Where should we go to eat? I don’t know, where do you want to go? I don’t care, where do you want to go? It doesn’t matter to me. It really doesn’t matter to me either. What are you in the mood for? Does this happen to you? Do you get in a rut about where to eat? Then you will need to check out these unique dining experiences.
This used to happen to my husband and me. We would get in a rut of going to the same few places over and over and over. Then we tried to branch out and use coupon books to try new places. Then we tried all different foreign cuisines. These made for unusual dining experiences for a while. But then we started cooking Indian food, Thai food, and Mexican food at home, so these stopped being unique dining experiences.
This got me thinking, about not only unique dining experiences near me, but around the world. So I reached out to fellow travel bloggers to find out what their most unique dinner experiences were worldwide. If you are wondering, “What are the top ten things I should experience in life?“, you should add some of these dining experiences to your list.
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Dining in the Dark at Noir, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Contributors: Jackie Szeto & Justin Huynh from Life of Doing
Eating at Noir is one of the unique things to do when visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Located in a quiet alleyway in District 1, Noir is a restaurant where you get the chance to eat lunch or dinner in complete darkness.
This place hires visually and hearing-impaired people, so eating in the dark gives insight into what they experience daily.
You first start out playing a game blindfolded. After that, they bring you to the dining area where it’s pitch black. Then, a server guides you to where to sit.
Afterward, it’s time to eat! The menu changes every few months depending on the seasonal produce and fruits. We received over 10 dishes of appetizers, main entrees, and desserts. The flavors are a mix of Asian to international cuisines. Everything that we had was delicious. The dishes are smaller, so you get a tasting of the creations.
Of course, eating can be challenging in the dark. Since you can’t see the food, it’s hard to use the utensils properly. After dropping a lot of food on our laps, the easiest way was to put the dish next to the mouth and scoop the food.
After the meal, they bring you back out to the waiting area to review what you’ve eaten. Most of the time, we missed the main ingredient in our guesses. Regardless, it was a memorable time dining here.
You will need to make reservations ahead of time. Food allergies or dietary restrictions can be accommodated but must be mentioned when making a reservation.
The Modern Toilet, Taipei: Unique dining experiences
By Caroline from Cktravels.com
A toilet themed restaurant I hear you cry! Yes that does sound pretty bonkers but an actual place like this does exist. The Modern Toilet chain of restaurants in Taipei are super popular with both visitors and locals in Taiwan and the interior design is simply hilarious.
Venture inside and you will a setup that resembles a colourful and crazy bathroom. The seats are actual real toilets (not operable) and the acrylic seat lids are decorated with objects such roses, seashells or even Renaissance paintings! The walls are tiled with fun illustrations of poo cartoon characters, whilst feces-shaped lights hang from the ceiling!
The extensive menu serves a variety of both Asian and western classics, and the hot meals such as curries, spaghetti and noodle soups are served out of mini urinal shaped bowls or bathtubs. For dessert you will be served a big swirl of chocolate ice cream that resembles a poo, served in a container shaped like a squat toilet!
The food in the Modern Toilet is a bit average but the main reason most people come here is to have a fun time and to take many amusing photos for instagram! The restaurants also have a tiny gift shop where you can shop for Modern Toilet branded souvenirs.
There were two branches in Taipei but sadly the Ximending district one closed during the pandemic, and just the Shilin District restaurant remains open. Another branch in the nearby city of Taichung is also still trading.
Lunch at Aroma, Rome: Amazing views
By Claudia Tavani, Strictly Rome
For a fabulous dining experience in Rome, book a table at Aroma. The restaurant is located in Via Labicana, on the terrace of Palazzo Manfredi – one of Rome’s top luxury hotels. Should you decide to treat yourself to a meal there, you will not only be able to taste the delicious dishes created by Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio, but also to enjoy fabulous views of the Colosseum and – beyond that – the beautiful Altar of the Fatherland in the distance.
Known to be one of the best restaurants in the Eternal City, this Michelin star restaurant offers a fantastic dining experience with tasty, creative dishes. The menu puts together the best seasonal and local ingredients to create dishes that reflect the Italian tradition with a more modern twist. Service is top notch – certainly what you’d expect in such a setting.
Expect to spend a minimum of €90 for a two-course meal with no wine. To sample the best dishes offered, you may want to opt for a sampling menu. If you are a wine connoisseur you can opt for the wine pairing too, whereby the sommelier will pick the best wines among a list of over 600 labels.
Casual smart attire is required and advanced bookings necessary – if you care for a particular date, make sure to book at least a month ahead of your visit.
