Explore New York City

New York City Restaurants: Best Unique Dining Experiences

If you're in search of a unique meal, look no further.

Let's face it; New Yorkers live in one of the best culinary destinations in the world. In the melting pot we live in, restaurants with delicious, varied types of cuisine are in abundance.

Unique NYC Eats

If you are looking for more than just a great meal, however, it is no surprise that New York has a plethora of unique restaurants. Some offer an extraordinary dining atmosphere, while others are known for their creative eats. Here is a list of one-of-a-kind experiences to whet your appetite for adventurous or distinct dining.

Ichiran

Sometimes you just want a little alone time with your Tonkotsu Ramen, Ichiran's specialty.  In its three locations around New York, Ichiran provides the perfect dining experience for solo travelers needing a break from the city's constant crowds. Guests enjoy a solo dining experience where they sit in booths with wooden partitions between each of them.

The ordering process and menu are straightforward. Guests wait in line for a vacant seat, place their order at their booth (choice of the "Classic Pork Bone Tonkotsu" or "Vegetarian Ramen"). Here, they'll customize their ramen, choosing various toppings, the spice levels, the noodle texture and Kae-Dama (noodle refill). The guest pushes a call button, and a staff member picks up the order form. The bowl is delivered in 15 seconds from the kitchen to the table to ensure that the highest quality of ramen is served. Enjoy Ichiran's ramen in the Midtown, Brooklyn, and Times Square locations. 

ICHIRAN Times Square New York | WhereTraveler
Ichiran Times Square (©Annie Chen)

Beetle House

Inspired by the literary and cinematic works of Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allen Poe, and many more, Beetle House is a year-round celebration of Halloween. The restaurant-bar is lit with pink and purple lighting with vintage décor and movie memorabilia sprinkled throughout the entire space. Think Beetlejuice, Jack Skellington, fake spider webs, and skulls.

 The dark restaurant bar is intentionally yet playfully creepy, and both staff and guests dress in costume. The menu features items like "Edward Burger Hands" and "Sweeney Beef," which pay tribute to the characters Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd. 

Beetle House Menu Item New York | WhereTraveler
Sweeney Beef at Beetle House (©Tim O’Grady)

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge

Everything is coming up pink roses at Moxy Times Square's iconic Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge. They have transformed into an all-pink rooftop Rose Garden, complete with over ten thousand pink silk roses. Guests can take the perfect selfie or group photo on a carousel wrapped in a custom rose print. The carousel seats have layered rose swings, and the walls are coated in rose and greenery foliage with a floral accent.

A themed dessert menu accompanies the experience with favorites like the "Pink S'mores," which features pink marshmallows, and the "Pink Rosebuds," rose-shaped raspberry meringue cookies with rose-shaped meringue cookies, a dark chocolate filling and chocolate sauce.
 
Guests will also enjoy a whimsical Pink Rose Garden-inspired beverage program. Be sure to try the "Hot Pink Summer," a combination of summer favorites like pink-fleshed dragon fruit, fresh lemonade, and Prosecco. 

Pink AF Pancakes at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge New York | WhereTraveler
Pink AF Pancakes at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge (Courtesy Moxy Times Square)

The Black Ant

If you do not mind ants, this may be the place for you and your army of friends. At The Black Ant, you will enjoy Mexican fare with a unique twist. Menu items have insects in them. Try the "Black Ant Guacamole" made with avocado, onion, cilantro, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and dusted with crushed ant salt. If you are looking to try other insects, the "Enchapulinados" are grasshopper-coated fried shrimp tacos, while the "Croquetas" are grasshopper-fried croquettes served with a Morita salsa. If you are antsy for a cocktail, the "Smoky Jalapeno Margarita" is made with an ant salt rim.

If your friends went a little bug-eyed at the thought of dining here with you, assure them that the menu includes items that are insect-free. 

The Black Ant Guacamole New York | WhereTraveler
The Black Ant Guacamole (Courtesy The Black Ant)

Trailer Park Lounge

This iconic restaurant opened in 2000 and was once voted as one of the top five "kitschiest restaurants in America" by the Food Network. Trailer Park Lounge is known for its campy vibe, and the décor is inspired by the owners' fun take on living in a trailer park. Christmas lights are up year-round, and junkyard trinkets and Elvis memorabilia can be found around the diner. Enjoy burgers, sandwiches, and nachos all under a pregnant mannequin. The beverage menu has fun cocktail names like the "Kiss My Frigid Woo-Woo" and "Jim Bob's IQ." The Trailer Park Lounge is a must-see when in New York.  It is like walking into an episode of Hoarders but in a good way.

Trailer Park Lounge Interior New York | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy The Original Trailer Park Lounge & Grill)