Dining out has as much to do with atmosphere as food, which is why many restaurants strive to present settings more exciting than a table with chairs. Some eateries, though, go the extra mile, creating a novel theme that can turn an otherwise passe dinner night into an unforgettable experience. The following is a comprehensive list of the best themed restaurants in every state.
The best themed restaurants in every state
Alabama: Derailed Diner
This novel Alabaman grub stop near Robertsdale is one part restaurant and one part crashed train car. In spite of its name, the Derailed Diner‘s well-reviewed cuisine keeps both locals and travelers on track.
Alaska: The Pump House
The Pump House is a Klondike Gold Rush-inspired eatery in Fairbanks that’s decked out with genuine, 19th century antiques. This aesthetic, combined with its fresh Alaskan food, make The Pump House a must-visit in The Last Frontier.
Arizona: The Perch Brewery
The Perch Brewery in Chandler is on a mission. In addition to a full slate of acclaimed food and cocktails, the restaurant is home to over 50 rescued tropical birds. This signature blend of cuisine and conservation makes The Perch Brewery a one-of-a-kind meal stop.
Arkansas: All Aboard Restaurant & Grill
Though the All Aboard Restaurant & Grill isn’t actually in a train car, your food certainly is! This Little Rock restaurant uses a miniature rail network to deliver locally sourced food right to the table, making All Aboard a ride worth experiencing.
California: The Magic Castle
Most restaurants don’t offer fine dining and magic spells in one sitting, but that’s what makes The Magic Castle in Los Angeles stand out as one of California’s most awesome themed restaurants. Whether it’s fine steak or magic shows, The Magic Castle has plenty of novel experiences to offer.
Colorado: The Fort
What started as an adobe-style home in Morrison is now a sprawling pioneer-inspired fortress that serves up meals faithful to that era. The Fort is a must-see for anyone who craves bison, cocktails, frontier history, or all three.
Connecticut: The Board Room
Do you like board games? Do you like comfort food? How about special game nights and other events? If so, The Board Room in Middletown may be a must-see next time you’re in Connecticut. With virtually every board game you’ve ever heard of, it’s possible to stay and play all day! Just keep in mind the menu isn’t nearly as extensive as the game options.
Delaware: Jessop’s Tavern
The building that contains Jessop’s Tavern has stood in New Castle since 1674, and everything from its cuisine to its colorful aesthetic reflects Delaware’s rich colonial heritage. Additionally, its selection of Belgian beers is unparalleled.
Florida: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is a jewel in Disney World’s crown. Visitors can eat classic American fare in a drive-in-style setting that features clips from old sci-fi films. Who knew that monster attacks could be so much fun?
Georgia: Agatha’s – A Taste of Mystery
In addition to acclaimed multi-course meals, Agatha’s also serves up a bit of murder — murder mystery theater, that is. Diners can partake in comedic whodunnits that are curated by professional actors. Agatha‘s clue dinners have been going strong in Atlanta for 30 years and show no sign of stopping.
Hawaii: La Mariana Sailing Club
La Mariana combines the taste of Hawaii with a signature tiki aesthetic. The result is an enviable, delicious shoutout to Hawaii’s storied culture in the heart of Honolulu.
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Taphouse Unchained
Located in Coeur d’Alene, a city that Barbara Walters once called ” a little slice of Heaven,” Taphouse Unchained serves up plenty of its own heavenly fare. Patrons who visit Taphouse Unchained can craft their own margaritas aboard a stationary, blender-powering bike seat.
Illinois: SafeHouse Chicago
Evildoers beware; the espionage-themed SafeHouse in Chicago can only be accessed by visitors who know the secret password. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to enjoy the rogue’s gallery of delicious food and drink that the SafeHouse has to offer.
Indiana: Firehouse BBQ & Blues
Want some tasty barbecue and live music in the oldest firehouse in town? Richmond’s Firehouse BBQ & Blues has exactly that, with plenty of firehouse flair. Come hungry!
Iowa: Lebowski’s Bar & Grill
Lebowski’s Bar & Grill is an affable hotspot in Robins that serves pub food, trivia and beer all under one roof. What’s more, the restaurant is peppered with homages to The Big Lebowski, giving it comedic flair that you won’t find at any other grill (but that’s just, like, our opinion, man).
Kansas: Thirsty’s Brew Pub & Grill
Voted “The Best of The Best” by the Hays Daily News just this year, Thirsty’s houses multiple themes within a single location in Hays. Guests can dine under everything from sports memorabilia to retro Hollywood motifs. Thirsty’s cuisine has received favorable reviews as well.
Kentucky: Suplex Tacos
Ashland’s own Suplex Tacos has a signature finishing move: Delicious tacos served up by waitstaff who are dressed as luchadors. Patrons can even don masks themselves if they want to.
