From Ontario’s Oyster Festival to Toronto’s New Taste Festival, your gut will love you
Summer in Toronto signals patios, music concerts, Sundays on the beach and a few sunburns. But Toronto’s foodies have extra reasons to celebrate including a host of restaurant openings, new additions to old favourites and uniquely Torontonian food festivals.
Summerlicious is always a city favourite with many restaurants booking out early. But if you’re not set on the fixed options that the restos impose, let’s plan your local food escape with a week of tantalizing taste bud ticklers.
Star your Foodie week on Saturdays at Cabana Pool Bar—yes, the place that brought you Vegas-style summer parties has upped their game this summer with several new enhancements. Begin with complimentary wi-fi to the Oliver & Bonacini poolside cuisine and Chef Jamie Meireles’ Sunday brunch. Then take a dip in the upgraded octagonal pool (now filled with salt-water), while you sip on inspired mixed drinks or coffee, espresso or freshly- squeezed juice. Didn’t find enough privacy before? A new private VIP 3000 sq. ft. second level, complete with two small heated pools, five luxury cabanas, and a 22 ft. bar overlooking Cabana and the Toronto Skyline will fulfill that need; and for soccer fans, don’t worry. You’ll never miss the action on the state of the art 12 ft. x 21 ft. LED Digital Outdoor Screen. More information is available here.
Continue Foodie Week Sunday July 20th at the 26th Annual Ontario Oyster Festival. Proven to be a shuckin’ good time, this year’s event in support of Environmental Defence is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the first man on the moon. Enjoy
the freshest oysters, mussels, and lobster alongide Ontario craft beers and live music from local bands all day. The event takes place in the alley beside Rodney’s Oyster House at 469 King Street West and gates open at 2pm. New this year, enthusiastic amateurs will shuck-off in the “Chef’s Cup” for a chance to compete at the pro-level. The Invitational sees 25 of the country’s top shuckers compete to represent Ontario at the Canadian championships in PEI. The winner from the Canadian championship competes in the World Oyster Shucking Competition in Ireland. Not as good shucking as sucking? Beat the 8-time reigning champion in a hands-free oyster eating contest. Not into Oysters? Enjoy the burgers and beer, also supporting Environmental Defence. Tickets are $32 in advance and $40 at the door; available at rodneysoysterhouse.com or here.
Take a weeknight stroll over to the Entertainment district where the Storys Building underwent another renovation with the addition of Byblos, its new modern Mediterranean cuisine destination. In keeping with Levantine culture, mezze
(small plates) are presented on the menu first, with larger dishes following. The dishes are served family-style, encouraging guests to share the hearty cuisine together. The menu includes all your meat favourites ranging from lamb to duck and seafood additions of octopus, fresh selection of daily fish and vegetarian options. Byblos also features a unique list of made-to-order rice dishes, as well as Barberi, delicious Turkish bread cooked in a stone oven and served fresh with organic house-made Lebnah and a variety of regional fair-trade olive oils. Check out the menu here.
Moving on, prepare yourself and join Foodies from near and far at the North American debut of the world-renowned food festival Taste of…Toronto. The newest addition to a league of over 20 Taste Festivals around the world, Taste of Toronto plays host to many of the city’s top restaurants, chefs and food producers over the course of four days at Fort York National Historic Site, Thursday July 24th through Sunday July 27th.
Taste of Toronto is delighted to announce the latest group of inspiring, culinary masterminds who will be featuring at the festival: Mark McEwan of The McEwan Group; David Chang of Momofuku, Cory Vitiello of Harbord Room and THR & Co.; Geoffrey Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner; Stuart Cameron, Patria, Weslodge and Byblos; Anthony Rose of Rose and Sons, Big Crow and the recently opened Fat Pasha; and Lachlan Culjak of Yours Truly. Also joining the lineup are Elia Herrara of the soon to be opened Los Colibris and Gerry Quintero of sister cantina El Caballito; Koji Tashrio of JaBistro; Ippei Iwata of Guu Toronto; Aki Urata of Kinton Ramen; Damon Campbell, Bosk; and Chatana “Top” Srisomphan of Khao San Road.
Tickets to the North American debut of the internationally famed restaurant festival will start at $30 and grant access to one of six lunch or dinner sessions from Thursday through Sunday. Guests can purchase signature small plates from each of the participating restaurants; sip, sample and shop the festival market; engage with top chefs through live food demonstrations; chef Q&As and interactive cooking classes. Finish your night off with expert wine tastings, live music and other entertainment to complement the menus. Tickets are available here.
Are you hungry yet?