Unique Restaurants in the World: 12 of the World’s Most Unusual Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in the World
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Are you looking to discover the most unique restaurants in the world? Here are 12 of the world’s best restaurants that will blow your mind.

Traveling is more than just seeing new places. It’s about tasting the world’s diverse cultures, one dish at a time. Imagine savoring a meal in a treehouse overlooking a tropical rainforest or dining beneath the ocean’s surface with marine life swimming by. The world is filled with unique dining experiences that are as memorable as they are mouthwatering.

From the vibrant streets of global cities to serene spots in hidden corners, there’s a story behind every dish and a memory attached to every meal. We’ve journeyed far and wide to curate a list of the most unique restaurants in the world. These places aren’t just about great food; they offer an ambiance and experience that stay with you long after you’ve left.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler with a desire to discover unique places to eat in the world or someone looking for that next unforgettable meal, this guide is for you. We delve into eateries that surprise, delight, and offer a fresh perspective on dining.

As we embark on this global foodie adventure, we invite you to explore, savor, and immerse yourself in dining experiences that transcend the ordinary. From high-end establishments to charming local spots, there’s a world of flavors waiting to be explored.

Grab your fork and let your taste buds lead the way! Here’s all you need to know about the world’s most unique restaurants.

The top restaurants to visit in the world right now
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Unique Restaurants in The World

Are you ready to discover the coolest restaurants in the world? As we’ve alluded to earlier, our planet is brimming with eateries that cater to every kind of food enthusiast. Keep reading as we spotlight top dining destinations around the world.

Have you ever imagined enjoying a meal beneath the ocean’s surface? Or perhaps you’ve dreamt of dining amidst the clouds? From the depths of the seas to the heights of the skies, there are cool restaurants in the world that cater to every whimsical desire. Here are 12 of the world’s best places to eat.

1. The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar

Set on a massive rock amidst the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar offers an unparalleled dining experience. Located on Michanwi Pingwe Beach, this establishment stands out, not merely for its dishes but for the entire ambiance.

Reaching the restaurant is an adventure in itself. Depending on the tide, guests might find themselves wading through shallow waters, walking on the sandy beach, or taking a short boat ride. Inside, the vast expanse of the ocean surrounds diners, which creates an atmosphere of tranquility and wonder.

The menu showcases a selection of seafood, fresh from the ocean’s bounty. Prawns, fish, and other marine delights are prepared with a touch of Zanzibari tradition, offering diners a taste of the island’s heritage. The combination of the unique location, attentive service, and the sound of waves crashing nearby makes dining here an unforgettable experience.

A piece of advice: Reservations are a must, especially if you aim for a sunset slot. The golden tones of the setting sun over the ocean are a sight to behold!

It’s not every day you get to dine on a rock. That’s what makes this establishment one of the world’s coolest restaurants that foodies and beach lovers should try at least once. It’s truly a must-see in Tanzania!

Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar is one of the unique restaurants in the world.
The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar offers a unique dining experience on a massive rock in the Indian Ocean with exceptional ambiance.

2. Ithaa Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atol, Maldives

Imagine dining beneath the ocean’s waves, surrounded by vibrant marine life. Welcome to Ithaa Restaurant in the Maldives, one of the most unique places in the world to eat. Positioned about 16 feet below sea level, Ithaa is the world’s premier all-glass underwater dining spot.

As you settle into your seat, prepare to be enchanted by the underwater ballet of manta rays, playful fish, and elegant sharks, all visible through the 180-degree clear acrylic walls. It’s a visual treat that transforms dining into an immersive experience.

The dishes are a delightful fusion of European techniques with Maldivian flavors. Think fresh seafood, expertly prepared, with a touch of island magic. From succulent lobster to exotic sea urchins, every plate is a delightful surprise.

It’s not just the marine views and delectable dishes that make Ithaa stand out. The entire experience, from the soft lighting to the gentle hum of the ocean, sets the stage for a meal you won’t soon forget. This makes it a must-see in the Maldives for so many reasons!

Ithaa is a sought-after spot, so booking ahead is essential. And while there, don’t forget to raise a toast to one of the most memorable meals you’ll ever have!

Dine 16 feet below sea level, surrounded by marine life at Ithaa Restaurant in the Maldives, the world's premier underwater dining spot.
Dine 16 feet below sea level, surrounded by marine life at Ithaa Restaurant in the Maldives, the world’s premier underwater dining spot.

