45 Food Presentations That Took Attention Off The Food And Onto The Plate

By Larissa C

Everything in the world is constantly changing at a breakneck pace, and businesses now have to keep evolving and changing their strategies to attract new clients. While some restaurants prefer to innovate their menus and introduce new recipes, other establishments rely on changing the design and vibes of their business. While this is probably not news for you, you may not know that some restaurants are trying so hard to innovate that they’re skipping the use of regular plates and glasses altogether! Yes, you read that right. Apparently, the new trend among restaurants is to find new ways to serve food to their clients, and some of these don’t include actual glassware. If you’re wondering what in the world we’re talking about, here are 45 times that restaurants did precisely what we’re hinting at!

Is this supposed to kill my appetite? 

When we go to a restaurant, it is because we are hungry or because we want to try new, exquisite foods. The last thing we have in our minds is that we will lose our appetite as soon as we get to the restaurant.

Image courtesy of urdsrevenge/Reddit

The thing is: if you order food and they serve it inside something that looks like a deceased animal, chances are you’re going to lose your appetite immediately. Um, excuse us, waiter? Can you bring us a regular bowl, please?

We bet this was more expensive than a month’s rent!

Going to a fancy restaurant is a type of self-care. You will probably spend a lot of money, but you will eat delicious food to make up for it. The only problem that we seem to have with fancy restaurants is that they often don’t serve nearly enough food.

Image courtesy of Jotapeme/Reddit

This picture is all the confirmation needed. That is certainly not enough food — it’s such a small amount that it is served with the plate upside down! And to make matters worse, we are sure that this is the main course and not just an appetizer.

Are you kidding?

You are certainly going to think this is a joke. Actually, you may not even understand what is going on in this image at first. When this person decided to visit a fancy restaurant in their city, they never expected their food served on an iPad!

Image courtesy of cheekyjan/Reddit

No, we are not lying — this restaurant is serving patrons’ desserts on iPads! And as if that was not enough, they downloaded pictures of plates. We can only think that it would be much easier just to use an actual plate!

This can’t be real.

If a restaurant chooses to serve desserts in special bowls, that is not necessarily a problem. For instance, if you’re eating a coconut dessert in a coconut bowl, that would be downright cute. But being served food in this would be a problem for many.

Image courtesy of JulieVis/Twitter

How can we even begin to describe this picture? While we are sure that this is not a used one, this is definitely a urinal. Can you imagine getting served on a “plate” like this one? Would you laugh or cry?

Hopefully, it’s a different type of meat!

When we think of the movie Ratatouille, we can only think of how cute that movie is — on paper. If something like that happened in real life, we bet that no one would think that it was cute to have their food cooked by a rat!

Image courtesy of Realwomprat/Reddit

Who ever would have thought it would be interesting to serve food on a fake rat skeleton? Maybe this was a special dish for Halloween because it certainly looks a bit creepy. We can only hope that this is regular ol’ prosciutto.

Okay, can I eat now?

Look, we get it that some restaurants want to innovate the way that they serve food. If a customer likes it and shares a video on the internet, chances are that this restaurant will welcome many more customers if the video goes viral.

Image courtesy of Couldnt_think_of_a/essjay2009/Reddit

This restaurant, for instance, served meringue on a levitating pillow. They pulled this off with the help of magnets — but the process of getting the pillow to levitate is lengthy, and the customer may wait up to 5 minutes just to be able to eat their dessert.

Is this hygienic?

Regardless of where or how you were raised, you probably like eating Italian food. This exquisite cuisine is delicious, and it’s more common in America than outsiders would think. This Italian restaurant was looking for ways to revamp their business, and someone suggested this:

Image courtesy of corkboy/Reddit

Instead of serving ravioli on actual plates, they decided to serve it on a clothesline. They hung the ravioli using what looked like metal clothespins. We are just wondering about the hygiene of this, but we bet others loved it.

You probably shouldn’t eat this outside!

Ice cream is delicious; we can all agree on that. But this dessert has its disadvantages. One of these cons is that you may drop your ice cream and leave a stain on your favorite clothes if you are not careful.

