Skip to Content

20 of the Coolest Themed Restaurants in NYC with Expert Local Tips

Sharing is caring!

One of the MANY things I love living in New York City for the past 30+ years is that if you can imagine it, then it’s probably here in some way shape, or form. That’s why I absolutely had to make a list of the coolest themed restaurants in NYC.

This way you can experience some of the most insanely unqiue restaurants in NYC just, hopefully, without all the gobs of tourists that you’ll find at chain restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp in Times Square.

Yeah sorry, I just can’t bring myself to ever recommend a chain restaurant in NYC. But even by New York City standards, some of these places are pretty insane. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Yes, the food at some of these places may be better than at others (because some of these places are primarily about the experience), I promise that you will find something on this list that will wow even the most angsty of teenagers in your life.

They may not let you know just how cool the experience was, but I swear that they will be impressed.

But enough rambling from me, the very definition of anti-cool. Let’s check out some of my picks for the hippest bars and coolest themed restaurants in NYC.

Because there really is something for everyone on this list of unusual restaurants in NYC so that you can enjoy all the best fun things to do in NYC at night.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Pro Tip: Looking for the best hotels in New York City? Some of my faves include the Lucerne Hotel (best-hidden gem), Holiday Inn (best value), Greenwich Hotel (best pool), and Pod 39 (best budget hotel with small rooms but great atmosphere and service).

If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me. 

After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed. 

Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especially since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic. 

Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.

Best Themed Restaurants in NYC

1. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

French toast on a plate with whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fresh fruit.

If you’re planning to see New York in a day, then this is the one restaurant that you absolutely MUST go to.

Because, if you like Broadway even a little bit then Ellen’s Stardust Diner is kind of a must. And no, you’re not here for the burgers or shakes…unless you’re in the mood to shake it like a polaroid picture!

Nope, you’re here for the glitz, glam, and the epic show tunes because basically, every member of the waitstaff is on Broadway and will take musical requests as they serve up your hotdogs and hamburgers.

Plus, they even have nightly performances so that you can “let it go” and take a break from impromptu frozen karaoke sessions with your kids.

Just be prepared and come with a fat bankroll because the prices are steep. Think like $15+ for some challah French toast.

This place is also uber-touristy since it’s a literal hop, skip, and jump away from Times Square. But whatever.

Just think of it as supporting the arts or as paying for dinner and a show. And when compared with the cost of a Broadway show, this place is actually pretty reasonable.

Pro Tip: Order their rootbeer float and pancakes. I’d also come at an off time since they. do not accept reservations and queues can get quite long.

Address: 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 12:00 am.

Price: Expect to pay upwards of $15 for diner food.

How to Get There: Take most subway lines to Times Square and walk from there.

2. La Caverna

Fresh tacos from one of the most unique restaurants in NYC.

Channel your inner Fred Flinstone and come with me to one of the most unique restaurants in NYC that looks just like a cave!

Because, yes my friends, we’re about to get all pre-historic up in here since this amazing, Mexican restaurant has been serving eager customers on the Lower east Side since 2002.

Yup, diners here love eating among walls adorned with rock as stalactites dangle from the ceiling.

So, book your table at one of the best themed restaurants in NYC today and try fan faves like nachos and veggie tacos.

Plus, as an added bonus, this place actually transforms into a wicked awesome club with a live DJ in the evening.

Just be forewarned that they definitely pack people in here like sardines as everyone dances the night away in da’ club.

Pro Tip: Stop by for their Taco Tuesday special where you can get tacos for just $3.00. Also, make a reservation if you can to avoid a wait.

Address: 122 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am, with extended hours until 4:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Price: A plate of tacos starts at $12.00.

How to Get There: Take the F/M train to Delancey Street and walk from there.

3. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Turquoise and pink exterior of the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, one of the best themed restaurants in NYC.
Image sourced from Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain.

This straight-up iconic, old-world soda shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn sits inside a historic pharmacy from the 1920s and serves delectable treats like old-fashioned egg creams, ice cream, and decadent hot chocolate.

Now, is it the cheapest of themed restaurants in NYC on this? Absolutely not. So, do expect to pay $15 (+ tax) for an ice cream sundae.

But, this place has been around forever, the portions are huge, the ice cream is super high-quality, and there are a ton of flavors to choose from.

Plus, the only thing better than the vintage decor and the chic, turquoise facade with a bright pink bench out front is the ice cream.

So, haul ass to one of the most unique restaurants in NYC and try delectable things like salty caramel hot chocolate, cookies and cream milkshakes, and a birthday cake hardshell sundae.

