Food is a staple of life and for most travelers going to restaurants is how they stay nourished while touring a particular area. The competition in the restaurant business is fierce so, on top of great food, outstanding service and reasonable prices, many restaurant owners also come up with gimmicks to help them be one step ahead of the others.

Themed restaurants have become very popular and attract a lot of customers, who are willing to try something a little different. Some of these places really do make dining out more than just about the food – it is an overall experience that you can’t forget. So if you ever have the chance, here are 8 unusual dining experiences you can try:

1. Ninja

If you didn’t know it yet, Ninja is not your usual New York City dinner establishment. When you enter, a waiter in ninja costume would ask you if you prefer the safe or dangerous way to your table. The entire place is made to look like a mountain village, complete with tunnels, drawbridges and gorges that form part of the decor. You would soon realize, however, that this is not the place’s main draw. The food is.

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The food here is not only delicious but also Instagram-worthy because of the elaborate presentation. Check out the Katana, which is angus steak bathed in teriyaki sauce with Alaskan king crab and risotto on the side. In between chowing down and taking pictures of your food, you can enjoy the magic tricks by roaming magicians. And yes, we recommend that you try to escape out of the place after you eat.

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2. Opaque

Imagine having dinner inside a restaurant in total darkness. Can’t imagine it? Then head out to Opaque with branches in Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco. The restaurant employs visually impaired waiters who would act as your guide to your tables.

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The question on everybody’s mind would be, why should we eat in the dark in the first place? The restaurant promises that eating in total darkness comes with a wonderful tradeoff and it will be worth it. You would rely on your heightened sense of taste, smell, and feel, thereby giving you a great dining experience. Besides, who cares if you can’t see your food if it’s some of the best you have ever tasted in your life?

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3. Jekyll & Hyde Club

If you are in New York City during Halloween, be sure to reserve a table at Jekyll & Hyde Club. Aside from the delicious food, there are several characters from the Robert Louis Stevenson to keep your dining experience fun. There are also creepy characters lurking at every corner and disembodied voices talking to you as you chow down your food.

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4. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

Imagine eating while a band plays on a raft set upon an indoor lagoon in the middle of the restaurant. Or trying to finish your food before the next indoor thunderstorm comes, which is every 30 minutes.

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5. The Safe House

This Milwaukee, Wisconsin restaurant is a gem that makes you feel like an international spy. You would need to say the password in order to get in, and you could eat Cuban Missile Crisis or an Agent Provocateur Steak, among other spy-themed specialties. And if you do not know the password, you can complete a mission in order to gain entry.

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6. Bors Hede Inne

Located in Carnation, Washington, this restaurant takes you to 14th-century Rural England, both in terms of its decor and its menu. The place recreates the authentic atmosphere by using 14th-century recipes and creating amazing signature dishes, such as the Mouton Camelyn and the Blamanger. To add to the experience, you will also need to leave your gadgets at the door. Meaning you can’t use your digital cameras, smartphones and tablets while eating here. But we are pretty sure you won’t miss them anyway.

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7. Casa Bonita

If you want entertainment to go with your food, then head out to this Lakewood, Colorado restaurant, where you can enjoy musicians going from table to table, or get your portrait done, or even play video games. There are cave divers here who jump into the indoor pool and waterfall.

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8. The White Horse Tavern

This Newport, RI restaurant is the oldest restaurant in the country and was built in the 1670s. So this is the perfect place if you want to experience a piece of American history, as well as great food and top-quality service!

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If you know more unusual restaurants like these that should be included in the list, write them in the comments section below. Be sure to take advantage of various quirky dining options and have fun while waiting for dinner to arrive. You will definitely have a dining experience for the books.

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