When Vogue writes about “why Toronto is becoming the world’s next culinary destination,” you know the place is hot. It’s true, the Ontario metropolis has been honing its culinary chops for some time — it’s just that now everyone else has caught on.
Take a food tour of the destination known for its diversity with the pros to find out what all the hubbub is about. Whether it’s in and around the pedestrian-only Distillery Historic District, a national historic site with some of the best-preserved 1800s-era industrial architecture in North America, colorful Chinatown, Little Italy, or trendy Leslietown, these insiders will take you to the "it" eateries and introduce you to the top talents driving the buzz. Get ready to eat!
Culinary Adventure Co. – The leader
“The absence of tradition has allowed a creative, anything-goes climate to thrive,” Vogue writes. See that in action with award-winning The Culinary Adventure Co. This company has by far the largest selection of options, from food tours and classes, to culinary adventures and private experiences. Try a farm-to-table trip, vineyard visit, round-about of chefs, butchers, and bakers, or scavenger hunt in the Kensington Market and Chinatown, a Forbes best world food tour. If you’re daring, try the Ride and Go Feast on the last Sunday of each month. The theme and itinerary of the roaming bus tour is a surprise! A family-run business of culinary pros, the company also donates meals to youth in need from the proceeds of each experience.
Toronto Food Tours - Unusual ‘escapades’
This is not your typical tour. Edible Escapades cover mushroom foraging, planting and harvesting parties, ice fishing with shore lunches, even dogsledding ending in a winter cookout. Catering to travelers, partners Scott Savoie and John Anderson give small groups the inside scoop on their beloved city’s culinary scene with a focus on Ontario-grown food, as well as local masters of wine, beer, and spirits. There are 30 offerings year round, offered daily, that include cooking classes — gnocchi making with an Italian grandma, cooking with wine, oyster shucking, whole hog grilling — and tastings, such as wine, cheese, and chocolate. Savoie, a chef and food tour pioneer, and Anderson, a restaurateur and longtime pub owner, introduce groups to growers and foragers, chefs and BBQ gurus, taking them to 11 neighborhoods, including Little Italy, Chinatown, and the St. Lawrence Market. Expect stories as good as the food.
Foodies on Foot – Eating off the beaten path
If you like something quirky and want to walk while you explore, Foodies on Foot is your match. Restaurant- and neighborhood-centric offerings curated by founder Steven Hellmann revolve around hidden gems. They are novel and specific: There’s the Insanewich! tour, that's all about sandwiches, and the 501 Streetcar Food Tour that hits five districts along the 501 Queen Line. There’s also the Wellness Food Tour, the Street Art and Street Food Tour, the seasonal Picnic in the Park Tour, and The Best Of Tour, to name a few.
Tours By Locals – The insider perspective
Tours By Locals is just that. There are eight experienced residents ready to take you out, show you around, and share their perspectives. This is a one-on-one type experience with a private guide who knows the city and can customize the day to fit your particular tastes. Guides are also open to guests’ itinerary ideas and input on the venues if you have a certain cuisine or area you want to explore. Try a walking tour of the Distillery Historic District, do a city plus brewery tour, or combine art and food. It’s your day.
A Taste of The World - Multicultural
Self-described culinary historian Shirley Lum promises entertaining and educational tours of Toronto’s neighborhoods with A Taste of The World. If you want to sample the best Dim Sum or the tastiest Jewish goodies at Kensington Market, better ask Shirley. Lum leads small groups by bike or foot all over the city under three themes. The first is Foodies — learning about Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, and French traditions, and the other two are non-food walks: One on Literary Detectives and the other on Ghost Hunters. She also offers multi-course Chinese New Year banquets for groups, as well as private tours.
Plan your Toronto vacation at the Tourism Toronto website.