A small Airdrie eatery has made it onto Yelp’s 2024 top 100 places to eat in Canada.
The Japanese sushi bar, Mio Stone Grill & Sushi, located in the Kings Heights shopping area squeaked in at number 99.
“We were a little surprised because it's not something that we’re really focused on, it's just the day-to-day, making sure that our customers are happy, making sure that we're able to be the best that we can be,” said Kyle Wong, whose family owns the restaurant. “I guess that's more of a bonus.”
The Wong family opened Mio Stone Grill & Sushi in July of 2023 – their first restaurant.
Wong said his family didn’t know a lot about Airdrie at the time but felt welcomed by the quick-growing community.
“We just knew we were very confident in our food and in our service and lucky enough we had great customers that were there throughout the whole journey,” Wong said.
Right from the beginning the restaurant gained a loyal customer base and Wong said it’s always nice to catch up with returning customers.
While working with family presents its challenges, Wong believes balancing family and continuing to provide the best service they possibly can is a big reason for their success.
“I think what's important is that we always get to see our customers and their families,” he said. “We have a lot of customers coming in right from the beginning and they're still here. Their kids have grown up now and it's nice to see that. We're kind of part of their families and watching them grow up.”
Wong added that his family is thankful for the community of Airdrie for helping them get through the past 10 and a half years.
“COVID was a very difficult time for everyone all around the world and they were there with us and supporting us through all of that,” he said. “Without [the community] we might not even be here.”
To determine Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024, Yelp’s data science team starts by using the data generated from community submissions, according to the website.
From the candidate restaurants, Yelp narrows the list down with the expertise of community managers and Trend Expert to curate the top list.
Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken in Toronto took number one, while Minas Brazilian Steakhouse in Calgary was Alberta’s top restaurant to make the list at number 13.
Eleven restaurants in Alberta made the list altogether, five from Calgary, three from Edmonton, one from Banff, one from Jasper, and the last one from Airdrie.