Pro Tip: The last time I visited there was no indoor seating.

Address: 513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Hours: Open daily from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Price: $15 for a sundae.

How to Get There: Take the F train to Carroll Street and walk from there.

4. Jekyll and Hyde

The brick facade of the Jekyll and Hyde Restaurant, one of the unusual restaurants in New York City.

I honestly cannot believe this place is still around. I first went about 15 years when my friends and I were graduating from high school and had no idea what to do to celebrate this mildly momentous occasion.

So, we booked a table at this haunted house-themed restaurant in Greenwich Village.

And Jekyll and Hyde was pretty fun. Because at themed restaurants in NYC like this, waiters dress up as ghoulishly fabulous mummies, vampires, werewolves, and more.

They even stay in character while serving you your food so it really feels as though you’re dining amidst a creep-tastic horror show.

And then there’s the insane decor. Because this restaurant actually has sophisticated special effects that interact with you as you walk to and from your table.

Plus, each floor has a distinct theme that is related to the overall restaurant concept, which centers around a haunted, English Explorer’s Club from the 1930s.

Is the food the stuff gastronomic dreams are made of? No. I feel like the grub here is on par with a place like Planet Hollywood or the Hardrock Cafe.

But the experience is definitely uniquely fun, even if the wait can be ridiculously long for a table at one of the more unusual restaurants in NYC.

I mean clearly, these guys are doing something right since they’ve been scaring the crap out of people since before the new millennium.

So, if you’re looking for a truly memorable dining experience then this is the place to go – unless you have a heart condition. Then you might want to take a hard pass.

Pro Tip: Another great way to experience New York City is through a food and history tour of NYC’s Flatiron district.

Address: 91 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

Hours: Open Friday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Price: Burgers here start at $10.00 each.

How to Get There: Take the 1 train to Christopher Street station and walk from there.

5. Barcade

Old-school, vintage arcade games like Sega and Ninja Turtles as one of the unusual restaurants in NYC.

Looking for a little more adult fun? Then check out Barcade, an arcade-themed bar that is basically a more adult style Dave and Busters, just minus the prizes and the hordes of children running around.

Started in Williamsburg in 2004, Barcade now has multiple locations all over the country thanks to its extensive drink list and an assortment of vintage arcade games that have me jonesing for a little duck hunt action a la Nintendo.

Legit, this place is like my childhood come to life with arcade games like Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, Pacman, and more!

So embrace the nostalgia of yesteryear and fuse it with some American-style craft beer. Because I sincerely hope that the beer doesn’t remind you of your childhood.

Me? I’ll be failing epically at the pinball machine, reliving the not so glorious days of my youth where I played my Sega Genius until the wee hours of the morning.

Pro Tip: Avoid this place like the plague on Friday/Saturday nights since it’s packed. Also, don’t come hungry since they only have a few snacks and order an IPA if you can since they have a solid selection of beers.

Address: 148 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

Hours: Open daily from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am, with extended hours until 4:00 am on Friday and Saturday.

Price: Cocktails are $14 each and most games are around $0.50 each.

How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 23rd Street station wand walk from there.

6. Beauty Bar

Classic martini with olives in a clear martini glass.

Now with locations all across the United States, this beauty saloon meets bar was started in 1995 and is home to the one and only martini and manicure (only $10 for a manicure! Crazy right?) happy hour.

Loyal patrons continue to gather around the vintage, domed hair dryers here that pay homage to the 1950s through 1980s era beauty salons of old, making this themed bar a truly unique place to rock out in Gramercy.

So crimp your hair, put on some leg warmers, and get out that Aqua Net girl! Because we’re about to party like it’s 1985 on their small dance floor in the back.

And if the beauty salon style decor isn’t enough for you, this is one of the best themed restaurants in NYC that also features nightly DJs, as well as scheduled comedy shows and burlesque shows.

Yup, it’s gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight with my helmet-style hair.

Pro Tip: Get the drink and manicure special for $10 before 10:00 pm. Also try their hot dogs and superb frozen margarites.

Address: 231 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 4:00 am.

Price: The manicure/martini special starts at $10 per person.

How to Get There: Take the N/Q/R/W train to Union Square and walk from there.

7. Meow Parlour

A cat at Meow Parlour, one of the most unique restaurants in NYC,

So unless you’re living under a rock that shields you from anything trendy, then you know that cat cafes are totally a “thing” right now. 

