The Canadian National Exhibition (The CNE, also known as The Ex) is back, and just about ready to open it’s flood gates this weekend as of this Friday, August 16. To an estimated whopping 1.5 million visitors from near and far, to be exact.
For some, visiting The Ex is a family tradition, and others just another reason to devour some crazy new eats. That’s why we were super stoked to get a sneak peek at all the crazy new eats this year, so let’s dive right in. But hold onto your jaws folks, because there are some jaw-dropping new food and drinks this year. You’ve been warned!
The Top New Must-Have Food and Drinks at this Year’s CNE Food Building
Let’s just preface this by saying… there are SOOO MANY GREAT OPTIONS. But we did notice some common denominators. Lots of Beyond Meat Burger options to choose from, and Pickled EVERYTHING — or at least a few different options, from Lemonade, Pizza, Deep Fried Pickles and more. So please, come prepared, and maybe even tackle different ends of the Food Building at different times. Please don’t attempt to make it through this whole list in one sitting. Meh… actually, why not. We dare you! 😉
Gluten-Free Viet Burrito
Pho 88, Vietnamese grill
Similar to a larger Vietnamese fresh spring roll, but it even has a whole fried spring roll tucked inside. The burrito comes in a Pork, chicken, and veggie option too. Super fresh, and not too heavy on the stomach. Who knew? 🙂
Eat My Bowls
Heading down to The Ex in the morning? OR heck, craving some breakfast eats mid afternoon? Well, the Eat My Bowls Breakfast poutine, loaded with tater tots, bacon, and cheese is exactly that. And, you can eat your bowl too! 😛
Bubs Beyond Burgers
Calling all the Vegans! Here’s a Beyond Meat burger, on a whole new level. It’s loaded with arugula, vegan mayo, onion, tomato, hot pepper, and guacamole. We couldn’t believe it’s not meat!
A Snickle dog, Nacho Burger, and Flamin’ Cheetos Corndog
Yup, you read right, a snickle dog, not a snickers dog — although there is a snickers inside it. A Nacho Beyond Meat burger, and a Corndog rolled in Flamin’ Cheetos. If you’re up for the heat, that was definitely one of our faves. Although it wasn’t as HOT as we expected.
Next Gen Concessions
I mean, these bad boys take street meat to a completely other level. From the Tokyo dog, which is a tempura deep fried hotdog, topped with seaweed and mayo, to their poutine dog, which I mean, is quite self explanatory if you ask me. It speaks for itself… [insert drool emoji here, lol].
Apple Cheesecake Poutine, and Maple cinnamon Deep Fried Cheese Curd
Although labeled a poutine, do not be fooled, this is actually a dessert. Fresh cut apple fries (deep fried battered apple slices), topped with cheesecake chunks, salted caramel and whipped cream. It tastes just as good as it sounds — and looks! The Maple Cinnamon deep fried cheese curds, well, I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂
Fried Pickle Chips
Fritta #just fried
Deep fried pickle chips that come with an option of ranch or chocolate sauce topping.
Country tater tots
Crispy fried tater tots loaded with sour cream, cheese and bacon bits.
Pound Cake French Toast
Delicious pound cake french toast that comes in a birthday cake like flavour or chocolate chip cream options.
Churro Maple Bacon Lollipop and Rainbow Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Crispy fried churros looped into a lollipop shape and then covered in bacon bits and maple sauce. So good!!! 😛
San Fran La Bomba
San Francesco Italian Sandwiches
Gluten free. Veal taco shell, loaded with San Francesco goodness. So yummy!
Frozen Cookie Dough Spaghetti
Yup, you read right… ice cream spaghetti. Frozen with liquid nitrogen. It’s quite the instagrammable item, for sure!
Kpop fries and pho fries
Exactly what you would imagine… the Kpop fries are loaded with classic Korean delights like bulgogi beef and more, and the Pho fries with all that Vietnamese cuisine goodness. But I mean, how can you go wrong with loaded fries, right?
Fried Chicken in a Fresh Maple Waffle Cone
A freshly made waffle cone, topped with Halal fried chicken bites and maple syrup. So good, and green too because there’s no need for plastic. 🙂
Scorpion burrito — Canada’s Hottest Burrito, and Deep Fried Avocados
Burrito Co. / The Whole Enchillada
When we say BEWARE, we mean it. This is not a joke. That Scorpion Tabasco is potent, so that’s why they let you “create your own adventure” by squeezing your own sauce onto it. But quite the delicious HOT burrito, that’s for sure.
