The Serial Diners were 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! (For more information, see the Serial Diners rules and current agenda, and an article and article2 and article3 and television spot about them.)

Over the years, one particular Serial Diners rule has required extensive revision due to ever-changing circumstances. Namely, rule 6 originally stated simply that "We skip no listings", i.e. we proceed alphabetically through the entire Restaurant section of the Toronto Yellow Pages. However, this raises the question of what constitutes the "Toronto Yellow Pages". Due to the 1998 amalgamation of Toronto suburbs into a new combined single Toronto "megacity", and various changes in the Yellow Pages publishing policies, our interpretation has varied somewhat over the years:

Note that the above discussion concerns the specific issue of which restaurants get listed on our official agenda. As the rules make clear, even once a restaurant is listed in our official agenda, there are numerous circumstances under which we still do not eat there (e.g. if the restaurant is closed or out of business or has no room for us). In such cases, we instead "fill up at Harvey's", and do NOT return to the missed restaurant the next (or any other) week -- that place has simply missed out on us. But that is a separate issue from which restaurants get listed in the first place.

We note in passing that, over the years, certain other rules have been added as well. For example, at some point in the 1990s, it was decided that we did not have to eat at any restaurant which has nothing on the menu other than Stew of Cods' Heads, or is known to contravene the official Serial Diners code of ethics. But these are mere trifles -- the issue of which restaurants should be included in the official agenda has been our most vexing rules debate.

With these additional historical insights, you can now return to the Serial Diners rules with greater understanding and context.

See also the Serial Diners current agenda and rules 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).