Louisiana: Bayou Country General Store
True to its name, the Bayou Country General Store in Slidell brings the taste of Louisiana with its gumbo, pralines and other regional favorites. Patrons can also buy everything from gumbo bowls to cajun spices at the front of the restaurant.
With a name like Silly’s, it’s a safe bet that this eatery is one of Portland’s quirkiest restaurants. Everything about Silly’s, from its eclectic decor to its fresh food, has kept it on Maine foodies’ maps since 1988.
Maryland: The Papermoon Diner
The Papermoon Diner in Baltimore looks and feels like the world’s most colorful toy closet, providing a vivd atmosphere that guests can eat local favorites (like deep-fried ravioli) to. The Papermoon Diner effortlessly combines vibrant colors and delicious food, making it a go-to culinary novelty.
Massachusetts: Miracle of Science Bar & Grill
The Miracle of Science began as an experiment in Cambridge that combined quality food with a warm, neighborly atmosphere. Today, that experiment has yielded one of Massachusetts’ quirkiest eateries, complete with a menu that is its own periodic table.
Michigan: Bavarian Inn
Between its German aesthetic and waitstaff dressed in period attire, the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth is a restaurant that doesn’t lack for inspiration or atmosphere. Additionally, there’s no better setting for the restaurant’s high-end Bavarian cuisine.
Minnesota: The News Room
This journalism-themed restaurant in Minneapolis isn’t actually full of reporters — rather, visitors to The News Room can expect to enjoy food and cocktails while surrounded by iconic headlines. The News Room‘s novel theme makes it Minnesota’s biggest scoop.
Mississippi: Ground Zero Blues Club
Co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman, the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale is a popular haunt for local musicians, as well as tourists who are seeking regional culinary favorites. The club is covered wall-to-wall in musical memorabilia and, true to its name, serves as the epicenter of the annual Juke Joint blues festival.
Missouri: Hook and Ladder Pizza Company
No restaurant adores firefighting quite like the Hook and Ladder Pizza Company. The entire establishment is adorned with firefighting memorabilia, its waitstaff are volunteer firefighters and its pizza packs its own hot flavor. The Hook and Ladder Pizza Company is located in Hollister.
Montana: Charlie Russell’s Chew Choo
Charlie Russell’s Chew Choo in Lewistown doesn’t stop at being train themed. Guests board a literal locomotive to enjoy the sights and flavors of Montana at the same time. This makes Charlie Russell’s Chew Choo one of the yummiest rides around.
Nebraska: Sgt. Peffer’s Cafe Italian
Most Omaha diners probably don’t associate Italian cuisine with the Beatles, but they will after seeing Sgt. Peffer’s curious blend of both. The restaurant offers guests the opportunity to eat acclaimed Italian food under the shadow of Beatles memorabilia eight days a week.
Nevada: Capo’s Speakeasy
Given Vegas’s mob roots, it’s probably not surprising that one of Nevada’s best themed restaurants resembles a Mafia don’s private drinkery. Capo’s Speakeasy serves up both food and liquor in a lavish setting that looks right out of Boardwalk Empire. Bootleggers take note.
New Hampshire: Glen Junction Family Restaurant
Glen Junction Family Restaurant isn’t the only train-themed restaurant, but it’s certainly the cutest. This adorable eatery in Glen serves up a vast selection of food amid colorful model train displays. The restaurant’s Black Friday breakfast is not to be missed.
New Jersey: Morey’s Piers’ Breakfast in The Sky
Morey’s Piers in Wildwood takes seaside amusement skyward with its Breakfast in the Sky. Visitors can enjoy delicious breakfast and beautiful views from atop the Piers’ Ferris wheel. Book a reservation sooner rather than later — Breakfast in the Sky queues up quite a waiting list.
New Mexico: Vernon’s Speakeasy
Despite being both out of the way and protected by a password, Vernon’s Speakeasy is the toast of New Mexico. This mob-themed eatery in Albuquerque has won numerous local accolades for its food, atmosphere and service. Bada bing!
New York: Ninja New York
There is a ninja lair hidden in Manhattan. Visitors who are brave enough to venture inside are treated to a night of authentic Japanese cuisine and staff who are disguised as ninjas … or are they ninjas disguised as staff?
North Carolina: The Tavern in Old Salem
The Tavern in Old Salem harkens back to America’s early days with colonial architecture and staff who look (and sing) the part. The restaurant‘s hearty selection of food is true to those times as well. Visitors can find The Tavern in Winston-Salem.
North Dakota: Space Aliens Grill & Bar
The Space Aliens Grill & Baris worth getting beamed up to. In addition to an impressive slate of beer and barbeque, the restaurant also features a full arcade and other entertainments that all sport an extraterrestrial theme. The Space Aliens Bar & Grill features locations in Bismarck and Fargo, as well as in Albertville, Minnesota.
