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Secret Food Festivals

Mila May 8, 2007 11:42 AM

I've decided I'm fed up with giant food festivals that have become nothing more than tourist rip offs. I don't want to fight hundreds for a chunk of over cooked charred pork at Taste of the Danforth; there is no more $5 tasting tickets at the Food and Wine Expo; and definitely no more bad Summerlicious meals.

I am searching for the secret or poorly advertised street festivals, parties and great cook get-togethers.

Here's my contribution so far:
This weekend we went out in the country to Stadtlander's for his Ramps and Maple Syrup Festival. Great day, great food, 200 people.

I just came across this "Sausage Party" that took place last July with Berkshire Pork on Toronto Island. I'll find out if it is happening this year.

Last summer we were driving down Davenport and the local Portuguese community were having a little street fest, grilling sardines on the BBQ. Maybe 60 people, delicious sardines.

Let me know what you know. High profile, low profile, cheap, expensive, in or out of town…

  1. t
    toveggiegirl Nov 9, 2010 02:13 PM

    Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
    Exhibition Place, Toronto
    November 5 - 14, 2010

    Ice, Wine & Dine
    Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm.
    Elm Street comes alive on Saturday, November 13th from 4-10pm for a dynamic feast for the senses, with delicious treats from participating restaurants, mouth-watering wine pairings, live music and incredible visual spectacles. Fire performers and stilt walkers from Zero Gravity Circus, magic shows, fortune-tellers and the uplifting sounds of a capella barbershop quartet, Nitro, make this a free event not to be missed.

    Queen's Quay Chef Cooking Events
    1-3pm in the South Atrium
    Saturday, November 13 • Gus Sawh, Mariposa Cruises Chef
    Saturday, November 20 • Hiro Hasegawa, Ki Modern Japanese + Bar, Master Sushi Chef
    Saturday, November 27 • Robert Jackson, Watermark Pub’s Executive Chef

    Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
    Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    Nov 18 2010 - Nov 21 2010
    The 16th annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offers 36,000 guests the opportunity to sample over 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers from all around the world. Visitors can also sample gourmet foods and signature dishes from Toronto's top restaurants. The expo also has educational opportunities and feature areas.

    Tequila and More
    Sample tequila and enjoy authentic Latin foods, music, dance and art!
    Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    Friday, December 3, 2010

    1. t
      toveggiegirl Oct 21, 2010 01:56 PM

      Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure

      Canada’s hottest all-star culinary lineup, featuring Food Network Canada chefs David Rocco, Jamie Kennedy, Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan, and Massimo Capra, will join Chef Gordon Ramsay for the inaugural Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure, presented by World MasterCard to benefit breast and ovarian cancer education and research at Mount Sinai Hospital.

      Chef Ramsay is challenging local foodies to join in the battle against cancer on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at The Carlu in Toronto.


      1. scarberian Oct 5, 2010 03:28 AM

        I've mentioned this once before on another thread and I'm surprised no one else mentioned it here, but my wife and I used to attend the annual Feast Of Fields which is usually held mid September. What I recall is that it was/is(?) a great festival that's been going on for over 20+ years. We haven't been back due to scheduling, but it was an excellent one day festival. It's always held outdoors either in a conservation area or farm close to or within the GTA. It supports local organic farmers and all the food is cooked by up and coming or well known chefs in and around Toronto. I remember getting served by a youngish looking Jamie Kennedy at the first Feast I went to (I think it was smoked trout). The cost has always been around $100 per person, but it's all you can eat. Each stall is always something different and even the "plates" are organic (usually a leaf or hollowed out gourd, etc.) . Great selection for both carnivore and vegetarian.


        Jamie Kennedy
        9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: scarberian
          Ted Richards Oct 5, 2010 01:40 PM

          I went for the first time this year and was quite disappointed. There was nothing that was really outstanding, and most of the dishes were rather blah. The best parts for me were the wineries and a new cidery, Spirit Tree, which is unfortunately only available at the cidery in Caledon (that's a long way from Scarborough).

          One of the participants said that there was a major chef's conference that same weekend in Vancouver, so that may explain the lack of great food. For the money, it certainly wasn't worth it this year. I wish we'd gone to the Brickworks instead.

