11 Insanely Unique Restaurants To Add to Your Bucket List (#9 Is Not for the Faint-Hearted!)

Add these unique dining experiences to your travel itineraries for your next vacation.

romantic couple in restaurant having lunch
Updated May 28, 2024
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Going on a big vacation includes planning hotels and flights and which attractions you want to see.

But what about the food? Trying local cuisine or going to an unusual restaurant could be a great addition to your list of must-see places.

Make sure you have the best travel credit cards in your wallet and make your reservations for these extreme restaurants. Some of these are so exotic they may be a destination all their own.

Grotta Palazzese

Courtesy of Grotta Palazzese grotta palazzese

Located in Puglia, Italy, Grotta Palazzese has been inviting diners to a unique experience since 1700.

The restaurant is located in a natural cave that looks out over the Adriatic Sea and serves a variety of prix fixe options, including a traditional Italian meal, vegan fare, or land and sea menu, among others.

And if you want to spend more time there after dinner, there’s also the Grotta Palazzese Beach Hotel with breathtaking views and modern amenities to end the night.

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Skylon Tower Revolving Dining Room

Courtesy of Skylon Tower skylon tower dining room

Enjoy fantastic views of Niagara Falls while enjoying dinner in a revolving restaurant. The Skylon Tower Revolving Dining Room is located on the Canadian side of the falls and offers views of the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and the surrounding landscape.

The menus for lunch or dinner will appeal to every diner, including kids. Your reservation also includes free access to the observation decks at Skylon Tower to take in some of the sights.

Chillout Lounge

Courtesy of the Chillout Lounge Chillout lounge

It may be hot outside in the United Arab Emirates desert, where Dubai is located, but it’s nice and cool in the Chillout Lounge.

Guests are outfitted with thermal coats, gloves, and other cold-weather gear before heading inside, where the restaurant is chilled to 41 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It’s the perfect temperature for things like soup, hot chocolate, and other warm offerings to keep you toasty in this cool experience.

M6m

Courtesy of the Ozen Collection m6m

M6m stands for “Minus Six Meters,” which is how far below the water surface you'll be for this special dinner in the Maldives.

Sit at tables that look out at an array of fish, plants, and other sea life as you enjoy seafood dishes with perfectly paired wines for a special lunch or dinner.

The restaurant is part of the Ozen Life Maadhoo resort, which features five-star accommodations for guests.

The Airplane Restaurant

Rosemarie/Adobe Airplane Restaurant

The Airplane Restaurant’s Boeing KC-97 tanker may no longer be refueling aircraft in mid-air, but you can still enjoy a thrilling flight experience for dinner.

The restaurant’s menu includes American fare like chicken wings and burgers for guests sitting inside the former U.S. Air Force plane.

The Airplane Restaurant is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is near the home of the United States Air Force Academy.

Bientang's Cave Restaurant and Wine Bar

Courtesy of Bientang's Cave Restaurant and Wine Bar Bientangs cave restaurant

The coast of South Africa is home to Bientang's Cave Restaurant and Wine Bar, featuring a vast menu of seafood, beef, and vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The restaurant is perched on a rocky outcropping of Walker Bay and touts itself as one of the world's best land-based areas for whale watching, making it a special place to get a bite to eat.

Labassin Waterfall Restaurant

Courtesy of Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort Facebook page Labassin waterfall restaurant

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in the Philippines is home to the Labassin Waterfall Restaurant.

The restaurant sits at the base of a man-made waterfall created from the runoff of a local dam. Diners sit at picnic tables with their feet in shallow water from the waterfall, which is only steps away.

The lunch buffet menu features traditional Filipino food served kamayan style, meaning it’s a communal feast.

The Rock

Courtesy of The Rock Restaurant The Rock restaurant

Located off the coast of Africa is Zanzibar, an island that is the home of The Rock.

The restaurant’s name comes from its location on a rock outcropping in the ocean. Diners can wade to the restaurant at low tide or hop on a boat at high tide. However they arrive, guests will have a unique experience gazing at the ocean surrounding them.

The menu features a variety of seafood to try including lobsters and different catch-of-the-day options.

Dinner in the Sky

Courtesy of Dinner in the Sky Belgium Facebook page dinner in the sky

Dinner in the Sky is exactly what the name promises. Strap on a safety harness and sit down to enjoy a meal far above the ground.

The gourmet experience started in Belgium in 2006 and is now in 65 countries on five continents. You can also find them at various events around the world.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, however, as dinner is on a platform raised in the air by a crane. You may want to skip these restaurants if you’re afraid of heights.

Bors Hede Inne

Nejron Photo/Adobe medieval people eat and drink in castle tavern

Travel back in time when you visit Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation, Washington, just outside of Seattle.

The Bors Hede Inne menu features meals created from authentic recipes from the 14th century in a building that matches its unique fare.

Minstrel songs and stories also accompany your meal to complete the authentic medieval experience.

The Yurt

Courtesy of Solitude Mountain Resort Facebook page The yurt restaurant

Solitude Mountain in Utah is home to The Yurt, a secluded restaurant on the mountain. You’ll have to trek through a forest on a guided snowshoe tour to get there.

Diners can enjoy a multi-course dinner while tucked into the warm space. The restaurant is only open during winter months, so plan your reservations accordingly.

Bottom line

rh2010/Adobe two female best friends eating healthy food

You may be in the mood for a unique trip or are ready to retire early and enjoy traveling to unique spots with amazing dining experiences.

There are also great ways to boost your bank account if you’re saving up for your next trip, particularly if you plan to eat at some of these extreme restaurants with high-end prices.

And remember to plan ahead, as some of these unique restaurants require reservations well in advance.

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Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.