Summer, a.k.a. patio season, is officially here. Don’t let the below-seasonal, rainy weather right now get you down because the heat is going to come very soon. Regardless, summer means one thing in Toronto: outdoor food parties. We can always count on our city’s restaurants, food trucks and vendors to throw together some of the coolest food events – and we all know that “fun in the sun” is always better with food! Here are five food parties coming up that the foodie in you would not want to miss…
TO Food Fest
TO Food Fest is a culinary food festival that is worth the trek to Scarborough. Taking place on June 23rd at the Chinese Cultural Centre, TO Food Fest promises to deliver delicious offerings from local hidden gems. Expect a mishmash of high and low-profile food vendors that will each dish out one specialty item. Look out for Greek moussaka burgers from Kalofagas, Japanese skewers from Gushi, Filipino style fries from Tita Flips and a variety of interesting desserts like frozen cheesecake sandwiches from SmashCake Desserts and fried Twinkie crepes from NomNomNom Crepes. Admission is free.
If you are one to opt for the A/C rather than the sweltering heat, you can always count on Summerlicious for a comfortable sit-down meal. Running from July 5th to July 21st, the annual culinary event highlights Toronto’s diverse collection of restaurants and unique dining experiences. With over 196 restaurants and a variety of different lunch prix fixe ($15/$20/$25) and dinner prix fixe ($25/$35/$45) options, you will surely find something that fits your budget. Reservations begin on June 20th and AMEX cardholders get front-of-the-line reservations on June 18th and 19th.
Taste of Lawrence
Celebrating cultural diversity, Taste of Lawrence is a food event that showcases the unique flavours found throughout the neighbourhood. From July 5th to July 7th, the vicinity of Lawrence East from Warden to Birchmount Rd. will be dedicated to international and traditional cuisine from India, Italy, and all the way to Jamaica. The international food and cultural festival will also feature musical performances like Flamenco, Armenian folk, Cuban Jazz, Funk, Calypso, and Soca, as well as hands-on kids’ activities and midway rides.
Night It Up!
Inspired by the night markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Night It Up! is the food event for Asian street food. This is the eleventh year for Night It Up! and the popular, admission free event at Markham Civic Centre will run from July 12th to July 14th. With over 100 food and merchandise vendors alongside multicultural performances, basketball and volleyball tournaments, and an outdoor movie theatre, be prepared for some intense sensory overload (this, of course, includes the pungent aroma of the infamous stinky tofu… don’t say we didn’t warn ya!)
Following UNO’s success last year, La Carnita is at it again with DOS on Friday, July 19th at Evergreen Brick Works. Much like the art show last summer, DOS will be a one-night only event featuring an art exhibition of original works by 40 international artists (such as Sam Flores, Mike Giant, and Faith 47), live sets by superstar DJs Platurn and Grandtheft, and complimented by two of North America’s most celebrated taquerias: Chicago’s Big Star and our city’s very own La Carnita. Tickets to DOS are $20 each and include one glass of Bear Flag. The first 1,000 guests will also receive an original La Carnita art print. DOS is no doubt going to be one of the hippest food parties this year.