What to see, hear and taste at Riverside Eats & Beats

Photo: Riverside BIA

Photo: Riverside BIA

One of the east end's most-hyped al fresco attractions, Riverside Eats & Beats returns to Queen East with an expanded two-day lineup on June 3-4.

Now in its fifth year, the street festival pulls in big crowds for its mix of local fare, live music, street shopping and charming small-town-big-city vibe. Stretching from the DVP along Queen East to Empire Ave., the sidewalks are filled with live music, while local restaurants dish out signature eats.

Casually wander this 10-block street party with four street closures and several destination points. Sniff and taste your way through a maze of Riverside's eateries, checking out heritage architecture and taking in entertainment including cooking demos, kids fun, bike tune-ups, art and culinary tours. And if you just like to people-watch, there’s that, too.

With over 50 Riverside restaurants, shops and other vendors participating, here’s the rundown on what to expect and what’s new for 2017.

LOCAL EATS

What’s a festival without food? If you’ve attended Riverside Eats & Beats in the past, you know that the eats can be serious stuff so it's best to come hungry. Not your usual street fair fare (zing), it's a one-stop shop for grazing with popular establishments such as Tabule and Bonjour Brioche, plus newcomers Kaboom, Eastbound Brewing and LAN Restaurant all in the mix offering buzzworthy bites. 

MUSICAL SOUNDS

Riverside Eats & Beats has a packed lineup of musical performances to jam out to with all sorts of sounds ranging from samba and jazz to funk, rock, drumming and children's tunes. Local act The Don Valley Stompers will have live New Orleans-style Jazz, and the Broadview closure (south of Queen) will include a diversity of Indigenous performances, drumming and workshops. Celebrate Toronto Bike Month by moving and grooving with live bicycled-powered music from Tune Your Ride at the Munro St. closure. 

SIDEWALK SALE

Queen East is well known for its clothing boutiques, home design shops and art galleries, and the local shops will be bursting out onto the streets with deals during this daylong sidewalk sale. Enjoy a day of strolling vendor to vendor and shopping outdoors where you’ll find clothes, jewelry, homemade wares and more.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

Family-friendly activities are always a big part of Riverside Eats & Beats, and this year is no exception. There will be lots of interactive kids activities outside the Queen/Saulter Library including a pop-up Learning Lab 3D printer demo, face painting and more! Materials will be provided. Evolve Skate Camp is offering free skateboard lessons and demos for kids ages six to 14 at the Munro St. closure from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

SUNDAY FUNDAY WITH THE RIVERDALE ART WALK

Riverside Eats & Beats is held alongside the Riverdale Art Walk, an event that showcases over 150 local artists in an outdoor market setting over two days at Jimmie Simpson Park. Now in its 19th year, the outdoor gallery setting features established and emerging artists exhibiting painting, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing and sculpture. Check out artistsnetwork.ca for details.

The Riverside Eats & Beats Streetfest is taking place June 3 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. and June 4 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. View the full event guide, and check out all the details and register for activities