Twitter/Instagram Handle: @tasteoftoronto
Address: 250 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto ON
When I attended: July 4th, 2015, evening session from 5:30-10:00pm (The event was July 2-5, 2015)
This was the 2nd annual Taste of Toronto and it turned out to be another successful year (read about my 2014 Taste of Toronto experience). I noticed some improvements from last year including more free samples including platters of fruit and vegetable skewers from Metro Foods, full-sized coconut water, and busker performances.
The weather gods were on our side since it was a gorgeous summer evening with little humidity. As it was an outdoor event, the rain would have changed the experience. Once again I landed free admission tickets and went with my family and a group of friends with kids. The large green space was an attractive spot for the young kids to roam around.
I still vote Taste of Toronto as one of my favourite Toronto food festivals…but why do I love it so much?
- The festival was well organized! Even at the longest lineup, I did not have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Once I ordered, the food was ready in merely seconds.
- The event vendors included many hip Toronto restaurants, artisans and wineries. Event goers were able to sign up for cookery classes, watch live cooking demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment and run into celebrity chefs. I was a bit disappointed I did not attend the Thursday session, as I wanted to meet Chef Masaharu Morimoto, but hopefully I will meet him one day!
- The event space was beautiful!
- Lots of free samples!
- Most importantly, the food was delicious! The restaurants served tapas sized portions of what is served in their restaurants all in one location. Check out the line up of restaurants and celebrity chefs on the Taste of Toronto website.
My husband and I spent $60 (or 60 crowns) which included 7 dishes, a few skewer of olives, and a magnum ice cream bar. With all the free drinks that were given away, we were well hydrated and did not need to buy drinks. I did not spend money on alcohol but there were several vendors serving beer and wine.
This is what we tasted at the event:
Crispy Black Vinegar Chicken with shishito pepper, cucumber, toasted peanuts, cilantro aromatic glaze from Bosk (10 crowns)
Braised Pork Belly with peanuts and Thai Basil from Splendido (6 crowns)
Babi Panggang Roasted Pork Belly with fresh chili sauce, beat sprouts and pickled red onions from Little Sister Food Bar (8 crowns)
East Coast Fish Fry with crispy oysters + Jail Island haddock and tartar sauce from The Drake (6 crowns)
Duck Poutine Bannaco with curds, fries and caramelized onions from Oliver and Bonacini’s Bannock (8 crowns)
Fried Chicken with a 5 day slaw, house made biscuit plus house jalapeno hot sauce from Weslodge (8 crowns)
Paella with bay scallops, shrimp, mussels, local pickerel, snap peas and saffron from Patria (10 crowns)
My favourite of the evening was the paella. It was outstanding with bright flavours from the seafood and saffron.
My second favourite was the pork belly from Little Sister as the meat was extremely tender and the light vinaigrette with the slaw was appetizing. Another stand out was the East Coast Fish fry, which was also the best bang for buck compared to the other dishes for 6 crowns ($6).
The amount that attendees spend will vary and can add up considerably, especially on top of paying for admission. We spent within our comfortable limit, and enjoyed every minute of the festival!