Here's What You Missed at Taste of the Middle East Last Weekend


This past weekend, Yonge-Dundas Square was transformed into a traditional Middle Eastern marketplace, otherwise known as a souk, for Taste of the Middle East.

With 42 vendors selling at the festival, there were lots of tasty food options ranging from traditional dishes like shawarma and manooshe to more unique items such as Mexican-Mediterranean fusion cuisine and falafel waffle cones. Those in attendance could also pick up items in the marketplace to cook at home. Handmade jewellery, clothing and art were available for sale as well.

But the good times didn’t stop there! There were plenty of activities, like henna body painting, raffles and fortune telling (including traditional Turkish coffee readings) to keep everyone entertained while they ate. Best of all, there were musical performances throughout the day including impromptu performances from some very talented audience members. 

In addition to the food and fun, Taste of the Middle East had a positive impact. For the second year in a row, the festival paired up with Second Harvest as its official charity partner. Second Harvest recovers nutritious, unsold food to give to those in need, making sure no food was wasted from the event.

While the flash rains tried to put a damper on the day, it didn’t stop people from enjoying the festival. When the sun was shining, the Square was bustling with people exploring the many offerings. It was an exciting day to learn about Middle Eastern culture, have some fun and of course, stuff your face with delicious cuisine!

Robyn Bell is a freelance writer in Toronto.


Robyn Bell