Apparently Mother Nature thought this annual food and drink night market needed some cooling down, after all, it’s one of the hottest tickets in town to get your hands on! If you were one of the fortunate ticket holders, the rain didn’t stop you from enjoying a fun night out with some of the town’s best cuisine and chefs. Even star chef Jamie Kennedy kept the fire going to keep up with the demand for his Griddled Grandview Farms Grass Fed Beef. This was my first time attending The Stop’s Night Market and I had a blast, eagerly anticipating what was next to taste at each stall. It was even fun seeing how each vendor designed their carts. Even magazine Design Lines thought so as they wanted to know which cart was everyone’s favorite at #DLTacoStop. See which one was mine and why;) While I was waiting in line, three-time visitor Jenny and her husband gave me some good advice. They said “to just take your time and enjoy the night, there’s plenty to go around”. And there surely was. Where else would anyone want to be than here when one is surrounded by scrumptious bites, drinks and fabulous company. One of Toronto’s best community building events by far and even more impressive to know that all the proceeds from this amazing 2-night extravaganza goes a long way to supporting The Stop’s anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. Learn more about the event’s generous sponsors and The Stop organization here. If you did not make it out this year, see the list of vendors and be sure to do it next year! In the meantime, here are some pics to give you a small glimpse of this year’s.
You will hear me write this over and over but it truly is one of my most favorite aspects of getting out to the markets and that is meeting the folks behind the stalls and hearing their stories on how they got their start and why they enjoy what they do best. I recently toured the new farmers’ market at the Distillery District…the Sunday Market and what a nice addition to the Distillery District!
Make it a to do on your list this summer from now until September 28th. A special thanks to a few folks…firstly, our lovely tour guide Audrey Ooi from Tasty Tours who hosted my very first sweet tasting tour this past Father’s Day weekend. You have got to do this at least one if not all of their delectable tours;) We were also greeted by the Distillery’s very own Candace Shaw who gave us a bit of background on the start of the market and what criteria they work with when making their vendor selections. Our first stop was with Adam and Blythe from Spade and Spoon who allowed us to sample their fine maple syrups, and jarred preserves. I now know feel a bit more enlightened about the different shades of syrup and their best attributes and have a new appreciation for ketchup, tried their Hot’n Spicy version and what better timing to discover than during bbq season. Next stop in was with Shane from Haute Goat who shared his story on how he and his wife combined their two passions to become what was meant to be. Find out why you will be glad that they did! I’ll give you a clue, think goat’s milk. Lastly but not least, we were introduced to Karen McKenna from Hi Honey whose passion for bees and their honey of a cause is not afraid to take a stand when it matters most. Did not realize how much variety honey had to offer. Karen also showed us how versatile honey is for cooking by allowing us to sample her delicious Rhubarb Compote. Read this interesting article which Karen penned for edible Toronto.
Toronto has many fantastic tour companies that will help you get up close and personal and show you the hidden gems behind some of our cities amazing markets. (yes and still made it to my dad’s on time–thanks Audrey;). I was 20 minutes late for my father’s big day but the saving grace was the Whiskey Chocolate Cake exclusively made by Jill Lawrence at the Canadian Whiskey Cake Company (also known for her Apple Crumble Company)that I brought back with me–I owe you one Jill!
Nothing is more authentic about New York than this fantastic culinary summer pop-up market, Broadway Bites. With well over 30 different tasty vendors on-site, what better way to taste what the Big Apple has to offer and it’s all in one place. Head over to Greeley Square Park at 33rd Street and Broadway. Better yet bike it over and work up an appetite! You have until August 1st, plenty of time to go back again and again. For more information on this tantalizing event visit http://urbanspacenyc.com/broadway-bites/.
If you live or visit New York often, the chances are that you have visited one of UrbanSpace‘s markets; Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites, Columbus Circle Holiday Market and Union Square Holiday Market. Here to tell us a bit about her experience with markets and UrbanSpace itself is Julie Feltman, the Market Director at UrbanSpace.
1. How did you get involved with markets and UrbanSpace?
I feel super fortunate that the universe just pushed me towards this job – it’s my dream job. I grew up in the market circuit working with my Mother, jewelry designer Angela Feltman of Heart Of Stone, who would do pop-up markets and street fairs all over New England. Some of my earliest memories are running around those fairs, learning how to make change and putting beads on string. As an adult, I’ve done a lot of production management for theater and events, as well as going to school for Economics. A few years ago, I worked with UrbanSpace as an assistant and slowly moved up the ranks to become the Market Director.
