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May 9, 2009 06:31 PM

Ribfests- opinions?

My SO and I are huge rib fans. However we have not been to any ribfests in the GTA due to the lack of car. But now we have a car, we would like to know which ones you think are the best so far and which vendor?!


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    1. It's a fun time out, I go more for the social aspect than the actual quality of the ribs. Ribs are decent, but nothing that is incredible. Camp 31 tends to get the most kudos, depending on the year, others have outdone them. Still they are probably the most consistent of the stands.

      Etobicoke is probably the most convenient (or rather least of all evils) for downtowners. If you go to more than one, you'll see most of the same vendors making the rounds. You will also grossly overpay for things like corn on the cob and drinks.

      The biggest one is generally Burlington, which is along the waterfront. Much better atmosphere than Etobicoke, which I find gets dusty at times.

      1. I think Etobicoke is best, I didn't know Burlington is bigger... Biggest one I've been to is Etobicoke which is at least double the size of Mississauga and the other ones I've been to

        My favorite vendor is Carolina Rib King.

        7 Replies
        1. re: duckdown

          I've only been to the Etobicoke Ribfest and my favourite is Carolina Rib King too!

          1. re: always_eating

            right on! good choice :)

            they never seem to get mentioned on here, probably because they only come around for all the ribfests, but they are my favorites

          2. re: duckdown

            Do any of these ribfests have brisket, chicken, or beef ribs?

              1. re: c_snapper

                Thanks - can anyone point me to a schedule of local GTA ribfests?

              2. re: Teffub

                Hi, only brisket I saw last year was at the Burlington one, but it was chopped beef not sliced and tasted like it was from a gas cooker, not smokey at all. Was a team from Texas, forgot the name...I have not seen brisket at any other ribfest, I go to Mississauga, Burlington and Etobicoke...I remember Carolina Rib King...liked their ribs, sauce had a molasses element to it...unless I am confusing with another...usually get pulled pork from Gator for 9-10 bucks for a pound of it...they have good sauce, wife likes them...their ribs were just average though.

              3. re: duckdown

                Burlington is Canada's biggest ribfest and apparently has been since its inception, so 15 years now. Growing up there, the tagline gets pounded into your mind. See:

              4. Etobicoke is fun b/c there's lots of people - but the line ups are horrendous. I had a really good time at the one in Guelph

                1. If you have a car, Scarborough isn't bad -- ample parking etc. I used to say Markham was the best but last year they began charging admission (supposedly to pay for the concert, even if you weren't there for that) so I no longer go there. My personal favorite is Oshawa, as there's lots of parking and if you use the back lot behind the carnival rides rather than the main lot out front, you can avoid having to "run the gauntlet" of pushy charities and snake oil salesmen as you enter and leave like you have to do at most fests.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: TexSquared

                    My 2 faves are etobicoke and burlington.
                    Etobicoke (@ Centenial Park) falls on july 1st long-weekend. Usually runs friday-monday. The weather is perfect at this time and the food delicious. All the vendors are pretty similar. Your best bet is to try a few! Gators, Uncle Sam's and Camp 31 are some of my faves. This ribfest is a good for families because it has other stuff to do beyond eat ribs - fireworks for Canada day, bands on stage, and rides/games for the kiddies.

                    Burlington usually falls on labour day weekend. Its a nice one because its by the water. I recall hearing some good music at this one.

                    Warning: Parking at both is abit of a pain. Be prepared to wait in lines, both in the parking lot and at the vendors.

                    1. re: pancake

                      I find if you go later at night the lines are not as bad. You'll always encounter them, but they are usually worse in the early evening.