for customers to enjoy.
Heart Attack Grill, United States
With a menu that celebrates excess and gluttony, the Heart Attack Grill laughs in the face of healthy eating, providing patrons with mammoth meals and allowing people who weigh over 350 pounds to eat for free. The heart-stopping theme is apparent in the staff as well, as the waitresses are dressed as nurses and will wheel you out of the door in a wheelchair if you complete some of the Heart Attack Grill’s eating challenges. The restaurant’s unhealthiest offering comes in the form of the lard-coated Quadruple Bypass Burger, which weighs in at a staggering 8,000 calories – over three times the recommended daily amount for a man.
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Robot Kitchen, Hong Kong
Pay a visit to Robot Kitchen in Hong Kong and you’ll be able to take a fascinating glimpse into the future, as robotic members of staff prepare and serve your meal. These automated waiters are able to take food orders through an on-board touch screen interface, as well as perform simple culinary tasks such as flipping burgers and omelettes. Sadly all the kinks haven’t quite been worked out yet, and Robot Kitchen has actually been forced to hire more staff than a regular restaurant to make sure the robots are functioning correctly.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
Located five metres below sea level and constructed from see-through acrylic, Ithaa is the world’s first ever undersea restaurant. This underwater paradise can seat 14 lucky diners at once, who will be served food whilst gazing out at the surrounding sea-life and beautiful blue water. If you’ve got the cash then you can even take things a step further by spending the night within Ithaa’s watery walls as some presumably very confused fish swim by overhead.
Lainio Ice Restaurant, Finland
This is one dining experience where you definitely won’t be wanting anyone to take your coat at the door. The Lainio Snow Village Hotel in Finland boasts a restaurant completely made of ice, including the tables, the chairs, the walls, and even the bar. Temperatures are kept extremely low to avoid any pesky melting furniture, so customers are advised to wrap up warm and be prepared to choose from a menu devoid of hot dishes.