2. What do you want visitors to your markets to walk away with?
The neat thing about our markets is that it’s an immersive, unique experience every single time you step through it, and appeals to every sense you have. I think the most satisfied customer doesn’t walk away with food selfies or instagrammed crowd shots, but with distinct tactile memories of the sound of rice noodles sizzling on a hot grill, how the spices smelt both foreign and familiar, how the salt rub felt against your hands. I want people to put down their phones and ear buds and take in the experience!
3. What is the oddest or funniest or most interesting market story you can remember?
So many! Sometimes vendors send the office samples of their products, and someone last year sent me a fig tree. He wasn’t intending on selling trees, he just though I’d like it. It was pretty cool. Right now there is a gelato vendor at Broadway Bites by UrbanSpace, and his Italian mother works the booth. She doesn’t speak any English, and customers actually enjoy struggling with correspondence, it’s like for that one moment you’re in Italy. Every time I go over she hugs and kisses me and speaks to me in Italian as if I get every word. She then gives me an affagato (a scoop of gelato with espresso poured on top) even when I say no. It’s a work hazard :).
4. If you could visit any market in the world, which one would it be?
Ooooh! I’ve been lucky to travel, and I’ve loved the markets in India and Morocco. In India, there are such an assault of sights smells and sounds, especially as a foreigner, it’s pretty great, and each region specializes in something different. In Morocco, they have snake charmers and fiddle players as entertainment, and all types of animals for sale. It’s pretty great. I think my next stop for markets is the Parisian Bird Market, or some of the market places in the Andulusia region of Spain.
5. Who would you take with you?
Someone with a big pocketbook and a strong back for hauling my knickknacks 🙂
There’s a new criteria for choosing the right university–does it have a farmer’s market? Stopped in on the regular farmer’ s market held on campus at Ryerson University today. Brought back some fond memories. I remember when you were hungry for a quick bite Ernie’s hotdog stand on Gould street was pretty much your only option and it was a good one too. Well, Ernie’s no longer there but Apple Trees Farmer’s Market is a welcome addition. What was really cool to see as a Ryerson University Alumni was Rye’s Home Grown stall. Everything looked so amazingly fresh! Another bonus was the new Balzac’s gourmet coffee shop located on the same street. Walking down the closed Gould Street reminded me of Bryant Street in New York.
The Annex Flea was the place to be for vintage and handmade things on Sunday when all you wanted to do was leisurely stroll around, shop, talk and eat with some amazing vendors. I treated myself to an ice cream sandwich from APieCalypse Now! Vegan Bakery, Yum! Also enjoyed a chat with Bread & Circus who creates unique jewellery pieces. I share their same philosophy, see what it is if your’e curious! I especially loved the handmade ceramic designs that artist Lana Filippone created. Beat the traffic and make sure to get out on your bikes, the markets are the perfect reason! There are three more market dates scheduled for the rest of the summer! July 27th, August 24th, and September 28th – all in the Honest Ed’s lot right at Bathurst and Bloor.
In case you missed it, the annual T.E.S.T. Springtime Market took place this past weekend showcasing over 30 different vendors. Aside from discovering a new unique find, getting out and meeting the talented individuals behind each shop is my most favorite part. If you want to see what was on hand, check out T.E.S.T.’s pretty look book.
As usual, here are a few of my favorites:
1. See how Jool recycles old keys into key fashion statements (pardon the pun:).
2. Beautiful hand-bound books from Sprouts Press. I especially liked the mini ones you could wear around your neck.
3. Made locally in Toronto, each piece of hand-dyed bamboo clothing from Masha Apparel is a one of a kind!
4. Loved designer Michele Guevara’s crocheted designs–reminded me of another artist I came across in New York.
5. If you are like me, illustrations hold a sweet spot in my heart. Artist Lichia Liu from Gotamago had so many to indulge in.
6. Printmaking designs by Ele Willoughby will warm your heart.
7. Fun and collaborative patterns from Pickled Herring Designs.
8. Meet fashion designer Sarah Catalfo of Maybe By Catalfo. If you are looking for flirty, this is your girl!
9. Need some personalized stationary and art prints, then you will want to see what marsdesign can for you.
10. Cat lovers rejoice! House of Cat has all the homemade treats your kitty is looking for.