America’s 12 Best Restaurant Bathrooms
April 20, 2015
These loos are worth a visit, even if you don’t need them
Yelp/ Dhruv P, Christina C
12) Ruxbin, Chicago
Yelp/ Dhruv P, Christina C
The door to Ruxbin’s bathroom is actually an old revolving darkroom door, which means that when you walk through it you actually find yourself in a narrow cylinder, waiting to be beamed up. In order to enter the restroom proper, you need to turn the walls until it appears in front of you. Pretty nifty, but also probably frustrating for those who really have to go.
11) Castello di Amorosa Winery, Calistoga, Calif.
This resort winery in Napa Valley resembles a Tuscan castle more than anything else, and its opulent furnishings carry over into the private dining room’s restroom. Custom-built sinks are made with travertine imported from Italy, water flows from spigots that look like dragons and gargoyles, and the stall doors are decked out in hand-painted frescoes depicting knights and their ladies.
10) Sloan’s Ice Cream Parlor, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Sloan’s is a West Palm landmark, complete with a lime green façade, hot pink walls, and more than 45 different varieties if ice cream. But the coolest part might be reserved for the restroom: pink walls hand-painted with pies, ice cream, flamingoes, and other whimsical things, and a glass door that (thanks to a little bit of science) goes from being clear to completely opaque when you enter.
9) Ned Ludd, Portland, Ore.
Nestled inside this unmarked restaurant that’s gaining a reputation as one of Portland’s best is also quite possibly the city's best restaurant bathroom: Dim light illuminates an artfully arranged collection of branches and logs, flowers, old cooking utensils, an old milk pail, a copper egg pot, an old scale, and framed photos of old Portland. Remove the sink and toilet and you might as well be in a well-curated art gallery.
8) Ninja, New York City
This restaurant is one of New York’s hokiest, where servers dressed as ninjas serve overpriced sushi to unsuspecting tourists in a dining room decked out like medieval Japanese village. But the restrooms are quite a sight to behold, with tons and tons of fake stone, bamboo paneling, and Japanese toilets that feature built-in bidets, seat warmers, and other funky Japanese elements that you’d be hard-pressed to find outside of Japan.
7) Smith and Mills, New York City
For fans of Steampunk, the one at Smith & Mills might very well be the coolest restroom you’ll ever see. Copper, brass, wrought iron, and tile dominate the room, and even the paper towel dispenser has been given a Steampunk makeover.
6) Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
With stone walls, stall doors of carved wood and tufted pink leather, a gold-tinged mirror, a huge chandelier, marble countertops, and pink wallpaper with a gold-leaf finish, the ladies’ room at the Gold Rush Steakhouse in San Luis Obispo's unique Madonna Inn is lavish, gaudy, and simply awesome.
5) Megu, New York City
Brimming with lamps, mirrors, and reflections, the restrooms at Megu are at first almost disorienting, but give way to soft red light and Zen Japanese motifs. The urinals, jutting out from stone walls, are also about a futuristic as it gets.
4) The Publican, Chicago
The "bathroom suite" at Paul Kahan's The Publican is so refreshing and luxurious that you’ll be telling everyone who will listen to check it out as soon as you get back to your table. The private stalls are decked out with lavish wallpaper, gold-plated fixtures and niches displaying pub-inspired gear, and the communal fountain-like sinks are stocked with C.O. Bigelow soaps and lotions.
3) Morimoto, New York City
Yelp/ Amy S, Jessi T
At Masaharu Morimoto’s New York City flagship, the restrooms are almost exciting as the sushi. Mirrors face each other and reflect cherry blossoms in a thousand different ways, creating a wonderland-type atmosphere, and the toilets are decked out in Japanese amenities: comfortable seating, lids that automatically open, automatic flushing and deodorizing, bidets with different levels of water pressure, and massage features.
2) The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City
The Four Seasons is one of the most beautifully designed restaurants in America, and the designers gave plenty of attention to the restrooms: the men’s room is floor-to-ceiling marble, and the women’s room boasts full vanities, complete with Mad Men-era chairs and mirrors.
1) Canlis, Seattle
The women’s restroom at Seattle’s famed Canlis is nothing short of jaw-droppingly stunning. Entering this restroom is like stepping into a Zen spa retreat, complete with gray flagstone floors, beige wall tiles, fresh flowers, Japanese art, big, soft towels for hand drying, and best of all, a big window looking out into a bamboo-filled sunken garden.