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Fans of all the wacky, creative and sometimes questionable (but ultimately delicious) food assortment at the Canadian National Exhibition were no doubt disappointed to hear of its cancellation this year. It's a quintessential experience of the Toronto summer, and most attendees leave having sampled at least one or two of the sugary beverages and deep-fried treats.
It turns out that although we won't be able to enjoy the rickety rides of the CNE this year, we'll still be able to sample some of the indulgent food at El Mercado. Located on the patio of Leslieville's Barrio taqueria, this new open-air market was designed with social distancing in mind, allowing visitors to safely fill bags with delicious food to carry out with them. It was designed to be a fun and safe takeout dining experience, requiring customers to wear masks and only allowing five people in at a time. Hand sanitizer stations will be scattered throughout, and food will be safely handed to customers, who will be prompted to pay by card only. The market is even licensed to sell beer to go!
In terms of the CNE-style food that we all know and love, El Mercado will be home to items like deep fried candy bars and pickles, pineapple, mango and even pickle soft serve (yes, you read that correctly), lemonades, churros, and of course, a variety of tasty Mexican food from Barrio. Guests can grab whatever they're craving across the market, then tap to pay before they leave with their goodies. The foods will rotate throughout the summer, so check their website and Instagram page for updates! The market opens this Friday so head on over to enjoy the bounty!