That’s why it’d be a real crying shame if I didn’t hop on the bandwagon and include at least one cat cafe on this list of cool themed restaurants in NYC.

Because as much as I loather conforming to the masses, I really did enjoy cuddling some cute kitties at this Chinatown cat cafe.

Sure, I didn’t actually drink any coffee or ingest any food per se, but I did get to pet a ton of kitties and had a wicked awesome time doing so.

Plus, all the kitties here are up for adoption so this cafe really does help these stray kitties find some great homes.

Therefore, if you want to visit one of the most unique restaurants in NYC for yourself, just go online and make a reservation for a 30-minute time slot.

And yes, you MUST make a reservation since this place is SUPER popular and you don’t want to show up and be unable to experience all the kitty awesomeness within.

Once you arrive, just check-in at the front desk, sign a waiver, take your shoes/coat off, go over the rules, and sanitize your hands.

From here, all you need to do is chill out, order some food, pet some cats, and live the dream for about a half-hour.

Just keep track of the time because they won’t remind you when your half an hour is up. And if you go over your time limit, you’ll be charged another $10.

Pro Tip: Koneko is another great cat cafe in NYC that you can visit and add to your list of unique restaurants in NYC.

Address: 46 Hester St, New York, NY 10002

Hours: Open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: It’s $16 per person for a 50-minute session.

How to Get There: Take the F train to East Broadway or the M train to Delancey Street and walk from there.

8. Boobie Trap (Brooklyn)

Interior of Booby Trap, one of the most unique bars in NYC.
Image sourced from Booby Trap.

Gone are the days of old when beer + boobs = Hooters. Yup, say hello to your new best friend Boobie Trap, an eclectic bar located in Bushwick that is definitely one of the more unusual restaurants in NYC.

After all, this slightly R-rated neighborhood hangout is not so family-friendly. However, adult patrons of all kinds will get a chuckle out of the sexualized, B-movie memorabilia and 90s era troll dolls that can be found anywhere that has the wall and shelf space at one of the best themed bars in NYC.

Plus, the drinks are pretty cheap. In fact, domestic tallboys will only cost you between $4 – $7 each. And, wait for it… draft beers actually flow out of a naked mannequin.

Oh, and there’s even a barbie chandelier and rubber boobs that adorn the bathroom ceiling. Before you get too hammered though, embrace your inner child and play a round of monopoly or color it up in a nude coloring book.

They even have kick-ass, Southern comfort style grub like cajun mac and cheese and jalapeno cornbread muffins; menu items that are great if you need sustenance to absorb all that alcohol.

And yes, the food here is actually good. 

Pro Tip: If you’re a diehard foodie like me then check out this food tour of the one and only Greenwich Village.

Address: 308 Bleecker St, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 4:00 am, except on Sundays when they close at 12:00 am.

Price: Cocktails start at $10 each.

How to Get There: Take the L Train to the Myrtle/Wyckoff Avenue stop and walk from there.

9. Rolf’s

Rolfs Nyc, one of the coolest themed restaurants in NYC.

This Gramercy Park bar and restaurant is basically like Christmas on roids and a great place to celebrate Christmas in NYC.

In fact, walk-in and you’ll probably need a pair of sunglasses just to see amidst a sea of shimmering lights and sparkling Christmas bulbs. Just imagine garland, baubles, and ornaments as far as the eye can see.

Ahh! My retinas! But Rolf’s just wouldn’t be the same without its insanely, over-the-top Christmas decorations that take staff over a month to set up and that hang around from the end of November through May!

Talk about getting into the Christmas spirit at one of the most unique restaurants in NYC!

Apparently, they sell German food too but I don’t know anyone who has actually eaten here. I came, hung out at the bar, took some photos, got elbowed by hordes of tourists, and proceeded to exit ASAP.

But even with the insane crowds, Rolf’s is still worth a visit. Just be sure to visit during the week, or make a reservation, if you’re interested in trying their classic German menu,  filled with pork, chicken, sauerkraut, and more since this iconic Christmas restaurant is not exactly a well-kept secret.

Address: 281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Price: Entrees start at $25.00 each.

How to Get There: Take the 6/R/W train to 23rd Street Station and walk from there.

10. Beetle House

Spooky interior of Beetle House, one of the best themed restaurants in NYC.
Image sourced from Beetle House.

OMG, OMG, OMG! Dreams really do come true! This place is like Beetle Juice meets the Nightmare Before Christmas.

