Yum? (Photo: riNux on Flickr)
It’s no secret that we here at Atlas Obscura enjoy a good theme restaurant. Whether it’s a place where your dinner is served by ninjas or you eat in complete darkness, the strange and wonderful ways that people have come up with to enhance the experience of dining never cease to amaze. Yet, there is such a thing as being too bold when it comes to sitting where you eat. Be it bombs, toilets, or trash check out the odd themes and decor of the world’s restaurant that have gone too far.
1. CRATERS RESTAURANT
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Started Eating Next to Some Bombs (Photo: James Antrobus on Flickr)
Feeling a bit peckish after a day of backpacking through Laos? Stop by the Crater Restaurant, where the specter of the Vietnam war never goes away. The patio of this little eatery is fenced in using old bomb shells leftover from the war. After the US dropped hundreds of thousands of bombs in the area to try and stop Vietcong soldier who were suspected of escaping through the area, the old armaments can be found all around. In fact the restaurant is right next door to an Unexploded Ordnance Visitor Information Center where the main question is probably, “how do I get rid of this bomb?” Eat well!
Curious about the bombs you’re eating near? Why just visit the Unexploded Ordnance center next door. (Photo: Prince Roy on Flickr)
2. MODERN TOILET RESTAURANT
Datong District, Taiwan
Chicken bowl. (Photo: riNux on Flickr)
It seems like ever since someone came up with the term “toilet bowl” people have been dreaming of eating out of commodes. Well anyone dead set on a little lavatory luncheon need look no further than Taiwan’s Modern Toilet Restaurant. As you might have guessed, everything here is bathroom themed, from curry that comes in a ceramic toilet bowl to ice cream served off of a little platter shaped like a urinal. Even the chairs are disused toilets. This restaurant is far from crappy however and has expanded to multiple locations.
Notice that the chairs are toilets as well. It’s toilets all the way down. (Photo: riNux on Flickr)
3. EL DIABLO RESTAURANT
Who need ovens when you have a volcano? (Photo by Ned Trifle on Atlas Obscura)
This restaurant is not so much gross or depressing as needlessly dangerous. Perched atop an active volcano, the El Diablo Restaurant uses the natural heat from the subsurface magma to cook its dishes. While this is undoubtedly the most marvelously macho way of preparing a meal, it does seem a bit hubristic to sit an eatery with a view on a caustic hilltop.
Careful guys. That’s a live volcano (Photo by Christine McIntosh on Atlas Obscura)
4. THE NEW LUCKY RESTAURANT
Yes. Those are green graves. (Photo: www.ynaija.com)
When it is said that the New Lucky Restaurant is built on an Indian burial ground, it is no exaggeration. In fact the sarcophagi are sitting in plain sight, right in the middle of the dining area, with customers blithely skirting the short fences surrounding them. The graveyard was already in place when the restaurant was built, and the owner decided to just embrace the hassle have the graves become a selling point for customers. And before anyone cries “disrespect,” note that the graves are cleaned and given new flowers each day. Whether this makes eating next to a coffin more appealing is anyone’s guess.
5. ALCATRAZ ER
No, that’s okay, I’m good. (Photo: Alcatraz ER)
This kitschy, horror-themed restaurant in Japan is not unlike horror-themed restaurants around the world, but where most go for a playful, Monster-Mash-vibe, the Alcatraz ER really goes for the extreme. The decor, which could best be described as hellish mental institution, is strictly haunted house as some diners are seated in little cells and must rattle the bars for service. With drinks served in heads and syringes, if the general theme of body horror doesn’t kill your appetite, the regular shows the staff puts on likely will. Every so often the mad clowns with drag out some poor diner and “experiment” on them with giant syringes and fake penises. I think I’ll skip dessert.
Wouldn’t want to forget some religious imagery. (Photo: Alcatraz ER)
6. BEI TOU INCINERATOR
Try not to choke on the garbage fumes while you finish your meal! (Photo: 玄史生 on Wikipedia)
Just because you have a tower doesn’t mean that you are obligated to build a revolving restaurant on top of it. However that did not stop the makers of the Bei Tou Trash Incinerator smokestack. The Star Catcher, as the eatery is known, sits above the waste disposal complex slowly rotating, powered by the very process of garbage burning happening below. Thanks to special air filters, the noxious stench does not reach the restaurant. Yet with every bite, it might be hard to forget that you are riding a garbage carousel.
7. FUNNY SEX
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
There’s just a restaurant in there. Sorry to let you down. (Photo: emailer on Flickr)
Food and sex have often been linked (I’m looking at you 9 1/2 Weeks), but Taiwan’s Funny Sex restaurant may have found the limit to how much erotica you can mix with your food before things start getting weird. The ethos of the restaurant is all right there in the name, as the they take a tongue-in-cheek view of the human netherparts which are incorporated into almost every aspect of the space and its fare. Your milage on how appetizing Funny Sex’s offerings are, will vary.
Yep. Ice cream penises. (Photo: ipeen.com)