Pay what you want restaurants are a growing phenomenon all around the world, offering donation-based meals with no set prices. These restaurants attract one demographic especially- travelers and backpackers. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a cheap meal, giving whatever you can while also enjoying yourself in an interesting new setting. Many of these pay what you want restaurants also contribute to good causes like helping the homeless or even supporting animal rights. All around, they are great places to spend your money and a whole new way of organizing the restaurant industry. Wherever you are in the world, there’s certainly a pay what you want restaurant nearby to experience.
9 Angels Vegan Restaurant – Bali, Indonesia
Warung 9 Angels is a hidden gem on the popular tourist island of Bali. It’s found outside the center of Bali’s most visited town, Ubud, and has a lot to offer its customers. 9 Angels is reminiscent of a family dinner or a potluck meal. When you arrive, all the food and dishes are set out to be served yourself. Every night is different, but customers can always rely on plenty of rice and cooked cassava. The place is full of casual seating, artwork, plants, and books, making for a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy your meal. Suggested prices are posted on each food item, most ranging from 2000-5000 Indonesian rupiah- that’s the equivalent of 0.20-0.50 U.S. dollars. But in the end, it’s all up to the customer how much you actually leave behind in the glass jars in the middle of each table. When you’re all finished, all that’s left to do is wash your dishes at the communal sink and head back out into Ubud.
Lentil as Anything – Sydney, Australia
Pay what you want restaurants don’t only exist in laidback island locales like Bali. Head over to the hustle and bustle of Sydney, Australia to try out another vegetarian restaurant called Lentil as Anything that also functions with a pay what you want attitude. The menu changes every day, and the payment is always anonymous. Lentil as Anything lets customers know exactly what their contributions go towards. Donating 12$ means that the cost of the meal is fully covered, while an extra 3$ on top of that helps to cover all the building expenses along with employee wages. The workers are all volunteers, and on any given night, Lentil is bound to be full of refugees, travelers, and all sorts of people from around the globe.
Soul Kitchen – New Jersey, USA
One of the most popular pay what you want restaurants, found in the United States, and founded by none other than Jon Bon Jovi. There are two ways to pay for your meal at Soul Kitchen- either by an anonymous donation with a 10$ minimum suggestion or by volunteering your time to work in the kitchen. Both ways are used fairly evenly by customers at Soul Kitchen, and the restaurant has thrived because of it. For those who have a little bit of extra money, their extra donation goes towards the meal of someone who is unable to pay. Soul Kitchen often supports the homeless community in New Jersey and always highlights community.
In conclusion, pay what you want restaurants aren’t just a place to spend the smallest amount of money possible. They are places that put faith in humanity, and they are able to continue functioning solely based on the generosity of their customers. Experiencing pay as you want restaurants isn’t just about saving money or getting food, it really is a fun outing and a nice place to see some goodness and humanity at work. Why not try one out the next time you’re on the go?