It’s also dedicated to all things Tim Burton so Beetle House celebrates Halloween all year long in this East Village bar/restaurant,

So, between the surgical equipment adorning the walls and the gravestones everywhere, the only thing missing is a cameo appearance from Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter.

Sorry, I can’t guarantee any celebrity appearances. But you can ease your disappointment with fun drinks like the Coco Skellington with rum, gin, orange blossom, pineapple juice, and coconut

Me? I’ll stick with the awesome Tim Burton-themed menu that offers insanely quirky-cool items like Sweeny Shroom (grilled and marinated Portobello mushroom served with garlic mash, covered in mushroom sauce, roasted peppers, and scallions) and the Chesire Mac and Cheese.

So, stop by one of the best themed restaurants in NYC today and be treated to full-on, costumed characters who make you feel like you’re actually part of the Beetlejuice movie.

And while everything served here is a bit on the pricey side, it’s a super fun place where the staff are nice even if a little disorganized.

Pro Tip: Skip the food and just pop in for a drink.

Address: 308 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Hours: Open Sunday and Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am and Thursday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am.

Price: Drinks start at $14.00 each.

How to Get There: Take the 6 train to Astor Place or the R/W train to *th Street station and walk from there.

11. Trailer Park Lounge

Fun and funky interior of trailer Park Lounge with a juke box, Christmas Lights, and a highway sign.

This super cool, themed restaurant in Chelsea has a relaxed, roadhouse vibe about it and serves up classic, American fare like wings, burgers, tater tots, and more!

So, if you imagine trailer park kitsch (photo booth, bowling alley seats, etc.) as far as the eye can see then you’ll begin to understand just how awesome this unique restaurant in NYC is.

There’s also a tiki bar on-site – because why not? – so you should 100% embrace this theme and order either a frozen margarita or a Paradise Hawaiian Style cocktail.

Yeah, it features three kinds of rum, pineapple brandy, and passionfruit juice and is served to you in a giant pineapple too!

Pair it with a Grilled Fat Dog and some moon pies and you deffo won’t leave one of the more unique restaurants in NYC hungry!

Pro Tip: This is a fun and unusual dive bar with a limited menu. So, if you’re okay with that then you’ll LOVE this place.

Address: 271 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Hours: Open daily from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am.

Price: Cocktails start at like $11.00 each.

How to Get There: Take the 1/C/E train to 23rd Street station and walk to the restaurant from here.

12. Max Brenner

Dipping fruit into chocolate fondue on a wooden table at one of the best themed restaurants in NYC.

Named for the famous chocolatier of the same name, this sleek and stylish, themed restaurant in NYC can be found in Union Square.

It is also one of the more unusual restaurants in NYC that has a funky, chocolate theme about it. Therefore, all of the delicious menu items here will be served with at least a little bit of chocolate.

And you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way since the motto here is, “chocolate everything”.

So, for the ultimate dining experience, try the classic European fondue, the bacon mac and cheese, and the Brenner Burger.

Chase it all down with a decadent chocolate hazelnut milkshake that can easily be split between two people and you have just one of the many places you must eat in NYC.

Address: 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, and until 12:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Price: Entrees start at $16.00 each.

How to Get There: Take the L/4/5/6 to Union Square or the 1/2/3 train to

13. Surf Bar (Brooklyn)

Entrees from surf bar, one of the unique restaurants in NYC!
Image sourced from Surf Bar.

This seafood restaurant in Williamsburg looks like a next-level awesome tiki bar since the epic, beach-themed decor here includes an indoor sand bar, palm trees, and a thatched roof.

Pair this will a menu full of tropical drinks and a vibrant back patio and you have one of the more unique restaurants in NYC where life feels like a total beach.

And although it’s nothing fancy, it’s a great place to relax if you want to imagine you’re on a Hawaiian beach while sipping on a Miami Vice (a strawberry daiquiri/pina colada combo drink).

Also, you should 100% get the P.E.I. mussels with white wine, shallots, and diced tomato. So, stinking good that it almost outshines the over-the-top decor. However, the keyword there is “almost”.

Address: 139 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am.

Price: Entrees are around $17 each.

How to Get There: Take the L to Bedford Avenue and walk from there.

14. The Cauldron NYC

Cauldron with bubbling liquid at one of the most unique restaurants in NYC.

Calling all witches and wizards and diehard Harry Potter fans because this is easily one of the best and most unique restaurants in NYC for you.

After all, this fantasy-inspired pop-up bar inside the Bavaria Birhaus on Stone Street offers magic-lovers a variety of different interactive experiences to choose from.

