Sometimes it’s not enough to crave fresh seafood and a bottle of rum. Now and then, you want to be transported back in time to when peg-legged bandits roamed the high seas.
When you feel the need to scratch that scurvy-induced itch, here are eight pirate-themed restaurants you can plunder:
Pirate’s Landing Seafood and Steak Restaurant Elkin, North Carolina
Your GPS might freak out when you pull up to Pirate’s Landing, but you definitely won’t miss it. The gigantic pirate ship-shaped restaurant is campy and casual with buccaneers bursting from the vaulted wood beams.
Nearby: This is mostly an unexpected get-off-the-freeway-there-is-a-pirate-ship-over-there pit stop on Interstate-77.
Must Eat: Buccaneer’s Fried Seafood Feast (Baby flounder, crab cake, clam strips, oysters, popcorn shrimp & scallops, and whatever else they caught that day)
Must Drink: Ravenswood Vintners Blend (spicy red wine that doesn’t always get its due)
Blue Bayou Anaheim, California
The decor may be more New Orleans than Tortuga, but the Blue Bayou is famously adjacent to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. You couldn’t pay more for the ambience because you’ve already shilled out for a ticket to Disneyland to get in. Jack Sparrow sightings not guaranteed.
Nearby: Um, hello, Disneyland! Also, Angel Stadium, the Honda Center, and far too many hotels.
Must Eat: Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya
Must Drink: Mint Julep
Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar Stillwater, Minnesota
When I say Minnesota, you say Caribbean barbeque! I know that feels unnatural, but Smalley’s not only brings the heat but brands a skull and crossbones into its burger’s buns to make sure you know. If you’re feeling sadistic, try their 666 wings with a side of “Death juice.”
Nearby: Pub 112 and the Minnesota-Wisconsin state line
Must Eat: Pirate Burger (obviously)
Must Drink: Trio of Dessert Rums (El Dorado Rum Cream / RumChata / Brinley Gold Coffee)
Macao Trading Co. New York, New York
For those who fancy Asian pirates and opium den opulence (who doesn’t?), Macao Trading Co. has you covered. Nestled in TriBeCa, Macao brings out the best of one the worst eras but holds onto the muddy lighting.
Nearby: Canal Street, Chinatown, Little Italy
Must Eat: African Chicken
Must Drink: Drunken Dragon’s Milk (Charbay Green Tea Vodka shaken with Young Coconut Puree, Thai Basil & Macao Five-Spice Bitters)
Ninth Ward New York, New York
Ninth Ward has nearly perfected its 1800s New Orleans saloon atmosphere. Where a lot of places run wild with themes, Ninth Ward creates an accurate representation of where pirates would’ve have gone for their grog and debauchery.
Nearby: The Halal Guys, Union Square, St. Marks Place
Must Eat: Classic Gumbo
Must Drink: Laura Palmer (Firefly sweet tea infused vodka, freshly squeezed lemon juice)
The Folly New York, New York
This gastropub has an undeniable ship-like feel with a pirate themed menu to match. Of all Manhattan’s swashbuckling establishments, The Folly commits the most to the overall experience without the need for costumes.
Nearby: Washington Square Park, TriBeCa, Christopher Street
Must Eat: Lobster Mac & Cheese
Must Drink: Either of their frozen house grogs (Cuba Libre or White Zombie)
Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Theatre Buena Park, California
This restaurant is for when you want dinner, a show, and to support the acting dreams of people who will probably never make it big. Let the kids enjoy the show while you take advantage of the full bar.
Nearby: Knott’s Berry Farm, Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific
Must Eat & Drink: Whatever they tell you because the menu is fixed.
Forbes Island San Francisco, California
Forbes Island walks the line between a nautical and pirate-y atmosphere. This restaurant is not for the seasick or claustrophobic; the dining area is underwater and the manmade island rocks gently with the waves.
Nearby: Fisherman’s Wharf, The Embarcadero, Golden Gate Bridge
Must Eat: Lamb Lollipops (Half Rack of Lamb, Potato Croquette, served on a bed of Edamame Succotash)
Must Drink: Anything off their wine list.