Way back when the first few restaurants opened, good food was all that was really on offer. But as the competition grew so did our demands and before you knew it, amazing ambience and an experience with every meal was what people started to search for.
What more can you ask for really? Not only are you getting a fabulous meal but you are getting a great experience with it. It is easy to see why children love them and even adults prefer them if the theme is well thought through.
According to a recent study, a customer is 70% more likely to spend money on a good experience than he was in 1987 which just goes to show that what people are looking for is changing by the minute. This same study even states that millennials are more likely to purchase an experience than a product any day of the week or if you want some number proof- 78% more likely.
A lot of people tend to stay away from theme restaurants saying that a meal and conversation is all they need to be happy but what is stopping you from taking it up a notch? Why not remember your favourite movie while having some Butterbeer? There will never be a dull moment.
In a world dominated by Instagram worthy pictures, you have a better chance of getting your best shot at a theme restaurant than an average place with some tables and chairs.
So, now that we have convinced you theme restaurants are the way to go, here are a couple you should start with -
21 The Hobbit Cafe (USA)
Do you love fiction with Lord of the Rings being your favourite? This restaurant may just be your dream come true. This hobbit restaurant in Houston is absolutely amazing for fans of the movie. It has been around since 1973 and actually offered only veggie food at first keeping the diet of hobbits in mind but since then they have become a little more open-minded. They now offer amazing craft beers and various dishes named after characters from the movie. The fish tacos and the grilled mahi mahi sandwich are some of their bestsellers but it would do you good to take a look at their menu!
20 The Lockhart (Canada)
This one is perfect for you thirsty muggles. Lockhart channels the Harry Potter spirit and gives you the chance to have a meal at Hogwarts. There is a sign that contains the series final words and the corner of the bar is beautifully decorated. The restaurant is named after the second year defense against the dark arts teacher and also has some inspired drinks that have been named after various professors and spells. Even if are not a Potter fan, this bar has something for everyone.
As the owner, Paris Xerx explains here: "Without knowing any of the Harry Potter stuff, you already will think of this as a cool bar. You’d come here and see the stag’s head on the wall and go ‘Wow, I love that’, but a Harry Potter fan might say ‘That’s a Patronus.’" There is a deadly hallows symbols as well as words on the walls that pay homage to different characters. The Shacklebolt among others is one of the drink that is on offer here. Gilderoy Lockhart would have been proud.
19 Robot Restaurant (Tokyo, Japan)
Big fan of Star Wars? You are going to love Japan. A lot of their restaurants are inspired by TV series and fiction including Robot Restaurant. The area in which you will find the Robot Restaurant and bar is pretty neon inspired itself but the restaurant is a whole new level. The night begins with girls in bikinis coming in on robots and having the event played out in the central arena. The show goes on for three hours and you get drinks on the side as well. This one is definitely more focused on the experience. The cost is $80 for the show and drinks.
18 Barbie Café (Taiwan)
If 'I am a barbie girl' played on repeat when you were younger, this restaurant could be the kick of nostalgia that you need. This place has been officially licensed by the main company, that is, Mantle so it is officially the best. It is located in Taiwan of course (Does it even surprise you at this point?) and is permanently available for a Barbie inspired meal. The whole place looks like a Barbie dream house and the tables are literally shaped like stilettos. The whole menu is Barbie inspired of course and as you may have guessed the entire place is a bright pink colour.
17 Dinner in the Sky (Multiple Locations)
This one is of one of our favorites as long as you are not scared of heights. It gives you an experience of a lifetime and pays homage to the movie Up pretty well. You are strapped into your seat (firmly - do not worry about that) and then you are raised into the air with the help of a crane. The company has done immensely well with this idea considering it has locations in over 45 countries. So, no matter where you are you can find yourself a meal in the sky if that is what you are looking for. Just do not wear heels for this one!
