Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Have Discovered Guerilla Dining

Ever been to a restaurant and thought, 'Wow, I've had much better food at a recent dinner party than here... and for free!'...? Sometimes just the large impersonal atmosphere of a restaurant can be intimidating or cold. How many of you have Chef friends and secretly wish they'd cook and create something delicious just for you?

So... I have become aware that there is such a thing as 'Guerilla Dining'. A recent article in Halifax's 'The Coast' feature's a journalist's experience of finding, being invited to, attending and interviewing the hosts of a local Haligonian Guerilla Restaurant experience. I had no idea these things existed! Are they new? Are they everywhere?

A quick Google resulted in a little history info (which perhaps the American and British peeps may already know about...). Guerilla Dining is part of the Underground Restaurant scene, stemming from supper clubs (originated in the 1930-1940s) and closed door restaurants. Big in Latin American and London England, these dining experiences are becoming increasingly popular in the USA (and supposedly Canada). (wiki).

A guerilla dining experience today means finding out from word of mouth or facebook, showing up to someone's home, paying a lower than restaurant price for restaurant-style food. Sans liquor and food licenses, these dining experiences stay hidden and customers definitely dine at their own risk. What I thought was uber interesting was the Chef's reasons- to allow for creativity and exploration of their own craft at their control.

How cool is that? In Halifax I'm imagining that these Guerilla Dining experiences remain low-key, slightly hipster with a local-vibe, from the article's description. That and Halifax is just kinda like that, casual and hipster. I can imagine, though, that in bigger cities, the exclusivity of these shindigs can attract a whole other clientele. Instead of celebrating creativity and local ingredients, that exclusivity could foster a 'I'm here cuz I'm cool and connected' vibe.

I'm not sure that even in Halifax I'd have the nerve to show up to one of these backyard restaurants, even if I were invited. I'm just a bit of a chicken that way.

What about you? Did you know about this phenomenon? Have you ever attended a Guerilla Restaurant?

I've always thought that Yoga in the Park could be that way... word of mouth and facebook allowing a Yoga experience without the constraints of a studio and in a fashion that is accessible to all (ahem, free!).

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. yeah we totally have underground restaurants here in new york. i thought about starting one with a friend but it never got off the ground at the time because my unruly dogs made my home too inhospitable.

  2. We have one too here in Charleston. I was invited once when a friend of mine was the featured chef for the night. I can't remember why I couldn't go, but I have kicked myself ever since! I think it was something like $60 for everything, which for a unique dining experience I thought (semi)reasonable.

  3. Omigosh. I would be ALL OVER this in Halifax! Let us know if you ever get in on one! :)

  4. i mentioned your blog in the comments section
    of yesterdays post
    "green your period" about the diva cup on the blog
    Healthy Tipping Point.

    Lots of discussion about the cup in
    the comment section-you may find a fun read!


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