Toronto Underground Market

Everyone has been ranting and raving about the Toronto Underground Market (affectionately refereed to as TUM). Over the past few months I found myself chatting at food events where the topic of TUM came up in conversation. Whenever I mentioned “Oh I’ve never been,” I got blank stares as if I had mentioned that “I’m going vegan,” at a Pork Party.

The Toronto Underground Market (TUM) is a social food market for the community to sample the food of Toronto home cooks. It is a venue for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their products. These vendors are not necessarily chefs, although some are. This is a new kind of community market; not a farmer’s market, or a food festival, but something completely unique  to Toronto.

It has been hailed as one of Toronto’s darling Foodie events. I had just been so busy that I hadn’t had a chance to get it booked solid into my schedule. So before I left on my Euro Press Trip I contacted the organizers and made sure to get two tickets for their June edition.

I decided to take my friend Meaghan who I studied Hotel and Food Admin with at the University of Guelph. She has just moved to Toronto from a long work stint in Asia so felt TUM would help her get back in touch with Toronto’s local food trends. We met at 5:30pm at Broadview Station where a free shuttle bus zooms eager food fans to The Don Valley Evergreen Brickworks.

There was a massive line snaking its way to the entrance. I was so pleased we had been blessed with warm and sunny weather! Once inside we sampled as many dishes as possible. I think we ended up sampling from half the vendors (which means I will need to get back here to showcase the rest of these fantastic businesses)! The event sold out so the space was jam packed full of thousands. I do suggest arriving just as it opens as by 7:30pm it really is a full up.

The evening was great fun, sampling new treats, supporting local businesses, enjoying live music and feeling that excitement in the air, everywhere. Beyond the food and drink I was most fascinated by the identity of Toronto’s foodies. Who makes up this niche demographic that attend an event to eat and drink all night? I realized quickly that we all had something in common: an obvious enthusiasm for food, adventurous pallets and a patriotic pride for our city. Not to mention an alarming number of well dressed and attractive people. I am seriously thinking of wearing an “I’m Single and Love Food” shirt during my next visit. Hummana-Hummana! Just imagine falling in love at TUM? This is my dream.

So…I fell in love with TUM. I love that this group of people exists. I love that experimentation is met with a zeal for entrepreneurship in the kitchen while hardcore food fanatics come out in droves to support such an engaging initiative. It is events like TUM that define a city, make it liveable and better yet make it delicious.

After munching on plenty we waddled back to the bus for our short trip back to Broadview Station. Be sure to check out TUM this summer the weather will truly make the experience extraordinary. Buy your tickets early as they sell like hot cakes.

We enjoyed:

candied bacon and chocolate dipped bacon at Leonard Pig Candy

smoked marlin and shrimp taco at Seven Lives

peameal sandwich at Little Tomato Catering

chocolate kouign at Spring Street Bakery

a trio of dumplings at Nomad Food Creations

chicken souvlaki at Kalofagas Greek Food

chicken tamales from Bushwick

mint iced tea from Fried

earl gray and vanilla cannele from Snackery

kalbi brisket pa jun and vegan lime soya soba noodle at Eat Here

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2 Responses to “Toronto Underground Market”

  1. jason alves
    July 19, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Awesome pics! We went to the July 7th and June one, good times. I have a few pics also on my blog: