Meals festivals and markets are again. Right here’s the place and what to eat this summer season

It’s been a roller-coaster journey the final two years, however the metropolis is alive as soon as once more. And the following two months, with meals festivals and markets galore, will likely be a major time to get out to eat.

There are the standard massive gamers to look ahead to, however we even have a brand new crop of festivals and markets, many led by pop-up distributors and caterers fashioned all through the pandemic. These new additions deliver a mixture of regional cooking hardly ever seen in eating places earlier than in addition to inventive interpretations of conventional cooking by the following era of cooks.

Lion dancers from the Wushu Project martial arts school perform at the Lucky Lion Night Market.

This would be the summer season to get your self acquainted with the culinary expertise that has been percolating over the past two years. Right here’s the place to get a style of all of it.

Afro-Caribbean Farmers’ Market

Date and site:

Saturdays from July 9 to Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to three p.m., at 1856 and 1993 Keele St.

Sundays from July 3 to Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to three p.m., at Eglinton Avenue West and Oakwood Avenue (Reggae Lane in Little Jamaica)

Value: Free admission

Distributors: 14 meals and retail distributors for Keele Road and 16 for Little Jamaica

Web site:

A plate of jerk chicken with rice and peas at the Afro-Caribbean Farmers' Market in 2021.

The Afro-Caribbean Farmers’ Market is a much-needed addition to the summer season meals panorama, specializing in meals catering to town’s massive Afro-Caribbean inhabitants.

Right here you will discover regionally grown callaloo and okra, which aren’t obtainable at many markets within the Higher Toronto Space. Meals choices embody plates of jerk hen, samosas, baked items and cups of Blue Mountain Jamaican espresso.

This yr, the market is increasing in dimension with room for meals vans specializing in Caribbean and Canadian fusion fare (assume jerk hen poutine).

The success of final yr’s inaugural market in Little Jamaica led to a second market this yr at Eglinton Avenue West and Keele Road.

At the inaugural Afro-Caribbean Farmers' Market in 2021, vendor Cosmos Baking offered savoury baked pockets stuffed with callaloo and roasted squash.

Market organizer Lori Beazer mentioned she hopes it should result in the creation of extra minimarkets across the metropolis catering to the precise culinary wants of neighbourhood residents and resulting in improved meals entry and help for native meals producers.

The market additionally has what Beazer calls Callaloo Money, credit that meals insecure consumers can use towards purchases there. “The market could be very conscious of low-income eaters,” she mentioned. “So we’ve created one thing to decrease that barrier and let folks store for the meals they need with dignity.”

Winona Peach Pageant

Date and site: Aug. 26, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Aug. 28, 10 a.m. to six p.m. at 1328 Barton Road in Winona, Stoney Creek (southeast of Hamilton)

Value: Free admission

Distributors: Over 100 meals, drink and retail

Web site:

Peach cookies, peach drink and, of course, plain Ontario peaches from the Winona Peach Festival in 2018.

The annual pageant celebrating the almighty Ontario peach is again after a hiatus as a result of pandemic.

What makes this standout in comparison with different summer season festivals is that it actually seems like a county truthful.

There will likely be customary carnival meals like funnel desserts and sizzling canine, after all, however because the title suggests there may even be peach pies, cobblers, milkshakes, sundaes and crepes.

Peach pies from the Winona Peach Festival in 2018.

And regardless of being run by native volunteer organizations, this isn’t a tiny operation: there’s a halfway with greater than a dozen rides that can make it well worth the street journey. Attempt to see how far the view goes once you’re on a ferris wheel that’s not obstructed by condos.

Heads up that parking spots replenish quick, however in previous years I’ve paid $20 to park on the property of one of many close by homes (you’ll see a whole lot of indicators for that). Or, should you’re coming by public transit there’s a shuttle from the Eastgate Sq. mall. Further journey data is on the web site.