3. Dinner in the Sky (Various Locations Worldwide)

Ever thought of dining among the clouds? Dinner in the Sky takes the dining experience to new heights, quite literally! This one-of-a-kind concept has been thrilling diners in over 60 countries. Hands down, it’s one of the coolest places to eat in the world and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Imagine being securely strapped into a seat at a table, which is then hoisted about 150 feet into the air by a crane. As you ascend, the cityscape unfolds beneath you, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Whether it’s the iconic skyline of Dubai, the historic landmarks of Rome, or the bustling streets of Tokyo, the backdrop for your meal is ever-changing and always spectacular.

The menu is as thrilling as the experience itself. Top chefs curate a selection of gourmet dishes, ensuring that the food matches the exhilarating ambiance. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood, every mouthful is memorable.

What truly sets Dinner in the Sky apart is the thrill of the unexpected. With the sky above and the world below, every meal becomes an adventure. It’s about the adrenaline, the excitement, and the stories you’ll share for years to come.

This dining experience isn’t for the faint-hearted. But if you’re looking for a meal that’s truly out of this world, this is it!

Dine in the sky with Dinner in the Sky, a thrilling global concept that elevates your dining experience.
Dine in the sky with Dinner in the Sky, a thrilling global concept that elevates your dining experience.

4. SnowCastle Restaurant, Kemi, Finland

Chill out in the coolest dining spot on the planet at the SnowCastle Restaurant in Kemi, Finland. Carved entirely out of ice and snow, this restaurant offers an experience that’s as frosty as it is fantastic. Whilst it might feel a little chilly, experiencing one of the world’s most unique restaurants makes up for it!

Upon entering, you’re greeted by a shimmering world of ice sculptures, illuminated by soft blue and white lights. The walls, tables, chairs, and even the serving plates are made of ice. But don’t worry about the cold! Diners are provided with warm blankets and furs to ensure a cozy dining experience.

The menu is a celebration of Lappish cuisine. Reindeer, Arctic char, and cloudberries are just a few of the regional specialties you might find on offer. Each dish is thoughtfully prepared to showcase the purity and freshness of the local ingredients.

Apart from its icy architecture, what makes SnowCastle Restaurant truly stand out is the serene and magical atmosphere it offers. Dining here feels like stepping into a fairy tale, where every detail, from the frosty decor to the twinkling lights, adds to the enchantment.

The restaurant is rebuilt every winter, so designs and themes change annually. It’s a fleeting beauty, so if you’re planning a visit, make sure to check its seasonal availability. And if you’re on the hunt for the world’s best restaurants, this icy wonder should definitely be on your list!

Experience the chill at SnowCastle Restaurant in Kemi, Finland, carved entirely from ice and snow, for a frosty yet fantastic dining adventure.
Experience the chill at SnowCastle Restaurant in Kemi, Finland, carved entirely from ice and snow, for a frosty yet fantastic dining adventure.

5. El Diablo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Ever fancied a meal cooked by a volcano? At El Diablo in Lanzarote, Mother Nature takes on the role of chef. Situated in Timanfaya National Park, this restaurant uses the geothermal heat of the dormant volcano to grill its dishes.

The restaurant’s design is spectacular, with panoramic windows offering diners sweeping views of the Martian-like landscape of the national park. But the real showstopper is the grill, which is placed over a deep volcanic vent. The temperatures here can reach up to 450°C, ensuring a unique and natural cooking method.

On the menu, you’ll find a range of dishes, from succulent meats to fresh seafood, all infused with a smoky flavor that only a volcano can provide. The ingredients are locally sourced, which reflects the rich culinary heritage of the Canary Islands.

Aside from the food and the unique cooking method, it’s the experience of dining in such a raw and powerful landscape that leaves a lasting impression. As you enjoy your meal, you’re constantly reminded of the incredible forces of nature at work beneath your feet.

For those seeking the world’s most unusual restaurants, El Diablo offers a fiery feast you won’t soon forget. Just remember to book in advance – this volcanic dining spot is hot in more ways than one! This is truly one of the top things to do in the Canary Islands and it’s easy to see why!

Savor a volcanic dining experience at El Diablo in Lanzarote, where geothermal heat from a dormant volcano grills your dishes.
Savor a volcanic dining experience at El Diablo in Lanzarote, where geothermal heat from a dormant volcano grills your dishes.

