Food at Caribana?
I've never been to caribana in the 20-odd years i've lived in toronto.... most likely because of travel or softball commitments .... but is there street food?
I'm planning to go downtown/centre island on friday and was wondering if there were any areas of great caribbean/island food .... i read somewhere there was a toronto island event, but it's on saturday ....
nonetheless, any tips for food, prices, what to look for, etc. ... would be much appreciated!!
You probably won't find much in the way of exciting Caribbean street food anywhere on Friday, as the main event where most of the vendors are is the parade, which runs along the Lakeshore on Saturday.
There's also the Caribana Lime event that usually happens on the Island on Sunday & Monday, but it's been moved to Ontario Place this year due to the strike.
Other Caribbean-themed events this weekend that will likely have big food components are Island Soul at Harbourfront (Fri evening & all day Sat-Mon), and Irie Fest at Queen's Park (Sat-Mon).
The original poster's message was from 2008.. I was confused why he was mentioning Centre Island....
Looking forward to checking out the other events at Harbourfront this year as well as Queens Park. I went to Caribana last year for the first time and I am not sure if I will go back this year. I found it pretty chaotic. The floats seemed to move super slow. A tip if you are going though, bring ear plugs. The music on those trucks are SOOO loud...
chaos and loudness is part of the fun! but for those who like a little more order, it might be worth paying to get into the actual stadium where you see all the floats from the stand. you miss out on the crowds and dancing with the floats, and all the food, but you might see more of the parade.
this will be my first year where i miss caribana since i've come to toronto! at the parade itselft there is lots of food but make sure you go to the lake side of the parade, not the cne grounds side. the former has mostly caribbean food, whereas the latter has lots of chains set up and north american standard street food (pizza slices, hot dogs etc). on the south side, you really needs to walk a bit to assess the different vendors. there is a lot of repetition (a lot of jerk, a lot of fried fish etc), but you can find some less available items. i'd suggest not to get the 'dinner plate' of anything - too much food, you won't feel like sampling anything else. instead, go for snacky stuff - doubles, fritters, souse (marinated pig feet), spicy corn etc. there are usually a couple of vendors who have fresh coconut juice, or sugar cane juice, which is nice.
i'm assuming some of the same vendors go to the island festivities.
have a great time!
Looking forward to the Caribana parade this Saturday (hopefully no rain). I think this will be my fourth time. With so many food vendors offering essentially the same thing (jerk, roti, patties, etc.), it's hard to know which one to buy from. The one with the longest line? Are there any particular vendors that you know will be there and offer good food? Any particular foods to try?
i do recognize some vendors now, although i don't remember the names. but i usually look for specific food items, with souse being my first focus since you can't get it readily at restaurants. for that i'm willing to line up. i usually go with a group of friends, so we fan out to get various items for everybody and then have a meal together. but they're random choices, based on what looks good and how hungry we are:)