When you are visiting a foreign country, one of the greatest ways to explore and experience the local culture is through food. You always want to taste the most famous dishes of the country which you might find unusual or bizarre. However, for those who don’t consider tasting local specialties exciting enough, we have made a list of dining establishment where even the most experienced and worldly old hands will be astonished. From an undersea restaurant to eating in earthquake, check out these 25 bizarre dining experiences.
Silent dining, USA
Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, a Nicholas Nauman’s restaurant called “Eat“ features nothing special except for the fact that you cannot speak while dining there. Inspired by his life-changing stay at a Buddhist monastery in India, Nauman basically wanted to create a place where people could enjoy silence. The silent dinners became so popular that nowadays, people have to book their tables in advance.
Dinner under microscope, Japan
What started as a joke with a customer years ago, has made Chef Hironori Ikeno famous all over Japan and possibly even in many other countries. He thought it would be funny to serve a miniature plate of sushi and wondered just how small he could go. It turned out he could make sushi with a single grain of rice. These days, tourists all over the world pour into his little restaurant in Tokyo to see and taste his master work.
Lonely eating, Netherlands
Amsterdam´s restaurant At Eenmaal has become famous for its unusual solitary concept. The only type of table that you can find in the restaurant is the table for one. Marina van Goor, social designer and founder of the establishment said that the purpose of this untraditional approach was to give those who never go out to dinner alone a chance to experience what it is like to eat alone at a restaurant.
Dinner in nest-aurant, Thailand
Located in Soneva Kiri Eco Resort in Thailand, The Bird´s Nest Restaurant gives the customers privacy, as well as the unique opportunity to admire spectacular views while dining. The tree nests hung 16 feet above the ground are served by waiters who use a zip line to deliver the food and drinks. A typical dinner for two costs about 450 USD but eating in a bird´s nest should be worth it.
Dining in an earthquake, Spain
For most people, the idea of experiencing a tumultuous earthquake while dinning is not ideal. Yet, in Disaster Café, people pay and book their tables weeks in advance for messy, “disastrous” dinners during which they experience an artificial 7.8 magnitude earthquake. So far there haven´t been any serious injuries but spilled food and drinks, and some minor accidents are considered totally normal.
Eating on a cliff, China
Located in the Happy Valley of Xiling Gorge in the Hubei Province, China, the Fangweng hanging restaurant offers a breathtaking view of its natural surroundings to adventurers brave enough to set foot in it. Those who are not afraid of heights can enjoy the unique combination of delicious local food and mountaineering thrills.
Ninja dinner, USA
Situated in Tribeca, New York, The Japanese Ninja Restaurant is another establishment that is definitely not recommended for the faint hearted. The restaurant boasts of Kung fu fire tricks, sword-carrying waiters and exploding food. If you like armed ninjas dangling over your dinner plate, this place is right for you.
The Robot Restaurant, Thailand
The Hajime Restaurant in Thailand´s capital city of Bangkok is notable for the fact that each of its tables is equipped with a mini barbecue but it’s the waiters who have made this establishment almost world-famous. As incredible as it sounds, you are served by Samurai robots in this restaurant. When they are not busy, they even kill the time by dancing.
Dining on ice, Finland
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to eat on ice, wonder no more. Located north of the Arctic Circle, the Ice Restaurant’s interior is made entirely from ice. For obvious reasons, the restaurant only serves cold meals such as Lappish potato soup with cold smoked salmon, tender reindeer, and game meatballs served with vodka-lingonberry jelly.
Served by monkeys, Japan
If you happen to show up in the Kayabukiya Tavern in the city of Utsunomiya, a uniformed macaque may just bring you your sake. The restaurant’s owner, Otsuka, reported that he never initially taught the monkeys; they learned the work just from watching him. Nowadays, the monkeys are certified by the local authorities to work in the tavern, and they are well appreciated by customers, who tip them with soya beans.
Eating in hospital, Taiwan
Don’t let the name fool you. Located in the city of Taipei in Taiwan, the D.S. Music Restaurant has nothing to do with music at all. In fact, it is a bizarre hospital-themed restaurant where waitresses are all dressed as nurses, tables are made from metal hospital beds, drinks are served in IV bottles and walls are decorated with X-ray scans.
Rude dining, USA
What was originally supposed to be a fine-dining establishment turned into an infamous restaurant with obnoxious and extremely rude staff. Since the original intention ended up as a huge failure, the owner decided to try the very opposite and go sloppy. Over the years, the dreadful restaurant known as the Dick´s Last Resort became so popular that it is crowded with customers eager to wear embarrassing paper hats and be insulted by the purposely nasty staff.
