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 unique restaurants in NYC just, hopefully, without all the gobs of tourists that you’ll find at places 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, but 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.
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Best Themed Restaurants in NYC – Manhattan
1. Ellen’s Stardust Diner
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 since it’s fun and one of the cool things to do alone in NYC.
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
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. You can also check out nearby Manhattan thrift shops.
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. Lexington Candy Shop
One of my all-time fave brunch spots on the Upper East Side, Lexington Candy Shop is one of those rad places where the decor is almost as good as the food.
But, the food is better since the banana nut French toast is probably the best French toast I have ever had in my life.
Moist and delicious, it’s almost like a cake and pairs perfectly with their egg cream and omelets.
Yeah, everything on the menu at this vintage, family-run soda fountain is amazing. And that makes sense since this themed restaurant in New York City has been in business since 1925.
So, if you want to grab a New York City brunch to remember at an old-school lunch counter from the 1950s then this is the place for you.
Address: 1226 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: Dishes start at around $14.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street Station and walk to the shop from here.
4. The Flower Shop
Located on the ultra-cool Lower East Side, The Flower Shop is a place where you’ll feel like you’re going back in time as you head down the stairs.
Just be aware that this bar/restaurant is divided into two floors.
So, you can order fried chicken with a delicious cold brew martini as you sit in yellow booths and stare at the mega epic fish tank behind the bar.
However, most of the cool twenty-somethings out there will want to continue to the basement where you can drink beer, play a game of pool, admire the vintage photos, and relax by a rad, bright pink fireplace.
Yeah, it’s one of the most unique restaurants in NYC where nostalgia crescendos with every step and where you’ll get to enjoy one of the best things to do in NYC in the evening.
Address: 107 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am.
Price: Cocktails are around $14.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the B/D to Grand Street and walk from there.
5. Meow Parlour
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.
6. Peachy Keen
The intriguing, 1970s-inspired ambiance of Peachy Keen is complemented by a culinary experience that reimagines familiar flavors.
Guests can indulge in a menu that adds a fun twist, and a bit of modern flair, to classic American dishes.
Whether it’s the juiciness of perfectly cooked burgers or the richness of a hearty, homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, this is one of the coolest restaurants in NYC that will satisfy your cravings for delicious food and amazing decor.
Every bite is an explosion of flavor, leaving a lasting impression that goes well beyond the retro charm of colorful walls and amazing, yellow, geometric-inspired carpets.
Local Tip: The service here is amazing. I loved the host and servers and could not have been happier with the wings, boozy coffee, truffle fries, and eggs Benedict. I literally cannot wait to come back.
This is also a great breakfast spot if you’re staying at one of the best hotels in Times Square.
Address: 325 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 am, Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 am, and Sunday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Price: Entrees are $18.00 – $20.00 each.
How to Get There: Take basically any subway line to Times Square and walk from there.
7. Kinky’s Dessert Bar
This naughty-themed dessert bar is part sex shop, part dessert bar.
It’s a great place to get a delicious dessert in NYC if you’re not one to blush and don’t mind biting into a phallic waffle that has a generous amount of white icing dripping from the tip.
But, Kinky’s isn’t just about the shock-and-chuckle factor. The owners strive to create a comfortable environment that promotes sex positivity and dialogue.
So, this is one of the best-themed restaurants in NYC that is designed not only to entertain but also to educate patrons about sexual health and acceptance.
Step inside and you’ll find a menu filled with sexual desserts that resemble everything from nipples to tongues and various other sexual organs.
I got the Slutty Cinnamon which was a vanilla waffle with cinnamon roll syrup. It was really good and you can eat it in a dimly lit upstairs dining room with sexually explicit photos lining the walls and tables.
Address: 181 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am, Saturday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am, and Sunday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Price: $9.00 per dessert.
How to Get There: Take the F/M/J/Z to Delancey Street and walk from there.
8. Burp Castle
Burp Castle is tucked away in the East Village and is a monastery-themed bar in New York City.
It’s a place that serves some of the best beer in NYC alongside walls filled with religious, medieval mosaics
Plus, time your visit right and you might even spot a bartender wearing monk’s robes as Georgian chants soothe you through the speakers.
In total, you’ll have around twelve on tap and forty bottled beers to choose from, like Delirium, Duvel, Peche (peach beer), and Framboise (raspberry).
However, don’t speak too loudly because this is a quiet bar. You may even want to tiptoe in and whisper your order. LOL.
Yeah, they are pretty serious about the whole monastery theme at one of the coolest bars in NYC.
Local Tip: Not a fan of being quiet? Then check out nearby Black and White/the Boiler Room. Both are great bars in the area.
