Mystery Dinner Ideas With Menu items

The Mystery Dinner Basics

The basics of a Mystery dinner are just this, you the host or hostess are the only one who knows what is on the menu.  Your menu consists of items that have names, the names might have some bearing on the food that it to be served, the idea is to confuse the guest.  Your food of course should be good food!  Nothing that will cause your guests to be repulsed.  You most certainly want them to enjoy themselves!

In my other Hub on Mystery dinners I covered the ‘How to’ part, this one is more of an ‘Idea’ article.  Everyone gets an idea from time to time but with a little help from friends you can turn your idea into something folks will talk about for years to come!

Literary Theme

The ‘Mystery’ part of your dinner could be to guess the Theme.  A prize could be given for the first one to guess the Theme. 

Giving your Dinner a Theme is fairly easy.  Are your guests big readers?  Then how about a ‘Literary’ themed dinner?  Each item of food served will have the title to a book, or at least part of it in the title.  For example; You could serve grapes on your menu and call them ‘Seeds of Wrath’. 

Once the guest name the Theme, then they may have to guess an Author.  How much more fun could this get?  Guessing the Genre.  Prizes for the winners!  They don’t have to be expensive prizes.  Having a lovely center piece could be the prize for that table.  Maybe a gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Music Theme

Are they musical? How about throwing some music into the titles? Potatoes = Smiling Irish Eyes. Guessing the Genre of music could be one prize, then the musical group another. The prize? A gift certificate to Amazon or your favorite music store! Quite possibly a CD. If your 'Grand PRize' guess is Elvis, then a CD of his Greatest Hits would be a great prize indeed!

Western Omlet = All Shook Up

Movie Theme

Is your group of friends into Movies? Movie titles are great to throw into the mix! The Wizard of Oz = Apples (Remember the scene in which Dorothy was going to eat one and they were thrown at her?) or How about ‘Conan the Barbarian’ = Chicken legs… (Why? Because you eat chicken legs with your hands like a ‘barbarian’)

The Prize? A copy of the DVD of your choice!

Nursery Rhyme

Nursery Rhyme Mystery dinner - ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones…’  Can you guess the food?  Peas and carrot sticks.

The Prize?  A book of your favorite Nursey Rhymes.

Country Folk Dinner

How about a ‘Country Folk’ dinner?  Country Style Ribs = Hillbilly Bones. 

Who says it has to be Dinner?

And who says it has to be ‘dinner’ food?  I have created a Mystery Breakfast menu as well. 

Boiled Eggs - Soft Rocks
Fried Eggs - Easy on the eyes
Scrambled Eggs -  Messy Babies
Western Omelets - All Shook up
Sausage Patties - Ground pies
Sausage links -  smart fingers
Pancakes - Pot Holders
Bacon - Tight skinned
Hash Browns - Shredded roots
Waffles - Road kill
Syrup - Sappy attitude
Butter - Greased Lightening 

Just have fun!

The scope of your dinner can only be limited to your imagination! 

Make your menu pleasing to the eye, if you are creative, cut out a shape that is part of your theme.  Plain paper is fine and probably will not be reused, as well as getting messy.

No one says you have to have a ‘Theme’ for your dinner either!  Just good food and friends is all that is needed of loads of fun!

Menu Ideas

Here are a few other food items that I have come up with.  Feel free to use them if you wish!

Desserts -
Grapes - seeds of wrath
apple slices - Adam's nemesis
Banana split - Monkey's iced twin
Brownies - Fairy’s Apprentice
Chocolate Cake - Devils Advocate
Angel food Cake with chocolate Syrup - Halo tilted

Vegetables -
Peas and carrot sticks - Sticks and stones
corn - Just passing through
Broccoli - Trees with branches
Asparagus Spears - arrows

Liquid Refreshment -
Coffee - Go-Go juice
Milk - teat treat
Chocolate Milk - Muddy teats
Water - Frozen snow
Tea - Boston’s Best

Entrée -
BBQ Ribs - Glossy bones
Fried Chicken - Your Goose is cooked
Bourbon Chicken - Drunken Ranger
Polish sausage - Foreign Pig
Country style Ribs - Hillbilly's Bones
Hamburgers - Cow Patties

Fillers -
Potatoes - Irish Eyes are smiling
Pasta - Confucius says...
Rice - Seeds from a stem
Baked Beans - Gas 'n Go

Don't forget the Utensils!

