September 21, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Dine Outside the Box: The Most Bizarre Restaurants in America

Dine Outside the Box: The Most Bizarre Restaurants in America

shocked girl and cliff diving split image

Eating out is more than just nourishment; it can be an adventure! The United States, known for its culinary diversity and innovation, is home to some peculiar and unique dining spots that take you way beyond the typical restaurant experience.

From the depths of the ocean to a haunting dining room, here are the top 8 weird restaurants in the U.S. you must visit for a one-of-a-kind experience.

1. The Safe House

Safehouse restaurant in MilwaukeeSafehouse Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin | $$ 

The Safe House requires a secret password for entry. If you don't know it, you'll have to complete a funny, often embarrassing task as instructed by the front door security. Once inside, you're engulfed in a full-blown spy lair complete with secret passageways, hidden rooms, and interactive espionage memorabilia. The servers double as undercover agents, heightening the James Bond-esque atmosphere.

Menu Highlights: The "Spy Burger" and "Undercover Onion Soup."

Reservations: Not required but recommended for weekends.

2. Casa Bonita

Denver, Colorado | $$

Casa Bonita RestaurantCasa Bonita Denver

More than just a restaurant, Casa Bonita is an experience park. Featuring an indoor waterfall with cliff divers, puppet shows, and even a simulated cave to explore, this place is like a mini amusement park. It's a sensory overload with the smell of Mexican cuisine, the sound of mariachi bands, and sights that you'd never expect inside a restaurant.

Menu Highlights: "Sopaipillas" and "All-You-Can-Eat Deluxe Dinner."

Reservations: Required - buy tickets online.

3. Heart Attack Grill

Heart Attack Grill RestaurantHeart Attack Grill

Las Vegas, Nevada | $$$

Heart Attack Grill is a hospital-themed restaurant where customers are referred to as "patients," orders are called "prescriptions," and the servers are dressed as nurses. You even wear a hospital gown as a bib. If you don't finish your "Quadruple Bypass Burger," you get spanked by a nurse with a paddle!

Menu Highlights: "Quadruple Bypass Burger" and "Flatliner Fries."

Reservations: Not necessary.


4. The Airplane Restaurant

The Airplane RestaurantThe Airplane Restaurant

Colorado Springs, Colorado | $$

The Airplane Restaurant provides diners with an opportunity to eat inside a converted Boeing KC-97 tanker. The inside is decked out with authentic aviation memorabilia, and the menus come with detailed aircraft history. It's a high-flying dining experience without leaving the ground.

Menu Highlights: "Runway Cheese Fries" and "Pilot's NY Strip."

Reservations: Recommended for large groups.

5. Darkness Brewing

Restaurant and BreweryDarkness Brewing

Bellevue, Kentucky | $$  

Darkness Brewing takes its name seriously, as this microbrewery offers a unique, dim-lit, almost blacked-out atmosphere to enjoy their dark beers. The low-light setting is designed to enhance your sense of taste, making each sip of their artisan dark beers a different kind of experience. It's not just a pub; it's a sensory journey that challenges traditional beer-drinking norms.

Menu Highlights: Dark Wit Beer, Artisan Cheese Board

Reservations: Not Required

6. Harvey Washbangers

Restaurant and laundromat comboHarvey Washbangers

College Station, Texas | $$

Imagine a laundromat and a restaurant falling in love and having a baby. That’s Harvey Washbangers for you. This unique establishment lets you multi-task like never before. You can wash your clothes in high-end washers and dryers while you munch on some of the best gourmet burgers in town. The interior is both hip and retro, featuring a see-through glass wall separating the laundromat from the dining area, so you can keep an eye on your spin cycle while sipping a cold beer.

Menu Highlights: Gourmet burgers, garlic fries, craft beers

Reservations: Not Required but Recommended on Weekends

7. Alinea - Chicago, Illinois

Alinea tastingAlinea Restaurant

Chicago, Illinois | $$$$

Alinea isn't just a restaurant; it's a theatrical dining experience that challenges your perceptions of what food can be. Run by Chef Grant Achatz, a leader in molecular gastronomy, the restaurant creates an immersive sensory experience that pushes the boundaries of 'normal' dining. With edible balloons, foods served on pillows of scented air, and more, each course is meant to surprise and delight. Alinea offers several unique dining environments within one building, from a kitchen table experience to a more avant-garde dining setting.

 Menu Highlights: Multi-course tasting menu that changes regularly

Reservations: Strongly Recommended, Book well in advance

8. Dick's Last Resort

Dicks Last Resort RestaurantDick's Last Resort, Facebook

Various Locations in the US | $$

If you're sensitive or can't take a joke, Dick's Last Resort might not be the dining adventure for you. Known for its intentionally obnoxious staff and laid-back atmosphere, this restaurant chain encourages diners to let their hair down and be ready for some sass. Don't be surprised if you get a giant paper hat with an insulting slogan placed on your head. The food is surprisingly good, but the real highlight is the unpredictable and playful interaction with the staff, which makes for a dining experience you won't forget.

Menu Highlights: Crab Legs, Ribs, Grilled Chicken Skewers

Reservations: Not Required but Accepted