Saturday August 8th 2015, 11am-7pm
Fort York, Garrison Grounds
“An all vegan experience featuring comfort food, crafts brews, wine and spirits.”
Being an avid fan of vegan food (obviously) and an energetic festival experience, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to visit the Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival. With my non-vegan (but open-minded) foodie friend in haul, we decided this would make for a fun Saturday afternoon in our home city.
General admission tickets were $10 and VIP tickets were $20 which included three drink tokens – fairly standard prices for a food event in Toronto. It was a bit tricky finding the exact location as there weren’t any banners or signs indicating where to go; we essentially found the grounds by spotting it from a highway overpass. All was forgiven once we were in. The atmosphere was very relaxed, there was local music on stage, and a lap of the grounds revealed many familiar local vendors, as well as some new names!
We began with sinfully fantastic deep fried pickles from Cardinal’s Rule and some refreshing bottles of kombucha from Tonica Kombucha .
In search of a main course for my gluten-free needs, I found it took quite a few conversations with vendors to find a GF option as very few stands actually had ingredient lists and/or considerations posted. The lines for many of the hot food vendors were pretty long, but we settled on tofu gyros from Brixton Grill.
A strong hit of coffee from Two Bears Coffee, and we were ready to continue our prowl. I went back to Tonica Kombucha and purchased 3 more bottles (which, by the way, were amazing – I drank all three the next day). My friend perused a beautiful craft shop called AllTRUEist filled with purses and handmade jewellery. Naturally, it was now time for dessert. We chatted with the vendors from Bloomer’s, Pleasantville Creamery, Bunners, and Vaffles, and finally settled on cinnamon rolls and cookies & creme rolls from Bunners because of the gluten-free ingredients. As always, they were decadent and delicious to the last icing-covered finger.
We couldn’t leave the event without trying one last treat and quite possibly it was our favorite of the event. This ice cream sandwich inside 2 Bloomer’s cookies (GF!) was so good that we have been craving it since!! I wish they sold these things at the grocery store!
Toronto’s food scene is always evolving, and it’s important to support events like these in which you can indulge in old favourites and new discoveries. Overall, it was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed interacting with the vendors, which you can’t always get at massively packed food festivals. After three hours of eating, drinking, and shopping merry, it was time to take our full bellies home.
Looking forward to attending again next year.
Positives: Laid-back atmosphere, lots of options, discovered new vendors and enjoyed old favourites
Negatives: Hard to find, few vendors posted ingredients
Written by TVJ writer Joanna G.