Address: 41 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am and Saturday/Sunday from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Price: Beers start at around $7.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 6 train to Astor Place and walk from there.
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 NYC Christmas spot 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. Beauty Bar
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 margaritas.
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.
11. Trailer Park Lounge
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. The American Girl Place
The American Girl Place appeals to the part of me that never grew up. The restaurant’s clientele is the smaller kind aka dolls.
It is really cool and was primarily designed to be a place where kids could have their tea parties with a variety of different dolls.
The dolls get their own spots to sit, their own meals which are obviously custom-sized and the garden party treats for the kids are themed too!
Did I mention that it was aimed at a younger age group? Turns out the theme was popular with adults too and TikTok turned it into one of the most happening spots in town.
Pro tip: Try the victory-garden chocolate mousse flower pot
Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019, United States
Price: Menu prices start at $15.50 plus tax
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11 am-6pm except Saturdays where it closes 7pm.
How to get there: Take the metro to 5 Avenue and walk from there.
13. The Cauldron 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, head to their website and enjoy interactive experiences like a potion-making class (1 hour and 45 minutes long + three drinks included) where you use a wand to brew your own drinks inside a 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.
14. Barking Dog
Located on in the swanky 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.
15. Max Brenner
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
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 tablecloths, 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. 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 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 8th Street Station and walk from there.
18. Broken Shaker
Broken Shaker is one of the uber cool themed restaurants in NYC. The tropical rooftop bar may be insanely popular in NYC but it was originally started in Miami. It was such a success that they opened up another branch in Rose Hill.
The restaurant has a whole beach theme going for it. One of the best parts is that Broken Shaker has a casual dress code which really matches with the whole beach theme.
So if you don’t have a chance to change before heading out for dinner, don’t worry. You are bound to fit in.
Since it is also a rooftop restaurant, you will be treated to some epic views of the New York skyline. And for the foodies in the group, don’t worry. Broken Shaker is not all about the vibe alone.
They also serve up some amazing food. The frita burger, yucca fries and shrimp tacos are just a few of their top dishes. I mean, they literally disappear as soon as they are served.
Did I mention that Broken Shaker is also known for its amazing cocktails? The cocktails have some super cool names. Take the ‘taste as you can see’. The name is pretty kooky but man does it taste good.
Address: 23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am and Friday/Saturday from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am.
Price: Cocktails start at $17.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 6/R/W train to 23rd Street and walk from there.
19. 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 brunch spot/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.
It’s a unique NYC afternoon tea that 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.
20. Dirt Candy
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.
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 super 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.
21. Please Don’t Tell
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 sets this place apart is the fact that you can only gain entry via an ordinary, old-school telephone booth at Crif Dogs (a hole-in-the-wall 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.
How to Get There: Take the 4 or 6 train to Astor Place and walk from there.
22. Central Perk In The Friends Experience
A big fan of the show FRIENDS? Couldn’t get enough of Joey, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe?
Well one of the coolest and most unusual experiences in NYC is to head to the Central Perk café. No, I’m not kidding! It exists!
The Central Perk café is designed to be exactly like the one from FRIENDS. Not only can you get in and take some Instaworthy photographs, but you can also sit down and enjoy a coffee here.
The pastries here are also pretty delicious and you definitely should try the cheesecake.
You have to admit that this is one of the coolest themed restaurants in NYC. The only issue is that everyone else thinks the same way so there are bound to be lines!
Pro Tip: There are always shows that are hosted and they are super cool. The staff are energetic and it is well worth booking a ticket for one of these shows.
Book in advance because they are super popular. Note that there are shows that take place every 15 minutes so you can head here anytime during opening hours.
Address: The Friends Experience, 130 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010, United States
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
How To Get There: Take the 4/6 train to 23rd Street and walk from there.
Ray’s is this super unique sub-species of bars in NYC that is a themed bar centered around being a dive bar.
So, expect to find dive bar-esque things like a disco ball, a pool table, lots of beer, and craft cocktails.
The decor makes you feel like you’re on the set of a 1950s TV show with red vinyl seats, checkered floors, and vintage TVs in the background.
The vibe of the place is also super friendly, so it’s easy to meet people. I also love the bartenders and order the French fries every time I come here.
Address: 177 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am and Saturday/Sunday from 1:00 pm to 2:00 am.
How to Get There: Take the J/Z train to Bowery and walk from there.
24. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
Step back in time at one of the most unique restaurants in New York City!
This Victorian-era pub has towering ceilings and exquisite, Victorian-inspired decor that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Every inch of the establishment is adorned with antiques, paintings, stained glass windows, and more, creating an immersive historical experience.
Should you feel a bit hungry, the pub serves up traditional fare, with a favorite being the chicken pot pie.
