Not Even The Rain Can Stop This Market!

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.




UrbanSpace Presents Broadway Bites 2014!

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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




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 🙂

A Big Thanks to Julie for sharing and to UrbanSpace for keeping us connected as a community!

Off To The Market with Chef Tom Phuong!

Looking for a new way to explore the market?  What better way than to have one of Toronto’s top chefs from the Royal York Hotel lead the way.  Chef Tom Phuong-Luu personally hosted one of my most enjoyable and intimate visits to the St. Lawrence Market.  Joining me on this fun field trip were husband and wife, Scott and Pam who were in town for a nice getaway and fellow Chef Jordan, also from the prestigious culinary team.

Our tour started at 8:30am sharp and we covered the entire market in good time while stopping and sampling a few of Chef Tom’s favorites.   Each stop we were treated to some of his insights as to what to look for when visiting a food market.   We sipped on gourmet coffee from Pasta Mia on the lower level while partnering it up with the world-reknowned morning Peameal Bacon Sandwich from Carousel Bakery on the second floor.  A quick stop into Kozlik’s Mustard stand to complete our Sandwich was also a must try.   We strolled through the various meat and fish markets to see their latest offerings.  One of the stops at Whitehouse Meats was a fun one where Chef Tom pointed out a some of the exotic meats one could sample…Crocodile and Ostrich to name a few.

The highlight of the tour was definitely when we were introduced to Murray, a good friend of Chef Tom’s, and also the owner of Golden Orchard Fine Foods located on the upper level.  He shared a few personal stories with the group on his store’s origins.   He told us of the times his mother would bake pies and leave them in the freezer to share with her customers as they visited.  Here’s another interesting tidbit, we also learned that the organic movement that is so popular today actually started in his store 20 years ago.   Ending our visit on a sweet note, Murray treated the ladies to a bottle of home-grown Toronto Island Airport Honey.

A big thank you to Chef Tom for the wonderful experience.  It was lovely meeting Tom and Pam and Chef Jordan who made the excursion an even more enjoyable one to take part in together.

The next time you are in Toronto, check out the “Shop with Chef” package at the Royal York  Hotel, this will be one of the most authentic Toronto and market experiences you have.



A Market Close to Home

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Talk about convenience.  One New York developer is making it easier for us to enjoy eating out while staying close to home.  Gotham Organization, a family-run real estate business recently introduced a luxury-rental apartment complex furnished with it’s own in-house market, Gotham West Market, with offerings which include on-trend artisanal food vendors, gourmet coffee and a bicycle concierge service located on the ground level.   This is no small endeavour either–the market itself is about 10,000 square feet.  Did I mention that parking is also available? What more could we want?  Okay maybe throw in a florist?  Let’s give Gotham Organization two thumbs up for keeping the scene fresh and innovative.

Toronto’s Super Market!

New York has Whole Foods in the Time Warner building and now Loblaws has the Maple Leaf Gardens.   Loblaws brings the market feel to their latest supermarket offering in the downtown core near College and Yonge Street.  The choices were endless and bountiful.  They were also able to keep the spirit of the Maple Leaf history alive with nostalgic reminders of the good ol’ days by incorporating them into the overall store design.  Definitely worth a visit even if you don’t live in the area!





Came across a beautiful cookbook at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmer’s Market which was being presented by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Lauren Shunock, Events and Outreach Coordinator.   For anyone interested in purchasing this “Ocean Wise”, the book is available at the store at Evergreen Brickworks, online at Amazon as well as at the Cookbook Store on Yonge street north of Bloor.

Thanks for making the trek to Toronto Lauren!

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