50 Really Weird Restaurant Ideas from Around the US
You’ll currently find more than a million restaurant locations across the U.S. And the industry brings in more than $825 billion a year.
But forget about all those restaurants in seemingly every location across the country. Room for growth still exists. Find yourself interested in jumping into the restaurant industry? First find a unique angle. Or find something that makes your business stand out from the rest.
Weird Restaurants from Across the US
For inspiration, here are 50 of the weirdest restaurant ideas across the country — listed by state.
Alabama – Main Street Cafe
The building containing the Main Street Cafe in Madison used to be one of the town’s City Hall buildings. But the weirdest part might surprise you. It turns out you can actually dine in the former jail cells.
Alaska – Snow City Cafe
Customers know the restaurant for it’s all-day breakfast. But Snow City Cafe in Anchorage offers plenty of other creative menu options. Consider crab omelettes and “heart attack on a plate.”
Arizona – Camp Social
See this camp themed restaurant. Camp Social offers the decor and menu to make you feel like you’re away at camp for the summer. And you can even roast s’mores right at your table.
Arkansas – Flying Fish
You’ll find this restaurant’s home base in Little Rock. But you’ll also find more locations throughout the state. Flying Fish offers a seafood restaurant featuring freshly caught fish. But this restaurant stands out for another reason. It features the “Billy Bass adoption wall.” You’ll also find a “liars wall” for customers to bring in photos of their biggest catches. Then they can lie about the size.
California – Opaque
You’ll find the flagship restaurant in Santa Monica. But owners plan to open another in San Francisco soon location. Opaque actually allows customers to dine in darkness for a completely unique experience.
Colorado – The Airplane Restaurant
In Colorado Springs, The Airplane Restaurant is as it sounds — an aviation themed restaurant. It’s actually located in an old tanker plane with an additional dining room attached.
Connecticut – The Place
The Place in Guilford is an outdoor-only restaurant that has visitors sit on tree stumps and grill clams, lobsters and other delicacies over fire.
Delaware – The Cafe at St. Georges
The Cafe is a restaurant located inside of St. Georges Country Store in St. Georges. The restaurant features local favorites and local music and events.
Florida – The Bubble Room
In Captiva, The Bubble Room is a truly unique location that’s full of colorful walls, antiques and Christmas decorations that are left up all year long.
Georgia – Gunshow
From chef Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow in Atlanta offers a unique experience by rolling different dishes by diners on carts so everyone can try a variety of items.
Hawaii – Pagoda Floating Restaurant
Pagoda Floating Restaurant in Honolulu is situated in the middle of a large koi pond. So no matter where you enjoy your meal, you’ll have a calming water view. There are even private dining stations for large parties.
Idaho – BACON
As the name suggests, this Boise restaurant pretty much revolves around bacon. BACON offers all-day brunch options, most of which include the restaurant’s namesake. They even offer “bacon shots.”
Illinois – The Original Burger King
This restaurant isn’t weird because of its menu, which consists mainly of burgers and fries, but because of its story. The Mattoon Burger King is not affiliated with the nationwide chain. And because of a famous court case decades back, Burger King fast food restaurants are not allowed to operate in the area.
Indiana – Mystery Cafe
Located in Indianapolis, Mystery Cafe is an Italian restaurant that also serves up a side of murder (and comedy). Each dinner is accompanied by a murder mystery themed show. Some diners are even asked to participate in minor roles.
Iowa – Zombie Burger
With a few locations around the state including one in Downtown Des Moines, Zombie Burger offers a rotating collection of inventive burgers and shakes all served in a “post apocalyptic” setting.
Kansas – Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
In the Kansas City area, Fritz’s provides diners with an interesting way of actually getting their food. You order by telephone at your table and then your food is delivered by an overhead train.
Kentucky – Flamingo Row
Flamingo Row offers a bit of colorful Caribbean flare in the middle of Paducah. The restaurant takes all aspect of the theme into account, from the menu to the decor, with palms and beach decor surrounding the tables.
Louisiana – Rivershack Tavern
Rivershack Tavern serves a variety of bar food and beverages. But this Jefferson staple is noteworthy more for its collection of unique and tacky decor, including a set of bar stools that look like legs.
Maine – Bubba’s Sulky Lounge
Bubba’s Sulky Lounge in Portland is a restaurant by day and dance club by night. Along all of the walls and tables, you can find tons of collectible antiques. But at night, the floor lights up and the speakers blast music from the 1980’s.
Maryland – Papermoon Diner
Papermoon Diner offers a wide array of food. But it’s the atmosphere that makes this place stand out. You eat surrounded by technicolor decor and weird antiques on every square inch of the interior.
Massachusetts – Cafe ArtScience
Located in Cambridge, between MIT and Harvard, Cafe ArtScience infuses science into its menu in unique ways. The final dishes might seem fairly straightfoward. But they use centrifuges, time-released flavorings and other scientific tricks to make everything from their desserts to their cocktails stand out.
Michigan – The Antlers
Located in Sault Ste Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, The Antlers serves northern cuisine like poutine and cheese curds in a decidedly rustic atmosphere, complete with tons of taxidermy.
