Passport to the World’s 12 Best and Worst Bar Bathrooms

Vancouver is the first and last pit stops in this 'round-the-world tour of the most amazing, unique and disgusting bar bathrooms.

Credit: Flickr / Chapter3

Take a trip around the world with pit stops in some of the most amazing, unique and disgusting bar bathrooms


Even though sobriety and standards are directly proportional (the less sober, the less you care), it’s still nice to enjoy clean facilities—and, no doubt, cool features like a punching bag or swan faucet seem exponentially cooler after a few martinis.


We begin the journey on the West Coast, travelling through Canada, the US and then onto the UK, Asia, Australia and finally circling back to where we started.  



Opus Bar Vancouver

(Image: Opus Bar)


1. Opus Bar, Vancouver, Canada

For the exhibitionist, or at least those with liquid courage, the bathrooms at Vancouver’s Opus Bar give you the chance to bring out your inner peacock—the men’s and women’s washrooms are only separated by a glass wall obscured by beaded curtains. And in case you’re worried that your date is strutting their stuff back at the bar, you can check up on them via monitors that stream live video from beyond the bathrooms.




(Image: Mildred’s Temple Kitchen)


2. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto, Canada

The beautifully decorated bathrooms at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen—which placed third in Cintas’ Canada’s Best Restroom contest and include installation pieces by Montreal artist Alice Jarry—are a lovely place to relieve yourself… in more ways than one. In February, the Toronto Star reported that Mildred’s was “inviting customers to have sex in its bathrooms.” So grab one of the bar’s signature Cloud 9 cocktails and head on back to do your biznaz.



(Image: Montreal Nitelife Tours)


3. Candi Bar, Montreal, Canada

Pee Wee Herman likely had a hand in picking out the themed decor at Montreal’s Candi Bar: the bar is made of Lego and lined with slushy machines, the purple velvet stools have lady’s legs for legs, and you’ll find gumball machines on every table. So once you finally make your way to the bathroom, the bright red lips urinal and tiger toilet will come as no surprise.





4. 28 Degrees, Boston, USA

Using the unisex lavatory at 28 Degrees is like “spending time in Aquaman’s executive washroom.” Water is circulated over the glass ceiling, the gypsum wave wall looks like ripples in the sand, and blue lights add a marine ambience.



(Image: Flickr / star5112)

5. Morimoto, New York, USA

Morimoto was designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The entire space has spectacular features, even down to the unique bathrooms. Using some kind of mirror wizardry, the back of each stall seems to go to infinity and beyond. And the theme changes with the seasons—leaves for fall and flowers for spring.



(Image: Flickr / mr_mctavish)


6. Rudy’s Bar & Grill, New York, USA

Free hot dogs, cheap beer and good company have made Rudy’s a favourite for locals and tourists alike since 1933. Not surprisingly, the free hot dogs and cheep beer have also made the bathrooms at this New York institution unspeakably disgusting. Use your imagination to picture what lies behind these doors.



(Image: Flickr / Goggla)


7. Mars Bar, New York, USA

Mars Bar, a “dive favourite” in New York’s East Village, has a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps people coming back for more. Maybe it’s the cheap drinks, the colourful patrons or the funky jukebox blaring punk classics. One thing it’s not? The vile toilets. One regular says she often goes home instead of stepping foot in the foulness.


[Updated: 13 Jan 2011 Thanks to readers and bloggers for pointing out our hilarious mixup!]





8. Shrunken Head, Columbus, USA

The Shrunken Head seems like a great place to go on a blind date. It’s got live music, DJs, dancing—and if your date goes horribly wrong, you can excuse yourself to the bathroom and unleash you anger on the punching bag provided in the stall. 



(Image: Flickr / flicks-of-micks)


9. Sketch Bar, London, UK

The list of accolades for Sketch is long—from its celebrated interior design to its gourmet fare—but it’s the egg-shaped toilets that got this groovy London watering hole onto our list. Check out this video of one trip to the loo.


(Image: Flickr / stevennagy)


10. Seoul Tower Restaurant Bar, Seoul, Korea

Possibly the best view you’ll ever have while doing number one, and the decor in the bathrooms at the Seoul Tower Restaurant and Bar isn’t so bad either. 



(Images: Flickr / avlxyz, left; Flickr / Mayoress, right) 


11. The Order of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Does the fact that The Order of Melbourne is on Swanton Street and has swans for faucets seem like more than a coincidence to anyone else? Regardless of whether it was planned or a happy accident, these bathrooms have people honking its praise across the globe.



(Images: Aaron Barr)


12. Guilt & Co., Vancouver, Canada

At the groovy lair-like Guilt & Co. you can not only have a rowdy game of Jenga while sipping amazing import beers, but their unisex bathroom lets you tinkle just inches away from your date and then wash your hands side by side. Aww.




Catherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is a Vancouver-based writer, editor and fitness professional. Before settling on the West Coast, she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.