Fortunate Lion Evening Market

Date and site:

July 1 and a pair of, 2 p.m. to midnight and July 3, 2 p.m. to eight p.m. at Splendid China Mall

July 29 to July 31, 2 p.m. to midnight; Aug. 1 midday to 6 p.m. at Bayfront Park (Harbourfront Hamilton Evening Market)

Value: Free admission

Distributors: 50 meals, drink and retail

Web site:

Two people at a booth at the Lucky Lion Night Market.

Fortunate Lion is among the newer entries within the metropolis’s meals pageant scene, specializing in East and Southeast Asian road meals.

As its title suggests, there will likely be lion dance performances placed on by the Wushu Project, a neighborhood martial arts faculty. Whereas the efficiency dates again centuries, these lions are outfitted with futuristic LED lights so get these digicam telephones prepared.

Talking of picture alternatives, over the Canada Day weekend, a replica Hong Kong taxi may even be parked on the pageant for many who need a good backdrop for his or her meals pictures.

Count on basic road meals reminiscent of barbecued scallops, takoyaki, egg waffles, dumplings, complete grilled squid on a stick and mochi doughnuts, the latter shortly turning into a staple at meals festivals.

Cotton candy is prepared at a booth at the Lucky Lion Night Market on June 16, 2022.

Yosh.TO will likely be serving treats for the Instagram-generation reminiscent of a churro corndog and twister fries with gravy and cheese (which is meant to be a poutine on a stick).

Baan Authentic Thai Cuisine, which popped up in the course of the pandemic, will likely be doing Thai dishes reminiscent of pad see ew and pad kra pao.

And, after all, an Asian evening market wouldn’t be full with out the aroma of smelly tofu wafting within the air. Discover it at Wei’s Stinky Tofu sales space.


Date and site: Each Saturday 11 a.m. to six p.m. from July 23 to Sept.10, at 7 Queens Quay East (at Yonge Road)

Variety of distributors: 50 foods and drinks

Value: Free admission

Web site:

Chef Jeremy Saluma of Slow Jams Filipino food pop-up served a lechon sandwich, kinilaw and beef empanadas at a media preview of Smorgasburg on June 13, 2022.

Brooklyn-based meals pageant Smorgasburg makes its Toronto debut on the waterfront this summer season. Full disclosure: Suresh Doss, was employed to select the meals distributors and curate the menus — so if a number of the vendor names sound acquainted, it could possibly be since you’ve examine them in these pages.

The meals is a mixture of pop-ups and small-scale caterers from throughout the Higher Toronto and Hamilton Space, lots of which will likely be serving downtown Toronto for the primary time.

A tray of ice creams from Good Gang Ice Cream at a preview event for Smorgasburg on June 13, 2022.

Market 707’s Little Sister Baking can have a brand new tapas-inspired Indian menu of spicy shrimp patties, savoury-sweet chickpea-filled palmiers and spicy rasam toast.

Scarborough-based Armenian bakery Mamajoun will likely be baking flatbreads to order with an on-site oven.

Hamilton-based Mamey will likely be doing Guatemalan tamales 3 ways: halal hen; vegan black bean, candy potato and corn; and tacky pinto bean. Wash down your order with the coconut-milk horchata.

Slow Jams will likely be doing Filipino bar snacks together with a lechon sandwich, kinilaw and beef empanadas.

Markham-based Japanese bread maker Iki Shokupan will likely be promoting shrimp and beef sandos made with its fluffy milk bread (and will likely be promoting complete loaves as effectively).

Nigerian popup Afrobeat Kitchen serves bowls of fiery jollof rice at a media preview of Smorgasburg on June 13, 2022.

Chef Victor Ugwueke of Afrobeat Kitchen will likely be serving his tackle Nigerian jollof rice, suya beef and a vegan vegetable-stuffed plantain.

For one thing candy, Good Gang Ice Cream will likely be making ice cream sandwiches, rotating totally different flavours every week reminiscent of toast and gianduja in addition to a skyr-flavoured ice cream.

Evening It Up!

