Top 23 food festivals and dining events in Toronto this October

October 2, 2017

by Jennifer D’Agostino

The crisp fall breeze is finally in the air, and that means there will be plenty of foodie events to check out in October! Choose from a variety of events and festivals from the Cask Beer Festival to the annual Empty Bowls charity event. Here are the top 23 food festivals and dining events this month! [Photo courtesy of Cask Days Festival]

Top 23 food festivals and dining events in Toronto this October

Mezcal Tasting at Milagro
Guests can enjoy and learn about the ancestral agave distillate at Milagro’s special mezcal tasting. Led by Mescal Ambassador Yvette Astorga, the event includes Chef Arturo Anhalt’s favourite mezcales, like Mezcal Amores Joven Espadin and Mescales De Leyenda Joven Espandin.

National Taco Day: L.A. Style
Celebrate National Taco Day with Lisa Marie! Lisa Marie welcomes Chef Wes Avila of the famous L.A. food truck Guerrilla Tacos. Chow down and learn why L.A. has some of the best tacos north of the border! The tacos will be paired with L.A. inspired cocktails.

Mommy & Me Tea Party
To celebrate the Toronto School Board P.A. Day, The Old Mill is hosting a Mommy & Me Tea Party. The menu includes classic tea blends, tea sandwiches, scones and of course Battenberg cake! Children will be treated to uniquely shaped finger sandwiches, chocolate chip scones and white chocolate dipped strawberries! Kids are encouraged to bring their favourite doll or teddy bear! Reservations are required.

Steambox Dumplings Pop-Up
Steambox Dumplings hosts a pop-up at Left Field Brewery! The West-end dumpling shop is known for its authentic dumplings that are packed with flavour! No tickets are required for this event.

Taste Masters Night-Out
Enjoy the flavours of some of the best restaurants in the city. There will be tastings from the some of the top restaurants and catering companies, as well as cocktails. The event includes live music and free non-alcoholic drinks. No word yet on participants.

NoshFest – Toronto’s Jewish Food Festival
NoshFest is back this year and it’s bigger than ever! The festival celebrates Jewish culture and food, showcasing vendors from the community and beyond. The day-long festival includes demos from Amy Stopkicki and Amanda Rose, as well as kid friendly activities! No word on vendors for this year’s NoshFest.

Brewers’ Backyard Torontoberfest
Brewer’s Backyard celebrates Thanksgiving with an Oktoberfest celebration for the ages! Enjoy locally crafted beer from Beau’s, Big Rig, Muddy York, Junction, Sawdust and more. Food vendors include Delight Bite, Chimney Stax Baking Co. and WVRST. For the first hour beers will be $1 off!

Backyard Foraging and Wild Cocktails
Gain knowledge of foraging for ingredients in your own backyard! The Toronto Botanical Garden and local forger Ellen Zachos host an evening of tips on gardening, harvesting and preparing common garden plants. Learn how to make dirty daylily martinis, rose hip soup and other delicious drinks and meals! There will be a bar showcasing foraged cocktails and snacks!

Empty Bowls
Celebrating its 25th year, Empty Bowls is a charity event that sheds light on homelessness in North America. The event invites guests to taste delicious soup by some of Toronto’s best chefs including Mark Cutrara, Olivier Le Calvez, Boris Buettner and more. Soup will be served in hand crafted bowls. Proceeds go towards Anishnawbe Health Toronto.

Vegan Oktoberfest
Vegans can get on the Oktoberfest action this year at the Lithuanian Community House! Renowned chef Doug McNish creates a one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest themed dinner that is entirely vegan! There will also be a Sundae-Cake bar and, of course, gluten-free pretzels. You also get to choose between beer or a signature seasonal Kombucha cocktail!

World Eating Poutine Championship
Smoke’s Poutinerie is hosting its annual World Eating Poutine Championship again this year! The free event sees world champion eaters from around the world participate in a poutine eating competition, while guests can enjoy free poutine, participate in interactive games and enjoy live entertainment.

