While we spend most of our nights at restaurants with descriptions like "rustic American eatery" or "Italian small plates," there's a world of decidedly wackier restaurant concepts out there that appeal to the sense of humor as well as the palate. From Scranton to Singapore, we rounded up some of the wackiest restaurant concepts we could find -- from underwater restaurants to dining in the dark.
Let us know which one you think is craziest in the comments.
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Leave your camera, cell phones and credit cards at the door as you enter this kooky medieval village in Carnation, WA. Minstrels play as your server hands you scented water and linens to wash up before you scope out the menu (written in Olde English) laden with items like Fenberrie Pye and Buttered Worts. This restaurant makes your town's Renaissance Fair look like a sideshow act. But don't go in expecting 14th-century prices, the reasonably priced menu is the one modern aspect this place has going for it. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/top-chef-texas-episode-2-the-one-liners-of-chaz-brown">Top Chef Episode 2: The One-Liners of Chaz Brown</a></strong>
This thematic Taiwanese eatery in SoCal's Rowland Heights takes you back to school - servers are dressed like school girls, the menu is written on the blackboard, there's even an old-fashioned clock on the wall. But unlike our school days, a big crowd is waiting outside to get back into class. Oddly, Class 302 is actually in Room 125 of a shopping mall. Confused? Thinking is not what it's all about... <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/the-chocolate-fashion-show-2011-broadway-buns-and-bon-bons">The Chocolate Fashion Show 2011: Broadway, Buns and Bon Bons</a></strong>
Who needs service staff when you've got robots? This restaurant in Jinan, China, has robotic hosts, servers and receptionists taking care of its patrons' every need. The servers (gold robots who bear a slight resemblance to C-3PO) deliver food on pedi-carts that run along a circular track. Conveniently, the restaurant's owner is president of a technology company and happens to have a fascination with robots, claiming that they are more efficient and less costly than human service staff. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/mario-batali-apologizes-for-banker-comment-on-twitter">Mario Batali Apologizes for Banker Comment on Twitter</a></strong>
The original "dining in the dark" experience, this Paris-based chain has locations in London, Barcelona, Kiev and, coming December 2, New York City. The goal is to heighten the dining experience by forcing the diner to rely mainly on smell and taste rather than sight (or maybe it's just an excuse to get out of fancy plating)? But the culinary creations being dished out here haven't been garnering any rave reviews - obviously the main draw of the whole thing is the wacky experience. (BTW, we know plenty of restaurants that are dim enough to give this place a run for the money.) Would you be down to eat a meal in the dark? Let us know in the comments. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/serendipity-3-headed-to-miami-the-dutch-ready-to-open">Serendipity 3 Headed to Miami, The Dutch Ready to Open</a></strong>
This Vegas burger joint, founded originally in Chandler, AZ, serves up artery-clogging fare like "quadruple Bypass" burgers and "flatliner fries" with a large neon sign outside that reads: "Over 350 Lbs. Eats Free." The restaurant itself follows a hospital theme with waitresses dressed up as nurses taking "prescriptions" (orders) from diners. For obvious reasons, more than a few people find the restaurant's theme controversial. Meanwhile, owner Jon Basso hasn't waivered in delivering his concept of "nutritional pornography" to the masses. So far, seems like fast-food lovers are eating up the kitsch (and the burgers). <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/10-off-the-radar-new-york-brunches">10 Off-The-Radar New York Brunches</a></strong>
This underwater eatery in the Maldives, off the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, serves its diners 15 feet below sea level. Diners enter via a long dock that leads into a hut and then descend a staircase leading to a small dining room. For those who'd like to spend as much time observing sea life as they do eating it, this haunt is a must-visit. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/josep-roca-does-food-porn-with-a-spanish-accent">Josep Roca Does Food Porn with a Spanish Accent</a></strong>
A destination for tourists, particularly ones with small children, this space-themed eatery in Times Square is where you should head for simulated spaceship rides and staff in alien costumes dancing "the robot." Don't bank on the food being edible (on this planet anyway), but expect a cover charge and some otherworldly antics to round out your dining experience. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/smart-butcher-vending-machine-dispenses-steaks-and-chops">"Smart Butcher" Vending Machine Dispenses Steaks and Chops</a></strong>
Slammed for its over-the-top hokiness by critics, this TriBeCa restaurant remains popular with diners for its "ninja servers" who perform magic while you eat. The restaurant itself is themed as a "medieval Japanese village," and you might feel like you're eating in the middle of a Mortal Kombat live-action show. Promise: you've never eaten anywhere like this before.</strong> <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/abc-greenlights-tv-comedy-pilot-inspired-by-susan-feniger-mary-sue-milliken">ABC Green-lights TV Comedy Pilot Inspired By Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken</a></strong>
If you're ever on the outskirts of Hamburg, Germany, you should definitely swing by this bizarro eatery where diners order food on touch-screens, and your order arrives in a box via roller coaster-like tracks. Other than the gimmick, we're not quite sure it's worth the plane ticket, although rumor has it that the food is actually pretty decent. However, those who love being waited on should probably stay away - there are no servers and you have to set the table yourself. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/festive-thanksgiving-feasts-at-restaurants-in-7-cities">Festive Thanksgiving Feasts at Restaurants in 7 Cities</a></strong>
Watch the freak show ensue at this San Francisco eatery where you never know what kind of show you're in for -- from trapeze acts and contortionists to "bondage dinners" and booty-shaking contests. This SF branch of the Amsterdam original is definitely more Cirque du Soleil than <a href="http://www.zagat.com/r/le-cirque-manhattan" target="_blank">Le Cirque</a>, but we hear the eclectic prix fixe menu isn't half bad. And, bonus -- you can eat your whole meal sitting on a bed, which while dated, is still a restaurant trend we will always embrace after a long day. <strong>Also see: <a href="http://www.zagat.com/buzz/bourdain-appears-on-letterman-disses-brunch">Bourdain Appears on Letterman, Disses Brunch</a></strong>