So, mosey on over to their website and enjoy enchanting, super interactive experiences like an interactive potion-making class (1 hour and 45 minutes long with three drinks included) where you can use a wand to brew your very own, delectable drinks inside your very own cauldron.

Otherwise, you can always leave the hard work to the pros and just savor a very special, wizard-themed afternoon tea (only available through the end of January) instead.

Other exciting weekly events include Wednesday karaoke night, Thursday Drag Show/Drag Bingo, Friday/Saturday night live DJs, and Sunday ladies night ( enjoy 2 for 1 appetizer, $8 glasses of wine, and half-price bottles of wine).

Pro Tip: The historic Fraunces Tavern is right down the block and is a great place to check out while you’re here. Also, please be aware that some of their events are only available at other locations and not at their NYC outpost.

Address: 47 Stone St, New York, NY 10004

Hours: Open Tuesday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Thursday/Friday from 3:00 pm to 12:00 am, Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am, and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Price: Tickets for potion making start at $45 per person for off-peak tickets.

How to Get There: Take the 2/3 train to Wall Street or the 4/5 train to Bowling Green and walk from there.

15. Barking Dog

Located on the always swank Upper East Side, this low-key, dog-friendly eatery has a nifty little outdoor water fountain where your fave canine companion can enjoy a much-needed drink.

And once your precious pooch has quenched its thirst, step inside this classic, American restaurant to find a wide array of quirky, dog-inspired decor that you and your four-legged friend will love.

There’s also ample outdoor seating so you can always relax outside while savoring a pomegranate mimosa and whole wheat pancakes with blueberries for brunch.

Otherwise, go for a slightly more savory dish like their delish, salmon burger with blue cheese and avocado.

Pro Tip: This is one of the most unusual restaurants in NYC that has a location in Hell’s Kitchen too. So, you can always go there if you’re in mid-town.

Address: 1678 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128

Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Entrees start at $13 each.

How to Get There: Take the 6 train to 96th Street and walk from there.

16. Cowgirl

The western-style dining room of Cowgirl NYC, one of the best-themed restaurants in NYC.
Image sourced from Cowgirl NYC.

Another one of the many themed restaurants in the West Village, this Southwestern/Texas-inspired eatery was initially founded in 1989.

Since then, it’s become a legendary eatery that pays homage to all things Texas with eclectic, wild west-inspired decor like chandeliers made of antlers, red checkered table cloths, and wood-paneling throughout the dining room.

It’s also a wonderful, family-friendly place where you can order fun, Tex-Mex inspired cuisine like French toast sticks, tater tots, pork nachos, Frito Pie (it’s the house special), and fresh strawberry lemonade (add vodka to it for extra fun).

So, what are you waiting for? Grab some chaps and saddle up so that you can experience one of the most unique restaurants in NYC.

Pro Tip: You also can get go wrong with their margaritas since they are potent and pretty dang tasty. They also host live music nights that are a whole lot of fun.

Address: 519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Hours: Open Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm, Wednesday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm, Thursday/Friday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:30 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Dishes start at around $15 each.

How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 train to 14th Street or the A/C/EB/D/M to Washington Square and walk from there.

17. Alice’s Teacup

This whimsical, Alice and Wonderland themed tea shop is the perfect place for kids – and adults who feel like kids – to go to sip on rich tea, eat fresh scones, and nibble on refined finger sandwiches.

In fact, this Upper West Side eatery is so loved, that there are now three different locations scattered throughout Manhattan.

However, the Upper West Side location is the most idyllic with its vibrant painted walls and charming, mismatched tea sets.

So, pop in with your kids for a cuppa or stop by for a spot of tea with the ladies as you savor decadent desserts and devour warm scones with fresh clotted cream,

Otherwise, you can always opt for the Nibble (small), Madhatter (medium), or Jabberwocky (large) afternoon tea which comes with homemade lapsang-smoked chicken and tea-egg salad finger sandwiches that are presented to you on a charming, three-tier plate.

Pro Tip: Deffo make a reservation to avoid a wait. You may also want to skip the food since I was more impressed with the charming decor than anything on the menu. Also, get the pumpkin scones if they are available.

Address: 102 W 73rd St, New York, NY 10023

Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Afternoon tea for one is $36 while a pot of tea with scones is $16.

How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 train to 72nd Street and walk from there.

18. The VNYL

The VNYL, short for vintage New York Lifestyle is one of the most unique restaurants in NYC that is known for its retro, 70s-style aesthetic.

