The Quick Report

The Weirdest Restaurant in Each State

Who doesn’t love to have a memorable meal? The next time you’re on a road trip across the country, you owe it to yourself to stop into some of these strange eateries and see what the oddest restaurants from each state have to offer.


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The Rattlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia, Alabama is a fascinating outdoor venue that hosts live musical acts and is themed as a snake’s den. The restaurant peeks out from under a hanging rock and fully embraces its wacky Wild West theme.


cruise ship on rippling body of water
Photo by Peter Scholten via Unsplash

The Hangar on the Wharf in Juneau has perhaps the best restaurant name in Alaska and also the coolest location. It’s situated in an aircraft hangar and offers great views from across Juneau’s harbor. You can watch planes come in as you down some food and drinks.


Image Credit: Salt Cellar Restaurant via Facebook

There’s only one underground restaurant in all of Arizona, and it’s the Salt Cellar. This eatery is accessed through a tiny building and a narrow staircase, but they’re met with some of the best seafood you’ll find in the Grand Canyon State.


Image Credit: Flying Fish Restaurant via Facebook

Head to Little Rock, Arkansas to find the phenomenal Flying Fish Restaurant. Their Cajun-inspired menu is full of some of the tastiest grub you can find in the state, including gumbo, lobster, and jambalaya.  Oh, and you can see the massive collection of singing Billy Bass fish that line the walls.


Image Credit: Tonga Room via Facebook

The Tongo Room and Hurricane Bar is one of the wildest restaurants in the country, let alone California. It’s basically a tiki lounge in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, complete with a central lagoon feature that has charmed guests for nearly 80 years since the place opened.


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The Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs is aptly named. It’s a restaurant that operates out of a decommissioned Boeing KC-97. And before you make any tired “airplane food” jokes, just know that they serve some phenomenal meals at this iconic eatery.


Image Credit: The Food and Book People via Facebook

The Traveler Restaurant in Union, Connecticut has a unique, and quite appealing, gimmick: the walls are lined with books. And, what’s more, when you’re finished eating you can take one with you. That’s right, these books are complementary after your meal!


Image Credit: Jessop’s Tavern via Facebook

Delaware’s most unique eating experience is the time machine called Jessop’s Tavern. When you stop in for a bite at this pub, you step back into Colonial America, complete with oil paintings, metal plates, and model ships. The waitstaff is even outfitted with period-accurate costumes. It’s a history buff’s dream!


Image Credit: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater via Facebook

Florida is home to Disney’s various amusement parks, so you knew one of them had to be on this list. Indeed, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has guests enjoying sci-fi movies while sitting in replica 1950s-style cars. It’s a really specific niche, but it’s one this eatery does the best.


Image Credit: The Varsity via Facebook

If you’ve ever been to Atlanta, you’ve probably heard of The Varsity. This drive-in restaurant has been open since 1928 and offers straight-up American food like burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes. It’s a spot you need to visit if you ever go through the Southeast.


Image Credit: Mama’s Fish House via Facebook

Mama’s Fish House in Maui is a one-of-a-kind place. It’s located in a former plantation house on a picturesque beach and surrounded by beautiful flowers and adorned with oil paintings. The food is the height of Hawaiian cuisine and offers the best flavors of the islands.


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Idaho’s Pioneer Saloon in Ketchum offers a classic Wild West eating experience. The spot originally opened in the 1940s as a gambling hall, but it’s morphed over the years into a historical throw-back with everything from wanted posters to antique bullet boards.


Image Credit: Frontier Chicago via Facebook

Frontier in Chicago offers a truly unique eating experience for large parties. Parties of 12 or more can order a “whole animal experience” and be served an entire goat, boar, or even alligator. It might be a bit too visceral for some guests, but it’s certainly memorable.


Image Credit: Industrial Revolution Eatery via Facebook

The Industrial Revolution Eatery in Indiana is intimidating at a glance. From the outside it looks like a metal foundry, but within you’ll find top-end burgers, pizzas, and comfort food classics. Definitely check this place out if you travel through Valparaiso.


Image Credit: Zombie Burger via Facebook

There’s nothing appetizing about a restaurant with the word “Zombie” in its name, but people love Zombie Burger. The idea behind this eatery is that it’s got a post-apocalyptic aesthetic, the kind that was all the rage in the early 2010s.


Image Credit: Fritz’s Restaurant KC via Facebook

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City offers a unique dining experience revolving around miniature trains and an overall train aesthetic. Customers’ burgers are brought to them on tiny trains, which started when the original owner had a labor shortage and just sent the food out on a train to keep up with busy lunch rushes.


Image Credit: Jailhouse Pizza via Facebook

Jailhouse Pizza in Brandenburg offers you a chance to grab a slice inside a decommissioned county jail. Nothing says “let’s eat” like prison bars, right? This unhinged restaurant concept might be appealing to at least a few curious customers. Stay normal, Brandenburg.


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Commander’s Palace in New Orleans has been a city landmark for over 100 years. This massive, gaudy blue restaurant serves genuinely mind-blowing Creole food. Locals will tell you that the best gumbo in the world can be found at Commander’s Palace.


Image Credit: Palace Diner via Instagram

Weirdly enough, the strangest restaurant in Maine also has the word “Palace” in the name: Palace Diner in Biddeford. Palace Diner is the oldest diner in the state, built from a decommissioned train car in 1927. The diner still serves people along one bar, paying homage to the way rail passengers ate when the car was still in use.


Image Credit: Beans in the Belfry via Facebook

The unusual Beans in the Belfry restaurant in Brunswick, Maryland is located in a church. Well, it used to be a church. Now it’s a restaurant with stained glass windows. The venue often hosts live musicians, and tends to focus on bluegrass or folk artists.


Image Credit: Gibbet Hill Grill via Facebook

Have you ever wanted to eat on a farm? Well, if you head on over to Groton, Massachusetts, you can. Just pull up to Gibbet Hill Grill and check out a 500-acre-farm with an integrated restaurant. And yes, the menu features food sourced from the farm.


Image Credit: Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant via Facebook

Ah, Frankenmuth, Michigan: home to the finest Bavarian restaurant in the state. That’s right, you can get a taste of authentic German cuisine in Frankenmuth. The aptly named Bavarian Inn Restaurant serves all-you-can-eat German food and features wait staff in lederhosen.


Image Credit: Choo Choo Restaurant and Bar via Facebook

Loretto, Minnesota is home to the delightfully bizarre Choo Choo Restaurant, which was designed to look like an old-school train station. The whole restaurant is train-themed, which is sure to delight young visitors. There’s even a full-sized caboose in the restaurant!


Image Credit: Mary Mahoneys via Facebook

Mary Mahoney’s in Biloxi, Mississippi offers phenomenal Southern cuisine in a historic building. That building, in fact, was built in 1737 and is one of the oldest European structures in the US! The restaurant is popular among celebrities for its upscale elegance.


Image Credit: Lambert’s Café via Facebook

Lambert’s Café in Sikeston, Missouri is a very interesting eatery. The building has a somewhat straightforward interior design for the American Midwest. What lands it on this list is the behavior of the wait staff: they throw dinner rolls at diners from across the café. How strange.


Image Credit: Sip ‘n Dip Lounge via Facebook

Have you ever wanted to dine while watching merfolk swim by in an adjacent tank? No? Well, whoever cooked up the idea for Great Falls’ Sip ‘n Dip Lounge did, and so it’s a thing that exists now. Performers swim by, dancing and twirling, as diners enjoy their food.


Image Credit: Brother Sebastian’s Steak House and Winery via Facebook

A monastery might not be the first thing you think of when you want a steak, but that can change if you spend some time in Omaha, Nebraska. The bizarre Brother Sebastian’s Steak House and Winery was designed to look like a Spanish monastery and reportedly serves genuinely excellent steaks.


Image: Heart Attack Grill via Facebook

You might have already heard of the stomach-churning Heart Attack Grill on the Las Vegas Strip. This super-sized restaurant serves artery-clogging meals with brutal names like “double bypass burger” and outfits the wait staff with medical equipment. We can’t think of anything less appetizing than “hospital chic”.

New Hampshire

Image Credit: Little Red Schoolhouse via Facebook

The Little Red Schoolhouse might not sound like the name of a restaurant, but it’s a real eatery in West Campton, New Hampshire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s located in a converted schoolhouse and complete with a treehouse in the back. The restaurant takes special pride in its seafood.

New Jersey

Image Credit: Medieval Times via Facebook

If you’ve ever been to Medieval Times, you know it’s a bizarre eating experience. Wait staff in Dark Ages costumes bring you entire game chickens while you watch performers dressed as knights clobber each other in a huge arena. There’s one in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and it’s a trip.

New Mexico

Image Credit: Saggio’s via Facebook

The strangest restaurant in New Mexico is Saggio’s in Albuquerque, a bizarre Italian establishment with genuinely chaotic interior design. Roman statues, a painted ceiling, and a strange converted classic car overwhelm your eyes when you step into this acclaimed eatery.

New York

Image Credit: Ellen’s Stardust Diner via Facebook

This one shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ellen’s Stardust Diner in New York City is a 50’s themed diner in Manhattan that features Broadway stars on the wait staff. It’s a surreal restaurant where you might see familiar faces singing musical numbers while you eat a steak. Phenomenal.

North Carolina

Image Credit: Mooresville/Lancaster BBQ via Facebook

People from the Southeast know this one already: Lancaster’s BBQ, with locations in Mooresville and Huntersville, is the strangest restaurant in North Carolina. Both locations feature NASCAR memorabilia, including entire stock cars suspended from the ceiling. Gotta go fast, right?

North Dakota

Image Credit: Space Aliens Grill and Bar Bismarck via Facebook

North Dakota’s strangest restaurant is easily Space Aliens in Bismarck. Yes, there’s a restaurant called Space Aliens. And yes, it is precisely as weird and 90s-cringe-inducing as you’re imagining. The coolest thing in this establishment is a collection of retro arcade cabinets.