          1. re: Ted Richards
            scarberian Oct 6, 2010 03:43 AM

            That's a shame, conference or no conference it's still not a valid excuse for blah food if they're going to charge that much money. As I mentioned it's been awhile since I last attended and trust me it was worth the money back then. We always looked forward to this festival and now it looks like it may have "jumped the shark". Also back then there weren't that many food festivals going on around Toronto. Now it seems there's some festival or function happening every month and maybe the chefs around here are just too busy.

        2. t
          toveggiegirl Oct 3, 2010 09:56 AM

          Not a secret food festival, but definitely a foodie event (for a good cause).

          Eat to the Beat

          Roy Thomson Hall
          Tue., October 05, From: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

          Hosted by Willow Breast Cancer Support, Eat to the Beat features more than 60 female chefs who provide patrons with sweet and savoury delights. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Eat to the Beat, which includes Food Network's chef Anna Olson, Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries and Fiona Lim from George. All the support from Eat to the Beat goes to improving the lives of breast cancer patients.


          1917 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: toveggiegirl
            ekim256 Oct 3, 2010 09:43 PM

            Thanks! I hope there are more events like this. Food + Good causes = awesomeness

            1. re: ekim256
              toveggiegirl Oct 4, 2010 12:10 AM

              I'm with you on that one!

              1. re: ekim256
                bytepusher Oct 4, 2010 08:51 AM

                More? If you follow the event listings on sites like Taste TO you'll notice that there is something like this at least a couple of times a month. At various times of the year I gets up to multiple in a week. Frankly I've reached a point where I just toss invites to 100+ dollar fundraising food events in the bin unless I know the event is superb (ala Brickworks Picnic)

                1. re: bytepusher
                  ekim256 Oct 4, 2010 09:08 PM

                  well it looks like I haven't been searching hard enough. Besides Brickworks, what do yo consider outstanding?
                  I'm also on the lookout for places in TO that do this in general, not necessarily events but things like St. John's Bakery. I just think it's a really neat concept.

            2. t
              toveggiegirl Sep 17, 2010 02:21 PM

              A few more...

              Vibrant Columbia Diaspora Festival
              Fri, Sep 17, 2010 -- Sun, Sep 19, 2010
              Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

              Sat, Sep 18, 2010
              Cheese Boutique Fall 2010 Tasting Series
              Cheese Boutique, 45 Ripley Avenue
              12:00 noon to 4:00 PM

              Sat, Sep 18, 2010 -- Sun, Sep 19, 2010
              Korean Harvest Festival
              Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
              9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

              Cheese Boutique
              45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

              1. t
                toveggiegirl Sep 17, 2010 12:41 AM

                Here are a few upcoming food-related events in Toronto.

                Toronto Ukrainian Festival 2010
                Bloor West Village, between Jane St. and Runnymede Rd
                Friday, September 17, 2010 5pm - 1am
                Saturday, September 18, 2010 9am - 1am
                Sunday, September 19, 2010 11am - 7pm

                Good Food for All Festival
                The Stop Community Food Centre, 1884 Davenport Road
                September 18, 2010 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

                Applicious 3rd Annual Fall Festival
                Woodbine Park, Coxwell Ave & Lake Shore Blvd E
                September 18, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

                Iron Cupcake Toronto
                For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty Street
                Sunday, September 19, 1:00 pm

                Make It Ontario Beef Tailgate Event
                Rogers Centre, Gate 11
                Sunday, September 19, 2010, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

                3rd Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off
                Gymnasium at Harbourfront Community Centre
                Saturday, October 2, 2 - 4:30 pm

                4th Annual Picnic at the Brick Works
                Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
                Sunday, October 3, 2010, 12:00 pm  –  4:00 pm

                Chilean Wine and Food Festival
                Tuesday, October 5, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

                3 Replies
                1. re: toveggiegirl
                  ekim256 Sep 17, 2010 01:13 AM

                  Fantastic!! Thanks so much veggie :)

                  1. re: ekim256
                    toveggiegirl Sep 17, 2010 08:41 AM

                    My pleasure! Feel free to report back if you make it to any of these events. I'd love to go to the Brick Works picnic, but I'm not going to make it this year.

                    1. re: toveggiegirl
                      ekim256 Sep 17, 2010 10:59 AM

                      Me neither - I don't think I'll be in town
                      I might check the pulled beef one out, ooh boy I love pulled meat sandwiches!

