The sun is shining and the weather is warm, which means summer festival season has arrived in Canada! Whether you’re looking for a city street fair or a road-trip worthy culinary adventure, here’s your definitive guide to summer food festivals across the country.
1. Porkapalooza BBQ Festival (Edmonton, AB)
Dates: June 10 – 11
The Porkapalooza BBQ Festival in Edmonton is a community event that showcases the art and culture of all things barbecue. At the heart of the event is a BBQ competition where some of Canada’s finest grill-masters contend for the title. Festival goers can enjoy all of the mouthwatering grilled pork, plus assorted local food truck fare and icy cold brews.
2. Taste of Toronto (Toronto, ON)
Dates: June 15 – 18
Referred to as “The World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival,” Taste of Toronto takes over Garrison Common at Fort York for four days of divine dishes and sensational sips. World-class chefs will serve up bite-sized versions of their signature dishes and conduct live cooking demonstrations. If you’re an aspiring chef, you’ll also have a chance to get hands-on with interactive master classes.
3. Taste of Little Italy (Toronto, ON)
Dates: June 16 – 18
Celebrate Toronto’s Italian history and the city’s international community at the Taste of Little Italy. Sample global eats from the kiosks that line College Street, like pizza, panini, and skewers of lamb known as speducci, or sit on one of the patios for a cocktail and watch the people stroll by. And don’t worry about trying all of the food — live music will have you dancing the night away.
Want to know what other countries have must-visit food festivals? Check out the13 Biggest Food Festivals Around the World.
4. The Shediac Lobster Festival (Shediac, NB)
Dates: July 5 – 9
With a title like the “World Lobster Capital,” of course Shediac is home to Canada’s most celebrated annual lobster festival. A tradition spanning close to seven decades, highlights of the weekend include the world’s longest lobster dining table, the longest lobster roll and a lobster eating contest. Get those bibs ready and prepare to indulge in all things lobster.
5. Taste of Saskatchewan (Kiwanis Park, SK)
Dates: July 11 – 16
Saskatoon’s culinary greats come together at the Taste of Saskatchewan each July in picturesque Kiwanis Park. The city’s top restaurants serve up some of their house favourites, from creative appetizers and mouthwatering mains to decadent desserts and specialty items. Whether you prefer a more traditional dish or like a dash of adventure, there will be something to make your tastebuds sing.
6. Taste of Edmonton (Edmonton, AB)
Dates: July 20 – 29
A summer tradition, the Taste of Edmonton celebrates all of the city’s rich culinary offerings. Sample an assortment of fabulous food from Edmonton’s restaurant scene — including gluten-free eats — accompanied by a refreshing beer or a crisp glass of wine. If the heat from the grills isn’t enough, things get even hotter when some of Canada’s finest musical acts take the stage.
7. Taste of the Danforth (Toronto, ON)
Dates: August 11 – 13
Taste of the Danforth in Toronto’s vibrant Greektown is Canada’s largest annual street festival, hosting close to 2 million guests each year. Indulge in Mediterranean treats like souvlaki, spanakopita and baklava, or sample other international foods as you enjoy music and other exciting activities. It’s a fun-filled weekend for the entire family.
8. Vegan Food and Drink Festival (Toronto, ON)
Dates: August 19
The third annual Vegan Food and Drink Festival returns to Toronto this August for a day of delicious comfort food and craft brews. Open to the entire family, prepare to nosh on delectable vegan eats that will satisfy even the carnivores in your life. With a wide selection of fine food vendors from Toronto, Southern Ontario, and even the US, every drink and food item available is 100% vegan goodness.
9. The Drummondville Poutine Festival (Drummondville, QC)
Dates: August 24 – 26
Now in its tenth year, the Poutine Festival in Drummondville (not far from Montreal) is the ultimate celebration of Québec’s delicious gift to the world. Enjoy traditional poutine — delicious fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy — or savour one of the more exotic takes on the culinary treasure paired with impressive live musical acts.
10. Canada’s Largest RibFest (Burlington, ON)
Dates: September 1 – 4
What makes this Labour Day tradition in Burlington “Canada’s Largest RibFest?” Perhaps it’s the 180,000 people expected to attend, or maybe it’s the 150,000 pounds of ribs sold over the four-day event carefully prepared by 19 Ribber Teams from across North America. Or, it could be the millions of dollars that the Rotary Club has raised for charity during this grilled meat extravaganza over the past two decades.