Date and site: Aug. 5 (7 p.m. to midnight), Aug. 6 (2 p.m. to midnight), Aug. 7 (2 p.m. to eight p.m.) at 179 Enterprise Blvd. in Markham

Value: Free admission

Distributors: Over 100 distributors

Web site:

A yakitori vendor at the Night It Up! festival.

When the inaugural Evening It Up! pageant launched 20 years in the past, it helped kick-start our obsession with East Asian-inspired evening market festivals in Toronto. After a protracted hiatus as a result of pandemic, the three-day pageant is again.

No different market fairly captures the spirit of evening markets from East and Southeast Asia fairly like Evening It Up!

In festivals previous, unending rows of meals stalls introduced a sensory overload of smells and tastes.

Whereas the complete vendor listing for this yr hasn’t been introduced but, judging from earlier markets, you’ll be able to count on to see a number of the hottest road meals of cities like Taipei, Osaka and Seoul. Previously, eaters lined up for freshly grilled takoyaki, Korean pancakes (pajeon) and countless yakitori.

Essentially the most notable a part of Evening It Up! is the way it provides a glimpse into distinctive, typically over-the-top mixing of various cultures and dishes. Count on to see the likes of cotton sweet ice cream burritos, ube sandwiches, fried hen coated in a wide range of sauces (katsu) and toppings (seaweed).

Additionally necessary to notice, the market is hosted by Energy Unit Youth Group, a youth-driven non-profit that goals to make an impression within the lives of youth by means of varied philanthropic tasks.

Underpass Farmers’ Market

Date and site: Thursdays by means of October, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 29 Decrease River St. in Toronto

Value: Free admission

Distributors: 30+ meals, artisan and produce distributors

Web site:

There are a lot of weekly farmers’ markets in Toronto, however perhaps none fairly as cool and distinctive because the Underpass Farmers’ Market.

The Underpass Park is a hit story in Toronto about revitalizing industrial, derelict area beneath the overpass in Corktown to create vibrant pockets of coated areas for outside actions like skateboarding and basketball in addition to issues like the humanities and meals occasions just like the farmers’ market.

Now in its fifth yr, the market has taken on the function of city sq., because the area involves life with a rotating listing of distributors.

What’s nice about this market is how artisanal and small it feels — in a great way. You’ll discover the standard small, family-run farms from throughout Ontario popping up. Like Kooner Farms from Caledon, recognized for its free-range chickens. There’s additionally County Left Farm from Claremont that brings a weekly haul of seasonal produce.

The market can be a terrific place for meals from artisans. For instance, Fathima’s Kitchen is a crowd favorite for its South Asian samosas and also you’ll discover an assortment of pantry items from Persian-Polish-Mexican pop-up, Toot Kitchen.

Enjoyable Philippines

Date and site: July 23 and 24 in Little Manila (Bathurst Road and Wilson Street)

Value: Free admission

Distributors: Quantity not recognized right now

Web site:

Whereas Toronto is residence to a thriving Filipino meals scene, most of the newer meals companies operate as pop-ups on social media, for a wide range of causes (i.e. capital). A meals pageant, hosted within the coronary heart of Little Manila, presents the perfect alternative to attempt as many as you’ll be able to.

The Philippines is residence to over 7,000 islands, and in the course of the pandemic, dozens of pop-ups began to give attention to regional Filipino cuisines, from the seafood-inspired cooking of the islands to baked items that change from metropolis to metropolis.

That is what organizers are promising a style of at Enjoyable Philippines, an inaugural meals occasion hosted by the Philippine Legacy and Cultural Alliance. The 2-day occasion goals to showcase how numerous the delicacies will be from every area within the nation and the three main island teams.

To this point the organizers have introduced the next distributors: Kabalen Toronto, a pop-up that highlights the regional cooking of the province of Pampanga with dishes like sisig and morcon and a global pop-up by visitor chef Cocoy Ventura.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star doesn’t endorse these opinions.


Leave a Reply