                2. ekim256 Sep 16, 2010 09:27 PM

                  Pedestrian Sundays @ Kensington Market! It's a lot of fun, and lots of restaurants sell food on the streets - some new & usual fare. Great way to introduce yourself to the area.
                  I saw this thread while looking up food fests, so I made a post about it!
                  Pics: http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/09/kensington-market-pedestrian-sundays.html

                  It changes up every Sunday, but here's a quick run down of my last experience:

                  Platanos with pulled pork and sauce
                  Intrigued by the plantain patty, this was immediately ordered. Covered in spicy mayo, I liked the plantain but (as expected) the pulled pork wasn't that great. I would love to see plantain patties used for other sandwiches though! Their hot sauce was perfect for giving it a good kick.

                  Beef, chicken, chorizo, ricotta with mozzarella, & humita empanadas
                  Their empanadas were good - I especially liked adding chimichurri - one spoonful was not enough! I tried their chorizo empanada, which was tasty and not too filling...perfect because I wanted to try lots of different food that day! I would like to go back to try their traditional beef empanada, to compare it with Jumbo's version. Definitely my favourite empanada so far.

                  Stuffed Pobleno
                  Yum!!!. Stuffed with mozerella and Mexican cheese, this deep fried pepper is topped with a marinara-like sauce which I mixed with some more of their hot sauce. The owner kindly gave me a second helping of the tomato sauce upon request =


                  El Gordo
                  Burrito Empanada
                  Filled with beans and cheese, I was lucky enough to grab one right when it came out of the oven so the pastry was very flaky and fresh. While very tasty, I think I wouldve preferred the beef as I found it was a bit of a cheese-overload by the time I finished it. If you like cheesy food, go for it!

                  Next to Segovia, there was a stand with freshly-made churros filled with you choice of caramel, strawberry, or chocolate syrup. Despite my friend's utter disgust with the squishy dough slithering out from the machine, a chocolate-filled churro was ordered. Mmm, fresh and crispy.

                  Fresco's Cuisine Inc. Fish & Chips
                  Also tried were a trio of fried seafood skewers from Fresca. As they weren't fresh, the battered pieces were not crispy or particularly tasty. Not the best advertisement for their fish & chips - I won't be trying anything from them in the future.

                  Other vendors were selling Indian cuisine, pastries, jewellery, and sandwiches. As we munched away, we wandered the streets and enjoyed the fun vibe. In the spirit of Pedestrian Sunday, some locals were playing music and there were children selling some fun treats.

                  An oyster-loving friend was happy to discover these on sale outside of New Seaway Fish Market. Shucked to order, there were 4 varieties: French Kiss, Lucky Lime (PEI), and Kumamoto (2 for $5) as well as a BC variety (3 for $5).

                  I really like going to this, I mean I hit it once a week for fruit & veggies anyways...might as well make a fun day out of it! There are 2 more left!


                  Fish Market Restaurant
                  54 St York, Ottawa, ON K1N5T1, CA

                  1. RosiePosie Jul 3, 2010 04:39 PM

                    Harbourfront Centre has a different festival every weekend in the summer called WORLD ROUTES, usually with a very strong food element (some are specifically called "food festivals"). This weekend is "The Hot Spot", upcoming is "Fortune Cooking", "Hot & Spicy", "Island Soul", Love, Saskatchewan", etc. There are food events that are present at every festival including the Greenbelt Tasting Market (free samples and opportunity to chat with the Greenbelt farmers who are on-site), the World Cafe Tent where you can buy meals from around the world, etc. There are a series of "Iron Chef" competitions throughout the summer as well, themed on local Canadian cuisine, different styles of dumplings, etc. - If you follow the most popular TO foodies on Twitter, most have been Tweeting live results from today's competition!

                    All info and listings at http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/worldroutes

                    Also - the free film series (Wednesday nights on the Sirius Stage outside) is food-themed in 2010. More details at http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/fre...

                    Hope this helps!