Image Credit: The Tackle Box 2 via Facebook

Everything about Tackle Box 2 in Fremont, Ohio is weird. The name is weird (what happened to Tackle Box 1?), the theme is weird (why are there bicycles and Christmas lights strung up?), and even the food is weird (American-style fish and chips?). It might be the most Ohio restaurant to ever Ohio.


Image Credit: Amish Country Store Muskogee via Facebook

If you’ve ever eaten at Cracker Barrell, you’ve got a slight idea of what’s going on at Amish Country Store and Restaurant in Muskogee, Oklahoma. This unusual restaurant serves Amish-style home cooking and features a store edifice inside the building.


Image Credit: Voodoo Doughnut via Facebook

With a name like Voodoo Doughnut, you know it’s going to be weird. Portland’s ultimate hipster destination has become regionally famous for its absurd number of donut flavors. Many customers visit just to grab merch, though. Keychains and T-shirts are some of the store’s best-selling items.


Image Credit: Bube’s Brewery via Facebook

Who doesn’t want to eat in a place called “Catacombs”? This underground eatery is part of Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy and offers candlelit meals beside gigantic wine casks. Those who have sampled the food and drink say the best thing to order is the local beer.

Rhode Island

You’ve got to love Rhode Islanders: this is the only state where a restaurant would choose “trailer park” as its preferred aesthetic. Never change, New England. Ogie’s Trailer Park in Providence, Rhode Island is a restaurant spread among themed trailers, each with their own décor.

South Carolina

Image Credit: Pirate’s Voyage Myrtle Beach via Facebook

Pirate’s Voyage in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is essentially the pirate-themed version of Medieval Times. It’s a themed restaurant where performers dressed like Pirates have epic swashbuckling sword fights on a massive, ship-like stage while you dig in on “pirate-style” food (read: you eat it messily).

South Dakota

Image Credit: Cheyenne Crossing via Facebook

Drop by Cheyenne Crossing in Lead, South Dakota for a little slice of Old West history. This converted stagecoach stop was once a major landmark on the path from Cheyenne to Deadwood and was once called Ice Box Canyon Valley Station (say that five times fast). The current restaurant has changed the interior into a cozy, home-style establishment.


Image Credit: Aquarium Restaurant Nashville via Facebook

Have you ever wanted to eat while watching fish in their massive aquariums? Well, now you can! The Aquarium Restaurant in Nashville even occasionally has performers dressed as mermaids swim through the tanks, delighting guests and bringing even more magic to this strange restaurant.


Image Credit: Washbangers via Facebook

The most fun restaurant name to say on this list is Harvey Washbangers in College Station, Texas. It’s a diner with an attached laundromat. Or, maybe it’s a laundromat with an attached diner. Whichever way you want to look at it is fine. Do your laundry and eat a burger!


Image Credit: Solitude MTN via Facebook

The Yurt at Solitude sounds like somewhere you’d go to ignore civilization instead of an upscale resort restaurant. As the name implies, this is a yurt in a clearing on Solitude Mountain where a chef prepares your meal in full view of your table. It’s meditative, at least.


Image Credit: Garden of Eatin’ Café via Facebook

Have you ever wanted to eat in a Greenhouse? You can if you go to the Garden of Eatin’ Café (excellent work, everyone) in Williston, Vermont. Seriously, top notch work on that pun. As you might expect, the menu is very healthy. This is basically the karmic opposite of the Heart Attack Grill.


Image Credit: Gadsby’s Tavern via Facebook

Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia opened in 1770 and hasn’t changed much since. We mean that in a nice way: it’s meant to be a Colonial-era throwback, candlelit and stately. They even serve traditional meals like grilled duck and gentleman’s pie.


Image Credit: Camlann Village via Facebook

The best way to dine like it’s 1399 is at Camlann Medieval Village’s Bors Hede Inne in Carnation, Washington. This themed restaurant is designed to give you the experience of dining at a medieval inn, complete with traditional recipes and storytellers to entertain you while you eat.

West Virginia

Image Credit: Youngamerican/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

The interestingly named HillBilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, West Virginia offers gourmet hot dogs and an unusual sense of exterior décor. Various “hillbilly” themed items adorn a pair of converted school buses that visitors can dine in. There’s also a nearby wedding chapel you can get married in. No, seriously.


Image Credit: SafeHouse via Facebook

SafeHouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a secret agent themed restaurant for the James Bond fans in us all. You can enjoy a scavenger hunt before your meal, discover sliding bookshelves, and you need to give a password at the door to get in.

Read More: The Weirdest Tourist Attraction in Every State


Image Credit: Calvaryman Steakhouse via Facebook

Calvaryman Steakhouse in Laramie, Wyoming is located on the parade ground of Fort Sanders. This old-school cowboy-themed restaurant offers what the locals call the best steak in the world and is adorned with authentic photos from the era it was opened in 1866.

Read More: These 20 Restaurants Are Closing in 2024