Life’s simply more colorful when we take a break from generically swanky speakeasies and mainstream gastropubs to embrace spots exuding loads more personality! Across the States, uniquely themed bars and eateries transport patrons fabulously through elaborate environs and drinks tailored to delightfully random motifs—from witchy to sci fi. We highlight some of our favorites for amusing culinary detours across America!
Pirate and Tiki Themed Restaurants
Captain’s Quarters Tiki Pirate Bar (San Diego)
Ahoy matey, a tropical pirate paradise overflowing with Polynesian flair and nautical nostalgia awaits in San Diego's iconic Gaslamp neighborhood at Captain's Quarters! This kitschy cool corner tiki bar celebrates rum-soaked seafaring adventures with elaborately themed decor spanning portholes, fishnets, treasure chests and a dancing squid sculpture. Snag seats in a vintage tiki hut, bamboo dense hideaways, or a captain’s quarters style lounge. Over 155 rums stand ready for summoning into classic sticky-sweet cocktails like the Shark Bite or Blackbeard’s Revenge – best sipped from flair-filled skull mugs, treasure chalices or giant conch shells. Yo ho ho, the tastiest trauma and triumph on the high seas lie in port here!
Unicorn Narwhal (Seattle)
Escape into this whimsical wonderland bar and gallery celebrating a menagerie of playful pop culture critters from jolly jumbo’s to mermaids! Garish graffiti mushrooms cover walls further provoking the good time feelings as guests settle into quirky cuisines like Unicorn Poop concocted of gourmet sea salt caramel ice cream or the anime-tinged Tokyo Rainbow Bowl popsicle. No wonder the fanciful flavors pair so perfectly with the bar’s bedazzling beverage menu – sip Lemonosaurus Rex lemonade or the Mythic Mule. From weekly karaoke to bingo nights raising money for charity, good times await visitors willing to unleash inner rainbow warrior. So brush off the cynic sludge long enough to partake in the peculiar playfulness – who knows, you just might spy a unicorn if you believe!
Star Wars Themed Restaurants
Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Florida)
The Force is strong for pop culture at this galactic Star Wars watering hole, officially dubbed Oga’s Cantina inside Disney’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction. Kitschy interstellar decor transports visitors light years away to planet Batuu, where a life size exact Millennium Falcon replica awaits exploration along with alien artifacts and props lining the bar. Imbibe on otherworldly libations like Fuzzy Tauntaun and Passionate Sith tipples playfully named after iconic movie realms, or fill up on Docking Bay 7 Snack Saka alongside Mustafarian Lava Buns and Fried Endorian Tip Yip bites.
Jekyll & Hyde Club (New York City)
Dine and drink in double trouble at this vibrant Gothic-style restaurant and adjoining lounge where a provocative Victorian Era character presides over both levels. Beneath the rich wood coffered ceilings and flickering gas lamps, the dining room immerses guests in an air of brooding refinement perfect for enjoying elevated pub fare like shepherd’s pie and Yorkshire pudding. Afterwards, venture upstairs to a dramatically appointed, dimly lit lounge where mixologists conjure indulgent Prohibition-era elixirs alongside themed punches for parties. Throughout the venue, elaborate touches like a crank-operated tiny elevator for cocktails span three floors and an animatronic tree embellish intriguing intrigues. Just don't drink the signature “poison potion” too quickly, or one's own articulate alter ego may manifest most amusingly!
Spy Themed Restaurants
Safe House (Milwaukee)
Knock back clever libations undercover agent style at this wildly imaginative Milwaukee haunt celebrating all things espionage and covert ops since 1966. After whispering the daily password to gain entry through an imposing red door, guests navigate an elaborate maze of hidden doors and passages full of props paying homage to pop culture icons like James Bond. Crack assorted codes and puzzles to infiltrate deeper inside what appears to be an intriguing yet ordinary watering hole on surface. But countless visual tricks, secret escapes and even an operational periscope aim to disorient all but the most quick-witted operatives! Foiling surveillance lies in keeping composure while casually mingling about enjoying Spy's Demise martinis and other closely guarded cocktail recipes. Though all may seem normal to the untrained eye, stealth surprises surely await at this clandestine local landmark worth sniffing out for thrills beyond the average nightlife scene.
Alice in Wonderland Themed
The Rabbit Hole (Colorado Springs)
Tumble magically down a whimsical Alice in Wonderland inspired rabbit hole at this one-of-a-kind dinner theater venue transporting guests into the world of Lewis Carroll's classic psychedelic trip of a tale. From the open-air Enchanted Garden and Botanical Lounge to the cozy Mad Hatter's Tea Room, each nook of the pastel colored victoriana manse harbors costumed characters, curios, and creative libations and culinary creations to play to the cherished childhood storybook motifs. Storytelling performers deftly weave in spontaneous audience interactions throughout multi-course meals while giant clocks, life-sized playing card windows, and hidden rabbit warrens at every turn signify this wonderland dive flirts masterfully between fantastic dreamscapes and slightly deranged notions. Best mind one's logic and sensibilities at the cloak check on arrival!
The Cauldron Bar (Buena Vista, California)
Mythical mixology magic stirs Buena Vista’s mystique at this appropriately named haunt celebrating pagan potions and witchy concoctions off the beaten Sonora path. As guests pass the fairy-filled outdoor garden entry beckoning mystical merriment, the dim indoor Victorian lounge flickers from candlelight chandeliers and claimed artifacts lending an ancient ambiance befitting brewing specialty elixirs. But creative potable portions here take on modern refinement like the refreshing Elderflower Mojito bubbling amid dry ice vapors or the Surfer Girl cocktail fruity enough to turn anyone temporarily Cali carefree. Pair the bespoke drinks with shareable “spellbooks” of bites during events like weekly tarot Tuesdays or monthly Full Moon gatherings under the moonlight. Don't be surprised if pagans or curious Muggles wander through, simply summon up a magical Marxhattan and make merriment by midnight under warlocks' watch!