This is a (browser-friendly) copy of the official rules of the Serial Diners, a group founded in 1989 and dedicated to dining at every restaurant listed in the Toronto Yellow Pages, in alphabetical order, at the rate of one per week. All are welcome! See also the current agenda, and an article and article2 and article3 and television spot and French-language spot about them.


1) We meet every Friday at the designated restaurant at 6:00 p.m. (see agenda). Latecomers are, of course, welcome, and often numerous. If you're particularly late, you may want to telephone the restaurant and ask about the large, out-of-place, possibly rowdy, and probably peculiar group, and are they still there? (And what's the Afterplan?)

2) If the restaurant is too expensive, we may fill up at Harvey's, or then again, we may eat there anyway.

3a) If the restaurant is closed for the day, is out of business, is playing music at volume level 11, was never there in the first place (this has actually happened twice), has inadequate seating, declares itself unable to prepare a dinner-like meal, has nothing on the menu other than Stew of Cods' Heads, or is known to contravene the official Serial Diners code of ethics, then we wait until 6:15 or so to accumulate bodies. If the restaurant is open, we may politely consume Cokes and coffees before escaping. At any rate, after waiting, we post a note to announce the Alternate Destination. (Look carefully for the note!) Then the group fills up at Harvey's. If the note has been cruelly ripped down by nature or idiots, latecomers are encouraged to use any and all psychic, deductive or Schwarzeneggerian abilities.

3b) If there is a restaurant of a different name on the appointed location, we eat there anyway, subject to Rules 2) and 3a) above. Technically, we are, in fact, filling up at Harvey's.

3c) If, however, there is such a restaurant (different name, right location), and the beer sign is bigger and/or brighter than the restaurant sign, then and only then do we have the option of filling up at Harvey's elsewhere.

4) "Filling up at Harvey's" is a generic term for going to any (usually nearby) restaurant other than the Official Destination. We have yet to "fill up at Harvey's" at Harvey's.

5) If, for whatever reason, we miss a restaurant, we do NOT return to it the next (or any other) week. That place has simply missed out on us. (But the restaurant is, of course, still eligible for us to fill up at Harvey's there.)

6) We proceed alphabetically through the entire Restaurant section of the Toronto Yellow Pages, and we skip no listings (except where mandated by rules 7a or 7c below). After much history, this rule now refers to the combined listings from the Toronto Core Centre, Toronto Core Northeast, Toronto Core Southeast, Toronto Core West, and Toronto North directories.

7a) In the case of restaurant chains, whether a single restaurant listing is followed by multiple addresses or there are multiple separate listings, we go only to the first address given (or, where possible, the first address whose location falls within the geographic boundaries of the former (pre-1998) city of Toronto), thereby sparing us 52 extra weeks at McDonalds.

7b) In the case of restaurant non-chains, if a restaurant name is listed more than once, we must include each separate listing corresponding to a different address.

7c) [The Revised Amalgamation Accord of 2012] We will henceforth skip any restaurant whose location both falls within the geographic boundaries of the former (pre-1998) cities of Etobicoke, North York, or Scarborough, and is more than 20 minutes from a subway or RT stop, as determined by the online transit trip planner at; in such cases, the restaurant is deemed to be inconveniently placed, and has missed out on us (unless the restaurant is listed in boldface or has an accompanying advertisement in the Yellow Pages, in which case we will eat there regardless). Note that restaurants entirely outside of Toronto are not affected, and will continue to be included.

8) We switch to the new Yellow Pages on July 1 of every year. We carry on in the new book from the point where we left off, alphabetically speaking, in the old book. Any new restaurants preceding that point have also missed out on us.

9) According to current estimates, we should be finished this insanity in approximately the year 2037. That's not a rule, but it is interesting.

You are hereby invited to join the Serial Diners, by coming on Friday at 6:00 p.m. to the designated restaurant (see agenda).

You hardly need to come every week (mind you, there are those who do so). And though it's difficult to predict exactly who is going to attend from week to week, rest assured that there is always someone there, and usually ten to twenty someones. So do please come. We like you, and we wouldn't invite you if we didn't.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the group's founder, Jason Taniguchi, at (416) 223-0967, or [if that number is out of service] try him at (416) 486-1195; or e-mail him at

One other thing: now that you've been invited, you are not only free, but also encouraged, to invite others. The more the merrier, or at least the louder, which is something. We trust your judgment. Any friend of yours is, well, a friend of yours, but we're sure they're fine.

See also the Serial Diners current agenda, and an article and article2 and article3 and television spot about them.

[Best viewed with any browser] This page is; please send corrections to Jeffrey Rosenthal (contact me).