Taste of the Danforth 2013

Tickle Your Taste Buds with Authentic Greek Food

Come and get your fill of lip-smacking delicacies at the Taste of the Danforth!

But remember, come with an empty stomach so that you can test various 'tastes' of authentic Greek cuisine from souvlaki to baklava that this street fest has to offer.

This Toronto Greek festival is held on Danforth Avenue in the heart of Greektown during the second weekend of every August.

Roughly 2.5 kilometres of Danforth Avenue is closed from Broadview Avenue to Jones Avenue as the foodies pour into the Greektown for flavours of luscious food.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The taste of the Danforth is the largest food festival in Canada and is very popular summer street event of Toronto, fetching around 1.3 million visitors from Canada and US. In fact, it's largest Greek festival in the world outside Greece.

The 3-day long Danforth festival celebrates Greek culture and Greek food since last 17 years. Without any doubt, the mouth-watering food is the foremost crowd-puller. You will find heavy Greek influence in cuisine, however, the Taste of the Danforth provides an incredible fusion of food from all over the world. Apart from it, the festival offers loads of fun-filled activities, live music, dance performances, interactive games and much more for all ages.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

Let us take quick glimpse of what the Toronto Greek festival has to offer to visitors. And you will readily agree with me that it's one of the best food festivals around the world.

'Tastes' of the Taste of the Danforth

The carnival brings tasty Hellenic gastronomy out of several local restaurants, cafes and bakeries into the street of Danforth. You will find many stalls lined up on sidewalks of the street. The vendors offer selected delicious varieties which you can easily enjoy while walking or standing.

The festival provides an endless array of authentic and traditional Greek varieties like souvlaki, calamari, spinach pie, gyros, spanakopita and moussaka. If you are non-vegetarian you must try these varieties. You can also have freshly prepared Greek salads. And, do check out the mind-blowing Greek pastry desserts baklava and kadiefi. You shouldn't miss these sweet treats. If you love iced coffee, get a glass of chilled Greek Iced Coffee Frappe.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The 'taste' at the Taste of the Danforth is not only limited to Greek food. You will find flavours from different parts of world. Discover various varieties from Japanese, Italian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, North American and Caribbean cuisines. Try spring rolls, tacos, burritos, nachos, pitas, shrimp skewers, several rice varieties, sushi and chicken dishes. Enjoy the roasted corn at the Corn on the cob.

If you are pure vegetarian, your options are limited to vegetable samosas, vegetable spring rolls, chick peas with rice, French fries and fried rice.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

In addition to the meaty varieties, the food festival also offers yummy desserts like funnel cake, ice creams, pastries and brownies. If you have not tried funnel cake before, try it here.

Finally, enjoy various fresh fruit dishes, fruit shakes and fruit chillers.

All in all, the festival offers lots of variety of non-vegetarian and vegetarian cuisines, salads, desserts and juices that suit every taste and pocket.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

Here are few tips for visitors from my personal experience.

Bring good amount of cash to buy the food, because most of the vendors accept only cash.

Don't worry about the long queues, they move pretty fast as most items are ready to serve.

Also, there are not many options for seating. So be prepared to eat-while-walk.

And finally, piece of advice for weightwatchers. Do not worry about calorie, just enjoy the great food. You can burn those extra calories by intense workout later on.

Entertainment at the Taste of the Danforth

The Taste of the Danforth is the perfect blend of food and fun.

The event features live music, dance and entertainment on three different stages - Broadview stage, Celebrity stage and Greek stage.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The Broadview stage features wide variety of music. You will experience everything from jazz to rock to blues. Also, enjoy Hannan's belly dancing. You can also learn the choreography and join the Taste Mob Flash Dance or try the free NIA class. Have a great fun with music and dance from Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The Celebrity stage features live performance by Second City, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet and Sol De Cuba. You can be charmed by the music of Jesse Labelle and Alyssa Reid. You can also meet some of the last season's top winners from 'So You Think You Can Dance Canada'. You may also find yourself lucky to volunteer for 'A Taste of Beauty - Smashbox Cosmetics Celebrity Makeovers'.

Finally, the Greek stage is where you will find everything Greek from music, dance, song and belly dance. You will also get a chance to learn Greek dance.

The festival features several beer and wine gardens, where you can take sip of cold beer and wine, enjoy delectable food with live music and dance performances.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

If you are visiting with your kids, don't miss The Kids' Fun Zone. The fun zone offers assorted fun-filled, theme-based activities for kids.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The fun zone features Center of Gravity 'You Can Try It' circus where kids from 5 to 15 can try out the classical area circus hoop, The Toronto Zoo - amazing 'Touch Table' where you can meet Toronto Zoo's mascot - Explorer Bear and The East York Mirror Kids' Activities Tent - providing opportunities for kids to participate in coloring and crafts contests.

Kids can also enjoy various rides and slides.

Experience the Olympiada featuring where you can dress like an ancient Greek, build the Acropolis and learn ancient art and Greek dancing.

Taste of the Danforth Photo

The Sports Zone includes challenges created by Toronto's professional sports teams. You will get lots of chances to test your sporting skills and win prizes.

Visit Toronto Maple Leafs Mobile Dressing Room, test out your football-throwing arm at the Toronto Argonauts' football toss, try your baseball prowess in the Toronto Blue Jays' batting cage and pitching cage, check your footwork at the Toronto FC - amazing soccer challenges and experience lacrosse challenges at the Toronto Rock.

Come to the Taste of the Danforth, enjoy the great food, entertainment and ambience. I'm pretty sure you will remember the taste and aroma of the Greektown's extravaganza for long time to go.

Tips

Parking space is limited due to street closure and it's extremely difficult to get parking nearby. So it's good idea to leave your car at home. TTC subway is the best option to get to the Taste of the Danforth. Broadview, Chester and Pape station will bring you right in the thick of action.

The Taste of the Danforth 2013 - Tourist Information

Venue: Danforth Avenue between Broadview Avenue and Jones Avenue

Event Date & Hours:

The street festival takes place for 3 days during second weekend of August

August 9 - 11, 2013

August 9, Friday: 6pm-12am

August 10, Saturday: 12pm-12am

August 11, Sunday: 12pm-8am

Price: Admission is Free

Transit and Driving Directions:

TTC:

The Taste of the Danforth takes place along Danforth Avenue which is conveniently located on the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) Bloor-Danforth Subway line. The event can be accessed through any of four subway stations - Broadview, Chester, Pape and Donlands.

Go Transit:

Hop on the Go train or bus to Union Station in downtown Toronto. From there take TTC subway to get to the Taste of the Danforth.

Driving Directions:

From the South or West - Follow the QEW into Toronto, where it turns into the Gardiner Expressway. Take the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) exit on the left. Merge onto Don Valley Parkway North. Take the Bayview Avenue exit toward Bloor Street. Follow the signs for Bloor Street/Danforth Avenue.

From the North - Take Highway 400 into Toronto, exiting onto Highway 401 East. Continue on Highway 401 East until you reach Don Valley Parkway (DVP) Exit. Merge onto Don Valley Parkway south. Take the exit toward Bayveiw Avenue/Bloor Street. Follow the signs for Bloor Street/Danforth Avenue.

Parking: Parking is available at the Taste of the Danforth in the Green P Parking lots on the north side of the Danforth. The Green P Parking lots are located between Broadview and Jones. The parking lots between Broadview and Pape fill quickly with the ones east of Pape being less utilized. Parking is however, very limited. If a car is parked illegally on a side street, it will be ticketed and perhaps towed.

For more information visit www.tasteofthedanforth.com


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