The Spicy Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bacon Burger
Signature beef burger, topped with chocolate chip peanut butter cookie dough, jalapeño bacon, in between a sweet brioche bun. Man is this RICH! 😛
Rick’s Pizza / R&J Concessions
Exactly what you imagine it to taste like. Cheese Pizza, topped with crispy baked pickles. Yum!
Cotton Candy Taco
Candy Time Canada
Who says tacos are just to be served savoury! This sweet Cotton Candy Taco proves it’s true. Made fresh to order.
Funnel Cake Chicken Sandwich
Deep Fried Chicken Sandwiches
Fried Chicken sandwich inbetween some fresh funnel cake and cherry sauce. 😛 [Insert drool emoji here, lol].
The “Ribwich” – Rib Sandwich
Oh so good! Delicious ribs, inbetween a bun and topped with onions and more.
Cotton Candy Oreos
Cotton Candy Oreos
Exacty as they sound. Can’t have just one! We dare you.
Rainbow Funnel Cake
The Funnel Cake Shop
Super fun. colourful and yet tasty funnel cake.
Wasabi Spice Cream
Do you dare? A new savoury, and SPICY treat. Taking Black Halo Ice Cream cone to a whole new level.
Peeping Pierogie Burger
Corrado’s Green & Italian Cuisine
A juicy beef patty coupled with crispy potato and cheese pierogies. Definitely a delicious bite!
The King of Curds
Topped with filling and icing and Graham cracker topping.
Mac & Cheese Popsicle, Calamari Fries, Korean Fried Frog Legs, and Fried Hot Cheetos Chicken on Cheese Stuffed Doritos
Farm to Fryer
Cheetos, chicken and Doritos! Now that’s what we like to call a fiery and yummy combination.
The Italian Stallion (in 5 different ways)
Hot Bunzz Street Cuizine
A taste of Italy’s finest street sandwiches in not just one, but 5 versions!
Couldn’t explain it any better way. Think of Lemonade loaded with pickles, and pickle juice of course. Gross to some, delicious for many.
Certainly can’t leave without trying out some of the Sweet Jesus cotton candy! A perfect melt-in-your-mouth feel.
You can never go wrong with the classics like this yummy Beavertail!
Red Licorice “Twizzlers” Donut, Red Licorice Poutine, Twizzler Slushie, and Pink Lemonade Timbits
A pair of Twizzlers with a cup of Tim’s to go, please!
Loaded Giggly Japanese Pancakes
This one’s for all you fruit lovers out there! A colourful look combined with a refreshing taste.
The General Custard
The Cheesecake Factory
Custard, caramel, whipped cream.
Classic Oreo, Scoreo Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake Chimneys
Ice-cream with Oreo Cookies.
10 of the New CNE Value Menu offering “Under $6 in the 6ix”
This year inside the Bandshell Park area of the CNE grounds, visitors will be able to get a variety of authentic homemade eats and all for under $6. What a steal! Best of all, they can also be enjoyed under the shaded picnic areas of the park with great music playing in the background from the daily free concerts at the Bandshell Stage.
Al Pastor Taco from | $6
Pulled pork, pastor sauce, and pineapple. By Poquita Taqueria.
Homemade Beef Patty | $4
Classic Jamaican Beef Patty, available with coca bread for an additional $2. By Jerk Shack.
Mini Arancini Rice Balls | 3 for $6
Dressed with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. By Little Italy.
Baha Pollo Taco | $6
Fried chicken, chipotle mayo, and slaw. By Poquita Taqueria.
Soft Pretzel | $4.50
Delicious jumbo soft pretzel. By Farmer’s Daughter.
Jerk Tofu, Chicken or Pork Skewer | $5
Grilled jerk skewers, available with tofu, chicken or pork. By Jerk Shack.
Baha Cauliflower | $5.50
Fried cauliflower, chipotle mayo, and slaw. By Poquita Taqueria.
Italian Sausage | $6
Exactly that, no need to fluff it up. 😉 By Dogfather.
Build A Pasta | $6
Choice of pasta, sauce and veggies. By Little Italy.
Deep Fried Mars Bar | $6
A CNE must-have. By Summer’s Sweets.
That’s a wrap, and like we said, we warned you. If you’re not feeling full already from just glazing through these, you will be once you get started. So don’t forget to head over to our Ultimate CNE Guide for all the details on how to head down, where to park (if necessary), and all the important reminders. But wait, don’t forget to share using the #LetsGoToTheEx and #TorontoVIBE tags for a chance to be featured on our feed.