Do you know what people search for when they spend time online? In regards to restaurants, many seem to want to know where the “Fun Restaurants” are or “Crazy Food Near Me” or “The Most Popular Restaurant in the World.”
Which got us thinking, what is the most popular restaurant in the world and what makes it ranks number one? And, while we’re at it, is there crazy food near me, and what classifies a restaurant as fun? Like most searches you start on the World Wide Web, you can quickly enter the rabbit hole with one answer only leading to another question.
So, let’s start at the beginning and try to determine just what makes a restaurant “the best.”
The World’s Best Restaurant
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants come out every year. This year, the big reveal for 2022 will occur on July 18 in London. In 2021, Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark, made the number one spot. The popular restaurant is known for its New Nordic seasonal hyper-local Cuisine and “fermentation sorcery.” Chef and co-owner René Redzepi is also known for his foraging expeditions in which the team collects the items that end up making their way onto the menu. He has worked his way up to one of the few global dining destinations.
The 3-star Michelin restaurant offers three menus throughout the year, including a seafood season from January to June, vegetable-focused in the summer, and game and forest in the winter. They create flavor combinations in the state-of-the-art fermentation kitchen and work with unusual ingredients, including deer brains, bugs, and reindeer penis. Did I mention they were voted the number one most popular restaurant in the world?
Noma’s Game & Forest Tasting Menu in 2021 included 18 courses, comprised of items like reindeer brain custard served in a reindeer skull, hip berry stuffed with pollen and plum, pickled quail egg and oregano salad, wild boar speck and chestnut paste and grilled mushrooms, reindeer penis ragout, duck brain and whole cooked duck.
Prices start at $445 per person.
The World’s “Funnest” Restaurant
What do you think of when you consider the restaurant you’ve had the most fun at? Many people’s thoughts turn to the places that truly entertained them (or their kids). Others consider the restaurants with unique settings that are genuinely one of a kind. What they all have in common is a sense of joie de vivre—a place where someone obviously had a blast creating and enjoying sharing their immense creativity.
Eat This, Not That! set out to do the near-impossible and list the most fun restaurants in every state. After browsing through their collection, there were a few restaurants that made us want to book a flight.
The 49th State Brewing Co in Anchorage, Alaska boasts two theaters that host music, theater, comedy, and “share your story” parties. Their brewery in Healy is home to a beer garden where guests play disc golf, horseshoes, and bocce ball. Customers can even explore the bus from Into the Wild that’s equipped with memorabilia from the movie. While you’re letting the good times roll, you can enjoy a yak burger or Alaska’s king crab.
The Craziest Restaurant
I didn’t know before the time of this writing that there was a show called Craziest Restaurants in America. Interesting. I guess people are drawn to the unusual.
One restaurant that made the show is Tommy Gun’s Garage, a Chicago speakeasy and the cities longest running audience interactive dinner theater. It offers a trip back in time to the 1920s. Guests enjoy a three-course meal and a musical comedy amidst gangsters, flappers, and tap dancers.
What all these restaurants have in common is that they found a way to stand out from the crowd. We may not all have access to legendary buses or local New Nordic cuisine, but we do have a story to tell, a passion that can shine through our creations.
What makes people come back, and how can you get your restaurant on the local, national, or world news? What makes your restaurant unique? Think about the memorable experiences you’ve had in restaurants and what made them stand out.
How do you make your restaurant stand out?
As we all know, there’s a lot of competition out there. Your first impression is one of the most important elements for making people notice you; then, you have to wow them with your ambiance, food, and entertainment. Make sure your restaurant has curb appeal, that people take a second look as they drive by, and that it defines your brand.
How can I attract more people to my restaurant?
Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy a meal at your restaurant as if you were a guest. Walk in the front door, let the host seat you, and order from the menu. Then ask yourself, what makes my restaurant unique? Why should people come as strangers and return, often, as friends? Then adapt your restaurant to make sure those answers align with your vision. Adopt a strong social media presence and consider using social media influencers to get the word out.
How can I make my restaurant the best?
You’ll notice that restaurants that make it to the top are trendsetters, redefining the industry with exciting, new, and delicious food. Some specialize in the entertainment aspect, with live music every night, climbing walls, and extravagant games, while others go all out in the ambiance and food department. The “best” is different for everyone. Discover your passion and then live it so that others can be inspired.