food trends Toronto

The top 10 Toronto food trends from summer 2016

Food trends this summer in Toronto included more than a few ice cream-related obsessions, not to mention innovative new ways to eat raw fish. There was also a candy floss revival, futuristic latte art and BBQ so good it was almost guaranteed to sell out each day.

The are the food trends that dominated Toronto in the summer of 2016.

This summer has felt like a race to see which devoted poke eatery would open first, and what a close race it was with contenders like Big Tuna Poke Bar, Hoki Poke, Pokito, Poke Guys, North Poke and Calii Love.

Food Trends Toronto

Sushi Burritos
These massive maki rolls first popped up on food trucks, such as Sushito and from vendors like Fish'd By Edo. You can now find sushi burritos at poke shops in addition to places like Rolltation and the incoming Su&Bu.

Food Trends Toronto

Over-the-Top Ice Cream
Lineups at Sweet Jesus are as long as ever, Montreal's La Diperie made the Danforth its Toronto home base, while Booyah got creative with ice cream tacos. Chimney, or doughnet cones, and churro cones proved equally popular.

epic Toronto milkshakes

Epic Milkshakes
As if you haven't consumed enough frozen dairy this summer, this trend is still on the rise. While there's nothing new about milkshakes per se, places like Initium, Peace Treats and the incoming Hollywood Cone are topping shakes with delicious (and ridiculous) garnishes.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Toronto

Thai Rolled Ice Cream
We started seeing this cold treat at outdoor markets early in the season before Arctic Bites, Frosty Roll, QQ Thai Ice Cream and Nice Pan all set up permanent store fronts.

Cotton Candy in Cocktails and Coffees
Remember when cotton candy existed solely at carnivals? Not so anymore. Cotton candy grew up this summer and picked up some very adult habits... like drinking coffee and boozing. You can find this spun sugar treat sweetening hot drinks at Light Cafe and CutiePie Cupcakes, and drowning itself in alcohol at Good Fortune.

Food Trends Toronto

Next Level Latte Art
Flowers and leaves don't impress Torontonians anymore. Toronto's top baristas upped the ante this summer with the addition of new-fangled technology at places like Fountain and Initium that'll custom print any image on your milky foam.

Food Trends Toronto

Rainbow Everything
There are plenty of ways to taste the rainbow in Toronto. Psychadelic bagels and even ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches embraced food colouring this summer.

Food Trends Toronto

Lauded as an eco-friendly source of animal protein, insects have slowly started popping up on menus in Toronto, even if diners have gotten over the yuck factor yet. Death in Venice does gelato studded with chocolate, crisp crickets and meal worms, while CNE vendor Bug Bistro showed off the versatility of insects by topping hot dogs with crispy mustard crickets and blending meal worms into milkshakes.

Food Trends Toronto

Lining up for BBQ
Smokehouses like Adamson's and J&J Bar-B-Que are giving Torontonians good reason to queue up at the 'que. Texas-style brisket that literally melts in your mouth, turkey so moist you'll want make out with it and plump sausages that snap are among the very good reasons to wait for your lunch.

Did I miss a food trend from the summer? Let us know in the comments.

Photos by Hector Vasquez and Jesse Milns.

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