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Food & Drink

Twelve of Toronto’s festive holiday food-and-drink events, ranked

Including kitschy cocktails, brunch buffets and fancy fondue dinners

It’s tiiiiiiiiiiime for festive feasts and boozy Yuletide drinks, all served in seasonal settings dressed with bordering-on-tacky decorations. Here, our annual ranking of Toronto’s best food and drink holiday events.

Tables set for Christmas brunch at One King West
Photo courtesy of One King West

12 On December 10, the big man himself will be making an appearance for one day only at One King West, a bank-turned-hotel, for a brunch buffet extravaganza. Look forward to antipasto platters, carving stations featuring sirloin and turkey, an ice cream sundae bar, and a whole section for the minor diners in tow (think gourmet hot dog bar, nacho station and a pizza bar).

Kind Festival's sugar shack
Photo courtesy of Kind Festival

11 On December 5 and 6, KIND Magazine will provide attendees of their annual fair with plenty of ways to “live the high life.” More than 30 cannabis brands will be on site for anyone looking to buy holiday gifts for people on their lists. A roster of local vendors will provide the requisite munchies.

W Hotel Toronto's holiday afternoon tea
Photo courtesy of W Hotel Toronto

10 From now until February 29, this Yorkville hotel is offering a holiday spin on their popular tea service. Their Fiol Holiday High Beau-Tea sees familiar makeup products reinvented as edible sweet and savoury bites, like candy cane lipsticks and clotted night cream. The treats arrive at the table inside a Caboodle-like caddy.

9 Until December 23, the Fairmont Royal York is making spirits bright—and people bright with spirits—at the Thirsty Elf, a pop-up bar serving seasonal drinks. Reign, the hotel’s restaurant, is offering three festive meal deals: a weekday lunch buffet until December 15, a three-course Christmas dinner from December 24 to 26, and a brunch buffet on Christmas Day. Lastly, Clockwork Bar, the hotel’s lobby lounge, is serving up a Holiday Tea of seasonal scones, sweets and finger sandwiches, every Saturday and Sunday until December 31.

8 Bring the whole family—chosen or otherwise—to this staple Chinese spot until December 23 for a menu that includes a selection of three starters and five mains, like Holiday Stuffing Fried Rice and the show-stopping Prosperity Lobster Tower. Reservations required, dine-in only.

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The Grinch, Please cocktail at Little Sister's Java Jingle
Photo courtesy of Little Sister

7 Until the first week of January, both locations of Toronto’s favourite Indonesian restaurant will be mixing up seasonal sips with fun names, like Grinch, Please, an Irish cream concoction. And at the Portland restaurant, their second-floor Balinese Room will offer a Bah Humbug menu of snacks to accompany the cocktails.

Miracle Toronto
Photo courtesy of Miracle Toronto

6 Since 2018, Miracle’s holiday bar has been popping up around the city, quite literally wrapping rooms up in paper, ribbons and bows. This year, they’ve decked out a space at Bloor and Ossington to serve some of their now-classic cocktails, like Jingle Balls Nog and Yippee Ki Yay Mother F*****! And on December 2, 9 and 16, there will be festive drag performances by Christmas with the Queens. Continuing the tradition, $1 from every drink sold at Miracle will be donated to Nellie’s.

Project Gigglewater
Photo courtesy of Project Gigglewater

5 For the month of December, Project Gigglewater is ditching its usual menu of cocktails for holiday-inspired creations like the rum-forward Kranky Kong Christmas and the very mature Papa Santa Latte, a pumpkin-spiced drink spiced with vodka and coffee liqueur. On-theme snacks include Festive Popcorn Chicken and Christmas Piggies in a Blanket. Just try to find an inch of undecorated space in the wrapped and ribboned room.

Festive Fondue at the Four Season's dbar
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Toronto

4 For those who dream about cheese, Dbar has you covered. From December 23 to 26, a special fondue board includes the requisite melty stuff as well as lobster, black tiger shrimp and striploin for decadent dunking.

3 North America’s largest outdoor shipping-container marketplace is hosting Holiday Hills, a whole month of seasonal alfresco fun including a whiskey speakeasy and firepits with s’mores kits (and champagne), all under the glittering Disco Mistletoe. Food vendors include Kong’s Hot Tacos and BaoBird.

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The Distillery's District's winter village
Photo courtesy of the Distillery Winter Village

2 The city’s biggest holiday festival is back from now until January 7. As usual, the Distillery District will be chock full of roaming elves, live performers, a candy cane forest, a singing wall of carolers, life-size greeting cards and the Claus family. But we’re here for the food vendors, housed in cute little cabins and selling things like raclette, churros, jerk chicken, mini pancakes, chocolate truffles, pierogies, poutine and pastel de nata. To drink, there’s classic hot chocolate from Balzac’s as well as apple cider, beer, wine and boozy eggnog.

Truffle pasta at Eataly
Photo courtesy of Eataly

1 Eataly is offering an extravaganza of activities for the month of December. Top picks include their Holiday Kick-Off Taste Around (December 7), where guests can sip and snack their way through 10 different food and drink stations; guided wine tastings by in-house sommeliers (December 13); and a hands-on truffle pasta–making class (December 22). For junior sous-chefs who want to play with their food as much as they want to eat it, there are pasta classes (December 27) and pizza ones (December 23 and 28). Check the events listings for the full line-up.

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