Unique Dining Experiences: El Diablo, restaurant on a volcano
By Paulina of Ukeveryday.com
Visiting El Diablo is one of the top things to do in Lanzarote. This amazing restaurant is situated in the most beautiful place on the island – Timanfaya National Park. You can admire the view of lava fields from the restaurant’s window. Even more unique, they prepare the food by using the volcano’s heat. All visitors can take photos of the huge grill and feel how much geothermal heat is under the restaurant.
Certainly one of the most unique restaurants in the world, it offers delicious food, amazing views and great architecture. César Manrique designed the restaurant in 1970. In addition, you can find his projects in many places on the island. All of them are famous for their simple and organic style. El Diablo is a great example of a building that connects with the surrounding landscape. A circular shape with windows all around, it offers 360-degree views of volcanic island Lanzarote.
In El Diablo restaurant you can try traditional Canarian dishes served with seasonal vegetables. Affordable prices make it a great place to stop when visiting Timanfaya National Park. In front of the restaurant you can watch an impressive geyser demonstration. They pour a bucket of water into a hole in the ground so steam can erupt.
RedSky Bangkok: Unique dining experiences on a roof top
Recommended by PlacesofJuma
The Thai capital is the place to be for unique dining experiences! One of the coolest locations can be found in one of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok: the restaurant Red Sky! The special thing about this dining experience is absolutely the location. This fantastic restaurant is located on the 55th floor, just below the bar on the roof of the Centara building. Unique to this restaurant is the huge curved arch, illuminated in red, which gives this restaurant an extra dose of style.
The chef is currently Christian Ham from France, who specializes in new flavors. Red Sky’s specialties include Wagyu Beef Tenderloin Rossini with truffles and The Red Sky Surf & Turf Tower with the freshest regional seafood and prime imported steaks.
Complete the culinary experience with one of the fabulous signature cocktails chosen from a chic cocktail menu or a glass of wine from the restaurant’s extensive wine cellar. If you want to save money, come for the happy hour in the Red Sky Bar! This takes place from 4 to 5 p.m. and offers 1-free-1 deals on drinks and snacks.
For having dinner, it’s best to reserve a table in advance. If you’re just coming for cocktails, then you don’t need a reservation. In any case, be mindful of the dress code. Smart casual is desired, in any case even if it is very hot in Bangkok no undershirts, flip-flops or shorts!
Unique dining experiences at Cinque Torri
From Dr. Morgan Fielder, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Crave the Planet
You’ll never forget eating under the Cinque Torri in the Dolomites of northern Italy because of the breathtaking scenery and the incredible taste. It certainly levels up the experience to sit in a mountain rifugio (a mountain top restaurant and bed and breakfast) framed by the gorgeous Dolomite mountains with it’s green meadows, rocky spires, and alpine cows with bells tinkling on their necks.
The Averau restaurant is just a short walk from the Cinque Torri (5 towers) rock formation and serves many hearty, delicious meals, but the nuts and cheese with wild herbs ravioli tops all of them. The taste is delicate, smooth and full of flavor.
The location Cinque Torri rock formation lies 30 minutes from the outdoor paradise of Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. At over 7,000 feet, it’s fantastic to be able to dine in a place of such natural wonder.
This mountain town lies 2.5 hours north of Venice, Italy and can be reached by car or bus.
For a truly unforgettable adventure, plan a 5 or 10 day hut to hut hiking trip starting in Cortina d’Ampezzo. You’ll only carry a small backpack from one cozy mountain hut to the next. They offer warm beds and delicious food and wine so you don’t have to carry much gear and you can have a foodie hiking experience.
Bodega La Azul Winery Lunch, Mendoza
Erin Mushaway Travel Writer + Yoga Teacher at https://www.solsalute.com
When one thinks of Argentina, what comes to mind is likely red meat and red wine. So a visit to the best wineries in Mendoza, where you can experience both, is ideal for any foodie’s itinerary. Be sure to include daily winery lunches in your busy wine tasting schedules to get the most out of your trip. The best lunch I’ve ever experienced was at a small family-owned winery in the Uco Valley (the region of Mendoza that produces the highest quality wines).
Bodega La Azul is a boutique vineyard that also operates a restaurant and bed and breakfast. The restaurant offers outdoor seating so diners can stare at the Andes throughout the entire meal. The lunch is five courses long with wine pairings, but the best part is that the wine is bottomless. With that comes endless time to enjoy the property. Prompted by our waitress, we accepted the extra wine and took a break between courses to lounge on the outdoor sofas or wander and enjoy the views.
It was a full afternoon experience! We’ve enjoyed it so much that we go back every time we’re in Mendoza and recommend it to all of our friends. It never disappoints.