Ohio: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant
Schmidt’s doesn’t stop at bringing quality German food to Columbus — the restaurant’s banquet rooms bear a strong Bavarian theme that lend the restaurant its Tutonic vibe. Schmidt’s also sells many of its foods for guests to take home and brings its fare to local events whenever possible.
Located outside of Arcadia and in Nichols Hills, Pops is a restaurant with a fizzing soda theme. Visitors have the pick of over 700 soda varieties, as well as world-class cheeseburgers. Pops‘ flagship store near Arcadia features a giant, neon soda bottle to make its profile unmistakable.
Oregon: Oberon’s Restaurant & Bar
Oberon’s Restaurant and Bar in Ashland takes a page from Shakespeare. It features lavish decorations inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while its cuisine is an eclectic mix of modern and Renaissance food. Oberon’s is also one of Ashland’s busiest live music venues.
Pennsylvania: DJ’s Taste of The 50’s
DJ’s checkered floors, chrome barstools and booth seating give this Lancaster restaurant its titular 1950’s vibe. DJ’s menu also reflects the diner era with its wide selection of classic Americana food and occasional specials.
Rhode Island: Ogie’s Trailer Park
Ogie’s Trailer Park is Providence’s own retro-themed haunt. Ogie’s serves up a massive selection of beers and yummy food in a festive kitchen setting that even includes its own tiki bar.
South Carolina: The Chemist
The Chemist’s waitstaff may spend more time blending cocktails than creating chemical reactions, but that’s OK. This Myrtle Beach hot spot exhibits a love for science through its cleverly named cocktails and such decorations as periodic table motifs. Its food is a novel southern experiment that everyone, chemist or not, should conduct the first chance that they get.
South Dakota: Desperados Cowboy Restaurant
Desperados in Hill City celebrates South Dakota’s western heritage with cuisine and cowboy hats. Visitors can find plenty of both in the restaurant‘s saloon-inspired dining room, along with hearty Wild West grub.
Tennessee: Aquarium Restaurant
Sharks are surprisingly friendly dining companions, at least if Nashville’s Aquarium Restaurant is any indication. Guests can eat steak, seafood and everything in between while sitting next to large aquariums. It’s quite the floor show.
Texas: The Magic Time Machine
Located in Dallas and San Antonio, the Magic Time Machine has been taking visitors on kaleidoscopic dinner trips for over 40 years. No two seating areas are quite the same, and are as likely to exhibit a high-fantasy motif as they are science fiction memorabilia. The Magic Time Machine‘s signature steaks are worthy of excitement, too.
Utah: Campfire Lounge
No state does the great outdoors quite like Utah, so it follows that one of its most awesome themed restaurants is all about sitting around the campfire. The Campire Lounge in Salt Lake City serves up delicious food that’s fire-toasted and even served in hot foil packets. The restaurant’s camping memorabilia rounds out the mountain vibe that the Beehive State is known for.
Vermont: Windsor Station Restaurant & Barroom
All aboard! The Windsor Station Restaurant & Barroom in Windsor offers farm-to-table fare in what was once a thriving train station. Though Windsor Station is no longer a train stop, the restaurant’s railroad memorabilia can make that easy to forget.
Virginia: Havana 59
True to its name, Richmond’s Havana 59 takes diners back to the sights, sounds and tastes of 1959 Havana, Cuba. Its palm trees and plaster walls lend credence to its Cuban theme, as does its delicious food.
Washington: The Octopus Bar
Though technically a bar, this octopus-themed hangout in Seattle also serves up fresh food, including a “bait bucket” of layered beans, cheese and chicken. Additionally, Seattle Seahawks fans shouldn’t miss out on The Octopus Bar’s blue-and-lime-green “hawkshots.”
West Virginia: Hillbilly Hot Dogs
Hillbilly Hot Dogs in Lesage is a curio of a restaurant that lovingly embraces even the harshest stereotypes of rural America. The restaurant features an on-site “Weddin'” chapel, as well as a school bus-turned-dining room. The restaurant’s titular hot dogs are quite a backwoods feast.
Wisconsin: Safehouse Milwaukee
Known as “Milwaukee’s iconic spy restaurant & night spot,” the SafeHouse doesn’t look like much on the outside, but that’s intentional (it’s a spy-themed restaurant, after all). Once you’re in, prepare for intrigue … and delicious tater tots.
Wyoming: The Luxury Diner
Ever have pecan pancakes with candied bananas and a bourbon-and-cream-cheese drizzle in an old Cheyenne trolley car? Well here’s your chance. According to The Luxury Diner’s website, “Legend has it, the Luxury Dining Car was an operating trolley car on the streets of Cheyenne from 1894 to 1912. It has been operating as a working diner at this location since 1926 and has been the Luxury Diner since 1964.”
Wonder what beer to try while you’re visiting? Check out this roundup of the most popular beer in each state according to Google.
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