Dinners From Hell offers true stories about restaurant dining disasters written by diners, servers and chefs.

We've all had those dining experiences when things went dreadfully wrong. Perhaps it was a social blunder, an obnoxious diner, a waiter or waitress with an attitude, a temperamental chef, an embarrassing faux pas, or a food or beverage incident. Find out what others have had to endure by reading stories about dinners gone bad.

It was two or three years ago on Veteran’s Day, also my brother’s birthday, and we decided to go to a common chain restaurant. Due to it being Veteran’s Day, the restaurant was packed with military personnel. There was a two hour wait. There were two things wrong with the wait. Number one was that my brother was only 8 or 9 and had no patience. Number two was the time: 7:30 PM. So we left and we went to this Italian restaurant across the street. That was when the dinner from hell began.

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My wife and I were looking for a quiet pub to have monthly casual dinners with another couple. Most of the so-called pubs in the city were actually sports bars, with large screen TVs in each dining area. Sometimes this was not a problem, but during hockey season (this was in Canada) the noise level made conversation difficult.

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I under-tipped recently and wanted to share my story.

My wife and I stopped at a popular restaurant for Sunday brunch. The hostess seated us on the patio; due to cool weather we were only the third table (of nine) to have patrons. One of the others was finishing up before paying their check, the other was in mid-meal.

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A friend and I went to a well known pancake house often, at least once a week. It was right down the street from our houses. We had a few issues in the past, but nothing to the extreme that we would never come back (obviously).

We came in one morning around 2 a.m. just getting off work and decided to drink coffee and unwind. At this time of day there is no hostess, just a sign that says “Seat Yourself.” We sat at our regular table in the back. By the way, we were the only 2 people in the dining room.

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I’d only been employed at this restaurant for about two weeks, and so far, it had been great. After taking a break from serving, I felt it was time to get back in the game. This restaurant was this company’s second highest earner in the country and all of the staff seemed to really enjoy working here! Everything would have been fine if it wasn’t for that nasty unwanted guest.

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I placed an order over the phone at “PW” Asian Diner in Dulles, Virginia. I’m already in their system as they recognized my call back number and pick up name and even my order. When I got there 10 minutes later it wasn’t ready, plus they tried to charge me extra for some reason. The female cashier came over and corrected it and explained to the male cashier why it was incorrect.

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Came to “B House” at Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, California yesterday for breakfast and I fell in love with the view. We left our dog in the car since we could not bring her on the patio (only service dogs allowed) which is completely understandable. We ate as fast as we could so we could take her out to dog beach. We have lived in beach cities all of our lives but this view was amazing. I had the corned beef hash; it was very unique but I really enjoyed it, and my husband had the yogurt and granola which were delicious. The service was non-existent but hey, the environment and ambiance made up for it. I met such awesome people and dogs there on the beach.

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Photo Lady

November 2, 2013

in Diner Stories

It was a Sunday afternoon which is generally a very busy time for the restaurant I work at, as we receive a lot of lunch bookings. I was serving two large tables who were both celebrating something, so I really wanted to make sure that they received the best service.

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The Double Fire

October 20, 2013 Accident & Mishap Stories

It wasn’t a regular Thursday night; we were jammed. To make matters worse, Eric decided not to show up because he had a concert to go to that night, little fucker. You know the type of night I’m talking about – the managers are sweating from head to toe, bartender screaming, and all the servers […]

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A Corpse in the Kitchen

October 13, 2013 Kitchen & Chef Stories

One of my friends works for the health department and has inspected countless restaurants, tea rooms, hotel kitchens etc for many years. Most of the time they are fine with only the occasional minor inconveniences that were noted for improvement. But of course occasionally you got some more serious cases.

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Twenty Orders Expected in Five Minutes

September 21, 2013 Odds & Ends Stories

This is another story from my theater days in the concession stand. This incident occurred during the release of Hannah Montana’s 3D concert.

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Shards of Glass Spoil Meal

August 23, 2013 Food & Drink Stories

My father and I were on our way back from Florida. We had stopped for breakfast at a small diner by Jensen Beach. The waiter was nice and the drinks were fine. The only mildly disturbing thing we had heard thus far was someone breaking what sounded like a glass in the kitchen, but we […]

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