6. The Grotto, Krabi, Thailand

Located between limestone cliffs and the soft sands of Phranang Beach lies The Grotto in Krabi, Thailand. This open-air restaurant, set inside a limestone cave, offers a dining experience that’s as breathtaking as it is intimate. It’s one of the best places to eat in the world for those seeking romance and natural beauty.

The gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore and the warm glow of lanterns set the mood. As the sun sets, the cave is bathed in a soft golden hue, creating a magical atmosphere that feels both otherworldly and cozy.

The menu at The Grotto celebrates the flavors of Thailand. Fresh seafood, caught daily, is the star here. From spicy Thai salads to grilled fish with aromatic herbs, each dish is a symphony of flavors that reflects the country’s rich culinary traditions.

Despite popular beliefs, it’s not just the food that draws people to The Grotto. The chance to dine beneath a natural limestone canopy, with your feet in the sand and the Andaman Sea stretching out before you, is an experience like no other.

If you’re compiling a list of unique restaurants across the world, The Grotto is a must-add. It’s a place where nature, gastronomy, and romance come together in perfect harmony. It’s truly a dream come true as far as pretty places in Thailand go!

The Grotto in Krabi, Thailand is one of the unique restaurants in the world.
Experience dining at The Grotto in Krabi, Thailand, nestled in a limestone cave on Phranang Beach for a romantic meal.

7. Opaque (Various Locations in the USA)

Dining at Opaque challenges everything you know about enjoying a meal. Here, guests are immersed in complete darkness, heightening senses and transforming the way food is experienced. By removing sight, every aroma and texture is amplified, which makes Opaque one of the world’s most unique restaurants.

During this dining in the dark experience, visually impaired servers guide guests into a pitch-black dining room. Without visual cues or distractions, the emphasis is solely on taste and aroma. Each bite becomes an exploration, a chance to connect deeply with the flavors presented.

The menu keeps its secrets well. While diners can select general categories like meat, seafood, or vegetarian, the exact dishes remain a delightful mystery. This element of surprise adds a layer of excitement to the dining experience, as guests try to decipher the ingredients and preparations with each taste.

Opaque also offers a valuable perspective, allowing diners a brief insight into the world of the visually impaired. It’s an experience that resonates, reminding guests of the power of empathy and understanding.

Searching for the coolest places to eat in the world? Opaque stands out. It promises a memorable adventure in the dark. I’ve tried dining in the dark in a few locations before and let me tell you: it blew my mind. It also gave me a newfound appreciation for my senses. As such, it’s easy to see why this is among the most fun restaurants around the world.

Opaque transforms dining by immersing guests in complete darkness, heightening senses.
Opaque transforms dining by immersing guests in complete darkness, heightening senses.

8. Magic Mountain Lodge, Chile

Ever dreamt of dining inside a waterfall? Pinch yourself, because at Magic Mountain Lodge in Chile, that dream becomes a reality. Picture this: A cascading waterfall envelops a stone-clad mountain, and nestled within is a restaurant that promises an experience as enchanting as its setting. If you’re crafting your list of the best fine-dining restaurants in the world, this gem deserves a spot.

As you approach, the sound of rushing water sets the tone. Inside, the ambiance is warm and inviting, a stark contrast to the wild beauty outside. Every window offers a view of the lush Huilo Huilo rainforest, which makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.

Now, let’s talk food. The dishes here are a tribute to Chile’s diverse landscapes. Freshwater fish, foraged berries, and local meats are transformed into culinary masterpieces that tell a story of tradition and innovation.

But here’s the twist: As you dine, you’re invited to guess the ingredients of each dish. It’s a playful challenge that adds a touch of mystery to the meal. And trust us, with flavors this vibrant, you’ll be talking about it for days!

Are you ready to embark on a dining adventure that’s as magical as it sounds? Magic Mountain Lodge awaits, and trust us, it’s even better in person!

Dine under a waterfall at Chile's Magic Mountain Lodge, an enchanting gem among the world's finest restaurants.
Dine under a waterfall at Chile’s Magic Mountain Lodge, an enchanting gem among the world’s finest restaurants.

9. Fangweng Restaurant, Yichang, China

Perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, the Fangweng Restaurant in Yichang, China, offers a dining experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. Suspended over the Xiling Gorge, this eatery provides breathtaking views of the Yangtze River below. Hands down, it’s one of the most scenic places in the world to eat.

As you make your way to the entrance, a narrow, rocky path leads you through a natural cave. Emerging from the darkness, the restaurant reveals itself, hanging over a sheer drop with the roaring river beneath. It’s a sight that promises an unforgettable meal.

