Some of the 150 restaurants participating in this annual prix fixe festival have probably been fully booked since reservations opened on June 22, but foodies on a budget should relax. Our guide has the goods on the 64 top places to phone-stalk, hoping for a cancellation. Read it here. July 9 to 25. toronto.ca/summerlicious.
2. NIGHT IT UP! (FREE!)
This annual dusk-to-dawn market is more about yummy nosh than shopping (though there’s that, too). Daring gastronomes can sample the stinky tofu, but it’s the Hong Kong–style fish balls, Japanese dumplings and Mongolian hotpot that are on our to-eat list. July 9 and 10. Metro Square Plaza, 3636 Steeles Ave. E., Markham, nightitup.com.
3. BEATS, BREAKS AND CULTURE
Though BBC is officially an electronic music and cultural festival, it’s evolved over the years to include other genres; this year’s lineup is heavy on hip hop. Beat boxing, deejaying and break dancing clinics and shows by hip-hop icon Rakim and VJ MixMotion are highlights. July 9 to 11. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
4. THE DRINKS SHOW
The word “mixology” might sound funny, but we take the craft seriously and plan to take advantage of practitioners’ skills at this weekend’s cocktail extravaganza. Caipirinhas, hurricanes and other heat-beating drinks? Yes, please. July 9 and 10. $23 in advance, $30 at the door (includes two drinks). Polson Pier, 11 Polson St., drinksshow.ca.
5. CBC SOCCER NATION STREET PARTY (FREE!)
The World Cup is almost over (and there go the soccer widows, cheering), so make the most of the last couple of games at this all-day street party outside the CBC building. The screens are big, the beer garden is stocked, and a concert featuring Jully Black, Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook and David Rudder is also on the lineup. July 10 and 11. Wellington and John Streets, outside the CBC, cbcsoccernation.com.
We love catching summertime concerts at Molson Amphitheatre—even more when the headliner is a rock and roll legend, like Carlos Santana, performing at this Sunday’s show. Expect long sets—the man’s career has spanned over 40 years. July 11. $39.75–$112.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 416-870-8000, livenation.com.
7. MISS SAIGON
Loosely based on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Pinkerton and Cio Cio San are replaced here with an American GI, Chris, and a Vietnamese bar girl, Kim, played by the stars of the original 1993 production, Kevin Gray and Ma-Anne Dionisio. We don’t think it’s a spoiler to say Miss Saigon is just as tragic as its operatic predecessor. July 9 to Aug. 1. $28–$175. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-644-3665, dancaptickets.com.
If we still called people indie darlings, that’s exactly what we’d call Metric. Made up of hipster royalty (and Broken Social Scene members) Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw, as well as bandmates Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key, the band is super-popular yet still maintains its cred. And how many bands who’ve had songs on Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, two out of the three CSIs and Vampire Diaries can say that? July 9. $34–$59.50. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 416-870-8000, livenation.com.