1. Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium: Atlanta, GA
THE THEME: A Southern Baptist Church.
Known for its artful irreverence, Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, or simply "Church," is definitely not for the easily-offended. Patrons can enjoy everything from organ karaoke to ping-pong tournaments, or just sit with a PBR and check out all of the outrageous wall decorations and clientele.
2. The Museum, H.R. Giger Bar: Gruyères, Switzerland
THE THEME: The film Alien and the art of Swiss surrealist Hans Rudolf Giger, whose special effects team won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for the film.
3. The Croft Institute: Melbourne, Australia
THE THEME: An Eerie Insane Asylum. Drink out of syringes and go mad.
4. Mr. Kanso: Tokyo, Japan
THE THEME: Canned Foods.
In between buying cheap beers and cocktails, patrons can eat canned foods (with options ranging from SPAM to various curries) on the spot at this chain of Japanese bars.
5. Donny Dirk's Zombie Den: Minneapolis, MN
THE THEME: A safe haven from THE IMMINENT ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
Inspired by the movie "Shaun of the Dead", Donny Dirk's serves drinks with names like "Corpse Reviver XIII" and "Voodoo Zombie" and plays a loop of zombie horror films on television.
6. Bharma: Barcelona, Spain
THE THEME: The American TV Show "Lost."
Sort-of-named after the "Dharma research initiative" on the show (for what we can only assume is copyright reasons), Barcelona's Bharma bills itself as a "meeting place for fans of lost" with Lost memorabilia, clips projected onto the walls in Spanish, and their own "Bharma" brew beer.
7. Butter: San Francisco, CA
THE THEME: Trailer Trash.
There's no reason you should ever have to choose between taking jello shots and eating fried twinkies. Butter SF boasts having half an aluminum trailer in the front of a bar and items like Spaghettios and 40's in paper bags on the menu.
8. Rolf's Restaurant and Bar: New York, NY
THE THEME: You can probably guess. No, really. Guess.
9. Little Nan's Bar: London, England
THE THEME: Your (British) Grandmother's House. Snuggle up to a giant teddy bear as you sip a cocktail out of a dainty tea cup.
10. The Lovecraft Bar: Portland, Oregon
THE THEME: Horror, in the tradition of fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, author of famous short-stories like "The Call of Cthulhu" and the "Thing on the Doorstep."
11. Stredoveka Krcma, The Medieval Tavern: Prague, Czech Republic
THE THEME: Medieval times.
One of the oldest pubs in Prague, "U krále Brabantského Stredoveka Krcma," which translates as "King of Brabant Medieval Tavern," is a cooler iteration of the "Medieval Times: Dinner and a Show" gimmick. It's rumored that Mozart himself drank here.
12. Unicorn Bar: Seattle, WA
THE THEME: Freak Circus.
They have HUGE corndogs, truffle caramel corn, and cocktails with names like "Unicorn Jizz" at this epically weird gay bar.
13. Handlebar: Austin, TX
THE THEME: Moustaches!
Cheers to moustachioed decor.
14. Absolut Icebar: Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
THEME: Frozen Water.
It would be difficult to consider this list complete without including an ice bar. Overdone as they may be, ice bars are pretty damn beautiful, and this one, located in the Ice Hotel, was the first of its kind.
15. Wilson & Wilson: San Francisco, CA
THE THEME: A Private Detective Agency.
Wilson & Wilson is located in the recesses of already password-protected speakeasy Bourbon & Branch, making it a cool themed bar within a larger cool themed bar.
16. The Lebowski Bar: Reykjavik, Iceland
THE THEME: The Big Lebowski.
Obviously, if you go, you have no choice but to get a White Russian.
17. Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon: Oakland, CA
THE THEME: Wild West Saloon.
This one also gets points for authenticity. What makes this Wild, Wild West saloon so awesome is that it's actually been around since 1883 (making it one of the oldest bars in California) and was frequented by a young Jack London, the author of The Call of the Wild.