Odd restaurant names


Every now and then you see a restaurant with a name that causes a double take. Might be funny, might be ironic, might be WTF were they thinking!

What have you come across? Did you eat there?


The first that comes to mind is the Chat and Chew in Turbeville, SC. I had become weary of the interstate and was cruising back roads about 10 years ago. Spotted this place and had to stop. Breakfast was over and the lunch setup was a small steam table. Food was meh* but the people watching and eavesdropping was fun!

The name just makes me think of someone having a picnic with Mr. Ed!

*Looks like there are new owners so hopefully the food is worth a visit!

(John Hartley) #3

I suppose one of the recentish double takes was Mission BBQ in Nashville. Now, that might not sound a name that conjures up the need for a double take - but when you see that, right outside the door, they park an Army mobile field kitchen, it becomes a WTF moment.

Their “mission” is to honour the armed forces (and first responders). Now I have to say that their style of patriotism, right down to playing the national anthem at midday, would never fly here in the UK but it obviously works in America as it’s a successful chain of outlets.

Unfortunately the food just wasnt very good - probably the least enjoyable pulled pork I’ve eaten in some 35 years visiting the country and brisket, whilst tender, with no depth of flavour.


The renowned Dooky Chase’s is first that comes to my mind when thinking about unfortunately named restaurants. Maybe “dooky” isn’t as widely used slang as I assume.

Something I don’t understand is why so many(or any, actually) Italian restaurants in the U.S. are named Italian Bistro.

(John Hartley) #5

I’d always liked the idea of Big Wong in New York’s Chinatown, ever since the regular mentions in the Kinky Friedman books. So, last trip to NYC a few years back, we had lunch there. Friedman’s writing is better than Wong’s food.


San Francisco has Phuket, a Thai restaurant named after a place in Thailand.

(kim) #7

There was a local place named Thai Tanic. Never ate there, it closed pretty quickly.


Transliteration/Romanization not obvious from spelling:


When we realized that Ten Little New Yorkers was going to be the last book featuring the Kinkstah, we couldn’t for years bear to open it and end that magnificent run.

(John Hartley) #10

I remember seeing a Phuket, maybe 20 years ago in Cyprus - before I’d even heard of the city. It was such a WTF moment that I took a photo of the name which provoked giggles from whoever I showed the holiday snaps to.

(John Hartley) #11

If puns are permissable, then here’s a link to some of the best UK ones. Be aware that, whilst the puns should be obvious to fellow Britons, foreigners may not have a clue about some of them:


Great link! The first 2 were the only ones I didn’t really get.


Amusing names.

The link also made me aware of something known as a cat cafe. That was new to me. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_café


I thought this would be a chill place to have a drink and relax. In Paris.


There was also this sushi restaurant in SF Japan Town. Buddies and I walked in inebriated one night (long ago), and was having fun not quietly “mispronouncing” Fuku. Finally, the server couldn’t take it anymore, came up to our table and instructed us how to pronounce Fuku correctly. embarassing

(picture from web)

(John Hartley) #16

Good for you for getting some many.

First one - van is selling doner kebabs and is making a play on the name of Aussie singer/actor Jason Donovan

Second - “Fog on the Tyne” big hit in the 1970s for band Lindisfarne.


In Berkeley, Toots Sweets bakery folded about a year ago. San Francisco still has Just Desserts, another bakery.


On the island, l’Île-Saint-Louis, Paris, there is a restaurant called le Sergent Recruteur (The Recruiting Sergeant), Daniel Baratier and Alexandre Céret, sous chef et sommelier respectively under Chef Antonin Bonnet, one day they both quitted SR and opened their own restaurant. They called it les Déserteurs (The Deserters).



There was a (bad) restaurant in my town called Tempura Indo-Pak Grill. Tempura? Grill? What? Why?

There was also a long closed restaurant called Saigon Grill Cafe. It was neither a grill nor a cafe.

Don’t words like grill and cafe actually mean something in terms of what one can expect to get at the respective restaurant? Have they become so ubiquitous in restaurant names that they have lost essential meaning in common perception?


Not a pun, but we have a new place in Boston called Whaling in Oklahoma. It’s based on a law in Oklahoma that bans whaling. Not sure what all that means, but it’s getting generally good reviews.