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Joanna Sable, Cordon Blue-trained chef, foodie, and Torontonian, has a self-proclaimed addiction to farmers’ markets and farm stands. Joanna will happily stop by more than one on any given day, which is why she loves Sundays in Toronto, Canada. Follow Joanna’s guide to experience three of Toronto’s best farmers’ markets and their must-visit stands, all within a thirty minute drive from each other, traversing Toronto’s west and east sides.
It’s recommended to begin your food journey west at the Liberty Village, My Market. Start at Balzac’s for a latte; each Balzac’s feels very European with friendly, non-attitudinal servers who make coffee your way, and not how they want you to drink it.
A visit to Liberty Village’s My Market is not complete without a stop at Sun Ray Orchards. These guys do it all, from selling farm-fresh fruits and veggies, to making their own jams, muffins and pies, to frying old school fry truck French fries and serving them with gravy and squeaky curds.
Kitty corner to them are some new guys roving the farmers market scene with a pizza oven in tow. Pizza Rovente are huge fans of buying toppings at the farmers’ markets, and the dough is lovely and crisp with a nice tang and chew. They also make a perfect old-fashioned ice tea and are proud supporters of another local favorite, No. 7 Hotsauce.
Green P Parking at East Liberty Street and Hanna Ave | Sundays from 9 am-2 pm, May 31-November 1, 2015
Hop on the Gardiner and head east all the way to The Leslieville Farmers’ Market. Start savory with Tiffinday. This little gem of a company headed by owner Seema is vegetarian Indian at its best. Customers are addicted to the Timpa wheels, which are pinwheels of swiss chard layered with curry-flavored chickpea batter, sautéed with shredded coconut and curry leaves. Eat a few here and then take some home. Seema is just getting into retail with a group of ready-to-eat veggie stews and soups.
Dessert is not hard to find here. Wafel Huis is making liege waffles with farmers’ market fruits and whipped cream. A liege waffle is a yeast waffle with tiny sugar rocks, imported directly from Belgium. Sweet with a mild caramelized flavor, Jan is the proud owner and creator of these incredible treats. He also makes a cute and fun treat called a Schtick O’ Donuts. Pack some to go and toast them up with Be Good Gelato from the next and final stop.
Jonathan Ashbridge Park, 20 Woodward Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 392 2489 | Sundays from May 31-November 1, 2015, 9 am-2 pm
Head on over to the Sunday Market at Evergreen Brick Works to visit the passionate vendors at Hooked; Kristen and Dan Donovan are all about serving sustainable, farm-to-table fare. Here at the market they fry up some incredible fish for the biggest tacos around. The veggies packed inside this taco and the hot sauce drizzle are all made from farmers’ market produce. Pick up a little trout rillettes and a baguette from another vendor to have with wine before dinner.
Last but certainly not least, visit Lauren Walter of Be Good Gelato for a cool-off. Lauren fell in love with all things Italian – including gelato – many years ago while visiting Italy. She brought home huge gorgeous Italian gelato makers and started a wonderful local business. Now Lauren has amped-up classic flavors such as Deep Dark Chocolate and Tahitian Vanilla, there’s also Ontario with Butter Tart and Watermelon. Be Good is very farmers’ market-driven, so look for great fruity flavors.
Finally, head home with all your goodies (and try to have a cooler bag of some sort with you). Dinner may only be the rillettes and a few heritage tomatoes but boy, will they taste good.