Unique dining experiences in a haunted historic Savannah home
Brittany Sawyer Freelance Copywriter & Content Writer at Travel by Brit
Have you ever dined in a historic home, painted pink, that’s supposedly haunted? If not, you must visit The Olde Pink House—one of the best things to do in Savannah, GA!
The Olde Pink House is the perfect location for a romantic date night, fancy celebration, or upscale dinner. However, before The Olde Pink House was a popular restaurant in Savannah, it was home to a rich history.
The Olde Pink House was built as a private residence in 1771. People used to hold secret meetings about securing the colonies’ independence from England during the American Revolutionary War. Centuries later, in the 1920s, a woman purchased the home and converted it into a tearoom. She had the house painted pink—and the color has stuck since!
Today, The Olde Pink House is an iconic landmark and popular restaurant in Savannah. The restaurant specializes in classic, southern cooking with an upscale twist. You can try Cheerwine Barbeque Pork Sliders, Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast, Fried Green Tomatoes, and other southern specialties on the dinner menu.
The Olde Pink House is speculated to be haunted by the soldiers that conspired about the Revolutionary War within the four walls of the home centuries ago. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the home is actually haunted during your dinner!
Kami Skotholmen – Unique dining at a Norwegian island
Matthias & Kent www.destinationtheworld.co
Looking for a restaurant with the best ever location? Look no longer! If you are visiting Norway’s west coast, then don’t miss the opportunity to visit the restaurant Kami Skotholmen.
Located in the Herøy municipality on the western coast of Norway, this seafood restaurant has the most spectacular location. It sits on a tiny island, only accessible by boat.
The restaurant serves gourmet food straight from the ocean, and the menu changes daily, based on today’s catch. They serve anything from lobster soup, fresh fish or mussels.
From the restaurant, you will have the view straight into the open plan kitchen. And wow, that is one kitchen with a view. With windows straight out to the open sea, the design of this restaurant is something special.
The combination of fine cooking and design will make this a day to remember. A visit here doesn’t come cheap (what does in Norway?), but for the quality of the food, the price is very fair. At the restaurant, you can choose between 3 or 4 courses, and sometimes there’s a buffet as well.
You can also arrange cooking classes and wine tasting.
There’s only one way to get to this restaurant, and that’s by boat. Unless you travel by your own boat, the restaurant will arrange boat transport for you, from the nearby village of Fosnavåg. The journey takes only around 10 minutes. When arriving at the island, the chef himself will welcome at the pier.
Starting or ending your Norwegian journey in Oslo? Check out this post on what to do in Oslo to plan your visit there.
Cecilia of Lovicarious
The Rock is the most unique restaurant in Zanzibar and undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations on the archipelago. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner while on vacation, looking for a reward after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or simply looking for a unique dining experience, don’t miss The Rock.
The fanciful restaurant is located on a “tidal island” located off the coast of the Michamvi Pingwe Beach. At high tide, a ferryman waits by the shore to transport visitors to and from the restaurant. At low tide, the water recedes making it possible to return by foot walking along the ocean floor. Approaching from the shore, you can see the restaurant perched atop what appears to be a jagged rock. The design of the restaurant is consistent with traditional Zanzibar architecture with a white exterior and a thatched palm roof. The simplistic style of the restaurant juxtaposed against the striking turquoise water is a beautiful vision, in itself making The Rock worth a visit.
Once on the island, visitors climb a weathered wooden staircase to the restaurant and terrace where they can enjoy incredible views of the Indian Ocean. The dining menu combines European-inspired dishes with traditional Zanzibar flavors. It is accompanied by an impressive drink selection. The restaurant has 12 tables by reservation only, preserving the intimate experience of dining at the Rock. While the cost is considerably higher than other nearby dining options, The Rock offers exceptional quality and service matched by a unique dining experience unlike any other.
Unique Dining Experiences in London
Joanna from The World in My Pocket
London is a great place for foodies. Here you will find restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, from street food markets to upscale Michelin stars. However, one of the most unique dining experiences that you can have in the city is dinner in an old Victoria Line carriage.
The experience takes place at the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum. Here a disused Victoria line carriage has been refurbished and transformed into a dining room. There are two options. You can either book a standard table for £49, or a booth for £55. The difference is in the seating. The table has wooden chairs whilst the booth has the original tube seats.
The chef comes from Colombia and has designed a South American menu that changes with the season. She is using fresh seasonal ingredients and brings to London the most delicious flavours of the Latin America. The menu includes six different courses. Each is carefully crafted to highlight the ingredients used. Each of the courses focus on a different South American country. The menu includes a welcome drink, which can be a glass of prosecco, a negroni cocktail or a non-alcoholic spritz. The rest of the drinks are not included and have to be purchased separately.