Evergreen’s Feast On BBQ
Enjoy delicious barbecue from some of Toronto’s most celebrated chefs! The feast features a sustainable menu created by Maple Leaf Tavern’s Jesse Vallins, and Green Wood’s Elisa Corrigan for both carnivore and vegetarians. Muskoka Brewery will be on site, offering expertly crafted beer. There will also be axe throwing!

Toronto Catering Showcase
The Toronto Catering Showcase celebrates local catering companies, and invites the public to have complete access to the caterers all under one roof! Participating caterers include Encore, Drake Catering, Food Dudes, Kiss the Cook Catering, Toben and more.

Eat to the Beat
Presented by Kitchen Aid and Cook for the Cure, Eat to the Beat is a charity event that showcases the best female chefs in the city. Now in its 22nd year, Eat to the Beat enforces the idea of women supporting women in the challenges that come from a breast cancer diagnosis. There will be more than 60 food stations and 20 beverage stations. No word yet on participants.

Fresh Hop Fest
The very first Fresh Hop Fest takes place this fall and everyone is invited! The festival offers beer lovers an evening of specialty wet hop beers, live music and delicious food. Participating breweries include Amsterdam Brewery, Big Rock Brewery, Rorschach Brewing Company, Sawdust Brewing Co. Muskoka Brewery, Radical Road Brewing Co. and others.

Restaurants for Change
On October 18, restaurants across Canada will be donating 50 to 100 per cent of their sales to local charities! The annual fundraiser depends on support of foodies who can help the cause simply by dining at the participating restaurants. Participating restaurants include Actinolite, Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, Drake One Fifty, El Rey, Big Crow, Beast, Rasa, Planta, Maple Leaf Tavern and more.

Cask Beer Festival
The Cask Beer Festival is back this year, and it’s promising to showcase even more local breweries. The festival is held the third weekend of October and boasts more than 400 types of beer and cider served over the three-day event. Alongside local and international beers, there will also be a Cask Lounge, a Beer Garden and exclusive Cask Beer Festival beers. On the last day of the event only the Volo Beer Garden will be open.

Knight School: Wild Mushroom with Dyson Forbes
Former chef and food writer Ivy Knight hosts Knight School, a quick class on wild mushrooms. Led by Dyson Forbes, participants learn about foraging and all the different kinds of wild mushrooms. Forbes will discuss the most popular mushrooms his team of expert foragers seek out, and how to cook with them.

St. Crispin’s Feast – Beer Pairing Dinner
Indie Alehouse hosts a gourmet five-course meal paired with its craft beer. The event is inspired by English cuisine and celebrates St. Crispin’s Day! The meal includes fried breads, barley shellfish porridge, lamb belly pickled salad, pork tenderloin and apple cake for dessert. The English inspired ales include St. Crispin’s Mild, Four Barrels Barley Wine, Breakfast Porter, Instigator IPA and a new beer – Red Tape Imperial Stout.

iYellow Presents: Port Party
iYellow is celebrating Taylor’s Fladgate Port which is celebrating 325 years. The party includes samples, a special birthday release and canapés from The Spoke Club. This event is 19+.

Food for Action
A gourmet dinner hosted by 20 chefs from Toronto’s top restaurants will be preparing a three-course meal at Food for Action. Each chef will be assigned to a table of eight, ensuring a unique dining experience for all. Proceeds will be donated to Action Against Hunger.

Halloween Paint Party
Celebrate Halloween at Paintlounge with painting and libations! This special edition of the paint party will be Halloween themed, and guests are encouraged to create their own goulish masterpiece. And as always, there will be wine and beer at the bar! Registration is required.

Canada Baking and Sweets Show
A truly sweet experience, Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show is packed with vendors, celebrity chefs and demos. This year’s participants include Anna Olsen, Sam Turnbull, Laura and Ceri and Sweetapolita. There will be competitions taking place throughout the two-day festival that include a Professional Baking Competition and Home Baked Recipe Competition. A vendors list has yet to be released.

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