Image courtesy of ochad/Reddit

If eating ice cream without making a mess is hard sometimes, can you imagine how much harder it must be to eat this? Instead of serving their cheesecake on a plate, Junior’s decided it was a good idea to serve it on a smoothie! Looks amazing, not gonna lie!

This is certainly not hygienic.

When we talked about that ravioli on a clothesline, we wondered whether it was hygienic to serve it that way. Well, with this next meal there is no question — we are 99% sure that we would rather our chips were not served this way.

Image courtesy of Hey_nice_marmot_/Reddit

FWe bet that the person who ordered this must have had a great laugh because this is just too absurd! And the cherry on top of this cake is that the chips are served on a log. It’s creative, sure. But we’d like at least four chips, please.

This is actually kind of mean.

This next picture shows something that we have never seen before — and we bet we will never see it repeated. Imagine ordering food at a fancy restaurant and getting your food served on a fish bowl? Check this out:

Image courtesy of dr_harlequin/Reddit

This family ordered fried fish, though they never thought they would get their meal served on top of this tiny fish tank. The presentation here is lacking, and most people would prefer not to spend a meal with the animal they’re eating.

Why, though?

When we go to upscale spots, we expect to be greeted with top-tier treatment from the staff and delicious food. In some cases, we can even expect to have dinner in a stylish place with perfect plates and real silverware.

Image courtesy of unfrufru/Reddit

The last thing you would predict would be butter on a rock. Yes, you read that right. Instead of serving the butter in a proper dish, this restaurant served it on an actual rock. We can only wonder why! Is this what the A-listers do?

It would’ve been easier to use a plate.

Depending on the type of food you are craving, the restaurant of your choice will have a certain vibe. Some restaurants are fancier than others, and some restaurants prefer to exude a rustic vibe. And then there’s this restaurant that tried to combine fancy and rustic!

Image courtesy of CodeManJames/Reddit

There is absolutely nothing wrong with restaurants trying to mix their style to attract business. But the thing is: why put the food inside a log and use a plate to support the log? We are all perfectly happy with our traditional dishes.

Hope you’re vaccinated!

No matter where in the world you are, your country most likely has a healthy agency that regulates basic hygiene standards for restaurants. If a restaurant does not meet those standards, the owners will probably have to shut it down.

Image courtesy of darshanp82/Reddit

Serving food in a rusty, old metallic box is a sure-fire way to get the health inspectors called. But joke’s on them (probably) because we imagine these were just designed to look vintage. Honestly, this is pretty cute for a fish and chips joint.

Looks like this is an actual thing

Remember that picture where we showed you the ravioli on a clothespin? Well, all signs indicate that maybe this clothespin thing is becoming a trend among restaurants. It is kind of crazy to think that this is true, but here is further proof:

Image courtesy of SunknLiner/Reddit

While that bacon surely looks delicious, all we can think about is the mess. But then again, we eat bacon with our fingers anyway, right? This isn’t that different, aside from the fact that we can watch the grease drip down…

Is this one of the tasks in Squid Game?

Even if you haven’t watched Squid Game on Netflix, you must have heard that name somewhere — this show was all that people could talk about for weeks. This next meal looks like it came straight out of that show!

Image courtesy of happy_monster/Reddit

If you don’t understand what’s going on in this pic, we’re going to break it down for you. This is a “rock” meal that is served in this acrylic dish. Some of these rocks are edible, but some of them are actual rocks. You only know which is which once you put it in your mouth and bite it!

I said I was a cat person — not a cat!

What does it mean when someone is a cat person? This expression merely implies that they love cats and prefer to have them as pets (instead of having dogs). Well, it looks like this restaurant took that expression a bit too literally:

Image courtesy of prisongovernor/Reddit

If you visit this particular restaurant in England and order their cheese foam, you can expect to feel like you are getting pranked for a TV show. That’s because they serve cheese foam directly onto the back of your hand — and you have to lick it off as if you were a cat.

Is this a joke?

When the page called “We Want Plates” was created, their goal was to call out (in a funny way) restaurants using things other than plates to serve their food. While we get the need to innovate, their choices don’t always make sense.

Image courtesy of Sodi_Popss/Reddit

Look, if they wanted to serve soup creatively, we are sure that they could have come up with a million ideas. We suggest that the next restaurant that wants to try this out should make sure their spoons fit inside the jars of soup.

