If you’re looking for a bit of a different dining experience, boy do we have something in store for you.
You’re probably familiar with the way Airbnb allows people to turn their homes into hotels, but now new websites are letting people turn their kitchens into restaurants. That’s right, you can now pay to have dinner in the home of a complete stranger.
While the idea might seem a little sketchy at first, these kinds of businesses are becoming more common in the wake of entities like Uber, Turo and, of course, Airbnb. Plus, this style of dining gives customers the chance to eat directly with the chefs, and many of these micro restaurants take themselves quite seriously.
Take Chez Lisgar, for example. It’s run by Toronto residents Nadya Khoja and her roommate Sarah Lee from inside of their apartment. To eat with them, simply request a reservation on their website. The best part is, Chez Lisgar doesn’t accept cash. All you have to do is bring the booze, and they’ll take care of supplying the food.
And with menu items like these, it’s hard to see that as a bad deal:
A photo posted by Chez Lisgar (@chezlisgar) on
Chez Lisgar is far from the only option, however. There are entire websites built around the idea of connecting customers with individuals willing to host customers in their own home. Feastly offers a great way to find micro restaurants in your area (just keep in mind that because the idea is still new, locations may not have sprung up in your area just yet). For a unique culinary experience abroad, you could even check out EatWith, which allows you to make dinner reservations at residences around the world.
If the idea of eating with strangers is a little too weird for you though, you can also get takeout from these restaurant residences. MealSurfers is Toronto specific, but lists many individuals who are willing to serve up your lunch or dinner to go.
The only real concern about the idea is that these places may not be held to the same standards as restaurants in terms of food handling and safety. While the CBC reports that Toronto health inspectors have randomly visited cooks on MealSurfers, it’s unclear whether cooks listed on other websites or in other areas are getting the same treatment.
In any case, this could be a great way to meet new folks in your community and get a taste of what they’re cooking.