Brunch Fest Toronto 2019: A Brunchers' Dream
Over the past few years there’s been a lot more food festivals popping up around Toronto. This past weekend, I had the chance to check out its most important: the Toronto Brunch Fest.
So, what exactly is Brunch Fest?
Okay, so maybe it’s not the most important overall… but as a brunch blogger, it’s the only one I care about. (And presumably so do you, if you’re here!)
This year, the Toronto Brunch Fest took place from June 1-2 on the grounds of Hotel X, near Exhibition Place. It’s basically a celebration of all things brunch! (And sorry kids: it’s a 19+ event!)
There’s live music and DJs, large board games, and of course a variety of food stalls with lots of brunch options. Most vendors had between three to five options, which cost between two to four tickets (a ticket was 2$) meaning that there was a good variety of options to try out. (You can see a complete list of vendors here. )
As some of you who’ve been following my blog for a while (read: only my mom) may recall, I went to the inaugural Brunch Fest back in 2017. Since I didn’t have the chance to go last year, I was very excited to see how it had changed since then.
Even though I liked it that year, I did feel like the experience had gotten even better! That year, it had 15 vendors. This year, it had 21. Although that might not seem like a big difference, the scale of the venue felt much larger. This may be due to the fact that it was on the grounds of Hotel X, and so was entirely outside.
And now, for the question I’m sure you’re all asking…
So How Was The Food?
I got to try quite a few dishes while I was at Brunch Fest, and for the most part I enjoyed them all! Here’s everything I got, and my thoughts:
These were surprisingly good! Obviously I expected them to be good — I love potatoes, after all — but the richness of the tomato sauce really took me by surprise. I also added some of the extra hot sauce that they had on hand, and was thoroughly impressed.
I’m a huge fan of lavender lattes… so to no surprise, I loved this! It was slightly sweetened as well as giving me the perfect jolt of caffeine to keep myself awake through all the carbs. Hom Cafe is close to my apartment, so I’ll definitely be going back!
Although this chicken slider looks delicious (and was quite large, given many of the portions here are quite small) I was a little underwhelmed by the flavour. It had a greasy aftertaste, and overall just seemed a bit too oily, meaning I didn’t even finish it.
I had already been planning on checking out The Porch to check out their drinks (I’ll be honest, I really just want to drink out of a giant bucket because I am trash). This taco convinced me I should also check out their full brunch menu! (And no, not just saying this because I want to justify drinking out of a giant bucket.)
I was pretty underwhelmed by this french toast. It would have been good as simple french toast, but given that it was described as having a cardamom and chai flavour, which it definitely did not have. I’d give this one a pass.
These pancakes were delicious! I really enjoyed the custardy cream on them — it really did taste as though I was having a Nanaimo Bar, and all the bits of chocolate on top definitely didn’t hurt either. I regretted adding maple syrup, though, as I found them sweet enough without it.
That’s it for the food — but what about the rest of the experience?
The Toronto Brunch Fest Experience
The Brunch Fest bills itself as “a one-of-a-kind social experience”, which, let’s be honest, is a bit much.
Was it fun? Yes. Would I go again? Also yes.
However, I wouldn’t say a few large board games a “one-of-a-kind social experience” make. (They were cute, though.)
There were also quite a few Instagrammable photo spots, which I of course took advantage of.
One thing I did notice, though, was that several of the vendors didn’t seem to know just how long it would take for their food to be prepared. For example, we waited at least 45 minutes to get our pancakes from Hottie Cakes Co, and I heard quite a few other disgruntled brunchers commenting the same thing.
Now, this is understandable — they were busy — but it would have been good for them to let everyone know upfront so that they could come back if need be.
More tables would also have been nice. The ground was a little wet (what’s up with this never-ending cold spell?) so it was difficult to sit on the ground. Every time we saw an open table, we had to pounce to grab it before another group did.
The advantage of this, though? We got to mingle with a few different groups that we wouldn’t have otherwise, which also included giving love life advice to a random woman (don’t you love hearing personal details about strangers? Or is that just me?).
These quibbles aside, I enjoyed the atmosphere. If you’re just looking for a great place to relax, listen to music, and of course eat some brunch, I would definitely recommend checking out The Brunch Fest next year.
Did you have the chance to go to Brunch Fest? Or would you check it out next year? Let me know!