                    1. food face Jun 22, 2010 07:09 PM

                      This post got me thinking about looking at food experiences outside the box. Thanks Mila for starting this post. I got obsessed with the idea of a fish fry. Sure enough I found a great one! St. Georges Anglican Church 15 minutes from Collingwood in the town of Clarksburg hosts one annually. It’s a major even for the church and Christian or not they welcome everyone. The church is in Clarksburg and the event this year was on Saturday June 19th 2010. $15 get’s you in. You can buy advanced tickets in Collingwood and in Meaford too or pay at the gate. The town is picture perfect and very pretty. The church is also quite charming with lots of property and greenery and gardens. The do a great job of setting up tents with lovely wood tables. There was even live old timer Christian tunes for senior listening pleasure.
                      So let’s get to the food. They had a standard spread of salads (pasta, potato and coleslaw). The pasta salad was really nice with lots of vegetables and a good variety of them too. It was also great because there was no dreadful mayo in it. I was wondering where all the fish was being prepared. I glanced towards the back of the property and saw 2 white vans with the back doors swung open. I walked to them to find a full on fish fry operation in full swing. Each van housed a massive square double vat of bubbling oil and golden portions of fish. They where deep frying battered Georgian Bay White fish and Trout. The prepared fish would be brought to a senior citizen church volunteer to be doled out at the buffet. The lady at the buffet was surly and wouldn’t tell me which was trout and which was whitefish. I’m not sure what I had first but it had a “fishy” taste to it. I thought it must be white fish. So for my next piece I decided to go to the source- the Fry Van. They knew exactly which fish was which and he gave me a piece of Trout. I though it also tasted a little fishy. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good just fishy if that makes sense? Perhaps I’m not used to eating Georgian Bay fish??? The pieces where huge and unlike fish and chips. They had been deboned but not deskinned. The batter was golden, light, crispy and not at all greasy.
                      The best part of the experience was the pie. Spanning 2 fold out tables where trays upon trays of every kind of homemade pie you could ever imagine! Grandma baking. Literally! I was in church food heaven. Being rhubarb and strawberry season I had one of each. My piece of strawberry pie had whipped cream on it too. Albeit cool whip but it was a nice touch and looked pretty. It was killer. Fresh strawberries and perfect flaky crust. The rhubarb pie was just as good. They also had pecan, pumpkin, pumpkin custard, apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon meringue, key lime and on and on. All washed down with some lemonade. They also had a tea/coffee station. The best part was I made some friends too! The folks I sat with were welcoming as were most of the people at the event. Many people seemed to get a kick out of the fact that I was from Toronto and learned about the Fish Fry from the internet.

                      St. Georges Anglican Church Website:


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: food face
                        Arcadiaseeker Jun 23, 2010 07:12 AM

                        Hey food face -- fyi, Jamie Kennedy does an annual fish fry outdoors in the field next to the community hall in Hillier, a tiny town in Prince Edward County - it is great. Coleslaw, beet salad, good desserts. It's on Saturday night (June 26th). You have to have tickets but I am not sure how they are sold. We have been every year (not this year sadly).

                        Jamie Kennedy
                        9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

                        1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                          jaymando Jul 3, 2010 06:54 PM

                          Looks like this church has a corn roast in August...it's worth going just for the homemade pies!

                          1. re: jaymando
                            food face Jul 4, 2010 12:54 PM

                            Jay, now you got me thinkin about the corn roast. If they have pies, it would be worth it. Very worth it.

                      2. a
                        Arcadiaseeker Jun 15, 2010 11:10 AM

                        Vickie's Veggies holds an heirloom tomato tasting in Prince Edward County every September (usually the first weekend). It's wonderful. And if you love tomatoes you can walk away with huge basketfuls for not too much $$$.

                        1. i
                          iheartpie May 28, 2010 10:24 AM

                          Although I'm not a vegetarian, I always enjoy going down the the Vegetarian Food Fest at Harbourfront. I believe it's in August? Lots of great veggie treats, delicious vegan baked goods. Reasonably priced. Low key, but a little busy. Delicious roasted seasoned corn, lots of Asian and East Indian options, a great burrito guy and vegan pizza just to start. Lots of art, info and products available. There is usually a big booth wth fresh cut fruit. A giant rip off, but hey, it's good (and they usually have fresh coconuts!)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: iheartpie
                            gregclow Jun 15, 2010 08:14 AM

                            The Vegetarian Food Fair is on Sept 10-12 this year. I believe it always falls on the weekend after Labour Day. More info at http://veg.ca/content/view/52/83/

                          2. t
                            TOChow May 28, 2010 07:59 AM

                            In September at Ethiopian day at Christie Pits park you can get lots of great Ethiopian food. http://www.ethiocommun.org/ethioday09/

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TOChow
                              BusterRhino May 28, 2010 09:22 AM

                              If you are really interested in this get yourself hooked up with some other foodies..Lots of them out there. We meet in Toronto once or twice a month and try new things with other foodies. Almost always the same group, some come, some go, etc. It's more fun than looking for events since you are simply making your own.

