10 of the world's most quirky restaurants
Sure, the quality of the food is usually the main reason to try a new restaurant.
But at these 10 eateries, the experience is about more than taste.
Recently highlighted by TripAdvisor.com, these wonderfully strange restaurants just might change your definition of dining out.
The Rock (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
It’s exactly what it sounds like. The Rock restaurant is perched on a rock off Michanvi Ringwe Beach on the southeast coast of Zanzibar.
With just 12 tables, The Rock is small.
But if you’re lucky enough to get one you’ll enjoy unforgettable views of the sea and coast.
Originally a fishermen's post, the restaurant specializes in seafood.
The octopus salad is a great start before “the Rock special” of lobster, cigal, jumbo prawn, fish fillet and calamari on the grill.
The restaurant is accessible by foot during low tide and via boat transfer during high tide.
The Rock, Michanwi Pingwe Beach, Michamvi 753 Tanzania;
The Treehouse Restaurant at the Alnwick Garden (Alnwick, England)
Have a treehouse when you were a kid?
Prepare to be hit with a wave of nostalgia.
The elevated dining room has trees growing through the floor and specially crafted window screens made from fallen branches.
The Treehouse Restaurant is open for lunch, but it’s during dinner that the fairy lights give the place a magical feel.
The menu of local seafood and meat from surrounding Northumberland farms changes seasonally.
Right now, the roasted pork loin and grilled poached salmon are the big stars.
The Treehouse Restaurant at the Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick NE66 1YU England;
Le Refuge des Fondues (Paris)
The exterior might look like an extravagant carnival, but the menu is simple.
As in most fondue restaurants, orders are based on binary choices: red or white wine, cheese or meat fondue.
But here's where things get wacky.
In Paris, wine served in wine glasses is taxed.
To skirt this outrage, Le Refuge des Fondues serves vino in non-spill baby bottles.
The spectacle of friends sucking wine through plastic teats tends to speed up wine consumption.
If drink gives you an urge to doodle, you can add to the graffiti-filled walls around you.
Le Refuge des Fondues, 17 rue des Trois-Freres, 75018 Paris France;
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese (Polignano a Mare, Italy)
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese puts its best table on a cliff overlooking the sea.
But it gets better.
The summer cave is a dining cavern carved into the side of a limestone cliff overlooking the Adriatic.
At 74 feet above the water, diners can enjoy shellfish ravioli and risotto with lobster in the sea breeze, with the sound of the lapping sea below.
Open from May to October, the view is particularly dramatic at night when lights from the cave reflect off the water.
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Via Narciso, 59, 70044 Polignano a Mare Italy;
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (Rangali Island, Maldives)
Set in the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, Ithaa claims to be the world's first all-glass undersea restaurant.
Sitting five meters below the water surface, it offers a 180-degree panorama of the reef and marine life.
You can watch sharks and rays swim as you savor caviar and lobster carpaccio.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives PO Box 2034, 2034;
Heart Attack Grill (Las Vegas)
As if the name alone didn’t scream it out, Heart Attack Grill is a health addict’s nightmare.
In this Las Vegas restaurant, stethoscope-welding nurses take and serve burger orders ranging from the innocent “Single Bypass” up to the killer “Octuple Bypass.”
The Quadruple Bypass Burger consists of four half-pound patties, eight slices of cheese and 16 slices of bacon between buns coated with lard.
If the burger somehow doesn’t fill you, there are flatliner fries, deep-fried Twinkie shakes and IV bags of wine.
For all you calorie counters out there, now's the time to break out the calculator.
The Heart Attack Grill proudly holds the Guinness World Record for offering the burger with the highest number of calories (that'd be the Quadruple at 9,982 calories).
Heart Attack Grill, 450 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101;
Ninja New York (New York)
Ninja New York takes its theme so seriously even its door is stealthy.
Once you do find the entrance, walking into this subterranean restaurant is like going back in time to feudal Japan.
Fashioned after a Japanese mountain village with iron bars and stone walls, the restaurant gives you a full-on ninja experience.
Waiters dressed as the stealthy warriors keep you on your toes by jumping out from the shadows and entertaining with tricks throughout the night.
Even the food is presented with flare.
Specialty dishes such as bonfire lamb chops and dragon rolls are accompanied by knife twirling and karate chopping displays.
Ninja New York, 25 Hudson St, New York City, NY 10013-3802;
Foreign Cinema (San Francisco)
Despite the name, this rustic restaurant screens films ranging from “The Maltese Falcon” and “Caramel” to “The Iron Giant” and “The Outsiders.”
Movies are projected onto the white-washed wall of a covered courtyard, but you’re welcome to sit indoors by the fire or upstairs in the mezzanine overlooking the dining room.
Self-described as a “quintessential San Francisco dining experience,” the daily changing menu is full of seasonal ingredients and accompanied by an oyster and shellfish bar.
Chefs and co-owner couple, Gayle Pirie and John Clark travel widely in Europe and Asia researching local and artisanal ingredients.
Foreign Cinema’s California/Mediterranean-inspired menu proves their research pays off.
Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2512;
's Baggers (Nuremberg, Germany)
At ‘s Baggers, you order on a touchscreen at the table and within minutes food is zooming to your table on a rollercoaster-like network that runs through the restaurant.
It’s tempting to keep ordering food just to watch the dishes slide and spin down the rails.
There are even loops, making the occasional dish flip upside-down.
To avoid dishes arriving to your table in a jumbled mess, parts of your meal are served in separate containers, with sauces and soups in jars.
's Baggers, Am Steinacher Kreuz 28, 90427 Nuremberg, Bavaria Germany;
Dans le noir (Paris)
Surprise! That dish that you just enjoyed was eggplant.
The Dans le noir chain, at which guests eat a mystery menu in complete darkness, is based on the idea that flavors are intensified when you can't see the food, as your sense of taste is heightened.
Your perception of food also drastically changes when you can’t judge food by how it looks.
Not just a cool way of enjoying food, Dans le noir hires blind and visually impaired waiters to serve and guide you to your food.
Dans le noir, 51, rue Quincanmpoix, 75004 Paris France;