5 Truly Weird Restaurants

February 23, 2011

This is part one of a three part series. I'll take a look at some places to go if you truly want an unforgettable meal.

1. Modern Toilet (Taiwan): This toilet themed restaurant mimics both bodily functions, with guests sitting on old toilets and eating noodles out of toilet-shaped bowls. Apparently the idea began while the owner was reading a manga magazine on the toilet one day. They began selling chocolate ice cream in toilet-shaped dishes as a startup, but expanded to a full scale restaurant.  Now, they're expanding across Asia.

Modern Toilet Restaurant

2. Fortezza Medicea (Italy): It's hard to find an odd design for Italian food, where most citizens strictly adhere to classic dishes. However, at Fortezza Medicea, located right outside of Pisa, you can enjoy a meal prepared by a man serving a life sentence for murder, inside this maximum security prison. That's right, your staff for the evening is all doing hard time for violent crimes. Bookings fill up weeks in advance, but all guests (120 a cover) must undergo strict security clearance before coming for dinner.

3. Dinner in the Sky (Worldwide): If you're looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, consider trying Dinner in the Sky. For $40,000, you and 21 close friends can spend dinner hoisted 150 feet above the ground in the scenic city of your choice. Sessions can be booked for up to 8 hours, and you can hoist a second table to provide entertainment. Their site reminds you that hoisting 22 people from your company into the sky (with a banner displayed) is excellent publicity.

4. Opaque (Los Angeles and San Francisco): On the heels of this hot trend in Europe, several American cities have now seized upon the "dining in the dark" trend. The founders of this type of experience believe that we eat too much with our eyes, at the expense of other senses. To combat that, these restaurants make you eat completely in the dark, which enhances your other senses. I've also heard of similar restaurants with the idea of simulating how visually impaired people must dine daily.

5. 's Baggers (Nuremberg): At this restaurant, there is no need for waiters or waitresses. You place your order at a touchscreen computer at your table. The restaurant prepares your food and sends it via rollercoaster to your table. While waiting for your order, customers can surf the internet or send e-mails.

Photos by Flickr users Steve Punter, Fun Fever, and bestourism

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