The Hamilton Spectator
Taste the Americas in your own backyard at special events across the city
Whether you’re a Pan Am Games visitor looking for a taste of home or a Hamilton lifer keen to get into the spirit of the Panamericanos, a suite of local events are bringing lots of food options along with them.
July 1-26: Panorama
Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington
Weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each weekend in July, the RBG will be taking visitors on a culinary tour through a different part of the Americas. July 11-12: The Caribbean Visit the Discovery Cart to learn about the key ingredients in traditional Caribbean dishes.
July 12, 12 p.m.: Food demonstration – Food of Jamaica July 18-19: Mexico to Central America Learn about the use of chocolate and vanilla in Central American Cuisine at the Discovery Cart.
July 19, 12 p.m.: Food demonstration – Food of Mexico July 25-26: South America Visit the Discovery Cart to learn about staple foods in South American diets.
July 26, 12 p.m.: Food demonstration – Food of Peru
July 9-12: It’s Your Festival Gage Park Noon to 11 p.m.
An annual Gage Park tradition, It’s Your Festival always features diverse international food offerings.
Vendors – many of them providing homecooking by community organizations – include:
The Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association Mr. Fajita Fiesta Mexicana Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association Fraternity Hispanic Association Eat Industries (Mexican fusion)
July 10-24: Celebration Square Gore Park 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Downtown Hamilton’s central park will not only feature a beer garden and video screens showing the games, it is also promising “food vendors… serving special menus highlighting the culinary arts of Pan American countries,” according to the city’s website.
July 11-26: Pan Am International Food Court
Ottawa Street North and Cannon Street
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ottawa Street North is pulling out all the stops during the Games, creating a streetscape meant to be “food central” for people attending Pan Am soccer at CIBC Pan Am Soccer Stadium (Tim Hortons Field). From July 11 to 26, the street will be turning the curb lanes between Cannon and Edinburgh Streets into pop-up patios with bistro-style seating.
Six food trucks will grace the block each day between 11 and 8 p.m., in addition to the street’s 16 restaurants.
“While we have put an emphasis on Latin American food, a lot of the trucks we’ve brought in are experimenting with mixing it with other food,” said Ottawa Street BIA Marketing and events coordinator Lauren Olson.
Those with particular Pan-American flair include:
Choco Churros – July 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26
Luchador Taquero – July 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 26
Gourmet Gringos Authentic Mexican Grill – July 11-26
Fit to Grill (Southern U.S. fusion) – July 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Bombero’s Gourmet Nachos – July 11, 12, 18, 19
Eh Jose Authentic Mexican Food – July 12, 19, 26
Jonny Blonde (Local, American and Caribbean) – July 13, 16, 17, 19, 20 Texas Tornado – July 14, 15, 21, 22 Mata Petisco (Latin American and Brazilian) – July 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23
July 17-19: Hamilton World Music Festival Gage Park Friday 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The weekend-long celebration of music from around the world will also include some food booths, including Country Boy Louisiana-style chicken, Mr. Fajita and Eat Industries Mexican fusion.
Ongoing: Pan Am Restaurant Deals
From now until the end of the Games, the Hamilton, Halton, Brant Regional Tourism Organization will be posting special offers from local businesses in a special section on their website, theheartofontario.com. Deals are largely directed at people in possession of Pan Am tickets. The site will be updated with new offers regularly throughout the Games.