Whatever you do don’t forget to have them order their utensils!!  They are part of the menu as well!!
Fork = Devil’s tail
Knife - Robin hood’s tool
Spoon - Lovers cuddle
Napkin - Sleepy relative
Toothpick - Lumberjack’s reward

Of course you may change these to suit you!

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Comments 46 comments

sharon 6 years ago

GREAT ideas! I wish I were closer & I would LOVE to attend> Sounds FUN!!!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Oh man!! Would LOVE to have you and Tom attend one!! You guys would be so much fun!!!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

I think I have the perfect dish for the main meal at a Mystery Dinner, susie. How about mystery meat - Spam? Or mystery chicken - any fast food restaurant's chicken nuggets?

Whatcha think?

rankryst72 profile image

rankryst72 6 years ago from Orlando

This is some hungry information Sweetsusieg! This is good writing!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL @ drbj- Well I suppose you could serve mystery meat if you didn't want your guests returning!! I like to serve really good food with funny names.. My Mom attended one years ago, this is where I first got the idea. I wish we would have kept the menu from that!

rankryst72 - Thanks. Give it a whirl! You'll see how much fun a mystery dinner can be!

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

As a man who is into the culinary scene and who loves to experiment with food as most chefs amateur or professional love to do, to learn how to intensify flavours of food, I think your little game would be great fun to introduce to the culinary experts so called.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Absolutely!! I have a slight advantage in my circle of friends. They have all tasted my cooking so I have gained their trust in that area. Most of them are fairly certain no matter what I name it, it will taste good!

A themed party would be great for a small number of guests, say 6 to 8 would be fantastic!

Thanks for stopping by!

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

Thanks for this wonderful ideas! You have inspired me, and i will try a mystery menu next time we invite our friends for dinner My husband is a chef, so he will ensure that the food tastes good, and now you have given me an important task as well!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Awesome!! That sounds like a plan. You'll have to let me know how it goes. I would love to hear about it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Dusty Snoke profile image

Dusty Snoke 6 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

That sounds like so much fun. I love the sample names you gave. I could never be that creative. Gave me the laugh I needed this morning.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Oh sure you can!! Look at a food item, what does it remind you of? Let's think spaghetti.... Yummmm, but we can come up with some pretty disgusting names!! Worms, snakes, crossed highways... And the list goes on! Confused at the 'crossed highways'? Ever look at a map? My husband is a truck driver and one time he called for directions. I told him the area he was going to looked like a plate of spaghetti. LOL

Glad you got your laugh!!

Thanks for stopping by!

fillyourheart profile image

fillyourheart 5 years ago from USA

What a fun idea! Thanks for all the ideas.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

You are very welcome!! If you ever get the chance, do it!! It is too much fun!

Brenda Harding 5 years ago

I have done these before, but love to find some new names, that is my weakness trying to come up with names.

I would love your help with coming up with names for appetizers, I have a bookclub and want to do all appts for the meeting. Can you help??

Thanks for your time and talent.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I would LOVE to help!! I'll zip out an e-mail to you!

Tishsuz 5 years ago

Awesome. A friend threw one of these dinner parties last Saturday and it was an absolute blast. Thanks for more tips, as I'm now planning one for my family.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks!! So glad you are planning one!! I hope you have the best of times!

Lisa 5 years ago

I attended one years ago and then hosted a few on my own and all were a success! But now I've lost my menu and could really use a copy of yours to get me started. Can't email you since I can't seem to see your address here anywhere :(

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Up towards the top on the right hand side you will see 'contact sweetsusieg'...

Wmod514 profile image

Wmod514 5 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

great names Susie...been in this business a long time and I appreciate someone's creativity and imagination, apparently we both love food and putting smiles on peoples faces, it's a great reward for all the hard work...:)

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I love to see the reactions on the faces of those I treat to these types of dinners! It is great fun!!

