8 can’t-miss food and drink festivals to hit this summer

8 can’t-miss food and drink festivals to hit this summer

We might be more than halfway through summer, but there's still so much to eat


A classic you can never tire of! #CNEfood #CNE2016 ~KJ

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Canadian National Exhibition

Friday, August 18 to Monday, September 4
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 Spam Double Downs, pulled pork cinnamon rolls and cricket-topped hot dogs, but this year, the Ex is also hosting a Food Truck Frenzy, an East Coast kitchen party and a craft beer fest. Hopefully there’s a Rolaids tent on the grounds, too. $16–$59. (Children four and under are free.) Canadian National Exhibition, 210 Princes’ Blvd., theex.com


Vegan Food and Drink Festival

Saturday, August 19
Toronto’s meat-and-dairy-free folk will flock to Fort York for this festival that celebrates soy and all other animal-free foods. This year’s full lineup has yet to be unveiled, but the fest’s Instagram account has revealed a handful of vendors, including Vancouver’s Virtuous Pie (fancy pizza), New York’s Champ’s Diner (over-the-top burgers) and Portland’s Snackrilege (doughnut sandwiches). Starting at $10. Fort York, Garrison Common, 250 Fort York Blvd., vegandrinkfest.com/toronto


The Big Feastival

Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20
While it’s an hour-plus north of Toronto, the Big Feastival’s Canadian debut is definitely worth a mention. The UK-based event is like WayHome but for food, with celebrity chefs, food vendors and all manner of epicurean extravagance. There’s live music, too: Weezer will be playing, along with many other acts (including Toronto’s own Choir! Choir! Choir!) Hardcore foodies can splurge for a campsite. Starting at $130. Burl’s Creek, 134 8 Line S., Oro-Medonte, thebigfeastival.com


Toronto Cider Fest

Saturday, August 26
More than 60 varieties of cider will be poured at Sherbourne Commons for Toronto Cider Fest. How do like them apples? Attendees will also be happy to hear that an apple cider a day keeps the doctor away. That’s the saying, right? $30–$60. Sherbourne Common, 61 Dockside Dr., torontociderfestival.com


Chef @dragonskitchen spicy party food on a stick

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Hot and Spicy Food Fest

Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4
Heat-seekers will want to head to Harbourfront Centre for this annual festival that celebrates all things edible and incendiary. More than 20 vendors will showcase their flaming hot foods, and chef Roger Mooking will lead cooking demos. Mouth on fire? The Slip, Harbourfront’s waterside bar, serves buckets of beer and cocktails on tap. Free entry. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., harbourfrontcentre.com


Tiny Toms (yes, again), Taste Of The Kingsway, Toronto. #toronto #tasteofthekingsway

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Taste of the Kingsway

Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10
All of the businesses along Bloor between Prince Edward Dr. and Montgomery Rd. 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 entry. Various locations, thekingsway.ca


Roncesvalles Polish Festival

Saturday, September 16 to Sunday, September 17
Toronto’s favourite sausage party is packing Roncesvalles for its 12th year, bringing with it all the pierogies, Polish sausage and pickles one could ask for. Also: beer. Lots of beer. Free entry. Various locations, polishfestival.ca


#torontoukrainianfestival #ukrainianfood

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Toronto Ukranian Festival

Friday, September 15 to Sunday, September 17
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 entry. Various locations, toronto.ukrainianfestival.com