Hot Town, Summer in the City! June Outdoor Food Fests, Markets, a Quesadilla Cafe, and Chic Patio Dining

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Enjoy these at the *NEW* Maizal Quesadilla Cafe!

Happy first day of June, everyone!  It’s been one crazy month of May with the return of many farmers’ markets, Mothers’ Day events, and spring time festivals, and the fun doesn’t stop here.  June marks the start of the summer season and we know what that means: cocktails and patio dining, ice cream and frozen desserts, firing up the grill (unless you grill all year round and if that’s the case, this is just old hat), and plenty of outdoor food celebrations!  June will be such an exciting month, so here’s a snapshot of some of delicious things we can expect in the next several weeks!

Gabriela of Chocosol’s Tortilla Project will be setting up shop in Liberty Village next week!  She’ll be opening up her very own corn tortilla and quesdilla cafe, Maizal Quesadilla Cafe, on Tuesday, June 5 at 11am at 133 Jefferson Street and really, with the weather heating up and the need for light meals on the rise, this couldn’t have come at a better time.  I am SO excited about this!  Gabriela has been working her tail off at the Toronto Lunchtime Office Markets, providing the most amazing corn tortillas and vegetarian quesadillas, and I cannot wait to see what the cafe looks like and to sink my teeth into some great food, hot off the grill!

Brownies at Leslieville…

…and a rainbow of tiny peppers at Liberty Village!

And speaking of markets, the first two weeks of June will be exploding with returning (and new!) farmers’ markets all across the city!  The market in the Junction (at Pacific Ave. and Dundas Street West) will be making its first appearance on the circuit tomorrow from 8:30am-12:30pm, the Yonge-Eglinton market will be relocating and starting its summer 2012 season in Mount Pleasant Village at the corner of Mount Pleasant Rd. and Davisville in June Rowlands Park on Tuesday the 5th from 3pm-7pm, and both Leslieville and Liberty Village will be busting out the market goodies this Sunday from 9am-2pm!  No matter where you are in the city, there’s a market either starting, returning, or happily humming along.  Be sure to check out the June Market page in the Food Calendar for the full list details.

June is also the month I like to refer to as “the outdoor food festival gut-buster”.  I think we could feasibly find a food festival to attend every single weekend for the entire month!  We have Luminato’s 1000 Tastes of Toronto (taking place at the Distillery District this year), Toronto’s Raw & Vegan Festival, Bikes, BBQ, and Beer at Evergreen Brick Works, Taste of Asia, Francolicous at the Harbourfront Centre (as well as the return of Harbourfront Centre’s World Cafe and summer food events) and – wait for this – The Stop Night Market!!!

Sliders at last year’s 1000 Tastes of Toronto!

Oh my goodness, for those of you who LOVE, and I mean LOVE, street fests and partying into the wee hours with cocktails, drinks, and amazing food, THIS is right up your alley!  Inspiried by night markets around the world, in Asia in particular, The Stop Community Food Centre will be hosting an electric night of food, culture, and entertainment in the lit-up alleyway by one of the city’s most iconic spaces, Honest Ed’s!  Not to discount any of the other food events, but I think this event is going to be a really big hit just because of the nature of the event itself.  So many foodies in the city are craving things like food trucks and more street food and for Toronto, as a city, to (as cheesy as it sounds) get with the program.  Hopefully this event will be a fantastic one (much like the Taste of Danforth) and be a catalyst for more things to come.

A sneak peek at the upcoming patio dining series!

And we can’t forget about the ice cream, frozen desserts, and patio dining!  I’m hoping to get the ball rolling on the upcoming summer patio dining series to showcase some of the oh-so-chic hot spots around town and to also add a little fire and ice to our collection of summer dessert posts.  Just last week I flagged down my very first ice cream truck by my house!  I was SO incredibly happy and excited!  In all my years on this earth, I’ve never been able to catch an ice cream truck in my neighbourhood but I was either lounging around in my pajamas or just realized it too late.  This time, however, I was already out on my driveway, I heard the infamous ding-a-ling music of an oncoming ice cream, and pounced!  I happily ordered myself a vanilla and chocolate swirled soft serve cone and savoured it out on my front lawn.  It was GREAT.  I didn’t have any hands to take any photos though so I’ll just have to snag another truck downtown, just for kicks. 

Sprimkles, sprinkles, sprinkles!

It’s going to be a great start to the summer and I hope you all find something (oh, what the heck, MULTIPLE somethings!) to look forward to and enjoy this month!  Eat well and be happy, everyone!


View Ate by Ate’s June Food Calendar.