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arfmanda 5 years ago

I am hosting a mystery menu party for my church organization around 20 people. We have done one in the past, but I would love new ideas. Any suggestions are welcome. my email is



Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

It's on it's way!! I would love to see your other menu that you used...

Tillie 5 years ago

Am planning one for Christmas. Got any ideas?

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hmmm, not off the top of my head, I would have to give it some thought. I might go either way with ideas... If it's blustery out, I might do a 'summer' theme (making it harder to guess the foods) Using the things you do in the summer as the names of the foods. For instance 'Volley Ball' might be something like meatballs.

If I went with a Christmas theme I might use something like "Rudolph's red nose" - That could be cherries...

Hope that gave you a kick start!! 5 years ago

I love your ideas. I'm planning on having a pre-thanksgiving mystery dinner. Do you have any ideas for menu items? Also a title for the invitation?

Thank you for your help!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Oh wow... Thanksgiving mystery dinner? Hmm, sounds like fun, what are you planning on serving? I would go on the 'turkey' theme but not necessarily the regular roasted Turkey, maybe some turkey sliders and call them 'slippery fowl'? Maybe the stuffing might have a name like 'sage advice'. Cranberry sauce might be 'water logged'... (cranberries are grown near water - if they sink they are no good) The invitation Hmm, I might think of a theme and decide from there or you can just tell your invitees that they are invited to a mystery dinner!!

Best wishes and I'm sure no matter what you decide I'm sure it will be great!!

BARBIEK41 5 years ago

I have done many of these events at our church we have always had such a good time. The only problem last year some of the ladies took home some of the lists they got a hold of. So I am trying to come up with new ideas. We are having another one around Valentines. Loved your ideas. I may use some of them.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL - Stinkers!! A couple of mine did that as well. They said they wanted to maybe do it at church, I think they just wanted to take them home to study!! hehehe

Corina 4 years ago

Sorry e-mail is

Linda 4 years ago

I am having a New Years Mystery Dinner. I have my menu and some ideas ready but would like to have a few ideas from you. Thanks.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

On it's way!!

Deanne 4 years ago

I'm helping to host a Christmas Mystery Dinner for 11 people. We are having ham, twice baked potatoes, corn, Caesar salad, cheesecake for dessert and a bunch of other things to eat. I was just wondering if you could help me out with some Christmas names for some of these foods?

Thanks so much!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

My ideas are on the way. Whew!! cheesecake was the hardest for me!!

Matthew 3 years ago

Very interestingand insightful article. I particularly enjoyed "just passing through" corn... tooo funny!! I think this would go over well with others in my congregation. I think I might have a hard time coming up with creative pseudonyms for dishes though. When I'm stuck for menu ideas I like, but for literary alternatives I might need some help.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

So glad you enjoyed it!!

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ladymagoo 3 years ago

I would love to have a copy of your menu and use it for my Girl Scout troop. I think we will invite their parents to a "Mystery Dinner". It should be fun! Thanks

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

I need an email to send it to.

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ladymagoo 3 years ago

cole wife 3 years ago

I am thinking of doing a Christmas themed party and need menu ideas. Please send to Thanks!

Cms39us 3 years ago

I'm also trying to plan a Christmas themed party and need mystery dinner ideas. Would appreciate any ideas or the menu shared with Deanne above. Thanks!

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

I didn't write a menu, I gave Deanne an idea. As far as Christmas themed menu. You choose the type of food you want then name it to fit. I'm not sure what types of food you want to use. For instance if you wanted to serve 'porcupine balls' (meatballs with rice) I would call them "Dirty Snowball" - Chocolate covered raisins could be "Reindeer Poop". Stuffed mushrooms - (baby Portabellas) could be called "Full Mangers".

You just take the food - then think of an association with the name of the food - then create a new name for it. Above all - have fun with it.

Ruth 3 years ago

We are going to try a mystery breakfast this weekend, any ideas would be helpful.

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

I'm not sure what you need. Food ideas or if you have a menu - names for the foods?

Betty 21 months ago

can you please send me your dinner menu and the names yoy have for each item, my email is I need ideas desperately

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 21 months ago from Michigan Author


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