16 Ithaa (Maldives)
Located in Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives Ithaa was one of the very first restaurants to serve food wholly underwater and it has done rocking business ever since the beginning. It is part of the Conrad Rangali Maldives Island resort. Ithaa is perfect if you are a fan of island destinations and time at the beach. It is also one of the most picturesque locations in the world and has been featured on countless Insta accounts. Unfortunately enough this restaurant is also very expensive so you will have to dig deep into your pockets if you want to dine with the finest.
15 Alcatraz ER (Japan)
Ever wanted to know what it was like to spend time in one of the toughest penitentiaries know to mankind without actually doing time there? Well, this may be your best option. The Alcatraz prison's hospital themed restaurant in Japan takes into consideration a lot of the original interior of the prison and recreated it pretty well. They also offer up some pretty interesting dishes like human intestines which is essentially sausages served up in a kidney dish. You have a cell of your own and you need to bang on the bars to get a waiter's attention.
14 Modern Toilet (Taiwan)
Yeah.... Taiwan really does manage to create some weird ones, doesn't it? This and I do not believe I am saying this either - is a toilet-inspired restaurant. This one is also located in Taipei. You will sit on a seat made out of porcelain and have the food brought to you in toilet bowls. If you are looking for a funny experience and some pictures to take home- this one is great. Drinks are served in urinals and the desserts are served in squat toilets. Do not worry though- you will definitely not flush your money down the drain for no reason. This place is well worth the price.
13 Central Perk (Multiple Locations)
With people literally get scared when Friends was almost taken down from Netflix, it is clear that this TV series has stood the test of time. The big orange couch, Janice's annoying laugh and Joey in general just seem to make us happy. Central Perk capitalized on this and created locations all around the world that focus on the TV series. You will find the classic orange couch that the cast spent many a scene on and framed pictures of each character. Their food is pretty amazing as well! The back ribs and roasted chicken are great and plenty of visitors agree with us considering the five star reviews for these dishes continue to grow.
12 Chillout Ice Lounge (Dubai)
The Chillout Ice Lounge is the first of its kind in the Middle East. The restaurant is made out of ice. Everything from the ceiling to the tables is frozen ice. Even the glasses and spoons are made out of ice. So, if you do not mind the cold and want an experience as a side dish, try this one out. It is also a great escape from the normal heat that comes with life in Dubai. Thankfully enough, this place does serve hot food so it is the perfect combination. The temperature is a number that you do not want to hear but the sculptures that surround you will make you forget about that soon enough. The light changes colour constantly which makes the ice look wonderful.
11 Safe House (USA)
Safe House is a detective themed restaurant with two locations in the United States. You actually need a password to get in. Alternatively, if you do not have the password with you, you can go through a clearance test to prove you are not a double agent. The restaurant really goes all the way with this theme. There are double doors, a spy camera in the room that goes around at all times, movable walls and much more. If you have always wanted to feel like a private detective you can make a booking now on their website or their TripAdvisor profile. They are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois so you can choose whichever one is closer to you.
10 A380 (Taiwan)
This aeroplane-themed restaurant is located in Taipei city and has tried its best to recreate the interior of an A380 model aeroplane. It is obviously not as great as the actual plane but it does do a fairly decent job of recreating the details. The food is served on plastic trays and everything is pretty cramped which is definitely reminiscent of every plane ride ever taken in the history of time. There are also tiny purple lights on the floor and the ceiling of the plane that add to the overall detail. Even the waitresses are dressed up as flight attendants and are trained to act as such.
9 Coach Bus (China)
My favorite memories when I travel comes from the mini road trips that come with it. Especially when it is in a different country. And oddly enough having even just a sandwich is more exciting when you are on a bus in the middle of nowhere. Keeping this in mind, someone in China converted an ordinary coach bus into a mini restaurant. The coach bus is not moving during the trip sadly enough but you do get served an entire meal while you are on it. It is definitely something everyone needs to try at least once. Located in Shenyang, China, it is something that is worth at least one try.
8 Hungry Heroes (Singapore)
This restaurant is for all of the DC and Marvel fans the world has to offer. Once you enter the restaurant you will find countless heroes from the movies that adorn the walls of the restaurant. They offer an affordable menu and it is overall a great place to get a quick meal. They have really big burgers along with some other meat inspired dishes. You can end the day with a craft beer. Hungry Heroes could be the restaurant that you have every birthday party at for your child from now on because it simply never grows old for them.
