If eating were counted as a hobby, it definitely would get the top place for many people, including myself. For me, the best dining experiences I’ve had were on vacations: More relaxing and more enjoyable with the fun vibes and conversations that come with the vacation package and, of course, being surrounded by many of your loved ones. The first thing to do when you arrive in a new location is the excessive search for the best restaurants near the area, right? And if you are more of a planner, you may have done your research a few nights before. The best restaurant may be associated with the “best food” in many people’s minds, which is totally expectable. However, there are some restaurants around the world that stick out with their more “unique” or even “unusual” characteristics. This can be their theme, location, or the type of animal you dine next to. It sounds a bit strange right now, but it will all make sense when you finish reading this article. Here are eight unique restaurants from all around the world that will make you want to fly out there and just be a part of that experience.
1. Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Puglia, Italy
Going back to the roots of humankind: eating in a cave. Just joking. Start out with probably one of the most romantic spots in this list, the Ristorante Grotta Palazzese in Puglia, Southern Italy. The Mediterranean atmosphere can be felt
through the screens. This restaurant is located in a cave at the seaside which gives its authenticity. This cave is not a usual one, though. This specific cave has been holding many events dating back to the 1700s. Due to its amazing location and atmosphere, it has been an old treasure that is now being used by this fancy restaurant. This restaurant is a great example of fine dining with special dishes, long wine lists, and dress codes. The candle lights at dark being reflected by the walls of the caves really gives a sense of the wonders of the world’s natural beauties, and combining this with fine dining overall makes this place a very unique and desirable location. If you ever end up in Southern Italy in spring or summer, this is because they are closed in winter, and you must add this place to your lists.
2. The Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, Villa Escudero Resort, San Pablo City, Philippines
I know dining in the middle of a waterfall has been decorating your dreams. If not, it will from this point forward. The Labassin Waterfall Restaurant in San Pablo City, located in the Philippines, gives a chance to dine under a waterfall to its guests. This is not an actual waterfall; it is a runoff from the Labassin Dam. However, it definitely does not take away from the experience. You are accompanied by traditional music and dances with hiking opportunities, where you can explore the first surrounding restaurants and even spot some exotic animals!
3. Ithaa Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives
Welcome to the world’s first underwater restaurant! We are glad to have you here. Maldives has been long known for its beautiful ocean and views. The most-dreamy vacation spot, some would say. Well, Ithaa Restaurant, located in Alif Dhaal Atoll, combines the ocean and the views in the most real way and gives you a dining experience surrounded by a variety of marine animals. The hotel Conrad that this restaurant is linked to also has bedrooms surrounded by sharks, dolphins, etc., so you sleep, basically, underwater. The restaurant is located 5 meters underground, where guests get in by a staircase. It only takes 14 guests at a time, so if you want to enjoy this amazing spot, you might want to plan a bit earlier. Food has also been rated great, where guests enjoy dishes from Europe to Asia.
4. Giraffe Manor, Langata, Kenya
Sometimes you may want to eat alone. Whether you are not in the mood or just want to have time by yourself, it is normal. However, in Giraffe Manor in Kenya, you are never alone. These tall tall tall giraffes actually enjoy your breakfast with you. Their cuteness is definitely proportional to their height! You may ask “Where did my fruit salad go?” several times in one sitting, but the whole experience of seeing a giraffe, being next to a giraffe, and actually eating with a giraffe is so intriguing and interesting that you may become willing to sacrifice some of your food.
5. The Snowcastle Of Kemi, Kemi, Finland
Brrrrr… The cold has never been this delicious. Here in the Snowcastle of Kemi located in Finland, you are able to dine in an actual snow castle. First things first, if you are a big hater of cold weather this may be a torturing experience; however, for once, it is a worthwhile experience. They have gone from seasonal openings to “SnowExperience365”, where the place is open all seasons and the restaurant is an all-year-round ice restaurant. This place definitely feels like Christmas and the movie Frozen; thus, it has taken the top three on my personal list. Look at the decorations on the walls all made out of real snow and ice. It is just so nice.
6. Prison Of Fire, Tianjin, China
Ever wondered what it is like inside a prison? Well, The Prison of Fire, located in Tianjin, gives you the chance to eat in a prison…well, to an extent. It is a really unique restaurant that has these iron-barred prison cells all equipped with shackles and handcuffs. As you are dining, you will get a sneak peek of the dungeons, confinement rooms, and water torture devices, which really resemble an actual Chinese prison. In addition to this theme of being a great marketer, it is a reminder for people to be mindful of their precious freedom and give a lesson-like insight into what the consequences look like. This definitely is the most unusual of them all.
7. Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant, Disney's Hollywood Studios, FL, USA
The last two restaurants on this list are located in Disneyland because that is the best place in the world, not open to debate. Let’s start off with the Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant which is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Resembling the car cinemas, Hollywood Studios takes it one step further and makes it a dining opportunity. You reserve and go to your car-shaped booth or table and start your experience where different clips are being presented on the screen. The clips may vary from an alien attack to mummies; however, it is promised to fit the overall ambiance of the Hollywood Studios. With its nostalgic aura and colorful car booth tables where you can enjoy your meal, this is the best spot where you can finish your long but definitely so fun day at the Hollywood Studios. This place would definitely touch your inner child.
8. Bistrot Chez Rémy, Disneyland Paris, France
Voila, nous terminerons notre liste par un restaurant à Paris! (Voila, we will end our list with a restaurant in Paris!) Bistrot Chez Rémy is located in Disneyland in Paris and is themed, I hope the name will sound familiar, after the great animation movie of the rat chef Ratatouille himself! If you haven’t watched Ratatouille yet, what are you doing with your life? Close this list and watch it right now. But if you did, I am sure that you would be as excited as me about visiting it. Disneyland in Paris is my personal favourite, and this place just added to my liking of it. The inner decorations scream Disney vibes and will make you go back to the good old days. Enjoy some French dishes here after a long day at Disneyland, and completely fill your heart with Disney’s magic and pure joy.
Eating does not need to be boring. After this article, I am sure that you will also look out for more “unique” dining experiences in addition to delicious ones. Keep us updated if you end up in any of these places. And for now, bon appetite!
Edited by: Yağmur Ece Nisanoğlu
Websites and Instagrams of the Places Mentioned:
Bar, Šarūnė. "35 Of The World's Most Amazing Restaurants To Eat In Before You Die." boredpanda, www.boredpanda.com/worlds-most-amazing-restaurants-unique-dining-experiences/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic.
"Prison of Fire: First Ever Prison-Themed Restaurant in Tianjin." TripZilla, 3 Dec. 2014, www.tripzilla.com/photo-prison-of-fire-restaurant-tianjin/15523#:~:text='Prison of Fire' is the,equipped with shackles and handcuffs.
"Top 10 Unusual Restaurants Around the World." Pando Trip,