Toronto’s top 2016 summer food festivals

Summer in the 6 is time to indulge in some delicious outdoor fun. Dine by the water, discover delicious food creations, get romantic with pasta under the stars, explore some of the TO’s top vegan fare, and more. From newfound vendors like Eva’s Original Chimneys to old favourites like Beavertails, you’ll find the best desserts, drinks and dishes this summer at these Toronto food festivals. [Image credit: iStock.com/ kitzcorner]

Toronto Union Station

1
65 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6

Union Summer: Get ready to explore Toronto’s diverse restaurant scene. Front Street Foods, an outdoor food market, hosts its Union Summer event June 27 to September 5 outside TO’s largest subway station: Union Station. Enjoy delicious foods while jamming to some live music and participating in fun kids activities. Grab a cold-pressed juice from Oats & Ivy, indulge in a gourmet hot dog from Fancy Franks, take a bite of True True Pizza, have a salsa fiesta with Mad Mexican and a must-try: Eva’s Original Chimneys’ doughnut ice cream cones.

Harbourfront Centre

2
235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

World Café: The Harbourfront Centre is TO’s international kitchen by the water all summer long. Its World Café offers new food vendors to munch from during each festival event taking place at the waterfront. Stop by during Canada Day for Beavertails pastries, tropical smoothies by Sunshine Shakes and spicy cuisine by Thai Angel. Indulge in Middle Eastern foods during Tirgan (August 20 to 23) or sizzle it up during the Hot & Spicy Food Festival from September 4 to 7. Check out Harbourfront’s website for details on all the events and vendors that will be there.

Yonge-Dundas Square

3
1707-2 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5B 1J3

Lovin’ Local Food Fest: Yonge-Dundas Square hosts Lovin’ Local Food Fest on July 9 from 11 am to 10 pm, a one-day event of celebrating and supporting local restaurants, chefs, food trucks, breweries and wineries. Enjoy corn-cooked flatbread sandwiches from The Arepa Republic, treat yourself to Sugar Mamma’s mini donuts cooked in organic coconut oil, and cool down with Chill Pops’ all-natural pressed juice ice pops. Plus, there’s more than just foods and drinks. Local talents will be performing on stage, and there’s tons of family-fun activities like arts and crafts and face-painting.

Chinese Cultural Centre Of Greater Toronto

4
5183 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1B 5Z5

TO Food Fest: Foodies will rejoice with all the food sampling within reach at the TO Food Fest. Taking place July 9 and 10 at the Chinese Cultural Centre, this event offers some of the most creatively delicious cuisines in the 6. Try grilled lamb and squid, inspired by China’s rich street-food scene. Enjoy mouth-watering Brazilian truffles from Chocollata Gourmet. Refresh yourself with a Tropic Love Concessions smoothie (it’s served inside a pineapple, watermelon or other fruit equally fun on the eyes). For something even more outrageous, try the duck confit burger from Heirloom’s food truck.

Exhibition Place

5
100 Princes Blvd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3

Toronto’s Festival of Beer: July 22 to 24 is all about Toronto’s Festival of Beer. Tickets are selling fast, with Saturday’s event fully sold out – so better act quickly! Over 60 brewers will be at the Exhibition Place, from Mill Street Brewery to Coors Light to Mad Jack and more. Enjoy musical performances by American hip-hop group House of Pain and British blues rock band The Temperance Movement. Plus, there’s lots of grub to enjoy with your brews, including a Club House La Grille grilling tent where you can meet and sample food from some of the top chefs in the city.

Corso Italia Bia

6
1287 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1B8

Pasta al Dente, Film al Fresco: Pasta and Italian cinema? Sign me up! Two Saturday nights, on July 16 and August 13, Little Italy will host Pasta al Dente, Film al Fresco. Spend the day shopping and dining in Corso Italia on St. Clair Avenue West and join the free outdoor evening screening of two films under the stars at Green P parking lot on Greenlaw Avenue. Grab some delicious pastries like custard cream cannoli from Tre Mari Bakery or Italian gelato from La Paloma. It’s a great excuse to discover the neighbourhood’s Italian restaurants and embrace its local culture.

Fort York: Garrison Common

7
250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3K9

Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival: Whether you’re a vegan, on a plant-based diet, or just want to discover some of the best meatless, eggless, dairy-free food and drink in North America, this is the event you don’t want to miss. The Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival is taking place at Fork York’s Garrison Common on Saturday, August 13 from 11 am to 7 pm. This was the festival that first introduced Doomie’s vegan Big Mac to Toronto, before the Parkdale restaurant opened in 2016. Try vegan ice cream, cupcakes, pasta, pizza, waffles, apple cider, kombucha, tacos, nachos, and so much more!

David Pecaut Square

8
215 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3G2

Sweetery Toronto Food Festival: The kid in us all will love the Sweetery Toronto Food Festival. Taking place on August 20 and 21 at David Pecaut Square and packing a ton of dessert creations, this is one sweet event. Build your own cupcake or ice cream sandwich at Bake Three Fifty’s food truck, visit the Cool Beans booth for a refreshing iced coffee float and enjoy some sweet corn-on-the-cob by The Mighty Cob. Plus, get all decked out in dessert jewellery – miniature, non-edible (FYI), sweets that you can wear as bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

Salads shouldn’t be boring. Thankfully, Toronto has some delicious choices. Whether you’re looking for meaty options or full-on vegetarian and vegan, these are the best salad bars to hit up in the 6 – from hefty portions to unique and nutritionally packed ingredients. Warning: you’ll become a salad convert in no time. [Salad at Salus Fresh Foods. Photo by Parisima Baha]
It can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the hustle-bustle of Toronto city life. Juice bars are the perfect solution, offering quick grab-and-go options that are nutritious and tasty. Whether you’re looking to go on a cold-pressed juice cleanse, need a quick, filling smoothie or healthy snacks and lunch options, these top juice bars have you covered. [Photo courtesy of Greenhouse Juice]
Turmeric lattes, also known as golden milk, started becoming a trend in 2016, continued well into 2017, and now they are a regular item on the menu of many cafés in Toronto. Not only is it a healthy drink, it’s also very soothing. With a nutty base, some spicy and many unique variations, here’s where you’ll find this hot, or iced, drink in the 6. [Turmeric latte at OFFSITE Photo by Parisima Baha] 
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