We’re serving resting brunch face.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day except on the weekends when I can sleep in and still eat the same food items at noon. Brunch is quite possibly the greatest invention ever. Think about it. We all agreed that it was acceptable to eat both breakfast and lunch at the same time. We also agreed that drinking could start at eleven o’clock in the morning. It’s brilliant. And now, we have this cultural obsession with brunch. So much, in fact, that we can have entire food festivals dedicated to our beloved, boozy brunch.
Every year, Taste Toronto hosts a food festival called Brunch Fest and it’s kind of amazing. Over a dozen restaurants, food trucks, and other food establishments get together and serve the best and most Instagram-worthy brunch foods. From deep-fried avocado bites and loaded hash browns to mac and cheese chicken and waffles and Japanese pancakes. This year, the event was just outside of Hotel X Toronto on the Lakeshore and it did not disappoint. Here’s my review of the event.
Brunch Fest happened over two days. My sister and I bought tickets for the first time slot on Sunday and I’m glad we went to early. The I.D. and bag check line got longer after we arrived. And, by noon the rest of the attendees filled the space. I was nervous about how much each food item would cost. Attendees had to purchase tickets near the entry and then exchange tickets for food. We learned that food and drink items were anywhere between 1 and 5 tickets or $2 to $10. After experiencing Brunch Fest, we think the prices are in proportion to what we received.
Pink your drink
Of all the booths at the festival, I really loved the pink-themed cocktail bar. The drinks were really good and I loved the millennial pink aesthetic of the entire booth. One of the sponsors, Beefeater Gin, served pink and punny drinks like Pink & Tonic, Pink Gin Sangria and boozy Strawberry Lemonade. They were all delicious and I spent a significant amount of time taking pictures of my drinks. The bartenders gave people artsy pink manicures. I thought that was a nice finishing touch.
Tacos are one of my favourite food items ever. I practically ran to the booth, called La Novela, when I saw Baja Fish Tacos on their menu. I really enjoyed my tacos and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad fish taco. You can’t really mess it up because it’s so perfect. My sister tried the Breakfast Carnita Tosada (pictured below) and liked it too.
When I followed Brunch Fest on Instagram, I saw all the promotional posts for the event including one particular food item: The Fried Chicken McMuffin. It’s a piece of deep fried maple-glaze chicken with cheese and chipotle aioli on an english muffin and, once I saw it on Instagram, I knew I had to try it. It’s made by this food truck called Heirloom and it was probably the best thing I tried at the event.
It was so filling and I regret not sharing with my sister instead of eating one by myself. The line up for this food stall was one of the longest at the event but kind of worth it because the Fried Chicken McMuffin was really good. I also tried the Fuwa Fuwa Mango Pancake at Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes and Dutty Chicken Waffles from The Heartbreak Chef.
Overall vibes and details
There were so many elements at Brunch Fest that I loved. Despite the long lines and limited seating areas, I really enjoyed myself. There were tons of things to do aside from eating that it was easy to stay busy between food stalls. My sister and I took advantage of all the photo ops and posed in front of all the Instagram-friendly walls around the event space.
We didn’t get a chance to play with the life-sized Connect 4 game or bean bag lawn game but it was fun to watch other groups of people. I also really enjoyed the music, which was a nice mixture of live bands and DJ segments. Overall, I think it was a great event and I would definitely go again.
What food festivals are you going to this summer? Which food festivals should I check out?