9 Restaurant Names That Go Hard

9 Restaurant Names That Go Hard

There’s no way for a restaurant to make you taste their food before you’ve walked inside. For them to do so would be a huge invasion of your personal space, risks chipping one of your teeth and is most likely illegal. Keeping that in mind, no matter how tasty the offerings are, they’re reliant on marketing, word-of-mouth and foot traffic to build their business. That means that choosing a name, even if the chef could care less, has a real impact on the success of their restaurant.

Here are nine restaurants that made a phenomenal choice…

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Thai Tanic


You better have some sideways violinists in there.

As far as cuisines go, Thai might take the absolute crown when it comes to pun names. When the important bit is an incredibly common syllable, the opportunities are endless. Which makes this restaurant’s choice to go with a tragedy that left more than 1,500 corpses floating in freezing water all the more hardcore. It’s like calling a burger spot the Hindenburger. Which, now that I think about it, dibs. I just hope they go all-in and every cocktail has a little tiny toy ship and one big ice cube in it.

The Wieners Circle

Seth Anderson

Gotta love when you can pawn a necklace and buy 100 hot dogs with the proceeds.

Speaking of pun names, this Chicago mainstay nails a tricky part of any pun name: You have to perfectly tread the line between fun and exhausting. Does calling a hot dog restaurant “The Wieners Circle” make sense? Sort of. Which is the exact right amount. Respect your audience and believe in the pun. Let it breathe. Don’t fill the inside with trophies and medals or anything stupid, and if anyone asks why it’s called the Wieners Circle, tell them to fuck off for caring. They have followed this creed to the letter.

Duffin Dagels


I promise you, your brain is fine.

Copyright law is a lot laxer outside of the United States, including, as made clear by this entry, in Spain. If, however, you are going to dive deep into the waters of international trademarks and take on a huge, heavily lawyered corporation, you may want to add an additional layer of protection. The strategy chosen by Duffin Dagels, which has nothing to do with Dunkin’ Donuts? To commit copyright infringement so deeply confusing that successfully prosecuting it is like trying to barehand grab a sea urchin. How would people think it’s Dunkin’ Donuts when they can’t even figure out what a dagel is?

Golf Bar Cocktails Very Strong



Not a single punctuation mark is needed to make the name of this restaurant feel like it’s being screamed directly into your ear. It’s not a name, it’s a command, a siren song for the alcoholic. As if they hadn’t proven their mission clearly enough, they then add the subtitle “We Do Not Check ID Card & Restaurant,” I assume because “No Fucking Cops” was too antagonistic. It’s also a massive-balled move to commit to serving nothing but the worst drunken college students in existence. Being a janitor here is basically a military post. And if you want to argue that the “official” name is “D Cafe” as seen on the bottom of the sign, first of all, it’s nice that your debate club is letting you leave the hotel, and second of all, fuck off.

Dirty Dick’s Crab House


Get it? Like pubic lice, and their habitat.

The raunchy name is another classic path, and again, one that’s deceptively tricky. There’s art and, ironically, subtlety to these things. You can’t just call your restaurant Pink Taco or Blowjob City or whatever. It has to be sideways enough to make 12-year-olds laugh uncontrollably but avoid entering the anatomical realm. Famous chain Dirty Dick’s Crab House pulled off an absolute William Tell shot with a name that reminds you of your beloved, gross uncle.




The name “Blunch” is bad enough as a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, especially when “brunch” has been a capable flagbearer for years. But blunch has a very different and unique, almost hypnotic, etymological power to it that brunch doesn’t evoke, especially when combined with the dedication of linking a small business’ success to it. First, you’re like, “Fuck this.” Then, you kind of go, “But damn, what a ballsy full send.” You’re trying to decide how much you hate it, and then, suddenly, one sandwich later, you’re staring at a check that says “Blunch” at the top.



And they chose a font that looks like it was smeared on.

The apparently dearly departed Crapitto’s Cucina Italiana is a master class in owning it. Owned by Frank Crapitto, he surely had other options, possibly strongly suggested to him, when naming his trattoria. With a set jaw, and I assume a strongly emotive hand gesture, however, he said, “I don’t give a shit. I’m a proud Crapitto, and the restaurant is going to be my goddamn legacy.” It’s almost something you feel proud to support. Polishing off a linguine alla vongole at Crapitto’s feels like the culinary equivalent of cheering on a kid standing up to a bully.

Sophie’s Choice

Sophie's Choice Restaurant

One kid eats for free!

Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb that genocide and dinner should be heavily separated, unless you’re getting particularly philosophical about a crawfish boil. Human genocide? Definitely not a preferred aperitif. For whatever reason, the restaurant Sophie’s Choice decided that they were going to change the narrative of a phrase that references a mother forced to choose between her children during the Holocaust. What’s next, a food cart called Ausch-schnitzel? It’s not even a good parallel, since, given that it’s a British restaurant, every option sucks.

Planet Hollywood


The perfect place for a famous alien to go unnoticed…

How many chain restaurants can claim to have established a strange and fascinating level of sci-fi worldbuilding with one simple name? Is it a simple reference to the fact that celebrities live in a different world than the regular population? Or is it a suggestion that they are, in fact, an alien race that have successfully subjugated the human race through their chameleon-like acting powers? 

It must be easy to pretend to be a different person when you were faking being human in the first place. Plus, any day you get to eat mozzarella sticks and see the Terminator’s jacket rules, full stop.

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