TASTE of TORONTO = TASTE of SUMMER!

WARNING: Do not eat before attending !

Taste

With summer in full bloom, foodies and city dwellers everywhere are scouring the city for a chance to sink their teeth into something DELICIOUS and moreover, EXCITING!

And what better way to experience some of the city’s best and finest restaurants, than to visit Taste of Toronto, located in Fort York ( also a National Historic Site over 200 years old!)

The city is after all, renown for its diversity and celebrations of multicultural dishes so it’s a no – brainer that it would offer a four day food festival showcasing over 70 of the finest dishes in town!

Upon arrival, guests can expect to pay a General Admission fee of $29.00, or if you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can always upgrade to to the V.I.P.  package which costs $74.00, (it includes exclusive access to the VIP Lounge with a choice of a FREE drink, as well a complimentary Pilsner beer or wine and access to private washrooms).

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Entering the festival, we were handed passes and a comprehensive guide to the grounds as well as a map to show where each of the vendors were located.

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Everything was arranged in an organized and easily accessible fashion, which alleviates some of the inconvenience of having to stand in line on an empty stomach! It would also be a good idea to get a CROWN card – just load the card with money, tap and you’re all set to go!  

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Unlike any other food festival I have had the pleasure of attending, Taste of Toronto not only serves up some mean dishes,

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There were also great interactive master classes and live demonstrations hosted by some of the best chefs in the industry! Among them were Mark McEwan and Chuck Hughes.

– though you have to be sure to sign up early because spots fill up pretty quickly!

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Surprisingly enough, it was great to see that there wasn’t much overcrowding – which usually tends to be a major issue when it comes to big food events! But if you do get a CROWN card and/or a VIP pass, you’re definitely ahead of the game, and ahead of the line!

Whatever flavours you’re craving, there is definitely something for everyone!

There was Mexican cuisine from El Caballito (which caught my attention in particular as I am big fan of spicy foods) although it also happened to have one of the longest line ups proving its unwavering popularity.

But if you’re in the mood for something a little bit more refined, check out Chef McEwan’s Calamari Po – Boy!  A baguette style bun filled with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and of course zesty and crispy calamari- perfect for the seafood lover!

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Along with a variety of dishes lined up at every corner – one of the events major sponsors Nespresso offered FREE specialty coffees which is amazing if you’re an avid coffee drinker ( like I am! ) with a free cup to go along with it.

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Ace Bakery, offered a scrumptious ice cream sandwich to helps switch up the palette. No matter how much food you’ve eaten, somehow there is always room for a delectable sugary treat!

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Alcohol enthusiasts can also rejoice as there were plenty of wine tastings and free samples available at every corner!

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Among the many wine distributors, Two Sisters Vineyards stood out the most in terms of quality and excellence. Manager Vladimir Skok was kind enough to give us a sense of the precision taken in order to produce their signature wines in the 60 acre vineyard located in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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Depending on your preferences, there was definitely an abundance of food and beverages for everyone to enjoy!  Just make sure to come prepared with an appetite and perhaps a hefty wallet – because you’re going to want get a decent bite out of Taste of Toronto!  See you in 2017!

[Review and photography by Alessia Youkhanna]

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