Summer sunshine lends us the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors – adventuring, (mostly) patio drinking and eating outside. Eat Street was the first show I was ever obsessed with on the Food Network. I loved the idea of having great food available fast and on the street. I’ve come to realize my obsession with food festivals and the collection of these food trucks/booths must have come from the hours I spent watching James travel and eat. This summer, I’ve been checking out more than just musical festivals and I think it is time we talk about the festivals that revolved around food! Sorry in advance for the food envy – hope to see you at next summer’s festivities!
This was the third year of the Whitby Food Truck Frenzy aka the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my neck of the woods. Each year in early May, over 30+ food trucks gather in an arena parking lot to serve sweet and savoury treats to the people of my town. Proceeds from the event go to the Rotary Club of Whitby to support a variety of charities.
Narrowing down what to choose is no easy feat. To me, the most exciting part of the food truck festival is that I have the opportunity to get some of my Toronto favourites right in my own backyard. I was over the moon when I saw Fidel Gastros (the food truck associated with Lisa Marie) because it meant pad thai fries were available to me! Buster’s Sea Cove is my St. Lawrence Market favourite so I was excited to indulge in some fresh seafood tacos. I won’t lie though, I was pretty sad to find out they were not offering my personal favourite – shrimp po’ boys. And as always, I had to try something new so I got some samosas from the very promising NaanSense truck. The Indian truck was as tasty as their punny name is amusing – definitely a must try!
Next up on the food tour was Ribfest in July. I was brought up on Ribfest thanks to my dad being responsible for events in the city through my early years. I do my best to make it to at least one celebration of pork every summer. This year, I made it to Whitby’s Ribfest and tried out Silver Bullet’s Texas Teaser combo which covered all the bases (pulled pork, ribs and chicken). The ribs were good but the pulled pork was a game changer. If you didn’t have the chance to make it to a Ribfest yet, be sure to check out Silver Bullet at the CNE over the next couple of weeks. Have a pulled pork for me!
As much as I love a meat platter, I am very intrigued by plant-based and vegan eating. I knew I wanted to check out the Vegan Food and Drink Festival as soon as I saw it on Facebook. After grabbing two tickets, I invited Kayley and we headed down to Fort York a few weekends ago. We arrived early after reading reviews of last year’s festival running out of food and it was good thing because it started pouring rain as soon as we left the venue. The festival had great vibes and was hosted by one of my favourite vegan YouTubers – the Edgy Veg!
On to the important part – the food was AMAZING! What does a non-vegan eat at a vegan food festival you ask? We immediately got in the long line for SteamBox Dumplings, a definite favourite of the day. Once we reached the front of the line, Kayley and I got one of each of the following: veggie, yam chipotle, and red coconut curry lentil. Next up, we had a Chick’n Parmesan from Doomie’s (note: they specialize in vegan Big Macs!) that was honestly one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever had. I’m still on the hunt for their marinara recipe. We cooled down with matcha lemonades from the Cold Pressery’s stand and finished up with the most life-changing (or two) vanilla dip donuts from D-Beatstro. I donut (see what I did there) even really like donuts but this was SO tasty. In my opinion, it could have put Tim’s and Krispy Kreme out of business. I’m going to end the description here because the donut is the mic drop for this paragraph.
Are you hungry yet? I sure am! Let me know below if you’ve tested any fun new food events this summer.