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 customer, 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.

I Left My Money In San Francisco

January 18, 2008 Food & Drink Stories

What I am about to write happened to my wife and I during a visit to San Francisco in the summer of 2006. Prior to my retirement, I had travelled extensively and made a number of visits to the above beautiful city. Each time I visited I stayed in a very lovely older hotel on […]

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Difficult Diners

January 17, 2008 Diner Stories

The owner of a popular, reasonably priced restaurant told me this one. It’s about an unbelievably “difficult” couple they had at their establishment several years ago. This couple, a man and a woman who were pushing middle age (not kids, anyway) ordered two very reasonably priced meals. When the meals came and the man took […]

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Dining With A Dope

January 17, 2008 Diner Stories

Back in the 70s my college roommate (whom I’ll call “Clark”) and I decided to eat at a nationally-known seafood restaurant. I had only known him for a few days, but he seemed like a decent enough fellow. After perusing our menus, the waitress came over to take our order. After giving her my order, […]

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Brave Bartender Stops Slugfest

January 14, 2008 Odds & Ends Stories

Here’s one from the owner of an upscale establishment. Happened a few years ago. Several couples (co-workers at a nearby brokerage firm and their spouses) were dining at a long table next to the front window of this particular restaurant. A man walked by and saw them sitting there. He happened to have just been […]

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Indian Hot

December 17, 2007 Diner Stories

This is not a personal dinners from hell story, but rather one that happened to a dining companion. A colleague at work and I decided to take our wives out together to a restaurant. Since he and his wife (whom I’ll call in this story, “Shakini”) were new in town and Indian, I suggested going […]

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Tête-à-Tête Disrupted By Tirades

December 17, 2007 Couples Stories

My wife and I were having a quiet dinner together at a nice restaurant. That is, until our pleasant tête-à-tête was rudely interrupted by the bellows from a couple sitting nearby. They were apparently drunk to the gills, and oblivious to the ill will their behavior was engendering among other diners. When it was apparent […]

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Money Down The Drain

December 11, 2007 Non-Story Archives

Hey Dev, There’s nothing I hate worse than spending my hard-earned money at a restaurant I’ve never been to before, then end up feeling I’ve wasted it with bad food and poor service. Should I just stick to restaurants that I know from experience are consistently good? – C. Dear C., I sympathize with you […]

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Self Service Restaurant

November 29, 2007 Server Stories

Back when I was working on my undergrad, I played in a band to make money to pay my bills. One night, around 2 am, after playing a gig in a medium-sized town several hours away, we decided to stop at an all-night dinner in a small town on our way home. When we first […]

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The Witty Waitress

November 29, 2007 Server Stories

The information board at the front of the hotel-based diner proudly proclaimed, “We have borscht every day,” should have given us pause. But we had been driving for 3 hours without breakfast, and it was 10:00 a.m. with another 3 to go, and on New Year’s Day, there wasn’t a lot open. The restaurant was […]

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Finger-Lickin’ Good

November 29, 2007 Server Stories

This formerly famous Baltimore restaurant is no longer in business, thankfully. I was not the recipient of this disgusting story, but I witnessed it. I was at dinner with my husband, our 2 1/2 year old son and newborn daughter, and my mother, who had come to town to help with the baby. We took […]

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A Sip For The Server

November 25, 2007 Server Stories

My sister and I dined at a well-regarded French restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, where the food turned out to be excellent but the service something less. The coup de grace came when our waiter brought the (rather expensive) bottle of wine we ordered. Declaring that he wasn’t sure if it was properly chilled, he […]

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Doggy Dining

November 20, 2007 Non-Story Archives

Many communities are allowing dogs at outdoor dining areas of restaurants. Listings of dog  friendly restaurants in the U.S. and Canada can be found here. Unfortunately, in Korea and some other Asian nations, many restaurants are serving dogs – as a meal. Enjoy these canine cartoons!   Speed Bump copyright 2007 Dave Coverly, dist. by […]

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