                            2. s
                              Strongbad789 May 15, 2010 06:03 AM

                              This website is pretty good for keeping track of upcoming Toronto food events: http://www.tasteto.com/events/

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Strongbad789
                                chrisfernando100 Jun 14, 2010 07:17 PM

                                that's a good one.

                              2. t
                                torontogourmet May 15, 2010 05:29 AM

                                Went to the Turkish festival last year at Dundas square - very authentic delicious and cheap food... http://www.torontoturkishfestival.org...

                                1. fruglescot Feb 8, 2008 08:34 PM

                                  RIBS ..PULLED PORK..KARAOKE CONTESTS and BEER

                                  Of course there are the ANNUAL ROTARIAN RIB FESTS around the GTA . Thomson Memorial Park on Brimley Rd. just north of Lawrence Ave East out in north east Scarborough is where I attend in August.

                                  < http://www.scarbororibfest.com/ >

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: fruglescot
                                    Paulustrious Mar 17, 2009 02:38 PM

                                    I think the site is:


                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                      chrisfernando100 Aug 23, 2009 08:27 PM

                                      just found this while searching for and indonesian restaurant and i think this thread is awesome and should be kept current.

                                      my input, the bread and honey festival in streetsville, more about beer than food but definitely a good place to pick up local honeys and a pretty good time as well...


                                    2. re: fruglescot
                                      CeeQueue Aug 24, 2009 08:32 AM

                                      In my opinion, give Ribfest a pass and find a way to make a pilgrimage to Buster Rhino's in Whitby (not open weekends or past 8 pm, which can make it difficult for a road trip).

                                      Great smoky smell when you walk in the door, nicely smoked (huge smoke-ring) ribs, though back ribs so I found them a tad less meaty than I like). I haven't tried the brisket I brought home yet, as I had a vegetarian visiting for the weekend. Looking forward to it and will report back (in a new review thread).

                                      1. re: CeeQueue
                                        chrisfernando100 Sep 12, 2009 09:09 AM

                                        weekly bbqs, every saturday at black angus meats @ cawthra & lakeshore. i'm headed there now for some bison ribeye. the shop is awesome as well, awesome meats, game meats, sausages, burgers, the best pate i've ever had, etc...

                                        1. re: chrisfernando100
                                          chrisfernando100 May 15, 2010 04:43 AM


                                          street side seafood...apparently passed in april...anyone know if this happens again in the summer?

                                          1. re: chrisfernando100
                                            jayseeca May 15, 2010 07:41 AM

                                            This happens all the time in the summer... I don't think its ever planned, but usually on Pedestrian Sundays when its bright and sunny out... and thus far, we've had very few of these days.

                                    3. m
                                      merlot143 Aug 26, 2007 10:58 AM

                                      There is a September festival in Broadview Chinatown. I forget the name, but it is similar to the Taste of the Danforth. The stores bring out their wares, and the streets are closed. I prefer it to the TOTD but it is advertised only in Chinese papers. It takes place in a Saturday.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: merlot143
                                        fruglescot Feb 8, 2008 08:18 PM

                                        THAI FOOD FESTIVAL
                                        I remember attending a Thai food Festival at Nathan Phillip's Square-Toronto City Hall one Saturday and Sunday the same day as the start of the Hare Krishna Island festival. A variety of Thai restaurants were represented and sample tastes were quite inexpensive. We even had a Thai message there.
                                        (ouch) under a tent on a very hot humid day.

                                      2. t
                                        torontogal Aug 26, 2007 08:02 AM

                                        This weekend is the African Food Festival between Crawford St. and Ossington Ave., (Bloorcourt Village). Just read about it in the Star http://www.thestar.com/News/article/2... .

                                        1. JamieK Aug 23, 2007 02:57 PM

                                          Saw a poster today for an event called 'Family Fun Day on the Danforth', taking place Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entertainment, kids' activities and "international cuisine" promised. If I remember correctly, it will extend from Woodbine to Greenwood.

                                          1. DockPotato Aug 8, 2007 03:30 PM

                                            Very few people have a chance to experience wild, fresh, Great Lakes Salmon or Trout. The Chantry Salmon Derby affords such a chance. This is good, old-time, Ontario, stripped-down, country eating with no pretense.

                                            The Derby takes place about the first 2 weeks of August. Contestants donate their catches to the committee in order to stay within legal daily catch/possession limits. The results are fried up on the first and second Fridays.