Yeah, it’s one of those themed restaurants in NYC that sits inside a plush nightclub, has a snazzy record shop/coffee bar at the entrance, and serves up some of the most Instagrammable dishes that you ever did see.

So, check out this ultra-laid back East Village eatery today and try unique dishes like the rosemary shallot fries, the Mama Mac, and the Smoked Bahn Mi.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave without ordering the decadent, cookie dough spring roll for dessert.

Pro Tip: Stop by for happy hour between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm so that you can enjoy buy one, get one free drinks. The mango mojito is also pretty dang tasty.

Address: 100 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Hours: Open Friday through Sunday from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm (CLOSED for the winter due to COVID).

Price: Cocktails start at $12 each.

How to Get There: Take the N/R/W, 1/2/3/, or the 4/5/6 to Union Square and walk from there.

19. Please Don’t Tell

Sip on some hand crafted, artisanal cocktails at a local speakeasy in NYC.

This secret speakeasy in lower Manhattan is easily one of the coolest themed bars in NYC right now.

After all, it sits near St. Mark’s and reminds visitors of prohibition-era New York with swank leather booths and suave animal heads displayed on the walls.

However, what really sets this place apart as one of the most unique restaurants in NYC is the fact that you can only gain entry via an ordinary, old-school telephone booth at Crif Dogs (a hole-in-the-wall place with great deep fried hot dogs).

And once you do uncover this phone booth of awesome, you’ll then have to dial a secret telephone code just to step inside.

But, once you finally do crack the code, you’ll be able to sip on an expertly curated selection of hand-crafted, artisanal cocktails that were created by former Pegu mixologist, Jim Meehan.

So yeah, you know that the drinks here are next level good if legend Jim Meehan developed them.

Pro Tip: Do make a reservation before you visit since wait times for a table at one of the best themed restaurants in NYC can routinely exceed an hour.

Address: 113 St Mark’s Place, New York, New York, 10009

Hours: Open Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am and Friday/Saturday from 5:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Price: EXPENSIVE.

How to Get There: Take the 4 or 6 train to Astor Place and walk from there.

20. Dirt Candy

Refined mushrooms in a bowl at Dirt candy, one of the most unusual restaurants in NYC.

Easily one of the best vegan restaurants in NYC, Dirt Candy has been a leading pioneer in the plant-based food movement for 10+ years.

It’s also an establishment that is known for creating a wide array of fantastic vegan and vegetarian dishes that even avid meat-eaters will love.

Additionally, it’s one of the best themed restaurants in NYC that is run by executive chef Amanda Cohen, who creates stunning, meat-free dishes that resemble something out of Willy Wonka’s Kitchen – at least if he was into food and not just candy.

That’s why, if you want to enjoy an exquisite, refined, fine dining experience then you can’t beat their amazing. five-course tasting menu.

In fact, it costs just $88.00 per person and features exciting, seasonal plates that are well-explained by exceptionally helpful staff.

You’ll also be able to sit amidst sophisticated, airy, and altogether chic decor that makes this dining room an ideal place for a date night.

Pro Tip: This place is very popular so be sure to make reservations in advance. Dishes also might even include a homemade gummy bear or two towards the end of your meal. This place is also known for serving broccoli dogs that are actually realy good.

Address: 86 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

Price: You can only do the tasting menu since no a la carte options are available. So, meals start at $88 per person.

How to Get There: Take the F train to Delancey Street, the J/M/Z train to Essex Street, or the B/D train to Grand Street and walk from there.

Map of the Best Themed Restaurants in NYC

Click here for the full map.

Additional New York Travel Resources You’ll Love

Finito! Those are my pics for the absolute coolest themed restaurants in NYC!

I even threw in some unusual bars in NYC so that you can experience some authentic NYC nightlife during your next trip.

And if you found this post helpful, don’t forget to join our email list before pinning this post now so that you can read it again later.

Traci

Thursday 25th of July 2019

Great information! Taking our son to NYC for his 18th birthday next summer and want to have an extra special dinning experience.

From your list I’m leaning towards Eileen’s Stardust, however, might there be somewhere else that is more appealing to a soon to be 18 year old?

girlwiththepassport

Monday 29th of July 2019

I agree. I think Eileen's Stardust would be great. But it really just depends on what he's into and what his interests are. Thanks so much for reading!

Talek Nantes

Friday 17th of May 2019

I'm a born and raised New Yorker and did not know many of these. Thanks for the tips. I really enjoy your site.

girlwiththepassport

Friday 17th of May 2019

So happy to hear it and so glad I could show you something new!