By Kimberly Simmons
Although twisted tourist attractions are not exclusive to New York City, the Big Apple is often noted for its high concentration of bizarre spectacles. Whether you are in Chinatown, the East Village or even Times Square you can always find something or someone interesting to look at.
While you’re exploring this strange city, check out some of the out of the ordinary dining experiences New York has to offer:
Jekyll and Hyde. This campy, over-the-top restaurant is not the place for fine dining, but if you have a sense of humor and are in the mood for eating in a room filled with all the gore and guts from a Halloween store–you’ve found the place. And in case you don’t remember the story behind the namesake, the bad service is part of the shtick. 91 7th Avenue South, 212.989.7701, http://www.jekyllpub.com/.
Peep. It’s not the restaurant itself that is out of the ordinary (though the flirtatious lighting and sleek design are particularly alluring) but rather the story behind the name. “Peep” is based around the restaurant’s odd restrooms. While sitting in the john you can see John … and everyone else at the restaurant eating at their tables through the bathroom wall. Make sure you take a break from the Thai food and go into the bathroom for a voyeuristic look. 177 Prince Street, 212.254.7337, http://www.peepsoho.net/
Max Brenner. You will have to search pretty hard to find something on the menu at Max Brenner that doesn’t have chocolate in it. The Willy Wonka-like interior makes everyone feel like a kid in a candy shop, especially those with a sweet tooth. 841 Broadway between 13th and 14th, 212.257.6435, http://www.maxbrenner.com/
The Burger Joint. While this isn’t really a wacky restaurant, the juxtaposition of the fancy Le Parker Meridian hotel with this honky-tonk establishment hidden behind the lobby’s red curtain makes for an intriguing combination. The bonus to this culinary adventure is that once you’ve discovered the place, you’ve also found some of the best burgers in the neighborhood. 119 West 56th Street, 212.245.5000, http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat4.php
WD-50. The beautifully presented plates of this 12-course tasting menu are a fusion of food and science by master chef Wylie Dufresne. This molecular gastronomy adventure deconstructs classic dishes, like Eggs Benedict into a delicious science experiment of poached egg yolk cylinders and cubes of deep-fried hollandaise sauce—a brunch dish you definitely won’t find at your local diner. 50 Clinton Street, 212.477.2900, http://www.wd-50.com/
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Tell us about an odd NYC dining experience or strange restaurant you’ve encountered. Leave us comment below.