The Most Insane Restaurants
These days there's great food to be found no matter where you go, from Michelin-starred restaurants to Bourdain-approved street stalls. So how does a dining establishment set itself apart amidst the overwhelming options? Sometimes they turn to a gimmick, a theme or just rely on the old adage of location, location, location. If you're looking to add a little adventure, a little whimsy or just an Instagram-worthy moment to your night out, here are some of the most insane restaurants we've come across.
Cut into the side of a mountain, almost like a superhero’s hideout, and overlooking the Adriatic Sea, is a restaurant with one of the most striking views you’ll find anywhere in the world. The Grotta Palazzese hotel restaurant sits 74 feet above sea level, built directly into a jagged cliff in Polignano a Mare in southern Italy’s Puglia region. The romantic lighting (much of which comes from reflections off the water) and stunning scenery have been in use for fine dining for centuries; the region’s nobility hosted banquets there dating back to the 1700s. The restaurant is only open from May to October and books up quick, so if you’re looking to grab a cliffside table, you’ll have to plan ahead.
The World's Narrowest Restaurant
The Rock Restaurant
The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar is taking sea-to-table to an entirely new level with its completely unconventional location. Built on an old fisherman's post, the restaurant gets its namesake from the rock that anchors it to the ocean floor. Getting there can be a bit complicated: When the tide is low, prepare for a short—and slightly wet—walk right up to the restaurant. Once the tide comes in, you're going to need a boat to make it to dinner. Once inside, there are only 12 tables, making it easy to completely lose yourself to the 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. Aside from the scenery, the "Rock Special" (lobster, cigal, jumbo prawn, fish filet, and calamari all heated on the grill) sounds like it's worth the trip in itself. Check out more of the restaurant on Travel + Leisure.
Cliff Diving Café
Would you like an adrenaline rush with that piña colada? Rick's Café, a bar and eatery in Negril, Jamaica, doubles as a destination for anyone hoping to go cliff jumping on their Jamaican vacation. With cliffs ranging from 10 feet to 35 feet, Rick's cliff jumping can suit everyone from the first-time adventurer to the straight-up adrenaline junkie. And if you're more of a watcher than a doer, you can look out at the cliff jumpers from the bar's main level or get closer to the action on Rick's cliff balconies. Beyond the cliff jumping, Rick's is also famous for its spectacular views of the Jamaican sunset. From the café's balconies, you can look out to the open water as the sun goes down, making for the perfect Caribbean view. f you want to know what's going on at Rick's literally right now, at this very moment, you can even check out the Rick's Live stream of the action and read more about it here.
The Cocktail Bar in America's Oldest Tunnel
Le Boudoir, a Marie Antoinette-themed underground cocktail bar in Brooklyn—complete with a perfect replica of her private bathroom—has an exciting addition. The cocktail lounge, which can be found via a secret bookshelf entrance at the back of French bistro Chez Moi, was built out of remnants of a centuries-old Atlantic Avenue railroad tunnel. Untapped Cities reported that the tunnel, built in 1844, is the oldest tunnel under any city street in North America. So, while you are at Le Boudoir enjoying cocktails with names like the Guillotine, you can also enjoy a glimpse of Brooklyn history. A pretty incredible way to enjoy happy hour! See more of Le Boudoir here.
Antarctica's 5-Star Restaurant
World's Smallest Restaurant
Jamban Café, translated literally to “toilet café,” is the latest establishment to offer a wtf-inducing unique dining experience for customers with ironclad stomachs. Located in Semarang on the island of Java, the restaurant serves its soups and drinks in the bowls you’re used to sitting on. There's actually a fancier toilet restaurant in Taiwan, but Jamban Café has a larger purpose. Owner, Budi Laksono, is treating the business as an opportunity to flush preconceptions about the country’s plumbing situation. The reality, unfortunately, is that “many people in Indonesia still do not have toilets,” Laksono, a former public health expert, revealed in an interview with Agence France-Presse. And since public defecation is quite common, he hopes the café will either encourage the use of proper facilities or raise a red flag to the Indonesian government.