The season for the Toronto Underground Market (TUM) is coming to that unfortunate annual crescendo. As the weather begins to cool and the chilly evening winds pick-up, there are but three installments left on the current season’s docket. A mere 8-days away, on September 28th, TUM will be celebrating their two year anniversary; in celebration of this mouthwatering milestone, a few of the most lauded #TUMalum have banded (or baked) together to form a few festive items for your foodie pleasure.

Urban Bistro – the bricks and mortar marquis of TUM favourite, Hot Bunzz – hosted a preview of their collaborative dishes that will be featured at the upcoming event. Working alongside three of their fellow TUM originals – Fidel Gastro, La Carnita, and Rock Lobster – the four friends took to the kitchen to prepare three unique Hot Bunzz for this most auspicious occasion.

“These guys were a part of TUM even before Hot Bunzz was,” says Mitchell Stern, co-creator of Hot Bunzz. “We’ve all become great friends and enjoyed some awesome success from the exposure we got at TUM.”

Each one of the foursome has gone on to establish permanent restaurant locations and are constantly adding to their lists of notable exploits, from TV shows to food events of their own. Given the collaborative spirit of TUM and the ability for relative unknown culinary creators to find a fitting outlet to reach the Toronto market, the partnership between these giants of the pop-up scene is fitting.

Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide - View the VIBE's Christmas Gift Ideas for Him and Her - Toronto.

“We felt that this was a great way to pay homage to the forum that helped kickstart our businesses,” Mitchell tells me.

Line up early at the Hot Bunzz stand next week because these are thee worthwhile releases…


Fidel Gastro has concocted a take on the BLT, tricking out the traditional ingredients like he so often does. Stuffing the soft, sweet buns with crisp, salty pork belly in a savoury Clamato roux then topping it with fresh lettuce, sliced tomato, shaved parmesan cheese and a tangy caramelized onion aioli, the “B.L.T.O” is worthy of an “Ole!”


La Carnita’s “Mole Rojo” pairs braised pulled chicken in a mole rojo sauce with queso anejo, crema and a dynamite grilled pineapple salsa. Drop a few spots of their sinfully good, sweat-inducing hot sauce on that action and go to town!


For the seafood lover in all of us, Rock Lobster incorporated booze and bountiful chunks of lobster into their baked creation. The “Spiced Sailor Bun” got me hooked, with fresh lobster and pears poached in Sailor Jerry’s Rum mixed with sharp cheddar. A generous topping of more fresh lobster, a lemon garlic aioli and a sprinkle of fragrant tarragon makes this a true masterpiece.

If these offerings aren’t at all convincing, then you’re either illiterate (I’m surprised you’ve made it all the way to this baseless insult) or chewing on sawdust is your idea of a quality snack. Stuff just about anything in Hot Bunzz’s light, heavenly pockets of dough and it’s gonna be good. Stuff already great ingredients into them and they’re off the chain.

The only thing left to for you to do is buy a ticket, but you’re gonna have to get on those quickly, as well. The two September 28th sessions are sure to sell out soon!