What is going on here?

Out of every single dish that we have shown you so far, this is our favorite. We have no idea where this restaurant is located or how this idea came about — all we know is that they really didn’t want to stick to the norm.

Image courtesy of dayzdai/Reddit

We laughed out loud when we saw this picture. Rather than being weirded out by this dish, we would have been quite amused to see a chicken getting served like that. This is clever, and we have to say we’d love to check this place out.

Because everybody loves to eat sand.

For puzzle and mystery fans, solving and finding things is an essential part of their lives. And that is why this restaurant decided to dedicate special dishes to their puzzle-solving clients. If you order this soup, for instance, you have to find it before you get to eat it!

Image courtesy of WeWantPlates/Reddit

Technically, there should be no issues with adding a little mystery to a meal. The problem here is the way that this restaurant went about this. Unless the sand is edible. If that’s the case, we are all here for it.

How did they get their hands on this?

While many restaurants ditch regular plates for questionable things, this next restaurant actually made us stop for a moment to think about their choice. We would even go as far as to say that, instead of being odd, this is an intriguing plate.

Image courtesy of tsjoepvdv/Reddit

We know that getting served your meal on a bone most likely classifies as “odd” — but take a look at it! The only thing we can think about is how in the world did this restaurant get a hold of that bone? And where did it even come from?!

We have questions

When we are in a rush, we usually go for meals that can be eaten in record time. For breakfast, lots of people stop by bakeries just to buy a bagel or two so they can eat on their way to work. 

Image courtesy of Fla_fla_flunky/Reddit

Now, if you stopped by this restaurant and they served you a bagel on a wooden rod, you probably would have to take much longer to eat your food and get going. In a nutshell, this restaurant just proved that you need to emphasize when your order is to-go.

I don’t know how I feel about this.

Graduating from school certainly warrants a big celebration with friends, family, and classmates. And that is why this group of students wanted to celebrate their graduation from nursing school in big style. They chose a location, hired a caterer, and decided on a theme.

Image courtesy of voodoomudcake/Reddit

The theme was related to their line of work, and the caterer took it seriously and made these charcuterie clipboards to serve food. They get kudos for the effort to make the students have a special night, and we’re crazy about this idea they came up with.

To repeat ourselves…

Fancy restaurants are well known for serving tiny portions of food for exorbitant prices. While we understand that, given their popularity, these restaurants do kind of have the right to charge a lot of money from their patrons, we wish they would serve more food!

Image courtesy of pumpkinbread987/Reddit

If they don’t want to serve more meat or other expensive foods, they could at least do something about their salads. We assume this is a side salad, but we don’t understand why they chose this presentation. It’s kinda cute, though.

Who made this?

This next dish is probably one of the cutest on this list, and we honestly don’t know why someone would rather eat from a plate when they could eat off a dinosaur. Who wouldn’t love to release their inner child and eat off a triceratops’s back?

Image courtesy of rsoundar87/Reddit

The very first thought that popped into our heads when we saw this was, “who made this?” Using a toy dinosaur as a plate looks like something that a child would come up with, doesn’t it? Either way, this is precious, and we absolutely love this idea!

Hooked on some food

When we think that we have seen it all, the internet brings us a brand new picturing showing just how crazy this world can be. Have you ever thought of eating pizza off of a hook? If you have no idea what we’re talking about, check this out:

Image courtesy of Go_Blue_/Reddit

If you don’t mind eating your pizza this way, then you will probably enjoy your time at this restaurant. Serving food like that (instead of using a table and a plate) is a clever way of saving space in the restaurant — but we wonder how they managed to keep the toppings on the pizza?

Well, it looks kind of cute?

Out of all the plates on this article, this next one is a strong competitor for the title of the cutest. While we get that patrons would probably prefer to eat straight from an actual plate, they have to acknowledge that this restaurant did a good job!

Image courtesy of juangutip/Reddit

If we had to grade this dish, we would give it an 8/10. It looks delicious (if you like broccoli), and it is charming. The only reason it didn’t get a perfect score is that this broccoli tree looks way too adorable, and we would hate to ruin the presentation!

That’s a lot to take in.

