- Old friends are best. John Selden
Eat in a Pitch Black Restaurant
This is the location that is said to have started it all. It was founded in Zurich, Switzerland by a blind clergyman, Jorge Spielman. As the history goes, guests to the clergyman’s house would don blindfolds in honor of their host, according to spotcoolstuff
Once Spielman noticed that his guests constantly remarked on how much better the food tasted when blindfolded, the dining in the dark concept was born. Opened in 1999, the restaurant hires only blind waiters and waitresses as an added bonus. It certainly set off a wave of darkness; in restaurants at least.
Dans Le Noir
Worldwide, Dans Le Noir is considered to be one of the premiere locations inspired by Spielman’s Blindekuh. It has expanded the pitch black dining idea to locations in Paris, London, Warsaw, and Moscow; there was even a location in New York City that is currently closed. Dans Le Noir is so invested in the concept that they also only hire blind wait staff.
Located in Berlin, Germany, Nocti Vagus claims to be the first ‘dark dining’ restaurant in the city. It offers something for all the other senses; beyond the food there is music and programs on the ‘Dark Stage’ such as readings, theater, and murder mystery dinners.
This location claims to be the first ‘dark restaurant’ in Germany, and they have locations in Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne. Employing blind and visually impaired wait staff as well, the location offers dinners geared towards stimulating your other senses.
Opaque has been another one of the hit restaurants to emerge from the dark dining trend. Starting out in Santa Monica, California, the restaurant boasts additional locations in San Diego, San Francisco, New York, and Dallas. The restaurant focuses on providing an experience for your taste buds, olfactory system, and sense of touch.
Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Ctaste employs a visually impaired or blind wait staff in a completely dark dining room. Dinners choose their meal in a lighted entry before moving into complete darkness.
Pod Kridlem Noci
Located in Prague, Czech Republic, the name is loosely translated into ‘under the wings of night.’ They offer different times when the restaurant is dark or light, called World of Darkness or World of Light, respectively. Dinners can choose from four different menus—Menu for Connoisseurs, the Fish Menu, the Vegetarian Menu, and the Veil of Mystery Menu—that are picked before entering the dark dining room.
O.Noir is Canada’s first ‘dark dining’ restaurant, and there is a location in Montreal and one in Toronto. Impressed by Blindekuh’s hiring of an all-blind wait staff—a section of the population that experiences a 70% unemployment rate, according to the website—O.Noir also hires blind waiters and waitresses while also donating a certain percentage of profits to local groups that assist the blind and visually impaired.
Dining in the Dark
This Boston-based concept doesn’t limit the ‘dining in the dark’ experience to just one location; they take the show on the road with events at various restaurants around the area. Guests are blindfolded and treated to live music and story narration while eating. At the end of the meal, the blindfolds are removed for guests to examine the menu and live in the light a bit before departing. Upcoming events are posted on their website and tickets are required.
This farm-fresh restaurant and bar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida offers a ‘dark room’ off the normally lit restaurant where dinners can experience the ‘dark dining’ concept. Dinners can have a bit more control over the experience as they can return to the lit dining room whenever they choose.