Larnach Castle NZ
by Holly from Globeblogging
New Zealand may not be the place you would expect to find a Scottish castle, however in the town of Dunedin on the South Island can be found the spectacular Larnach Castle property.
While the castle and property is open to visitors daily year round, for those seeking unusual experiences you can also stay on the castle grounds in what were once the stables, and have dinner in the castle’s grand ballroom.
The ballroom dinner is open to a limited number of guests and bookings before 5pm are essential. While they have in the past had a menu for guests to select from, they have now moved to a four-course ‘trust the chef’ menu. The food will utilise local produce in season so will change regularly. Local New Zealand wines accompany the meal.
It’s a great opportunity to connect with other guests and get a taste for the local cuisine. The food and service were exceptional. It’s a unique experience to dine in a ballroom styled for the period and take stroll around the castle after hours when it isn’t open to the general public and get a different feel for it.
Current prices are $85 per adult and $30 per child.
Luxury at 10,000 Feet
By Kelsey Wasilewski at Viva La Kelsey
For skiers visiting Vail, Colorado, dining at the Game Creek Club is an experience like no other. The restaurant sits in the mountain’s Game Creek Bowl, and while it’s open for lunch only to members, dinner reservations are open to the public. Once you arrive, the culinary team will take you on a fine dining journey, but getting there is an adventure all its own.
Begin the evening by taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola up to the Eagle’s Nest Lodge – be sure to look back to see the village lights glittering as evening falls. At the lodge, they will greet you with a snowcap, ready to whisk you away to the European-style chalet nestled into the mountainside.
Get there a bit early for your reservation to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail on the deck overlooking the trails — try to time it to arrive as the sun is setting for a magical view!
The club offers an extensive wine list and a choice of a three- or four-course prix fixe menu featuring modern American cuisine with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Those looking for a truly luxurious experience can opt for the Chef’s Table menu. Start with the lobster soup with pumpkin, vanilla, and sage, followed by the Beef Duo or locally sourced Colorado Lamb.
After the meal, there’s one last surprise – the restaurant sends you home with sweet treats to enjoy on the ride back down to town!
For those looking for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience in Vail, the Game Creek Club is a must.
*Note, the restaurant is closed for the ‘21/’22 season due to COVID.
By Victoria at Guide Your Travel
Yogyakarta is home to some of the best street food in the world and an incredibly underrated city in Indonesia. Yogyakarta is more than worth a trip with its incredible street food and plenty of things to do. There are different types of meals to choose from. But the spring rolls are arguably some of the best. They cost less than a dollar and are served with fresh garlic and chili sauce. They typically have chicken or beef in them but are also available as vegetarian options.
Yogyakarta comes alive with food stalls in the evenings. However, you can actually find the best street food in the mornings. There are several old women who have become famous, both locally and internationally, for their unique street food dishes. Mbah Satinem and Mbah Lindu were featured on the Netflix series “Streetfood” and sell out their specialties every single morning before 8 am. Mbah Lindu makes a dish called Gudeg, a local delicacy made from jackfruit. They serve it with rice and various sauces. It’s absolutely delicious and a must-try when visiting Yogyakarta. Just make sure to come early. This unique dining experience is far from a secret tip anymore and you’ll most likely have to wait in line to be served.
The Beast’s Castle in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Submitted by Bernadette of Live a Relaxed Life
The iconic song, Be Our Guest, draws up visions of the enchanted inhabitants of the Beast’s castle singing, dancing, and preparing a delicious meal in the movie Beauty and the Beast. And for those visiting Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the magic continues as they visit Beast’s castle and step into a life-size replica of his home.
It is one thing to see pictures or movies of the princess story but to actually walk the halls and see famous scenes in person is truly delightful. The walk up to the castle is filled with other restaurant guests and you can feel the excitement as people get closer and closer to the castle doors.
Be Our Guest
Once inside, it is easy to imagine all the characters walking around and tending to their jobs. Aside from the beautiful Grand Ballroom that is a replica of where Belle and the Beast had their first dance, there are two more rooms to enjoy a meal. The West Wing is moody and has the enchanted rose in one corner and a portrait of the Prince that shifts between photos of the Beast and the Prince. While the Rose Gallery is bright and filled with portraits of Belle and the Beast and has a life-size music box of the couple in the middle of the room.
A meal here is pretty pricey since it is full-service (around $60) but the food is better than most places around the park. It is also one of the few chances to get to see the Beast as he walks around the different dining rooms. And remember the line in the Be Our Guest song, “try the grey stuff, it’s delicious,” it is served as a dessert and tastes like cookies and cream!
I hope you love these inside looks at unique dining experiences around the world and add some to you bucket list.
Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.