We said it before, and we will say it again: when we visit restaurants, no matter how cheap they are, we expect at least one thing, and that thing is basic hygiene. The last thing we would expect is to find our food served inside a shoe!

Image courtesy of adullploy/Reddit

This picture was taken in an upscale restaurant that belongs to a very famous chef. It seems kind of unbelievable that the health department would allow this, but apparently, these particular shoes are cleaner than actual plates. If you say so!

No, thank you!

We feel like we should probably put up a trigger warning for this next picture. Okay, it isn’t that extreme, but we have a lot of feelings about it. And this picture alone is enough to make us understand why someone would create a community like We Want Plates!

Image courtesy of dppcoolfire/Reddit

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This restaurant decided that serving chocolate dessert straight out of a toilet was a brilliant idea. Just by looking at this picture, we’re weirded out, so it’s safe to say we probably couldn’t handle eating here.

Did you really pay all that money for this?

Have you ever spent a lot of money to eat at a nice place only to discover that this place is nothing like you expected? Well, we have, and it sucks — a lot! And, unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to this person.

Image courtesy of Matingas/Reddit

When they ordered the fancy salad from the fancy restaurant, they already expected it not to be enough to fill their stomachs. But the real issue with the salad is that it was served in such a fancy bowl — but the salad itself is quite underwhelming, which made the whole thing a bummer.

How am I supposed to eat this?

Remember that restaurant that had their clients lick cheese foam off their hands? Well, this next restaurant probably wanted to do the same, but they didn’t want to make it look like they were copying the other establishment, so they had to come up with something else.

Image courtesy of Tyrus31/Reddit

Do you get the basic concept of this “plate”? Instead of eating food out of the palm (or the back) of your hand, you’ll have to eat it out of a wooden hand. Or rather, you’ll have to figure out a way to eat that caviar. Licking? Snorting? Who knows!

Well, it doesn’t look all that bad.

While some of the “plates” we have shown you thus far were admittedly weird, this next one is interesting. It is unconventional, sure — but it is intriguing nonetheless. Could you see yourself eating at a restaurant that serves food in a shovel?

Image courtesy of XTornado/Reddit

To clear some things up, we are certain that this shovel was thoroughly cleaned before it was used to serve food. But the really exciting part of this is that the shovel is rather large, which means that they can fit quite a lot of food!

This is a nightmare, for sure!

You don’t have to have OCD to feel grossed out by messy things. It is natural not to appreciate dirty rooms or disorganized dinner tables. If you are this type of person, we are sure that you woulnd’t appreciate this:

Image courtesy of TheBeatles2/Reddit

This restaurant served appetizers on a folded napkin as if it was a normal thing to do. Wouldn’t it be much easier to clean actual plates rather than having to wash several napkins? We would assume so but what do we know?

Food is indeed my universe.

Every living creature needs to eat food to survive, regardless of what “food” means to each species. For humans, food is essential and there is nothing wrong with being an appreciator of good food. It’s okay if food is your universe!

Image courtesy of opaespectacular/Reddit

Well, it seems like this restaurant took the concept of food being one’s whole world quite literally. They served appetizers on this globe, and it is too cute. The presentation gets an A, but the small portions of food barely pass.

Don’t wear that expensive outfit here!

If you have an expensive outfit that you bought to wear at a fancy restaurant, you may want to keep it stored in your closet when you go to this restaurant. One thing is for sure: it will be hard not to get messy when trying to eat spaghetti.

Image courtesy of PupForge/Reddit

Okay, so clearly, this isn’t an upscale joint by any means. All we can say is: good luck trying to eat this spaghetti in a cone without making a huge mess. Hopefully, the restaurant will give you a bib, at least.

I’ll have whatever he had!

If we just show it to you without explaining the context behind this picture, you probably won’t even understand what’s going on at first glance. We sure didn’t. We did a deep dive into the Reddit comments for this one.

Image courtesy of neo3237/Reddit

Okay, so what you see in this picture is raspberry ice cream on a stick in a rock. Yes, we know that it doesn’t make sense — and we can’t even explain how this restaurant had this idea. We just know that we would rather try whatever they replaced with this.

Not cool, man.

