Food & Drink

This summer’s can’t-miss food and drink festivals

Ready, set, eat! And stay tuned for updates as more festivals are announced throughout the season

Bud Light Radler Brunch Fest

Everyone’s favourite midday meal will be celebrated the first weekend in June at Hotel X. Avocado aficionados, flapjack fanatics and eggs Benny enthusiasts will enjoy a bevy of brunch eats and a caesar bar. Bonus: one free radler with ticket purchase. $7.95 and up. The Grounds at Hotel X, 111 Princes’ Blvd.,  

Wild Things Fest

Sunday, June 2 The second annual festival devoted to all kinds of funky, wild-fermented beer, cider and wine, is kicking off in June at Junction Craft Brewing’s gorgeous Art Deco space in the Stockyards. Organized by the Beer Sisters, this year’s bacchanalian bash brings all the usual boozy suspects, plus a visit from Toronto’s own Grape Witches, a couple of fun-loving natural-wine experts. Junction Craft Brewing, 150 Symes Rd.,  

The Mac and Cheese Festival

Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9 The fifth-annual mac-and-cheese fest goes down at Roundhouse Park this year with more than 50 variations of the comfort-food classic, a craft beer lounge, marshmallow fire pits and live entertainment. Free admission. Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd.,  

The Taco Fest

Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 17 The new-and-improved Ontario Place is once again hosting Taco Fest, a three-day festival devoted to tacos of all shapes and sizes (including ones filled with ice cream). Attendees can also look forward to margaritas, sangria, churros and live mariachi music. $9.95 and up. Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W.,  

The Stop’s Night Market

Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19 This year marks the eighth edition of the Stop’s annual all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink fundraiser extraordinaire, each of the two nights featuring more than 40 chefs and vendors. This year, the festival moves to Stackt, Toronto’s brand-new shipping container market on Bathurst. $125. Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St.,  

Toronto Ribfest

Friday, June 28 to Monday, July 1 This year’s “ribber” lineup isn’t available yet but it’s guaranteed to be four saucy days full of finger-lickin’ fun. And yes, there will be Bloomin’ Onions. General admission is free but true meatheads can purchase VIP passes that include line bypass, private covered tables close to the main stage, free samples and “executive” washrooms. Etobicoke Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd.,  

Junction Night Market

Saturday, July 6 The Junction’s al fresco evening shindig will feature a whole whack of food and drink for only $5 each. The vendor lineup isn’t out yet, but last year’s included Honest Weight, the Beet, Phancy Food and Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Longslice Brewery, People’s Pint and High Park Brewery were just some of the boozier ones. Free entry. Pacific Ave. at Dundas St. W., @junctionmarket  

Night It Up

Friday, July 12 to Sunday July 14 Styled after Asian night markets, Night It Up returns to transform Markham’s city hall into a maze of food and merchandise vendors, multicultural music venues and sports courts. Catch some Asian cinema on the outdoor screen and then chow down on ramen burgers, takoyaki, shaved ice and more. Free. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd.,  

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28 The city’s biggest beer fest is coming back to the Ex for three full days of beer-soaked bacchanalia. Last year’s festival featured a whopping 80 brewers showcasing 416 different beers. So things don’t get totally out of hand, there’ll be a whole bunch of food vendors to help soak up the suds. Oh and hey, Ja Rule is going to be there. $40 and up. Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place, 60 Prince Edward Island Cres.,  

Momo Crawl T.O.

Sunday, July 28 Hosted by Students for a Free Tibet Canada, Momo Crawl T.O. gives Torontonians the chance to get a taste of Parkdale’s Little Tibet, one delicious steamed dumpling at a time. Attendees each receive a passport that grants them a whole bunch of momos from the neighbourhood’s Tibetan restaurants. The list of this year’s participants has yet to be announced but in years past, participating restaurants have included Loga’s Corner, Yak Cafe and more. $25. Various locations, Facebook  

Toronto Food Truck Festival

Friday, August 2 to Monday, August 5 More than 30 food trucks will converge on Woodbine Park for three days of grilled, smoked and deep-fried fun. Last year’s vendors included Naansense, Hogtown Smoke, The Food Dudes, FeasTO, Buster’s Sea Cove, Eva’s Original Chimneys and many more. Bonus: It’s licensed, too! Free admission. Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E.,  

