Nobody expects Michelin quality food at themed restaurants – it’s all about the experience.
From quirky to over-the-top to downright weird.
These unique restaurants will make your night out memorable.
Heart Attack Grill | Las Vegas, NV
Where else but Vegas would you expect this over-the-top restaurant where waitresses dress up as nurses and the kitchen serves the most unhealthy, heart-attack-inducing food you can imagine?
Customers don hospital gowns as they wait for towering, loaded burgers that start at a ‘Single Bypass’ (one patty, various strips of bacon) to an ‘Octuple Bypass’ (eight patties, 40 strips of bacon).
Fries are cooked in pure lard, and shots are served in little plastic prescription pill containers.
Customers weighing over 350 lbs eat for free and, if you dine here often, that goal begins to seem attainable.
Aquarium Restaurant | Nashville, TN
This restaurant has locations in Nashville, Denver, Kemah, and Houston, combining an aquarium visit with a seafood restaurant.
Diners are seated around a 200,000-gallon aquarium, where they can take in tropical fish, sharks, stingrays, and more.
Fish is at the center of the menu, too, with items such as clam chowder, a lobster tower with avocado and black beans, and crab-stuffed shrimp.
A few times a month, guests are treated to a ‘Mystic Mermaid’ show, where ‘mermaids’ dive into the tank and put on a choreographed-to-music performance.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon | Tombstone, AZ
Tombstone should be a mandatory stopover for any true Wild West lover.
Along with all the history to be absorbed is Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.
The establishment is reportedly haunted and features an underground level where a worker spent years mining a secret entrance into a nearby silver mine.
Visitors are welcome to dress up in period-style clothing.
The experience is accompanied by nightly live music and the equally-themed menu includes burgers, brisket, and homemade chili with the movie Tombstone playing on an endless loop on screens behind the bar.
The Airplane Restaurant | Colorado Springs, CO
Located next to Colorado Springs’ small city-owned airport, the Airplane Restaurant is housed within a converted KC-97 U.S. Air Force tanker.
Diners can sit at small tables on the plane or in ‘the terminal,’ an attached dining room.
While the food isn’t anything special—don’t expect much more than burgers, fries, and salads—the fun involved in eating non-airplane food while inside an airplane is totally worth it.
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar | San Francisco, CA
Located inside the Fairmont hotel, the Polynesian-inspired bar slash restaurant has been pouring mai tais since 1945, but in 2010 benefited from a $1 million renovation.
While we love the balanced drinks and indulgent finger foods, it’s the atmosphere at Tonga Room that’s remarkable.
It is built around a ‘lagoon’ that was formerly the hotel’s swimming pool, featuring a floating stage that’s occupied by a live orchestra.
Magic Time Machine | San Antonio, TX
Anything goes at this San Antonio classic since 1973.
The theme embraces everything from Marvel comics to Pirates of the Caribbean and the dining room is a mishmash of seating areas, including the attic, a tiki hut, and even an old refrigerator.
Servers are dressed as all kinds of characters: Spider-Man, Robin Hood, Jack Sparrow, and more.
The fun is clearly aimed at kids, though grownups will enjoy the bar featuring live music.
Clifton’s Republic | Los Angeles, CA
Clifton’s serves as a multi-level drinking den with an amazing forest theme.
At the center of the building is a 40ft-tall fake redwood tree; its base is near the Monarch Bar on the second level and it reaches up to the ceiling with branches.
On the third level, you’ll find the Gothic Bar, a 19th-century altar, and on the fourth-floor offices were transformed into two more bars spaces, Treetops and the tiki-themed Pacific Seas.
The Proud Bird | Los Angeles, CA
This place started off as an aviation-themed restaurant but was reborn as a modern food hall in 2017 featuring six food stalls serving Asian, Italian, American, and more.
The aviation theme has been preserved as giant model planes hang from the ceiling.
There is also a Mile High Club bar to pick up a cocktail and admire the view.
Harvey Washbanger’s | College Station, TX
This spot combines a state-of-the-art laundromat with a gourmet burger joint and craft beer bar.
Put your whites and colors in the 80-machine washing room; throw them in a high-efficiency washer; then grab a seat in the dining room next door where you can enjoy oversized, juicy burgers and sip locally brewed beers.
And don’t worry about your laundry – a light board will let you know when it’s time to transfer your clothes to the dryer.
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant | Kansas City, MO
This railroad-themed restaurant has been pleasing diners since it opened in the mid-60s.
At cherry-red booths among wooden train sets and crossroads signs, visitors order tried-and-true burgers, crinkle-cut fries, and thick milkshakes, then wait for a ceiling-mounted ‘train’ that runs on tracks to deliver the order to the table.
It’s an old-fashioned good time that kids are sure to love.