This past Thursday evening, we ventured to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. This event brings together the best of the best in food and drink in Toronto and the surrounding areas! With over 100 vendors this festival has plenty to offer for everyone!
The Thursday was the VIP night, this was really cool! Loads of perks if you attend this night! This event is open to the public I believe the cost is $40.00. If you have the chance to attend this night I would recommend it as it tends to be a bit quieter which keeps the lines down!
This night also included reserve and vintage wine samples and over 1500 premium international and award-winning wines. They had celebrity chef demonstrations, live music, industry and media guests. It was loads of fun checking out all the different food and drink business from the area and around the world.
I am definitely no stranger to the food and drink festival world! I have been to several in a few different cities and I have to say, this came in second to none other than Hamilton Food and Drink Fest! I know a lot of people have their opinions on these sort of events, here is my breakdown of what I thought and my overall hype rating.
Pros and Cons
My only con with this event was the lack of overall food vendors I felt were present.
As for my pros, the lines were definitely a lot less intense, as this was a preview event on a weeknight, I loved that they also provided loads of small, complementary testers and samples of food that you could find at other trade shows. Also, the location was amazing, we took the GO Train into Union Station and took the path from Union right into the Metro Convention Center, we didn’t even have to step outside once! No cabs, no cold weather! They also have a few freebies and, of course, loads of amazing cocktails and wines!
Now for the big question is it worth the hype
I would say if you are not into crowds and long lines, it’s always best to go on a preview night if they are open to the public. Even if the cost a bit more, trust me, weekends can get crazy! Also, I would recommend that you never go hungry, as food tends to chew up your tickets. These events operate on a sample ticket system. The tickets are sold in sheets of 20 for $20.00, so essentially, a dollar a ticket. Food samples are usually around 4-6 tickets and drink samples, which are generally pretty generous, are usually around 2-5 tickets. The food samples are not the biggest, so I think it’s always best to eat a light dinner before or plan for dinner after. I usually get one or two food items and then a bunch of drinks. While, the cost of the night can add up quickly, if you factor in the entry fee, sample tickets, and transportation, I think it is totally worth it if you’re looking for a fun night out with the girls or an interesting date! If you haven’t gone to a food and drink festival I would highly recommend trying it at least once! I definitely think it is worth it, especially if there is one in your city!
Ps. To save on entry be sure to check Wagjag or Groupon they usually have reduced entry tickets!!
As always Peace, Love
The Hamilton Hippie