Going out for dinner - with friends, family, or maybe on a date - is a great way to spruce up your workweek, or celebrate the weekend. We all have our own taste in restaurants, from fine dining to fast-casual and from sushi to pasta, but for some diners, the "regular" dining scene is just not enough.
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Around the world, different themed restaurants have opened up, some more outrageous than others. For those seeking an out-of-the-box dining experience, there are many intriguing options. In New York City, you can enjoy a Japanese dinner served to you by ninjas, who will drop down from the ceiling to show their best ninja kicks. To get to the dining room, diners will also have to walk through a labyrinth, which is supposed to resemble a Japanese mountain village. In Tokyo, courageous diners can step into the scene of a prison hospital for dinner, and in Ukraine, you can dine inside the world's largest coffin (as long as you don't suffer from claustrophobia, as the giant tomb has no windows).
But not all themed restaurants aim to give diners a scare. In Vienna, a cat café has opened to let animal lovers sip their coffee while surrounded by cats, and if you're looking to dine à la Alice in Wonderland, a themed restaurant in Tokyo takes you to the scene with a Mad Hatter Tea Room where all the servers dress like Alice.
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Ninja, New York City
Servers dressed like ninjas dropping down from the ceiling are the norm at Japanese restaurant Ninja in New York City. The unique design of the restaurant consists of a long maze leading to the dining room, with the goal of even further setting the scene of dining in a Japanese mountain village.
Heart Attack Grill, Las Vegas
This grill treats its customers like patients, refers to orders as prescriptions, and has scantily clad nurses serving you food that definitely reflects the name: The 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass burger, Flatliner Fries deep-fried in lard, and a Butterfat shake, are few of the bizarre high-fat menu items. The controversial restaurant also lets diners who weigh more than 350 pounds eat for free.
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Modern Toilet, Taipei, Taiwan
At Modern Toilet, you should avoid judging your meal by how it looks - dinner here is served to you in a toilet. This Taipei restaurant seats diners on porcelain bowls at sink tables, offering menu items such as Korean kimchi hot pot or beef curry, served in Western-style toilet bowls, and ice cream swirls delivered to diners in squat toilets. If you're looking to try the toilet-dining crazy but not leave the U.S., a Los Angeles suburb has recently become the home of the first toilet-themed restaurant in the U.S.
Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok
As bizarre as the name might sound, this Bangkok restaurant supports a good cause; Cabbages and Condoms opened to raise awareness about family planning and combat Thailand's high rate of HIV. While the restaurant website's greeting line, "Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy," is quite comical, the food itself is definitely no joke. The exceptional Thai menu offers dishes such as hot and sweet roasted duck with coconut milk and green pepper, and deep-fried chicken with prawns and black mushrooms, all served under the glow of light fixtures decorated with condoms. Diners can also take a complimentary condom or two as they leave the restaurant. Proceeds from the restaurant go toward the Population and Community Development Association.
Alice's Fantasy Restaurant, Tokyo
Though it's easy to think differently judging by the name, this Alice in Wonderland restaurant keeps things family-friendly. Bunny tails on the chairs, a big clock against one wall, a Mad Hatter Tea Party room, and a giant lamp deepen the illusion that diners have shrunk and are all part of this "wonderland" experience. The food is also presented in Alice-themed ways, with some appetizers served on a chessboard, and pizzas made to look like playing-card soldiers. And of course, all servers are dressed like Alice.
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-Elsa Säätelä, The Daily Meal