Quirky eats around Europe

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

Have you ever wanted to toast with Dracula or dine in the sky (and I don't mean in an airplane)? Europe has some unconventional restaurants that will pique your curiosity. Don’t let meals be an afterthought while traveling. Reserve a table for an outlandish dinner adventure.

Dinner in the dark

Develop a newfound gratitude for the gift of sight by eating in total darkness with total strangers at shared tables. Blind or visually impaired waiters will lead you through your evening in the dark.

Nocti Vagus, Berlin, Germany: Order courses beforehand or take a gamble with the mystery menu and try to discern the components of each dish. Musical or theatrical entertainment will keep you awake during the night.

Dans le Noir, several European locations: Prepare for culinary surprises in Paris, London, Barcelona or St. Petersburg. Fumble through a secret five-course Gastronomic Menu at the Paris location, or take a Spanish class (also in the dark) while dining in Barcelona.

Supper in the sky

Fly in the sky for an extraordinary dinner. But be aware that the table isn’t the only thing up high; these experiences are pricey.

Dinner in the Sky, Brussels, Belgium: Take a seat at the dining table and strap into a harness, then let a crane raise you above the city. You’ll feel like you’re on a thrill ride, but there won’t be any unexpected drops — unless you drop a fork! You and up to 21 friends can gaze at the skyline and watch the chefs prepare gourmet cuisine en l’air. Availability is limited, but the business is expanding to other cities.

CuliAir Sky Dining, various locations in the Netherlands: Float above Dutch cities and countryside as chef Angélique Schmeinck cooks an exquisite meal using the hot air that powers your balloon ride. Chow down on lobster, sea bass and chocolate mousse while enjoying the scenery.

A.O. Ballonreisen, various locations in Germany: Get a bird’s-eye view of Deutschland and savor a four-course meal in this hot air balloon, which claims to be the world’s smallest restaurant.

Dining with death

It’s always Halloween at these eateries, where all things spooky are on the table.

Restaurante La Posada Maldita, Barcelona, Spain: You’ll be on edge at the “inn of the damned,” where sadistic doctors, scary morticians and the undead get too close for comfort as they serve your food.

Le Cercueil, Brussels, Belgium: Dare to taste a deadly cocktail, such as Vampire Blood or Corpse Juice, and order Belgian beer in a skull mug. Keep an eye on the skeletons hovering in this Coffin Bar.

Count Dracula Club, Bucharest, Romania: Dine with the infamous count in the land of vampire legends. Be prepared for cheesy frights and lots of laughs at this tourist spot.

For more tips about living and traveling in Europe, check out our digital edition of Welcome to Europe on Stripes.com

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