Minnesota – Betty Danger’s Country Club
Betty Danger’s Country Club in Minneapolis is known for providing a one-of-a-kind experience through food and fun. They even have a working ferris wheel.
Mississippi – Old Country Store
Old Country Store in Lorman is, as the name suggests, a traditional old country store. But they also plopped a restaurant down right in the middle of it, serving Southern favorites.
Missouri – Undercliff Bar & Grill
Undercliff Bar & Grill is so named because it’s located under an actual cliff in the Ozarks. The Joplin haunt serves burgers and classic bar food in a cozy atmosphere.
Montana – The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge
Located in the O’Haire Motor Inn in Great Falls, this bar has an actual in the center that even hosts a mermaid show.
Nebraska – Modern Love
Omaha’s Modern Love is the state’s first fully vegan restaurant. The dishes include a unique blend of upscale dishes and comfort food favorites.
Nevada – Heart Attack Grill
Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas serves up huge burgers and other significant portioned meals all in a hospital themed setting.
New Hampshire – The Little Red Schoolhouse
The Little Red Schoolhouse in Campton is a counter service restaurant located in — you guessed it, a little red schoolhouse. It also has an open air seating area in the back so you feel like you’re eating in a treehouse.
New Jersey – Cafe Archetypus
Cafe Archetypus in Edgewater offers a couple of different environments for diners, with everything from a cave-like setting to a bamboo garden patio.
New Mexico – Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House
The Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House in Pinos Altos offers a unique mix of a rustic restaurant and a live music entertainment venue, all in a historic setting.
New York – Ninja
In New York City, Ninja is an underground restaurant with a ninja theme. It serves unique Japanese cuisine in a unique village setting.
North Carolina – Hillbilly Hideaway
Open seasonally in Walnut Cove, Hillbilly Hideaway offers home cooked meals in a rustic setting. Once you’re finished eating, you can even walk over to the gift shop or music hall for more.
North Dakota – Space Aliens
If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy classic barbecue fare in a UFO, Space Aliens may be of interest. With locations in Bismarck and Fargo, this restaurant offers a fully space themed space.
Ohio – Buckeye Express
Located in Bellville, Buckeye Express is a unique diner in an old train car. The menu features a variety of classic options.
Oklahoma – Pops 66
Located along historic Route 66 in Arcadia, Pops 66 is famous for having the world’s largest roadside soda bottle. But the restaurant also features a variety of classic food favorites.
Oregon – Haines Steak House
Haines Steak House in Haines offers steak and classic American fare in an Oregon Trail themed setting — complete with a covered wagon.
Pennsylvania – The Catacombs
Offering an upscale dining experience, The Catacombs is actually located several stories below Bubes Brewery in Mount Joy. You’ll be greeted by a private host and taken on a tour before heading to your dining table.
Rhode Island – Ogie’s Trailer Park
This kitschy trailer park themed restaurant in Providence offers comfort food options like mac and cheese and even has an outdoor fire pit and tiki bar for your enjoyment.
South Carolina – The Whig
Columbia’s The Whig is an “elevated” dive bar, which is ironic because it’s actually underground. Among the burgers and beers, you’ll also find plenty of taxidermy animals, antiques and eclectic decor.
South Dakota – Blue Bell Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge near Rapid City is part of an outdoor resort. The restaurant allows you to take a hay ride and enjoy singalong entertainment on the way to your cookout.
Tennessee – Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
In Pigeon Forge, you can enjoy dinner in front of a show depicting the famous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.
Texas – Big Lou’s Pizza
Everything’s bigger in Texas. And that definitely applies at Big Lou’s Pizza in San Antonio. The restaurant features classic pizzas as well as gigantic pies.
Utah – The Viking Yurt
In Park City, The Viking Yurt is a Scandinavian restaurant that offers a truly unique, four-hour fine dining experience that starts with a sleigh ride and ends inside a yurt.
Vermont – Slayton Pasture Cabin
The Slayton Pasture Cabin is located on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge, an Austrian style ski resort in Stowe. The menu features hearty fare and warm hot chocolate.
Virginia – Pink Cadillac Diner
In Natural Bridge, the Pink Cadillac Diner is noted for the pink Cadillac that is perched outside. But the building itself is also completely pink. And the classic diner is full of nostalgia, both in its menu and decor.
Washington – Bizzaro Italian Cafe
This Seattle Italian restaurant is located in an old auto shop and was opened by a former visual artist. The menu offers classic and unique options. And the decor is full of eclectic pieces and oddities.
West Virginia – Cathedral Cafe
In Fayetteville, the Cathedral Cafe offers classic menu favorites all served inside a former 90-year-old church.
Wisconsin – The Safe House
Located in downtown Milwaukee, The Safe House is a spy themed restaurant serving classic bar items. You need a password to get in and there’s all kinds of activities and entertainment to keep you guessing throughout the experience.
Wyoming – Luxury Diner
Cheyenne’s Luxury Diner is a restaurant run out of an old trolley car that used to roam the streets between 1894 and 1912.
This article, “50 Really Weird Restaurant Ideas from Around the US” was first published on Small Business Trends