ASAE’s 2017 Annual Meeting & Exposition — opening in Toronto this weekend — promises to be a busy four days for attendees. But you’ll want to make time to explore the city’s vibrant dining scene. Here are five food experiences — recommended to us by the editors of Toronto Life — to discover while you’re in town:
1. Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest Feel like mixing in some pleasure during your business trip to Toronto? The Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest, hosted by Steam Whistle Brewing in Roundhouse Park, allows attendees to taste Canada’s finest craft beer, nosh on food truck offerings, and check out nine live bands from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 11–13.
2. O.NOIR Those brave enough to try a truly unique dining experience might want to check out O.NOIR Toronto, which takes away guests’ sense of sight to heighten the smell and taste of its food. As diners eat in the dark — no cellphones or flashlights allowed — they also gain a sense of what it’s like to be blind, just like the restaurant’s visually impaired wait staff.
3. Maple Leaf Tavern You can’t visit Toronto without experiencing something with the words “maple leaf” in it, and Maple Leaf Tavern just so happens to be one of 2017’s most popular new restaurants. Maple Leaf Tavern features a “Summerlicious” menu, Manhattans on tap, and a wood-fired grill that makes for delectable, smoky bites.
4. Awai Vegetarian? Toronto’s newly opened Awai restaurant has you covered. Located in Bloor West Village, this plant-based culinary destination is led by Chef Nathan Isberg, who insists on serving customers with no gratuity necessary.
5. Sweetery After a day of sessions inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, you might want to treat yourself to something sweet. Sweetery — Canada’s largest Sweets Festival — will celebrate its third year the weekend of ASAE. Drop by David Pecaut Square from noon to 11 p.m. on Aug. 12 and from noon to 9 p.m. on Aug. 13 to meet “MasterChef Canada” Season 2 winner Christopher Siu, listen to live music, and, of course, taste the best desserts Canada has to offer.