We suppose that we can all agree that some of the ideas we’ve seen in this article were far from being good. Restaurants would be better off using real plates most of the time. At least then they would avoid things like this:

Image courtesy of ketokadie/Reddit

Sure, eating from a flower pot doesn’t seem all that bad — until your fork or spoon starts hitting the pot and the screeching sound makes your skin crawl. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Try scratching silver against terracotta, and you’ll see!

It’s a no for me!

Do you like eating at themed restaurants? While some people prefer to eat at regular places, going somewhere with a gimmick is quite a fun experience, especially if you’re going with friends or family. Well, it’s a fun experience most of the time.

Image courtesy of momslittlebear/Reddit

When this person visited a rural-themed restaurant, they expected to have a great time with their friends while also eating delicious Southern food. It turns out that they got way more than they bargained for. Not all of us what to eat our appetizers out of ram horns.

Okay…but why?

Innovation is a good thing, but there are times that people take things a bit too far. As much as we hate to question someone’s creativity, we just can’t help ourselves sometimes. For instance, we look at this next photo and have a couple of questions.

Image courtesy of HarryFlashman1927/Reddit

If this was a sports-themed restaurant, we get it. But a snowboard takes up way more space than a plate, so maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all. We see they at least serve their drinks in regular cups, so that’s nice.

Imagine having to clean that!

While some of the odd plates we saw in this list were unappealing, not all of them are that bad. In fact, some of these “plates” were kind of cute, like that dinosaur one. This one has its pros and cons too.

Image courtesy of pompousepistemophill/Reddit

We can’t say that using an organizer to serve food is the worst idea we have ever heard. But it does make us question if this restaurant gave any thought to the lack of practicality of using this. It must be quite a challenge for the kitchen staff to clean these!

Don’t tell me…

This next picture should win a double award: one for the “plate” and one for the presentation. We can think of at least a hundred ways that this dish has been served to us in the past, and it never came close to this.

Image courtesy of mjomark/Reddit

Ah, beer ramen. Of course. Why didn’t we think of that? Because we are certain that most people would prefer to eat their meal in a regular bowl rather than having to struggle to eat noodles from a beer mug.

Wait for it…

When you look at this next picture, you probably will think that there is nothing unusual going on here. Sure, this food is being served on a tile, but it’s not like this concept is brand new to us or anything.

Image courtesy of catmore11/Reddit

The issue with this choice of a plate is not explicit in the picture. In fact, you would only get it if you visited this restaurant and checked the bathrooms. Turns out that this is the same tile that they have in the bathroom — and that’s quite underwhelming!

What if my hands were dirty?

Do you know those restaurants that serve the food directly onto your hand, and then you have to eat it off your own hand? Well, here’s another one of those. This time, though, we have only one question in mind.

Image courtesy of simplydiverse/Reddit

Look, we get that serving food onto someone’s hand seems kind of edgy, and there are clearly people who like that. But when we look at those photos, we can’t help but wonder if they at least clean their client’s hand prior to serving the food there.

What a mess!

As we mentioned previously, you don’t have to have OCD to feel annoyed by messy things. And we assume some people would take exception to this way of serving nachos. Of all foods, though, you could only justifiably serve nachos in one big pile.

Image courtesy of odontologist/Reddit

Let us start by saying that we are incredibly relieved that this picture wasn’t taken at a restaurant. It was taken at someone’s kitchen during game night and, for some reason, they thought that serving nachos straight from the counter was a good idea.

What’s going on in Canada?

Remember that restaurant that served noodles in a beer mug? We didn’t mention this, but that restaurant was in Canada. And this next picture was also taken at a Canadian restaurant — and it’s safe to say that there is a pattern there:

Image courtesy of thisbevic/Reddit

Poutine is delicious; we all know that. And this looks dang good, but can we please have a plate for ours? We’re shameless about our love of fries, so if all you’ve got is this pitcher, well, we’ll take it.

Looks like it came straight from medieval times!

To end this article on an unusual note, here is yet another restaurant that chose weirdness over using real plates. Considering that this is a breakfast restaurant, this idea of theirs was really not fitting at all. Check this out:

Image courtesy of GrudonFactory/Reddit

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to serve that pepperoni sandwich on a plate? Instead, this diner chose to serve the pepperoni on a metal rod that kind of looks like a torture device from medieval times. Hopefully, it tasted amazing.