The menu is a delightful blend of traditional Chinese dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. From sizzling hot pots to delicate dim sum, the flavors are as spectacular as the views. But it’s the sensation of dining on the edge, with the vast expanse of the gorge stretching out before you, that truly sets this place apart.

For thrill-seekers and food enthusiasts alike, Fangweng Restaurant is a bucket-list destination. It’s a unique restaurant in the world where nature’s grandeur meets culinary excellence, offering a dining experience that’s as exhilarating as it is delicious. As such, it’s no wonder this is a top place to visit in China.

Dine daringly at Fangweng Restaurant in Yichang, China, suspended over the Xiling Gorge for breathtaking views of the Yangtze River.
Dine daringly at Fangweng Restaurant in Yichang, China, suspended over the Xiling Gorge for breathtaking views of the Yangtze River.

10. The Safe House, Milwaukee, USA

Ever thought a password was just for secret clubs in old movies? Think again. At The Safe House in Milwaukee, the adventure begins even before you see the menu. Dubbed one of the best hidden gem restaurants in the world, this spy-themed eatery is all about intrigue and fun.

Hold on, secret agent! Before you can enter, you’ll need the password. Don’t have it? No worries. You might just have to perform a silly task or dance to gain entry. It’s all in good fun, and trust us, it’s worth the playful effort.

Inside, the espionage theme continues. Hidden doors, secret passages, and spy memorabilia adorn the walls. Every corner holds a surprise, and you’ll find yourself exploring as much as dining. The menu is a delectable range of dishes, each with a spy-themed twist. From “Undercover Veggies” to “Double Agent Burgers,” the food is as delightful as the names suggest.

But here’s a challenge for you: Can you find the secret exit? Many have tried, but few have succeeded. It’s all part of the charm and mystery that The Safe House offers.

So, are you up for a dining experience filled with secrets, laughter, and delicious food? The Safe House is ready for your mission, should you choose to accept it. And there are many luxury hotels in Milwaukee nearby, so there’s no excuses to keep coming back for more!

Uncover the adventure at The Safe House in Milwaukee, where the intrigue and fun begin with a password.
Uncover the adventure at The Safe House in Milwaukee, where the intrigue and fun begin with a password.

11. Ninja Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan

Step into the shadows and prepare for an adventure like no other at Ninja Akasaka in Tokyo. Hidden within the bustling streets of Japan’s capital, this restaurant transports you to the mysterious world of ninjas. It’s one of the best places to eat in the world for those seeking thrill and intrigue.

Entering Ninja Akasaka, winding stone pathways and dimly lit corridors lead you to your private dining chamber. But be alert! Ninjas lurk around every corner, showcasing their skills with surprise performances and magic tricks.

The menu, much like the ambiance, is full of surprises. Traditional Japanese dishes are given a ninja twist, with creative presentations that play with shadows and illusions. From sushi that seems to vanish before your eyes to desserts that reveal hidden layers, each dish is a delightful enigma.

What truly sets Ninja Akasaka apart is the immersive experience it offers. It’s not just about the food here. It’s about the stories, the performances, and the sense of wonder that fills the air. This makes it a must-see in Japan for all types of travelers.

Are you ready to embark on a culinary quest filled with secrets and spectacles? Ninja Akasaka promises an evening that’s as magical as the legends of old. As one of Tokyo’s coolest restaurants, it’s an experience you can’t afford to miss!

Enter a ninja's world at Tokyo's Ninja Akasaka, offering a thrilling dining experience hidden within Japan's bustling capital.
Enter a ninja’s world at Tokyo’s Ninja Akasaka, offering a thrilling dining experience hidden within Japan’s bustling capital.

12. Train Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand

Picture this: dining in a relic from the golden age of rail travel, right in the heart of a modern metropolis. At the Train Restaurant in Bangkok, this dream becomes a reality. Set within an authentic vintage train carriage, this eatery stands out as a beacon of nostalgia amidst the urban sprawl, easily earning its spot among the most unique restaurants in the world.

Every detail, from the polished woodwork to the plush velvet seats, whispers tales of grand voyages and timeless elegance. While the city buzzes outside, inside, you’re transported to a bygone era where dining was an event, and every meal was an occasion.

The menu mirrors this blend of old and new. Traditional Thai dishes, rich in flavor and history, are presented alongside international favorites, each plate telling its own story. As the evening unfolds, the soft strains of jazz tunes set the mood, reminiscent of the times when this carriage might have journeyed through scenic landscapes.