Lunch in the Wonderland, Japan
Alice in Wonderland is such a popular novel in Japan that a cafe and restaurant chain Diamond Dining opened restaurants with variations of this theme. Designed by Japanese studio Fantastic Design Works, the interiors of the restaurants are stylized into different stories such Alice in an old Castle, Alice in a Labyrinth, Alice in Dancing Land and others. Helpful waitresses are all dressed up in adorable white-blue Alice costumes.
Nudist eating, USA
Once a month, Clothing Optional Dinners, a dining club in Manhattan, New York, hosts a bizarre naked dinning party. Founded by nudist activist John J. Ordover, the event has several rules including: diners must bring something to sit on (for example a towel) and that the staff must always stay clothed.
Dining in the dark, England
The seemingly strange idea of eating in dark has inspired many restaurants all over the world but one of the most famous is Dans Le Noir in London. Once you manage to suppress the dominant sense of sight, you will enter a whole new world scented with amazing smell of delicious meals made from high quality ingredients. Blind guides are at your disposal to lead you through this unique and tasty experience.
Extremely unhealthy lunch at Heart Attack Grill, USA
While most owners do their best to promote their restaurants and attract as many customers as possible, founder of the Heart attack Grill in Las Vegas says: “Don’t come to my restaurant, it is bad for you and will kill you.” The grill specializes in unhealthy food with tons of calories and strictly no vegetables. Just the meal names such as Flatline Fries, Bypass Burger or Coronary Hot Dog suggest that fitness fans won´t be happy there.
Eating with the dead, India
When building his new restaurant on a place of an old cemetery, Krishan Kutti from India decided to preserve the graves rather than ripping them out. What may seem as a weird decision later proved to be a real masterstroke. Every day, the restaurant is crowded with people eager to experience the unique creepy feeling of dining among the green coffins.
Waterfall dining, Philippines
Forget boring AC to cool you down when having your lunch in a restaurant. Get refreshed by a crystal clear waterfall located in your immediate proximity. To enjoy this unmatched romantic setting, you have to visit San Pablo City in Philippines. Delicious local food is served on bamboo dining tables attached to the ground at the very foot of the magnificent waterfall.
Eating under sea, Maldives
Located 16 feet below sea level at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the Republic of Maldives, Ithaa is was the world´s first undersea restaurant. Providing not only delicious luxury meals but also incredible panoramic undersea views, the restaurant has a capacity of just 14 people.
Dining in the sky, Worldwide
Dinner in the Sky is a Belgian project allowing people to enjoy their dinner while dangling thousands of feet above their favorite city. A crane lifts a table seating up to 22 diners strapped into their seats high above the ground, offering them breathtaking views and a unique dining experience. So far, the event has been held in more than 40 countries.
Cannibalistic sushi, Japan
You thought that the Indian restaurant with in-built graves was over the top? You might change your opinion after visiting the Cannibalistic sushi restaurant in Japan. Once there, you are served an edible body wheeled out to you on a gurney. Then, you have to dig in and start feasting on the entrails of a human being. The restaurant´s artisans make sure that the human body you are ripping into is as life-like as possible. The sushi inside is shaped to resemble human organs, a red blood sauce is embedded in the skin layer so as to create realistic bleeding and your corpse even has a set of artificial genitals.
Singing restaurant, France
Opened in Paris in 1999, the Bel Canto restaurant employs opera singers as waiters and waitresses, creating an original combination of fine dining and the theatrical excitement of an opera house. The singers usually work in groups of four, and every 15 minutes, a different opera aria is performed. The restaurant is decorated in red and gold velvet, with musical instruments and opera costumes lining the walls.
Medieval tavern, Czech Republic
If you want to experience what it was like to eat in the 15th century, there is no better place than the Medieval Tavern in Prague, Czech Republic. Furnished to resemble taverns in the middle ages with wooden tables, benches and ceramic pottery; the tavern offers a unique dining experience. If you cannot decide on a meal from the medieval menu, waiters and waitresses in costumes from the old days will help you.
Toilet restaurant, China
Opened in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China in 2013, the toilet-themed restaurant has become of the most popular dining spots in the city. Serving food in little toilet bowls, even the restaurant itself is equipped to resemble a bathroom, with showers attached to the walls and seats that look like toilet bowls topped with cushions in the shape of large piles of poop.
Penis buffet, China
As shocking as it may sound, Guo Li Zhuang is a restaurant brand that specializes in dishes prepared from the genitals of male animals. You have a wide variety of species to choose from such as horse, ox, donkey, dog, deer, goat, sheep, or even snakes. If you’re perverse enough, you can even try outrageously sounding combos like pig balls with a goat penis, chicken balls with a horse penis etc.