When the owners of Mio Stone Grill & Sushi in Airdrie found out from their customers that they had made it into the Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024 across Canada, there was shock and surprise.

"We found out through our customers; we were getting a bunch of customers coming in telling us about it," said Kyle Wong, the son of the owners, who is also a sushi chef at the restaurant. "We were pretty shocked because it's not exactly something that we're focused on. We focus on the day-to-day, try[ing] to make the best food and [have] the best service for our customers."

The family-run restaurant on Market Street placed 99th on Yelp's list, while Toronto eatery Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken came in first. Calgary also had a few restaurants on the list, including Minas Brazilian Steakhouse at 13th, The Himilyan at 15th, while Ten Foot Henry placed 21st. Madras Cafe came in at 44th, and Big Catch Sushi came in at 50th.

When asked what Wong loves the most about his work as a chef at his family's restaurant, he said there is no doubt that plenty of love goes into preparing and cooking.

"This was something that I needed to learn and grow with because this was not exactly something that I'd been practicing. There's a lot of love and passion that's required to [master] smaller details and how you present and prepare the fish here. If you put the love into it, the customers will feel that."

Wong's family eatery, like many restaurants, has seen very tumultuous times since the COVID-19 pandemic, though he said a loyal customer base has always been there, through thick and thin.

"We were fortunate to have a very supportive community here in Airdrie. There's obviously a lot of challenges but, they were there with us throughout the entirety of COVID," he said. "That helped us out."

When asked if the family will be striving to move up in the list come next year, Wong said that while the type of feedback has been incredible, the family and the restaurant simply want to keep making incredible food.

"We're just going to continue doing what we're doing. [Our restaurant] it's a very homey, and a very family-oriented place that we have here. [We want to] continue to grow with our customers," Wong said. "Being able to hear from customers, when they come back share their stories. The food and atmosphere here are like the foundation for those types of conversations."

According to Yelp, the way the list was compiled was, 'using the data generated from our community submissions.'

"From the candidate restaurants, we narrow the list down with the expertise of our community managers and Trend Expert to curate a list as quirky, interesting and unique as the Yelp Community itself."

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