The 10 most unique dining experiences you must dig into in the U.S.

Table settings at a large table with candles in the middle of the table.

If you’re looking for a restaurant like no other, you’ve come to the right place. From enjoying a meal deep inside an aquarium to exchanging nuptials in a donut shop, America indulges in it all. Be prepared to transport your taste buds from coast to coast and explore some of the most unique and adventurous dining experiences throughout the country. 

1. SafeHouse – Milwaukee, WI

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a secret agent? Well, you can at SafeHouse where a password is required to enter. Once inside, you’ll be greeted with spy-themed decor, hidden passageways and a spy menu that includes items like James Bond-themed cocktails and the “Double Agent” burger. 

If you find yourself there on a Friday or Saturday at 10 p.m., you’ll be able to experience Code Red, a weekly party that offers drink specials and a live DJ. So strap on your spy wear and make your way to Milwaukee for a restaurant experience you won’t forget. 

2. The Airplane Restaurant – Colorado Springs, CO

Located within a fully intact Boeing KC-97 US Air Force tanker, The Airplane Restaurant is a Colorado staple. The plane boasts a rich history, dating back to 1953 when it was built. Throughout the years when this plane was in service, it completed many refueling missions to Europe and back. In 2002, it was repurposed as one of the only aviation restaurants in the United States. 

42 passengers can enjoy their meal inside the plane while other tables are located within the airport terminal attached to the aircraft. Throughout the restaurant, you’ll find many pictures, memorabilia and rare artifacts showcasing aviation history. So sit back, relax and enjoy – with more legroom than most flights! 

3. Aquarium Restaurant – Nashville, TN

Once you enter the Aquarium Restaurant, you’ll be greeted by unique underwater decor and a 200,000-gallon tank housing many varieties of fish, sharks, stingrays and more. Each table has floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding aquarium where you can watch more than 100 species of tropical fish while indulging in fresh seafood, fish and steaks.

For an even more unique experience, plan your trip around one of the famous Mystic Mermaid shows that happen multiple times a year. Watch the mermaids swim with their under-the-sea friends, all while teaching about the importance of protecting our environment. Can’t make it to Nashville? Don’t worry. The Aquarium Restaurant also has branches in Denver, Houston and Kemah. 

4. The Office of Mr. Moto – New York City, NY

The Office of Mr. Moto is a speakeasy-like restaurant located in the East Village. The dining experience begins with a message you have to decode to enter the restaurant. Once inside, you’ll be welcomed into Mr. Moto’s private collection of art and artifacts spread across the space. You’ll then be able to explore a seasonally curated menu that goes through the history of Japanese gastronomy through a 21-course tasting menu. 

Once the meal is over, you’ll be invited to continue the night in The Library, where you can unwind while listening to Mr. Moto’s private jazz collection. This is the ideal spot for those in need of an adventure within a meal. 

5. The Laurel Tree – Utopia, TX

The Laurel Tree is a hidden gem that offers a truly unique experience. Chef and owner, Laurel Waters, makes sure that everyone feels special at her restaurant. When you reserve a table, it’s yours for the entire lunchtime or dinner; there are no reservations after you, allowing for plenty of time to enjoy your meal and the atmosphere. Laurel changes the menu every week and highlights the freshest ingredients from her garden. The Laurel Tree is open to the public, by reservation, for lunch and dinner on Saturdays only.

If you don’t think being open only one day a week is special enough, then try to secure the table within the treehouse, located in a 450-year-old oak tree in the restaurant’s yard. Designed and built by Treehouse Masters’ Pete Nelson, this magical dining space can be seen on an episode of the show. Inside the treehouse is a tiny, rustic dining space with just one table that can seat up to 6 people. You can celebrate a special family occasion or have a romantic dinner for 2 within the space, but make sure to secure your spot months in advance, as the treehouse books up very quickly. 

Want to spend more time in Utopia? Check out one of the many lodging options available. You can even stay in a treehouse right by the restaurant! 

6. Grand Canyon Caverns & Grotto – Peach Springs, AZ

Take a seat at a table located 210 feet below ground in a 345 million year old cave system at the Grand Canyon Caverns & Grotto. Here, you’ll enjoy simple and classic American food that’s cooked on ground level and delivered to you via an elevator and pulley system. As you enjoy your meal, you’ll be surrounded by 360-degree views of the largest chamber in the cave system. 

To get the full cave experience, opt for the lunch special which includes a tour, 2 complimentary drinks and an all-you-can-eat dessert included in the price. The eatery only has 4 tables, so it’s important to make a reservation before heading to Peach Springs. 

7. Newburyport Lighthouse Dining – Newburyport, ME

Newburyport Lighthouse Dining offers one of the most intimate and romantic dining settings in America. Here, you’re able to rent the tiny glass-enclosed room at the top of the lighthouse for 5 hours for a private dinner with your own wait staff. You’ll enjoy a meal with 360-degree views of the ocean, the quaint downtown of Newburyport and the Merrimack River Valley. A variety of food options are available, from bringing your own food to ordering from one of the multiple restaurants that partner with the lighthouse. 

Because it’s one of the only lighthouse dining experiences in the world, it’s booked months in advance. To guarantee a reservation, make sure to call way before your desired date. 

8. Voodoo Doughnut and Wedding Chapel – Portland, OR

If you’re looking for one of the most unique wedding sites in the world, look no further than Voodoo Doughnut and Wedding Chapel. With its first location in Portland, Voodoo Doughnuts has become one of the most well-known doughnut shops in America. Surprisingly enough, it’s the only doughnut shop that doubles as a wedding chapel in the country. And on top of offering wedding services, they also have some pretty delicious donuts

Some other locations of theirs include Austin, TX, Hollywood, CA and Orlando, FL, so if you want to get married but can’t make it to Oregon, don’t worry – you can check here to see the wedding options that are available in your desired location. 

9. Yamashiro – Hollywood, CA

Yamashiro, located at the top of a hill overlooking Hollywood, is a true architectural and culinary treasure. This iconic restaurant is modeled after elements of traditional East-Asian architecture and palaces you’d find in the mountains of Kyoto, Japan. As you step onto the grounds, you’re welcomed by koi ponds, crafted pagodas and lush gardens. 

Not only does this location offer beautiful grounds and views, but it also has a menu that’s a fusion between Japanese and Californian cuisine. Yamashiro is a favorite for both locals and visitors seeking a unique dining experience. 

10. Bern’s Steak House – Tampa, FL

Since 1956, Bern’s Steak House has been a famous Tampa institution. Known for its prime steaks cut to order that are dry-aged in-house for 5-8 weeks, one of the largest wine collections in the world and its internationally famous dessert room, Bern’s is a place you can’t pass up when in Florida. Not only is the food and service exceptional but after your meal, every guest is given a complimentary tour of the kitchen and wine cellar.

After the tour, you’ll be able to venture upstairs to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room where you’ll indulge in a vast array of sweet treats, a world-class wine list and specially crafted dessert cocktails in private booths made from old wine casks. There’s a live piano player that you can use a phone at your table to call in requests. 

Make sure to dress the part for Bern’s, as they require a dress code of business casual to semi-formal. Also, make sure to reserve your table well in advance as spots are limited and tables book up fast. 

Dine out

Whether it’s a romantic dinner for 2 in a lighthouse or a family meal in an airplane, make sure your unique experience is protected with Faye

These dining experiences and websites are suggestions and Faye is in no way associated with them. This post is meant to give you ideas and inspiration on where to eat for the most unique dining experience in America. 

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