Pair your meal with something from their extensive, full-bar menu. Or, stop by for brunch. We ordered the truffle omelet with mushrooms and I enjoyed it.
The home fries were lame but the side salad was good. Sadly, no toast was served with my omelet which I was bummed about. The service is also slow, so be prepared for that.
Pro Tip: Make sure to visit during the holidays to witness the most impressive Christmas decorations at one of the most unusual restaurants in NYC!
Also, just as an FYI, the Christmas decorations at the Times Square location are WAY better than the ones at the Union Square location.
Address: 249 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, Friday from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am, Saturday from 10:30 am to 2:00 am, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 1:00 am.
Price: Cocktails start at $17.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the 1/2 to 50th Street and walk from there.
Best Themed Restaurants in NYC – Brooklyn
25. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
This straight-up iconic, old-world soda shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn sits inside a historic pharmacy from the 1920s.
This spot 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.
Tucked away in South Williamsburg, this heavy-metal-themed bar has horror and biker-inspired items plastered all over the place.
Add in music memorabilia as far as the eye can see and you have one of the coolest themed restaurants in NYC.
You’ll also find a super cool, heavy metal-filled jukebox in this underground lair of awesomeness. It’s nothing fancy and a total dive bar, but that’s part of the appeal. Plus, the staff are epic.
The drinks are also cheap if you happen to be a backpacker in NYC and you won’t ever have to listen to Drake songs on repeat.
Address: 168 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 pm to 4:00 am.
Price: $4.00 for a well drink.
How to Get There: Take the J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue and walk from there.
27. All Nite Skate
Grab your roller skates and head out to the All Nite Skate. This roller skate-themed restaurant has become one of the must-visit spots in the city.
Okay, so it isn’t exactly a rink per say. But, it captures the atmosphere.
Think of late-night birthday parties in NYC, neon lights, jukebox music, and much more. In fact, All Nite Skate is a good dose of nostalgia for everyone who loves this particular era.
Aside from the cool decor, the restaurant has a whole section dedicated to retro arcade games! This is obviously my favorite room!
Oh, and I need to clarify, that despite the whole theme there isn’t much skating that is done. Considering the fun cocktails in the house it may not be the best idea to be on wheels.
Pro tip: If you bring a pair of skates you get 10 percent off on your drinks.
Address: 54 Rockaway Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233, United States
Hours: Mon-Thur: 4pm-1 am, Fri: 2pm-2am, Sat: 12pm-2am, Sun: 12pm-1am
How to get there: Take the train to Rockaway Avenue and walk from there.
28. Boobie 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 a wall and shelf space.
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.
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.
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 when 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 and walk from there.
30. 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 with 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.
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.
It’s 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.
Best Themed Restaurants in NYC – Queens
31. The Flying Fox Tavern
The Flying Fox Tavern has become a highly sought-after haunt for those who love the macabre and the thrill of horror films.
After all, this atmospheric den of doom (aka bar) is where the macabre ambiance is almost as intoxicating as the drinks; with stylish neon bats and coffin-printed wallpaper setting the scene.
Adorning the walls are posters from iconic horror films that pull patrons into a world of cinematic terror.
True to its playful spirit, Flying Fox also serves up ‘nail-on-the-skull’ drink specials, daring those with a taste for the dramatic to indulge in their darkest delights.
I like the Nandor since it has a chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon flavor to it.
Local Tip: The food and service here are really good, making this one of the best hidden gems in NYC.
Items to order are the burger pie, the French dip, the Shepard’s pie, the black forest cake, and the Tiramisu.
Address: 678 Woodward Ave, Queens, NY 11385
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Friday from 5:00 pm to 1:30 am, Saturday from 12:00 pm to 1:30 am, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Price: Cocktails are $13.00 each.
How to Get There: Take the M train to Forest Avenue and walk from there.
Themed Restaurants In NYC FAQ
What Is New York’s Most Fancy Restaurant?
Okay now this is a hard one because many of these themed restaurants in NYC are pretty fancy but some super swanky ones that are totally worth your time are
- Eleven Madison Park
- Le Bernadin
- The Grill
- Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare
What Is New York’s Most Famous Food?
New York is famous for its food but some things really stand out because you really can’t get the same kind of quality anywhere else in the world. Here are a couple of things that you really should try when you are in the city.
- Bagel with cream cheese and lox
What Food Is Manhattan Famous For?
Manhattan has some of the coolest themed restaurants in NYC. It also has some of the best food that the city has to offer. If you are in Manhattan then make sure to try one of these delicacies that it is famous for.
- New York style bagels
- New York style pastrami
- Baked pretzels
- Manhattan clam chowder
- NYC cheesecake