                                            $12 buys you all you can eat - baked potato or supermart fries, supermarket cole slaw and...

                                            wild, Lake Huron: Lake Trout; Chinook Salmon; Coho Salmon; Pink Salmon; Brown Trout, or Rainbow Trout. Any shortfall due to the Fish Fry's popularity is made up by local, commercially caught Whitefish - from our Sobey's I believe.

                                            In truth there is mostly Lake Trout and Whitefish on the menu which is still not shabby considering they don't have far to swim to the frier. The fish are deep fried in a commercial batter and the frier knows what he is doing.

                                            You takes what you gets in the lineup because that's the way of it and don't ask if it's whatever kind of Salmon or Trout because no-one will tell you unless you've spent a winter here.

                                            There is a fry-up this Friday beginning at 5:00 p.m.

                                            I'm a paid-up member of the Lake Huron Fishing Club whose volunteer conservation and fish stocking programmes benfit us all, so I tout shamelessly.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: DockPotato
                                              xtal Aug 8, 2007 03:48 PM

                                              This sounds absolutely delicious! Too bad I'm out of town this weekend. I hope some other 'hounds can partake and report back.

                                              1. re: xtal
                                                Recyclor Aug 8, 2007 04:52 PM

                                                ...this sounded awsome!...until this part...

                                                "You takes what you gets in the lineup because that's the way of it and don't ask if it's whatever kind of Salmon or Trout because no-one will tell you unless you've spent a winter here."

                                                ..but, if I was driving by and happened to see a fish fry in progress the brakes would be working overtime!...

                                              2. re: DockPotato
                                                julesrules Aug 26, 2007 10:31 AM

                                                In Wiarton, near our cottage, there seems to be a charity fish fry almost every weekend of the summer, using local whitefish or splake. I've also had awesome homemade pies at one of these, although they don't all claim to offer that.

                                              3. m
                                                merlot143 Jun 14, 2007 10:17 AM

                                                There's a Chinese festival in late September in Broadview Chinatown. It's like a Taste of the Danforth with outdoor dim sum, rides etcc. I don't know the name of it or the date. Sometimes I wake up and find out there's a festival right around the corner.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: merlot143
                                                  TOChow Aug 8, 2007 08:35 AM

                                                  I saw a Portugese bbq sardine festival one summer day on Dundas West near Ossington. Now I can't remember when it was. Does anyone know?

                                                  1. re: TOChow
                                                    chocabot Aug 8, 2007 10:52 AM


                                                    please don't be joking.

                                                    1. re: chocabot
                                                      TOChow Aug 9, 2007 06:44 AM

                                                      Yes. It was maybe 2 or 3 years ago. I think it was next to that St Christopher House on the corner. They had Sumol to drink and sardines.

                                                    2. re: TOChow
                                                      fruglescot Feb 8, 2008 08:10 PM

                                                      I believe I attended that street festival with my GF. It was around that area and was organized by the residents of the unrembered street name.
                                                      I remember the grilled Portuguese sardines. there were draws for prizes and many activities for the neighbourhood kids including construct your personal pizza. We heard about it in Now Newspaper 'DAILY EVENTS" Section.

                                                  2. m
                                                    Mila May 16, 2007 10:39 AM

                                                    That reminded me that St Lawrence Market does it's customer appreciation night which I went to a few years ago.
                                                    Googled it and alas, missed it by a month. So for next year. Just ask any merchant, they love giving out tickets.

                                                    Customer Appreciation Night
                                                    April 12, 7 to 9:30 p.m., South Market

                                                    "Our annual party to thank our customers with FREE food and entertainment inside the Market after hours. By invitation only; available from Market merchants from March 24th."

                                                    Thanks everyone for suggestions and hopefully we can follow up this summer with how each festival went.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Mila
                                                      ylsf Jun 14, 2007 08:11 AM

                                                      The Taste of Little Italy is on this weekend:


                                                      Was there a few years ago and it was a fun night

                                                      1. re: ylsf
                                                        jayt90 Jun 14, 2007 08:45 AM

                                                        Argentine BBQ's are woth looking for. Just ask a friend from there.
                                                        The biggest and best was Joe Foti's, near Vaughan and Oakwood, until his death about three years ago. The beef and pork were raised on grass near Scugog, and a huge wood fired grill was set up for three adjoining back yards. It was free, if invited, or a small Lib. party donation would get you in. Lots of liberal brass, even P.E.T one year, but each year a feast to remember.