What makes the Train Restaurant truly unique is the juxtaposition of past and present. In a city known for its futuristic skyline and rapid pace, the Train Restaurant offers a pause, a moment to reflect and savor.

Ready for a dining experience that’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination? The Train Restaurant beckons, promising an evening that’s both a feast and a voyage.

Bangkok's Train Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in the world.
Step into the past at Bangkok’s Train Restaurant, where dining in a vintage train carriage amidst the city’s modern hustle is a unique and nostalgic experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in the World

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in the world? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about the world’s most unusual restaurants.

What’s the #1 restaurant in the world?

The title of “#1 restaurant in the world” often varies based on different culinary rankings and changes annually. However, many prestigious lists, such as the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, have previously awarded this title to establishments like Noma in Copenhagen and El Celler de Can Roca in Spain. Both restaurants offer a unique dining experience, blending innovation with tradition. If you’re looking for the best food in the world, these establishments should be on your radar.

What is the world’s most expensive restaurant?

Sublimotion, located in Ibiza, Spain, often claims the title of the world’s most expensive restaurant. The dining experience here is truly one-of-a-kind, blending gastronomy with technology and performance art. Each meal is a multi-sensory journey, making it one of the world’s best restaurants. While the price tag is hefty, many argue that the unparalleled experience justifies the cost.

How do I find hidden gem restaurants in the world?

Discovering hidden gem restaurants in the world often requires a bit of research and local insight. Engaging with locals, exploring food blogs, and using apps like TripAdvisor or Yelp can lead you to lesser-known culinary treasures. Remember, sometimes the most memorable meals come from the most unexpected places!

View from above Ithaa Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives, showcasing its unique underwater dining experience.
View from above Ithaa Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives, showcasing its unique underwater dining experience.

Are there any themed restaurants worth visiting?

Absolutely! Themed restaurants in the world offer not just food but an entire experience. From the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, where diners are entertained by giant robots, to the Vampire Café in Ginza, where gothic decor sets a spooky mood, there’s a themed restaurant for every interest.

What is the best rated restaurant ever?

One of the most respected rankings in the culinary world is the annual “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. Over the years, several restaurants have taken the top spot on this list, including:

  • El Bulli in Roses, Spain, helmed by Chef Ferran Adrià. It held the top spot multiple times before closing in 2011.
  • Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, led by Chef René Redzepi. It has been named the world’s best restaurant multiple times.
  • Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, run by Chef Massimo Bottura. It has also secured the top spot more than once.
  • Mirazur in Menton, France, led by Chef Mauro Colagreco, was named the best in 2019.

Other notable lists, such as the Michelin Guide, award up to three stars to exceptional restaurants but don’t rank them in a numerical order. Many restaurants around the world have achieved the coveted three-star status.

Where are five unique restaurants in the world I should add to my bucket list?

Here’s a quick rundown of some standout dining spots across the globe:

  1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives: Dine with the fishes in this underwater haven.
  2. Dinner in the Sky, Various Locations: Enjoy gourmet meals suspended in the air.
  3. The Catacombs, Paris: Experience dining in ancient underground tunnels.
  4. SnowCastle Restaurant, Finland: Savor dishes in a restaurant made entirely of ice.
  5. Treehouse Restaurant, New Zealand: Dine amidst the treetops in this serene setting.

Remember, the best places to eat in the world often combine great food with a unique atmosphere, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Concluding The World’s Most Unique Restaurants

Traveling the world offers a plethora of experiences, and dining is undoubtedly one of the highlights. From the dizzying heights of Dinner in the Sky to the serene depths of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the globe is dotted with unique restaurants that are much more than just places to grab a bite. They’re destinations in their own right, each offering a unique story and atmosphere.

We’ve journeyed through train carriages in bustling Bangkok, dined in the shadows with ninjas in Tokyo, and even ventured to a restaurant perched on a rock in the middle of the ocean. The beauty of these unusual restaurants in the world lies in their diversity. They cater to a wide range of preferences, ensuring that every traveler, regardless of their palate or pocket, finds a spot that resonates with them.

To sum it up, the world of unique dining is vast and varied. It’s a testament to human creativity and the endless pursuit of memorable experiences. And while we’ve touched upon a few standout spots, there’s an entire universe of culinary wonders waiting to be explored. Here’s to many more meals that surprise, delight, and inspire!

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