Jerkfest Toronto

Thursday, August 9 to Sunday, August 12 The jerkiest of festivals is coming back to Centennial Park, bringing with it four days of jerk everything, including a “so you think you can jerk” competition and a hot-and-spicy jerk chicken eating contest. Thankfully, Red Stripe is a sponsor. Lawn chairs and blankets (because, naps) are strongly encouraged. Bonus: A live performance by Ginuwine. Ginuwine! Ticket prices TBA. (Children six and under are free.) Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd.,  

Taste of the Danforth

Friday, August 9 to Sunday, August 11 The 25-year-old Greektown food fair now includes Thai, Cuban, Indian and other international flavours alongside the typical Mediterranean favourites. Between bites, attendees can check out live music, Greek dancing, a kids’ area and a sports zone, or see what kind of Guinness World Records they’re attempting to break this year (past attempts include most people to eat a single olive in eight hours). Free entry. Various locations,  

Waterfront Night Market

Friday, August 10 to Sunday, August 12 The popular Waterfront Night Market is returning to Ontario Place for the second year in a row, filling the grounds with more than 150 vendors serving all kinds of pan-Asian street snacks like popcorn chicken, grilled squid on sticks and stinky tofu. New this year: Beercraft, a 19+ festival within an all-ages one. Free admission to the night market; TBA for admission to Beercraft. Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W.,  

Toronto Vegandale Food and Drink Festival

Saturday, August 10 Toronto’s vegans will flock to Fort York for this festival that celebrates soy and all other animal-free foods. This year’s lineup has yet to be unveiled, but last year’s 70-plus vendors included Cool Beans Eatery from Texas, Seasoned Vegan from Harlem and Outlawz Food all the way from Switzerland. $10 and up. Fort York, Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Blvd.,  


Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 Calling all sweet teeth: Canada’s largest festival devoted to all things sugary is coming back to David Pecaut Square. Last year, attendees got to sample sweet treats like macaron burgers, s’more cupcakes and ice cream waffle sandwiches. New this year: a movie night! On Saturday, the festival will screen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade—which has nothing to do with sugar, but it’s still a great flick. Free admission. David Pecaut Square, 60 Simcoe St.,  

Pan American Food and Musical Festival

Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18 This annual Latin-American festival will take over Yonge-Dundas Square for two days of food demonstrations, ceviche sampling, empanada competitions and more. This year’s featured country: Cuba. Oh, and this being a music fest as well, there’ll be plenty of live entertainment, including the first-ever Pan American Star contest. Free admission. Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E.,  

Canadian National Exhibition

Friday, August 17 to Monday, September 3 More carnival than festival, we can’t not include the CNE in this edible bucket list of food events. Not only is there the legendary food building where you can find things like deep-fried chicken feet and strawberry-sauced Philly cheesesteaks, but there’s also a Food Truck Frenzy, an East Coast kitchen party and a craft beer fest. Hopefully there’s a Rolaids tent on the grounds, too. Ticket prices TBA. Canadian National Exhibition, 210 Princes’ Blvd.,  

Toronto Cider Fest

Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24 More than 100 (yes, 100) varieties of cider will be poured at Sherbourne Commons for Toronto Cider Fest’s fifth anniversary. You know what they say: An apple cider a day keeps the doctor away. That’s how it goes, right? $40 and up. Sherbourne Common, 61 Dockside Dr.,  

Taste of the Kingsway

Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8 All of the businesses along Bloor between Prince Edward Drive and Montgomery Road will be out in full force for the Kingsway’s annual street festival. How can you go wrong when you combine a couple beer gardens with a fish-and-chip eating contest, a midway and a dog show? You can’t. Free admission. Various locations,  

Roncesvalles Polish Festival

Saturday, September 14 to Sunday, September 15 Toronto’s favourite sausage party is packing Roncesvalles for its 14th year, bringing with it all the pierogies, Polish sausage and pickles one could ask for. Also: beer. Lots of beer. And vodka. Lots of that, too. Free admission. Roncesvalles Village,  

Toronto Ukranian Festival

Friday, September 13 to Sunday, September 15 Didn’t get your fill of pierogies at Polish Fest? Well, head over to Bloor West Village for their annual Ukrainian Fest—another dumpling- and sausage-filled affair. Free admission. Bloor West Village,


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