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Unusual, Unique Dining Experiences at Restaurants around the World

Updated on July 15, 2011

Some people dine out at the same places over and over again. Other people dine out a variety of different restaurants but typically end up getting the same basic set of cuisine. There's nothing wrong but that but once you've eating at so many Chinese, Italian and Mexican restaurants it can be difficult to really find any of them to be all that exciting. If you want to go beyond the basics of dining out then you need to seek out more unusual restaurants. There are restaurants around the world that offer unique dining experiences that add a new twist to the old story of just going out to eat.

Here are some of the most unique dining experiences that you can find around the world:

  • Underground dining. This is a trend sweeping the world that is typically only found in trendy urban areas. For example, it's become popular in the San Francisco Bay Area. This trend takes the chef and dining experience out of the traditional restaurant setting and brings it to places like art galleries and libraries. The point is to really appreciate the art behind the cooking of meals. It's a word-of-mouth kind of dining experience but if you ask around, you can find it. The Ghetto Gourmet is one example of an underground dining experience that's come a little bit more above ground.
  • Dining in the dark. When you remove one of your senses, the others are heightened. So if you were take away your eyesight, you would find that your sense of taste would get stronger. That's the idea behind these restaurants where the room that you dine in is pitch black and the waiters that serve you are usually blind. The meals are top-notch and come at a high price but what you're paying for is really the experience. The Opaque restaurant chain is an example of this kind of dining experience.
  • Hospital-themed restaurant. Believe it or not, there is more than one hospital-themed restaurant in the world. One example is D.S. Music Restaurant in Taipei where you can order "medicine" (drinks) that come down to your glass through IV tubes hanging down from the ceiling. Sexy nurses serve your meals at this restaurant which is planning to open multiple locations in the near future. Similar restaurants can be found in other places throughout Asia.
  • Eating in bed. Who doesn't like the idea of being served breakfast in bed? Take things a step further and imagine dressing up for a night out at a luxurious restaurant where your table is a bed and your waiter comes to serve you in it. These are typically sexy restaurants in trendy cities. B.E.D. in Miami is one example of this type of restaurant but they can be found throughout the world.
  • Dine in a prison. There are several different restaurants around the world with a prison theme. For example, Russian hockey star Evgeni Malkin opened an upscale prison-themed restaurant in 2006 which is designed to look just like a prison inside. A wooden plank serves as your seat and a sexy warden will bring you your meal. For something even more intense, some have dined in Pisa at the Volterra Prison. The eatery here is upscale but you're actually paying to dine in a real working prison which requires you to check through security and where you'll be fed by actual prisoners.
  • Bid for your meal. There are a few restaurants in the world, such as Tinterro in Spain, where you don't actually order off of a menu but instead bid on your food against others as it goes by. The dishes are all prepared for you to choose from and you have to be vocal and active to get yourself a good plate. If you're not, you're going to miss out and be stuck with whatever is left at the end.
  • Dinner in the Sky. What do you think about the idea of having a table for 20+ people suspended 50 meters up in there so that you can dine up in the sky? It's something that's going on all over the place as people order up Dinner in the Sky for their events. Golf courses and vineyards are popular sites for having Dinner in the Sky but almost anywhere will do.
  • Ice restaurants. You've probably heard of the option to stay at an ice hotel on your vacation; did you know that it's also possible to eat an ice restaurant? The tables and chairs are made from ice and you're surrounded by beautiful ice sculptures in a setting unlike what you'll find in any other type of restaurant. There are quite a few of these in places around the world but perhaps one of the most unique is Chillout, an ice restaurant located in Dubai which is one of the hottest parts of the world.
  • Be served by little people. Sometimes you just need to change one little piece of an equation and the whole experience will be different. There area several restaurants around the world where you can be served your meal by a staff of dwarves. There are also a few restaurants where children will serve your meal. If you're interested in having a waiter that's different from the norm then these are good dining bets.
  • Pay what you want to pay. If you haven't already had this dining experience, then you're missing out. There are numerous pay-what-you-want restaurants in all parts of the world which give you the chance to get some really great food at a low cost. That is, if you're willing to be that guy who is the cheapskate at the restaurant. Terra Bite in Washington is one example of this type of restaurant.

There are many different really unique dining experiences out there. Why continue to eat at the same boring types of places that everyone else is eating at when you can dine at a place that offers a truly different way to eat your meal?

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