The Stop's Night Market (2016)

The Stop's Night Market has always been one of my favourite events to cover. Not only does it fulfill every foodie's dream of having access to unlimited food and drinks for the night, but at the core of this event is a philanthropic one. Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, all the proceeds from The Stop's Night Market will support critical food access and community-building programs offered at The Stop's Community Food Centre. Located in Toronto’s west end, The Stop's Community Food Centre works to increase access to food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. From its origins as one of Canada’s first food banks, The Stop has blossomed into a thriving community hub where neighbours participate in a broad range of programs that provide healthy food, foster social connections, build food skills, and promote civic engagement. Underlying all of The Stop’s efforts is the belief that food is a basic human right. With tickets that cost $100 per person for all-you-can-eat food and alcohol for the night, it truly is a small price to pay when you think of the impact your money will have on the very people you share this city with that are hungry day-in and day-out.

Inspired by night markets from across the globe, The Stop’s Night Market transformed a unique outdoor space on Sterling Road in Toronto's Junction Triangle neighbourhood over the span of two summer nights in June. This year the night market featured more than 70 of Toronto’s best chefs, 20 local beverage vendors, and more than 35 unique food carts, each created by local design teams.

My recommendation I've been telling anyone that comes to The Stop's Night Market is to come hungry! The last thing you want to happen is to be full after you've tried only a handful of the vendors. There were so many delicious food options this year it was hard to figure out where to begin, but as I got my groove on I certainly developed a rhythm and quickly consumed some tasty dishes all while trying to find the booths that had the shortest line ups. 

Here are some of my favourite dishes of the night!

Richmond Station

 Vegetarian Shawarma - Pickled Turnip, Garlic Sauce, Hot Sauce

Vegetarian Shawarma - Pickled Turnip, Garlic Sauce, Hot Sauce

Tori's Bakeshop

 A Homer Simpson Classic - Vanilla Bean, Rhubarb Donut

A Homer Simpson Classic - Vanilla Bean, Rhubarb Donut

Pizzeria Libretto

 Gnocchi Fritti - House Made Gnocchi, Deep Fried, Topped with Marinara Sauce

Gnocchi Fritti - House Made Gnocchi, Deep Fried, Topped with Marinara Sauce

Steven Gonzalez On Tour

 Choripan - Pork Chorizo, Chipotle Mayo, Slaw + Bun

Choripan - Pork Chorizo, Chipotle Mayo, Slaw + Bun

Seawitch

 Box Cut Chips & British Style Curry Sauce

Box Cut Chips & British Style Curry Sauce

Citizen Catering

 Grilled Octopus - Patatas Bravas, Chimichurri, Olives, Espelette, Lemon

Grilled Octopus - Patatas Bravas, Chimichurri, Olives, Espelette, Lemon

Smoke Signals Bar-B-Q

 Wings - Smoke, Fish Funk, Bird Chilies, Lemon Grass

Wings - Smoke, Fish Funk, Bird Chilies, Lemon Grass

I'm happy to conclude that this year's event was another smashing success with $215,000 raised for The Stop's critical food programs! Not only did they satisfy our hungry bellies who took part in the event, but hundreds more of those that are less fortunate and hungry on a daily basis. Here's to hoping that next year we can raise even more money than what we did this year, feeding one more hungry stomach at a time.