                                                    2. oohlala May 16, 2007 10:20 AM

                                                      There's the annual "night market" at Metro Square (steeles and warden)


                                                      most of these street food are common in east asian countries (HK, china, taiwan). The event gets bigger and bigger every year, it gets really really crowded since the size of the parking lot doesn't change at all, boo~

                                                      Try the stinky tofu if u're there~ u'll never forget it

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: oohlala
                                                        fruglescot Feb 8, 2008 08:03 PM

                                                        Yes ,oohlala,
                                                        the Asian Night Market was quite a unique experience when I attended last. Thousands of mainly Asians congregated in the parking area.
                                                        The sounds, the buzz, the smoke flavoured night air filled with the smells of
                                                        a vast variety of exotic food items. Sampling was very delightful and inexpensive. I did try the stinky tofu and enjoyed it. It was a night to imprint upon your memories.

                                                      2. orangewasabi May 9, 2007 08:41 AM

                                                        there are a bunch of food events coming up around Buddha's Birthday -- next weekend and around that time

                                                        There is a festival at the Buddhist center on College, west of Spadina. And a banquet at the Pink Pearl in Queen's Quay among other festivities

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: orangewasabi
                                                          storeman May 10, 2007 05:28 AM

                                                          If you go to the City of Toronto Web site they show all the Street closing for Festivals and Events in Toronto


                                                        2. thought_for_food May 9, 2007 07:58 AM

                                                          There is a street festival with a lot of food to taste in Little India (Gerrard) some time in the summer. I can't remember exactly when, unfortunately.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: thought_for_food
                                                            Olivia Jun 14, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                            Thanks for the heads up!

                                                            I also think Little India is a great place to go anytime in the summer for streetfood: between the grilled meats, corn, kulfi, and other goodies it's a festival all summer!

                                                            1. re: Olivia
                                                              thought_for_food Jun 14, 2007 10:01 AM

                                                              Aha! The Festival of South Asia will take place on Gerrard August 18th and 19th. Last year it featured classical dancing, pop singing, and a whole lot of eating. If you've not tried barbequed corn rubbed in lime juice and rolled in spices or battered and deep fried hot peppers or kulfi (ice cream), this is a good opportunity to do so.


                                                          2. mikeb May 9, 2007 06:24 AM

                                                            The Indonesian Christian Church at 1000 Petrolia Road is holding their annual Indonesian Food Bazaar on June 9th starting at 11am. It's likely one of the last places to offer Indonesian food within the city limits. I had not heard of it until this year, so I don't know what it is like. The contact number is 416-665-4777.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: mikeb
                                                              mogo Apr 2, 2008 11:55 AM

                                                              For Indonesian food, here's also the Warung Kopi run by UNICAS coming up on April 26. Menu includes:

                                                              "Nasi Gudeg, Bakmie Kangkung, Nasi lemak (nasi gurih, Ayam kari, Sambal teri kacang, serundeng, green beans), lumpia [and other small foods], [Indonesian snacks]."


                                                              and they have a Spring Bazaar on May 24 as well:

                                                            2. d
                                                              DylS May 9, 2007 06:22 AM

                                                              The Dufferin Grove Tasting Fair, a joint offering of Slow Food and the market (and one of Slow's cheaper events), usually late Sept/early Oct, $2 an item/drink ... good local organic etc.

                                                              One summer we chanced upon a big Hare Krishna festival on the island -- dunno if it's an annual event. Great smells, great food, little proselytizing. Long lineup for cheap and yummy pork curry ... suspiciously next to the empty elephant ride. (The other grey meat?!)

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: DylS
                                                                Zengarden May 11, 2007 04:11 AM

                                                                I think that there is also a Duffering Grove Community dinner. Has anyone gone and can you please tell us how it works?

                                                                1. re: Zengarden
                                                                  jayseeca May 15, 2010 07:38 AM

                                                                  The dinners are every Friday (weather permitting), in the summers they have them outdoors by the gardens and pizza oven. Volunteers shop at the farmers market at Dufferin Grove on Thursdays, and on Friday they cook a meat main, a vegan main, 2 sides, and a dessert.

                                                                  The mains usually are $6, or PWYC depending on your financial situation. I love the idea of it, and the fact that they cook organically... I've been a few times, but have never been in love with the dinners.

