food events toronto

The top 10 food events in Toronto for fall 2014

The top food events in Toronto this fall will help you bulk up for winter, and pack in as much social dining before the impending polar vortex forces us all into hibernation. Warm up at a food fest dedicated to chowder, start carb-loading during a weeks-long chocolate fest, or show your love for the city's food scene at a number of fundraising events. Tempatures might be cooling, but the forecast is calling for some serious deliciousness.

Here are my picks for the top upcoming food events and festivals taking place this fall in Toronto.

Taking place tonight, Thursday, October 16 from 5pm to 9pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St.), this food fest in support of the Canadian Cancer Society might be your last chance to catch up with food trucks like Gourmet Gringos and Bacon Nation. You'll also find vendors like The Pie Commission and Hot Bunzz; and beverage purveyors like Toronto Distillery Co. and Junction Craft Brewing. Regular tickets are $25, but you can also purchase a campfire upgrade ($35) which includes a warm drink and special treat, or go VIP ($50) for line by-pass.

Toronto Chocolate Festival
Currently on until November 2, this fest will offer chocoholics plenty of ways to indulge. Of course, there's a choco-centric trade show happening on Sunday, November 2 at Roy Thompson Hall, but the signature events are even more tempting. The Chocolate Ball takes place tonight, Thursday, October 16 at The Eglinton Grand (400 Eglinton Ave. West), and a Chocolate High Tea, hosted by the King Edward Hotel (37 King St. E.), will be offered Fridays through Sundays for the duration of the festival.

Delicious Food Show
The three-day food festival, presented by the Food Network, is on at the Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes' Blvd.) from Friday, October 17 to Sunday, October 19. Along with a sea of exhibitors, expect celebrity stages, chef-led workshops, book signings, food trucks and an Abbey's Kitchen Stadium pavilion. General admission is $20 in advance or $22 at the door.

Cask Days
The celebration of cask-conditioned craft beers, now in its 10th year, stretches from Friday, October 24 to Sunday, October 26 at Evergreen Brickworks (550 Bayview Ave.). In addition to 300 cask ales offered by 150 breweries, raise your expectations when it comes to beer-friendly foods; Porchetta & Co. and Hopgood's Foodliner are just a couple of the vendors. Tickets are on sale now for $35 per session. (Check out our guide on how to enjoy this year's festival.)

Zombie Brunch
The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. West) gets spooky at Halloween brunch for its third year on Saturday, October 25 from 11am. The menu will feature gruesome specials like scrambled egg brain burritos, zombie flesh bennies and smokin' bloody caesars. Don't even shake off your Friday night hangover - the undead eat for 15% off.

Chowder Chowdown
Toronto chefs will compete at 7pm on Tuesday, November 4 at the Fermenting Cellar
(28 Distillery Lane) for the title of 2014 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion. Tickets are $56.50 and attendees will have the chance to taste and vote on original chowders paired with local craft beers in support of Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium conservation program devoted to endorsing sustainable seafood.

What's on the Table
The Stop Community Food Centre presents their 10th annual fundraising event on Wednesday, November 5 from 7pm to 11pm. Tickets are steep, priced at $300 (with a charitable tax receipt issued for $205), but the all-inclusive event happening at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St. East) is billing an evening of food and beverage stations manned by top Toronto restaurants like Ruby Watchco, Richmond Station and The Stockyards to name just a few.

Taste of Iceland in Toronto
Experience a flurry of Icelandic cuisine with a special menu at Luma (350 King St. West) from November 13 to 16. Coupled with free concerts at Horseshoe Tavern, this $55 four-course dinner from guest chef Viktor Örn Andrésson and chefs Michael Wilson and Anthony Walsh promises to be a cool night out. Expect the menu to showcase authentic Icelandic dishes featuring exotic ingredients like Icelandic cod, langoustine and viking skyr.

Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo celebrates its 20th anniversary this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Thursday, November 20 to Sunday November 23. The four-day event will featuring tutored tastings, a Food Network chef stage, a spiritology pavilion and, of course, plenty of opportunities to eat and imbibe.

The Canadian Artisan Tasting Fair
Back for its second year on Sunday, November 30, this food fest takes place from 11am to 4pm at Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St.). Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door for an all-inclusive sampling experience and the opportunity to purchase and discover foods from the best artisanal cheese makers, bakers, charcuterie butchers, craft breweries and restaurants.

Photo of Cask Days by Andrew WIlliamson

What did I miss? Plug your favourite fall food events in the comments below.

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