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An underground restaurant, sometimes known as a supper club or closed door restaurant, is a social dining restaurant operated out of someone's home, generally bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations. They are usually advertised by word of mouth or unwanted advertising, often on the social networking site 'Facebook', and may require references to make a reservation. Websites such as BonAppetour have popped up which help people find and book these restaurants.
Underground restaurants are popular in Latin America, where they're known as a paladar. Depending on the areas law, the establishments may be illegal although they've been around for decades. They are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.
The attraction of the underground restaurant for the customer is the opportunity to sample new food, often at low cost outside the traditional restaurant experience, which can be expensive and disappointing—underground restaurants have been described as "anti-restaurants." They also generally provide a more intimate, dinner party style experience. Not only that, going to underground restaurants during travels is also a good way to escape restaurants that are tourist-traps, and truly experience the local culture and culinary scene. For the host, the benefit is to make some money and experiment with cooking without being required to invest in restaurant property. "It's literally like playing restaurant," one host told the San Francisco Chronicle, "You can create the event, and then it's over."
- Charlie's Burgers - ranked by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the top three "word of mouth" supper clubs on its list of “100 Best New Food and Drink Experiences in the World”.
- Burgos, Annalisa (23 January 2015). "Dining with Strangers". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Perlman, Dan. Mi casa, su cuenta, The Guardian, April 17, 2008.
- Smillie, Susan. Going underground, The Guardian, May 29, 2009.
- The Secret Feast, The Guardian, February 9, 2009.
- Sarah Schindler, Unpermitted Urban Agriculture: Transgressive Actions, Changing Norms, and the Local Food Movement, 2014 Wisconsin Law Review 369, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2414016
- "Come Dine With The Italians". The Local.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- DeFao, Janine. Guerrilla Gourmet, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 22, 2006.
- 'Charlie’s Burgers: European Vacation', Toronto Star, July 8, 2010.
- 'Revealed: Charlie Burger's true identity', Globe and Mail, July 22, 2011.
- 'Kitchen confidential: At this underground dinner party, cleaning your plate hurts so good', Maclean's, March 30, 2009.
- 'Fine dining alive and well in Toronto', Toronto Star, April 5, 2010.
- 'Notes from the Underground', Toronto Star, March 31, 2009.
- 'Charlie's offers good deal on great food', Toronto Star, March 31, 2009.
- Toronto 'anti-restaurant' ranked third best new food experience by Food & Wine magazine | National Post