                                                                  I do, however love the little snack cart that they bring out everyday in the summer with hotdogs, soups, cookies, sandwiches... etc. I guess it's because I know what to expect...


                                                                  Dufferin Cafe
                                                                  2917 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3S7, CA

                                                                2. re: DylS
                                                                  fruglescot Feb 8, 2008 07:52 PM

                                                                  The Hare Krishna Island festival is an annual affair commencing with a huge street parade of hopping, flower petal throwing, Krishna chanters and giant floats from the temple on Avenue rd. I understood that it was a weekend event with the food provided gratis by the religious sect on opening day.
                                                                  More accurate info can be obtained by connecting with the temple.

                                                                  1. re: fruglescot
                                                                    Teep Jun 22, 2010 07:16 PM

                                                                    The food is mostly rice, veg curry, salad and sweets, prepared in giant batches. Not recommended for foodies.

                                                                3. e
                                                                  escoffier May 9, 2007 06:19 AM

                                                                  There's a pretty good latino festival at Christie Pits in late June/Early July, food, music and a beer garden. There's also the car-free Sundays in Kensington Market. It might not be a food fest but there is some damn fine food around the area available for sampling.

                                                                  1. Wiley May 9, 2007 04:37 AM

                                                                    Didn't make it last year on Sept 30,(the first one), but the Leslieville Catfish Festival sounds enjoyable. Jimmy Simpson Park

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Wiley
                                                                      julesrules May 9, 2007 06:03 AM

                                                                      Thanks for the reminder. Pretty sure they got rained out last year (I had other plans but I know it was a very crappy day). They had some interesting-sounding musicians scheduled too. I heard about it from Cajun Corner's website.

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      peppermint pate May 8, 2007 06:39 PM

                                                                      It's not particularly secret or poorly advertised but I tried the Salsa Festival on St. Clair West last summer and had a great time - yummy papusas and churros were the standouts for me.

                                                                      1. orangewasabi May 8, 2007 05:28 PM

                                                                        I agree, the Afrofest in Queens Park is a lot of fun. Not too crowded, good food, great music

                                                                        1. f
                                                                          FlavourPrincess May 8, 2007 12:24 PM

                                                                          Some I've found enjoyed in the past

                                                                          African, Queens Park, mid July
                                                                          Hot & Spicy, Harbourfront, mid August
                                                                          Latin American, Corso Italia, mid July
                                                                          Caribana, Lower Eglinton, early August

                                                                          Mila, when is the portugese one?

                                                                          - Kelly

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: FlavourPrincess
                                                                            Mila May 8, 2007 01:05 PM

                                                                            Well, it kinda went like this. We were meandering (...lost) and trying to find our way back downtown when my roommate spotted bushels of tomatoes on sale for $15. We screamed to a halt and purchased 3 bushels from this funny shop that looked like it specialized in homemade wine supplies and grapes. As close as I can figure after the fact it was Culotta Grapes & Darrigo's Grape Juice Limited at 1800 Davenport.


                                                                            Right around the corner they were having this little streetfest. And it was sometime around tomato season.

                                                                            Sorry, it can't get more cryptic than that. Thanks for your tips.

                                                                            1. re: Mila
                                                                              crawfish May 11, 2007 03:14 AM

                                                                              In Kensington one day a few summers ago, thePortuguese fish shops were grilling sardines out on the side walk in front of their stores. We never figured out what was going on. I don't think it was part of the pedestrian Sundays.

                                                                              1. re: crawfish
                                                                                NewtonSquare Aug 26, 2007 12:09 PM

                                                                                If you'd like to do your own Portuguese Sardine BBQ, you can find them at NO-Frills, frozen. Just sprinkle with O-Oil and let sit for a hour or so B4 BBQ-in' Delicious...........just like our Portuguese neighbours do. We join them several times a year for these and Sea Bass/Trout also at N/F's.

                                                                                This past Sat. there was a Ukranian celebration at Centenial Park (Eglinton and Renforth) probably not well publicized, but was in the local paper (The Guardian) Lots of Hulupchi (?) and Pierogi and Sausages, but an extended rain shower kind of cooled things down.

                                                                            2. re: FlavourPrincess
                                                                              hungry_pangolin Aug 23, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                                              I saw in the food section of the Star that this coming weekend is an African street fest at Bloor and Ossington (I think.... certainly that area of Bloor). I'm definitely going to be there.

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