Toronto food and drink events for spring 2019

Sample poutines, eat your way through Italy, try one-off beers and much more

Tour Italy – no flights required

Local dining series Giro D’Italia returns to Toronto’s top Italian spots this spring, with each restaurant offering a menu devoted entirely to the local cuisine of one of Italy’s regions – and for the first time, they’ve managed to get every region represented. Highlights: Enoteca Sociale doing Piemonte, newcomer Viaggio tackling Lazio, and Campagnolo staking its claim on Sardegna.

April 4 to 14.

Take a bite out of food waste

At a one-night seminar, Food Waste – Past & Present, the Culinary Historians of Canada will tackle the broad issue of food waste. Presenter Magdaline Dontsos will discuss Canadians’ current food waste problem, examine solutions for food waste from the past, and discuss ways the food supply chain can clean up its act. Bonus: food samples made from recovered ingredients.

April 10. George Brown College Hospitality and Tourism Campus (300 Adelaide East). $15.

Flip for the Pancakes & Booze Art Show

The name just about says it all at this recurring food event, which features 300-plus works from 75 artists, plus live music, body painting and all the pancakes you can handle. 

April 12. Revival Bar (783 College). $10-$13.

Preview Osteria Rialto at Montgomery’s

The Paradise on Bloor cinema revitalization project is set to feature the return of Porzia chef Basilio Pesce with a new on-site restaurant, Osteria Rialto. Get a sneak peek of what’s in store at this two-night pop-up dinner. 

April 16 and 17. Montgomery’s (996 Queen West). $70.

Raise a glass with SOBDL

The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies’ long-running beer event series returns with its 42nd bash, which will shine a spotlight on brews from Beau’s and Halcyon (including an exclusive Halcyon brew made in collaboration with SOBDL). On top of that: entertainment by Girl Gang Cabarets and tacos from Los Vietnamita.

April 26. Location TBA. $35.

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Get caffeinated at Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo

Coffee and tea aficionados can coexist in harmony at this event, which brings together roasters and blenders, baristas and brewers, distributors, coffee shops and more under one roof. Check out the latest in gear, learn new techniques at on-site workshops and demos, and – most importantly – try unlimited samples.

May 4 and 5. Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills). $18.39.

Hail seitan at the Veg Spring Market

Nosh your way through 40-plus vegan businesses at this one-day market. Exhibitors include Nanashake, Pierogi Me, Loon Kombucha and Sausage Party Toronto. Take a break between your veggie burger and dairy-free soft serve to check out some of the on-site workshops.

May 5. Wychwood Barns (601 Christie). $3.50.

Pay tribute to Anthony Bourdain

The legendary chef-turned-author and TV personality is getting a fitting send-off at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, where local food writer Suresh Doss will facilitate a chat between Bourdain’s co-author Joel Rose and author-chef Gabrielle Hamilton. Registration for the free event opens April 15.

May 6. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge). Free.

Feed others (and yourself) at Dixonlicious

This fundraiser has one goal: help Dixon Hall provide 30,000 meals to those in need in the eastern downtown core. This year’s instalment features eats and drinks from Biff’s Bistro, Eastbound Brewing Co., Daniel et Daniel, Hooked and more.

May 9. Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas East). $75-$90.

Be a Tastemaker

Some of Toronto’s biggest names in food – including Patrick Kriss, Alexandra Feswick, Nick Liu, Elia Herrera and Brandon Olsen – will be converging on the Evergreen Brick Works for Tastemaker Toronto. Try original dishes and cocktails from guest chefs and mixologists, plus plenty of samples from a broad lineup of vendors.

May 10 to 12. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview). $55-$79.

Rack up ribs in Yonge-Dundas Square

If your main complaint about Ontario’s many, many rib fests is that they’re all too far from downtown, Rib & Craft Beer Fest has you covered. Clean off a few racks (or grab a vegan pulled pork sandwich – yep, your veggie friends can come, too), then wash it all down with one of 35 craft brews.

May 16 to 19. Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas East). Free.

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Spring Beerfest TO

Toss some beanbags at Spring Beerfest TO

No cottage plans for May 2-4 weekend? This beer fest will have the wholesome outdoor fun you crave. In addition to 17-plus brewers from around Ontario and a slew of snack vendors, the beer bash has outdoor games courtesy of local game bars Track & Field and Bangarang.

May 18 and 19. Fort York Garrison Common (100 Garrison). $25.

Sample the best of Black-owned businesses

Dig into local Afro-Caribbean cuisine and live entertainment at the Black Owned Food Market. Proceeds go toward funding business development programs to support black youth entrepreneurs.

May 19. Wychwood Barns (601 Christie). Free.

Discover Queen Victoria’s Secret

Brewer’s Backyard, a series of laid-back beer events, returns for its annual Victoria Day edition, with a secret roster of Ontario beers ready for the pouring. Food will be available, and the event is suitable for all ages.

May 20. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview). Free.

Taste the poutine rainbow at Toronto Poutine Fest

Grab your favourite antacid: Toronto’s open-air poutine festival is back at Yonge-Dundas Square for another year. The lineup features 10 poutineries from around Ontario and Quebec, offering a smorgasbord of options, from lobster-bacon and buffalo chicken to rib, popcorn shrimp and even apple pie versions. (Poutine purists need not apply.)

May 24 to 26. Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas East). Free. | @nataliamanzocco

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