9 Bizarre Restaurant Bathrooms Around The World You Have To See To Believe
Restaurants will do pretty much anything to attract excitement, press, and curious guests. Sometimes that means the food is out of this world; other times, that means the bathroom is truly bizarre, in the hopes of drawing viral curiosity. Virtually every trick in the book has been used in long-suffering bathrooms the world over, from elaborate urinals and extremely opulent features to confusing mirrors; one famous arrangement in New York City's Morimoto features an apparently endless display of cherry blossoms. However, it takes a bit more than a strange mirror to make this list. To be one of the world's most truly bizarre options in the restaurant restroom stakes, you have to have a schtick that goes beyond Insta-fame and into the realm of "wait, really?!"
From 18k gold toilets to miniature raves and bathrooms that can only be accessed via maze, the world's most intensely odd restaurant bathrooms don't pull punches. If you're a practical type, this sort of arrangement will be lost on you — what happened to the days when toilets were just clean, comfortable affairs and nobody tried to convince you that you were a spy or Jack the Ripper? But if you enjoy a bit of drama when you need to powder your nose between courses, make your way around these nine over-the-top restaurants worldwide.
1. Otto's Bierhalle, Toronto
The bathroom in Toronto's Bierhalle is famous for its hidden trick: it all looks perfectly innocuous inside the cubicles, with white tile and plain walls, but there is also a tempting giant red button. And if you press it, the lights turn off, the rave music starts, and lasers start for your own private dance party. Be prepared for an unexpected boogie.
2. Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, Portland
Portland's restaurant scene is full of kooky water closets, but one of the most renowned and Insta-famous is the strange toilet at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. The Arcade itself is based around arcade games of the '80s, and the theme continues in the bathrooms, which are Pac-Man themed, complete with maze-style mirrors and faucets that shoot colored light as well as water. If you're not a fan, you may get a headache.
3. The Rabbit Hole, Los Angeles
This restroom, housed in an Alice In Wonderland-themed dive bar, is made for a very particular style of diner: one who doesn't mind a dose of gore or horror while performing their ablutions. For reasons that remain obscure, the people behind the Rabbit Hole have designed their bathroom to look like a post-The Shining murder scene with blood coming down the walls and creepiness in every corner, according to Eater. It's not exactly a restful restroom.
4. Sketch, London
Sketch is famous for its bathrooms because they feature one of the strangest toilet arrangements around: little toilet eggs. The cubicles are held inside pods that wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi film, and they're all spread out under a surreal colored glass ceiling. You're going to find it all quite strange, albeit Instagrammable, so go in prepared.
5. The Elephant's Head, London
Less sci-fi, more outright eerie, the loos at the Elephant's Head (formerly the Bonneville) are all about the restaurant's gritty past. Several of Jack the Ripper's victims are reported to have worked there in Victorian times, so the bathrooms are a true historical lair, with red lights, a dungeon-esque entrance, animal skulls and accessories gathered from now-defunct London jails. Fortunately ,the feel apparently doesn't extend to the food.
6. Robot Restaurant, Tokyo
The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo has the unusual accolade of having the most famous bathroom in Asia. And this is a continent where an entire bathroom-themed eating chain, Modern Toilet, has flourished in multiple countries. Robot Restaurant's bathrooms are plated in 18k gold and occasionally feature dancing robots, making them favorites for tourists and anybody who likes to gawp at truly bizarre luxury.
7. Hipopopapa Restaurant, Akashi
This restaurant gets attention for being themed after the adorable cartoon characters The Moomins, but also apparently features an underwater bathroom — or at least one surrounded on all sides by an aquarium. It's the closest you might get to dining in a restaurant under the sea, and it's been extremely popular.
8. Barra, Philadelphia
Step into Barra's bathrooms and you might experience a qualm: all the doors of open cubicles are made of clear glass. When you step in and lock the door, however, they turn opaque. Unfortunately this means that there's a strong incentive to remember to turn the lock, and some people are a little too refreshed to do it.
9. Safe House, Chicago
Love puzzles and don't mind spending some time figuring one out before getting to the bathroom? Safe House, a restaurant themed around spying in Chicago (formerly in Milwaukee), has one of the most complicated bathroom systems in the U.S., requiring patrons to avoid a trapdoor and get through a maze. This may not be your restaurant of choice if you're absolutely busting to go, in case you get stuck somewhere along the way.