> Some of the Strangest and Coolest Restaurants in America | Vacation Mode

Some of the Strangest and Coolest Restaurants in America

One of the biggest pastimes in America is eating out.  Going to one of our favorite restaurants for occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, get-togethers with friends or "just because" it's Friday is something we Americans do best.  

When traveling, there are opportunities galore to step outside of the mundane and have a completely new dining experience.  I, for one, love new and different things.  The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in America and, in my opinion, different can mean better. There are restaurants providing new and unique dining experiences.  From elaborate and immersive dinner theater shows to wildly decorated themed restaurants, dining out can be as fun and exciting as a trip to the club.

The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar

The Tonga Room has a “lagoon,” which features a small stage for the in-house band who entertain during happy hour and beyond.  Is this a "Cool ass Idea" or what? 

The Tonga Room, located in the basement of the iconic Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  The decor has thatched roofs that provide shelter from the occasional tropical thunderstorms. The food is served family-style and it has a distinctive vacation vibe. 

 

The Tonga Room
The Tonga Room

Dollar Bill Bar

There is this cool bar in Oatman, AZ that has ice cold beer on tap and the walls and ceilings are plastered with $1 bills. Visitors come and add a dollar bill with their name and the date they visited any available spot on the wall or ceiling in the restaurant or bar. Very cool! The bartenders and locals are very friendly. A good way to beat the 100 + degree heat.  Leave your mark at this bar one dollar bill at a time.

Dollar Bill
Photo flickr.com/photos/kenlund/7280152048

Mad Rex: Post-Apocalyptic Themed Restaurant & Virtual Reality Lounge

In their own words:  

"A Vigilante Post/Post-Apocalyptic Restaurant that features a Survivors' Kitchen, Vigilante Exhibits, and Virtual Reality Technology. Mad Rex is a place where Survivors can eat, meet, and drink together knowing they are safe and protected by the Vigilantes and each other."

For those of us who have been around since the 1980s, who isn't a fan of the Mad Max movies starring Mel Gibson?  Our fascination with a dystopian future can have a nice meal while experiencing the memorabilia of this often used science fiction trope. 

Mad Rex
Photo: Society Hill Films

Charlie Russell Chew Choo

A spectacular evening traveling through the mountains and prairies of central Montana. Experience the beauty of the rolling hills, vast ranchlands and breathtaking sunsets of Big Sky Country. Wildlife abounds on this scenic 56-mile round trip journey, with a plentiful supply of antelope, eagles, deer, hawks, and coyotes. Be sure to watch out for the masked bandits - rumor has it hold-ups can occur when you least expect them!!

Crossing two historic trestles and passing through a half mile long tunnel, the three and one-half hour trip in climate-controlled, non-smoking coaches includes a full course prime rib dinner and dessert, no-host cash bar and music by local area entertainers.

CHARLIE RUSSELL CHEW CHOO
Photo Courtesy: iStock

Tommy Gun’s Garage

"Tommy Guns Garage is the longest running Dinner/Show in Chicago. We offer Dinner and An Audience Interactive Roaring 20's Musical Comedy Revue with Vito and da gangsters and flappers from the 1920's Era. The price includes the dinner, show, soup or salad, vegetable, potato, dessert, coffee tea or soda, tax & gratuity. We offer a sit-down dinner. The entree choices are: The( Prime-rib) Don't call me Chicken (with a Marsala or Lemon Herb Sauce), Frankie's Feast ( Broiled Pork Chops) or The Big Bill Thompson (Baked Salmon). We offer a full-service Bar with some of the best Bathtub Gin found in the City of Chicago. We also offer a variety of other Hooch (alcohol). Just call for reservations and get da password to enjoy our Show."

Tommy Gun's
Photo: enjoyillinois.com

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

In their own words:

"Set sail for excitement with Pirate’s Dinner Adventure! Raise your glass and cheer as our spirited buccaneers dazzle you with magic, swashbuckling, and sword play. Set aboard an 18th-century Spanish galleon, anchored in a 250,000-gallon indoor lagoon, Pirate’s dinner theater combines fantasy, fun, and a first-class restaurant. Laugh, thrill, and swoon as our brave heroes battle the evil pirate Sebastian the Black. You can even take part in the live entertainment. Over 150 guests, kids, and adults or all ages, are invited to perform with the cast each night on stage – making this the “World’s Most Interactive Dinner Show.” Join us on the high seas as we take you on an unforgettable experience of pillaging and plundering!"

Who doesn't love pirates or playing at being a pirate?

Pirate adventures
Photo: piratesdinneradventureca.com

Beetle House

EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN at Beetle House. 

"THE IDEA WAS SIMPLE. CREATE A SPACE WHERE PEOPLE WHO LOVE HALLOWEEN, HORROR FILMS, AND GOTHIC DARK MUSIC CAN GATHER FOR A MEAL AND DRINKS. A SAFE SPACE WHERE IT REALLY FEELS LIKE HALLOWEEN ALL YEAR ROUND AND PEOPLE CAN COME AND ENJOY GOOD FOOD, GOOD DRINKS, LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC, AND FEEL COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE TO BE AS FREAKY AS THEY WANT TO BE. THIS WOULD BE MY HOME FOR THE FREAKS, WEIRDOS, AND GROWN UP GOTH KIDS OF THE CITY." ~ZACH NEIL

Beetle House
Photo: beetlehousenyc.com

Rattlesnake Saloon

In their own words:

"Welcome to the Rattlesnake Saloon, the watering hole under the rock. This is a place the whole family can come relax and enjoy connecting to local history. We are happy to say that our location is handicap accessible. Come fill your belly and listen to live local music. After 5:00 pm, grab a cold brew...if you are old enough. Our staff strives to deliver an extraordinary experience to every customer, every time. So come on down and meet us, and bring your friends."

Whether you’re a guest at Seven Springs Lodge in Tuscumbia, Alabama, or simply passing through, you’ll love the rustic atmosphere and gorgeous natural beauty of Rattlesnake Saloon. The main bar is located in a cave formed by a massive cliff overhang and a natural waterfall right in the middle.  And let's just face it, the very words rattlesnake saloon conjures up wild images of nature.

 

Rattlesnake Bar
Photo: bobgathany.photoshelter.com

Now that you've seen some of the most unique and interesting restaurants in America, which one will you be visiting?