Unusual vending machines


Ever encountered vending machines that sell “unusual things?”

I saw cheese and other dairy product vending machines in Parma, Italy.


Not uncommon in these circles, but here’s the vending machine at a rehearsal studio I occasionally play at in Los Angeles. Drum sticks, guitar strings, ear plugs, 9v batteries, and cigarettes - Indispensable items in the life of a rock musician.


Yeah, I’ve seen dairy vending machines in Italy too! :grinning: I remember one in Emilia-Romagna that had yoghurt, an array of cheeses and fresh bufala mozzarella. I was concerned that when said mozzarella dropped down to the collection flap it might smash open and splash everywhere.

Quirky vending machines are one of the things I look forward to seeing when I finally make it over to Japan…


I’ve seen book vending machines in Madrid and Sao Paulo, and if I remember correctly France.

It strikes me as a really very lovely idea for a vending machine , just putting a couple of reias or a euro in the coin slot and getting out a Hemmingway or a Kafka or some potentially life changing / perspective altering book for a long journey.


Beer vending machines are pretty amazing to tourists in Japan, but I used to get hot red bean drinks with little rice dumplings from the vending machines when I lived there. They kept me warm on the rural local trains.


In Las Vegas there are vending machines that sell women’s flats. No real choice except for size. The shoes are flexible and rolled up when sold. Why? I had to ask myself, and they told me they are for women who realize, too late parhaps, that sky-high heels, while great for the club, are not the most comfortable way to get around the vast spaces of the vegas casinos. I’ve seen the vending machine at Planet Hollywood and The Venetian.


I have two to share. First, this fairly normal beverage vending machine in Tokyo, except that it has a photo of Tommy Lee Jones labeled Boss.

Second, this vending machine from Santa Fe. I should have taken a better photo, but the gist is that there’s an art project called Art in Cellophane that turns old cigarette vending machines into art vending machines.

Here’s a link to the project:



In Belgium we often have vending machines in front of farms in the countryside selling potatoes, strawberries or the likes:

Enzo Rhode-Hagen


No longer there to take my own video, but this is one of my favorites (captured by another) credits are with the video YouTube


I was lucky enough to live in Seattle just before the disappearance of the Mystery Soda Machine (another mystery in itself). A vintage coke machine that you never knew just what you were going to get out of it. The story goes that no one knew who filled it. Some said that it was haunted. I went several times and witnessed mostly special edition cans but also off brand and some rarer flavours, too. We’d usually get a bag of Dick’s around the corner and then get our drinks from here.

I mildly regret not having a “The Mystery Machine” sticker made (a la Scooby Doo) and sticking it on there before it vanished…


Recycle a bottle, feed a stray dog.

That’s incredible and heartwarming. :dog2:


I lived in Stockholm in the late 1960s and there were vending machines that had milk, bread, fruit, etc. Since the most stores were not open on weekends or evenings these vending machines were essential.


Here is another one I’d love to visit. A Luxury Cars Vending Machine:

Enzo Rhode-Hagen


Atlas Obscura has a video coming out this week with an interview featuring the owner (and vending machine curator) of Sunshine Laundromat in Brooklyn.

Probably the only vending machine in the world where you’ll find Plan B next to a travel audio Bible (with bonus two-dollar bill) and a seafood bib. The row below this has an old favorite of mine: a one-dollar bill sold for $2 (which is purchased on a near daily basis).


this is hilarious :rofl::rofl:

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and why is cheddar cheese…you know what nevermind lol


My sister and I saw Phoenix in Dallas last year, and they brought pop-up vending machines for fans to purchase various merch (CDs and smaller wares with the band logo). It was pretty neat, and the only time I’ve ever seen a band do that!


On the main floor of Southeast Georgia Health Systems Brunswick Campus, there is a floral vending machine. Multiple price points and you can pick a lovely flower arrangement for someone. Some were get well, some for new mommies. I regret not having time to snap a photo but I’ve never seen one before.


Book vending machines were really commonplace in subway stations when I went to South Korea in 2013 and 2018. The books were pretty short but only cost around one to two dollars, making them ideal for a boring commute.


I think floral vending machines are pretty common in big hospitals. I’ve seen them around here as well.