7 Lockup Restaurant (Japan)
Ever had nightmares about being locked up in jail? This horror themed jail restaurant is complete with scary fixtures and skeletons all around. It is located in Tokyo, Japan and has a pretty great menu to try. You can even have a party at this place if you are willing to give it a go. You may have to deal with a mini heart attack or two though if you are not good with handling nerves. Just focus on the food if that is the case. You will not find that very hard with the local cuisine dishes being amazing and you have already burnt all the calories dealing with the fear that comes with the theme.
6 Café Jack (LA)
Cafe Jack is owned by a very enthusiastic Korean who loves Titanic so much that he even changed his name to Jack! You can find just about anything in this ship like restaurant. You can get your tarot cards read, have a meal or sing a song on the karaoke machine- it really is up to you. The entire restaurant is shaped like a gigantic ship and people eat their meals in tons of ship shaped cabins. The restaurant can seem like a lot to take in at first because of the amount of stuff within it. You can find anything from a table on the patio to a private room depending on what you are looking for. It is a great place for a Titanic fan and has been open for over ten years now.
5 Zombie Burger (USA)
This pop culture inspired theme serves up quite an experience. Based in Des Moines, Idaho, Zombie Burger has three other locations as well with Idaho being their main one. This restaurant allows zombie fans to have a meal while also having to withstand a stimulated zombie breakout. The classic Zombie burger is a fan favourite and the Dawn of the Dead burger is pretty great as well. They also have some amazing shakes and the zombie twist is what gives this restaurant an edge over its competition. 'Walking Ched' among other interesting names is what adds to the experience.
4 Opaque (California)
This one really gives you an experience if that is what you are looking for but you will be a little 'in the dark' at first about how it works exactly. Diners eat their meal in complete darkness which removes the visual aspect and helps you focus on the flavours. The idea behind restaurants like this is that if you remove one sense, the other is heightened. The other being taste in this case. You place your order in a lit room before you are guided into a dark room to finish your meal. The meals are then served by blind or visually impaired people that have been trained to wait on you in darkness. You focus more on your friends and the aroma of the food is much more appreciated than it would have been. This stimulating experience allows you to notice things that you normally take for granted. Here is opaque's website!
3 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Multiple Locations)
When I first watched Forrest Gump, I wished for nothing more than to be able to eat at his shrimp restaurant and it looks like now we can. This eatery would make Forrest proud because the details are absolutely amazing. Their Insta alone makes us want to give up everything and have a meal there. They have the traditional fish based starters along with the shrimp mains. There is also a variety of steaks available if that is what you are looking for and some chicken dishes as well. You can book a table through their Tripadvisor profile or their website. They have 41 locations around the world so it should be pretty easy no matter where you are.
2 The Pandorica (New York)
The Pandorica in New York is a restaurant that pays homage to Dr Who. This restaurant used to be a tea shop owned by a Whovian before it began paying homage to the TV show. If you are a true Whovian you will know what each of the decor items within the restaurant means. You will find Dr Who himself taking up place while enjoying a meal as well as the fall of Gallifrey. The Pandorica itself takes its name from a jail within the TV series that has the same name. If you have not seen the series though and are about to get started soon, this restaurant contains tons of spoilers so maybe wait a while. It does obviously have a lot of tea as well as some Gallifreyed potato pancakes. You can also watch episodes while you are eating.
1 Witches In Britches (Australia)
If you are a huge fan of anything horror, you will love this themed restaurant in Melbourne. Guests are served by witches, captains, vampires, monsters and pirates. If your kid is looking for their next Halloween costume- prepare to be inspired. The restaurant's website promises surprises for everyone and it most certainly delivers. The food is absolutely amazing and you have a great experience to take home with you as well. The restaurant also does shows sometimes. Make sure you try the Roast Lamb as your main course because it is to die for.