Eating local is gaining popularity due to farm to table dining experiences often featured on popular food shows on TV.
Purchasing from local farms not only supports the community but also guarantees freshness and higher nutritional content.
Main Street Markham’s Farmers’ Market
Located near Markham Road and Highway 7, Main Street Markham’s Farmers’ Market occupies a small section of Robinson Street every Saturday from 8AM to 1PM.
The Main Street Markham Farmers’ Market features local artists, farmers, food vendors and small businesses – Whittamore’s Farm, Staite’s Honey, and Abbott Farm to name a few.
In addition to fresh local produce one would expect to find at a farmers market, there’s natural skin care products, jewelry made by local artisans, local grass-fed beef, breads, honey, pastries and olive oils available for purchase at this market.
In season fruit picked at their prime is what did it for me at this farmers market. They’re brighter, sweeter and often more affordable than what’s available at large supermarket chains.
There’s something for every foodie here and visitors can meet community members responsible for growing their food.
Main Street Markham’s Farmers’ Market is open rain or shine every Saturday from May to October and the tents help to keep food and people protected from the elements.
If you’re looking to make a morning or afternoon out of your visit, the market is walking distance to several family friendly dining establishments.
Rawlicious – Organic, Vegan and Raw
A few steps away from the Farmers’ Market is Rawlicious – a restaurant that specializes in raw food dishes. Drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts are made up of raw or living foods that are not heated above 118F.
There’s no chef to be found at Rawlicious – just some very knowledgeable servers who know how to prepare delicious dishes with the help of food dehydrators, organic and locally sourced produce and spiralizers.
Rawlicious has 8 locations in Ontario and has been receiving high praises since the first location opened in 2010.
I wanted to visit the much buzzed about Rawlicious restaurant on Main Street Markham and compare a few dishes to their cooked food counterparts.
I eat meat regularly so going to a vegan restaurant made me feel a little apprehensive – like a fish out of water.
Would the food taste good? Would I be full? Does everything taste like salad greens?
Afterall, this is a place where there’s no meat, wheat, dairy or refined sugar. Most dishes are made from nuts and seeds so if you or your loved ones are allergic to these types of foods, you might need to skip this restaurant entirely. It isn’t a place I would bring my son because of his nut allergy but I would consider visiting on my own, for date night or a girls’ night out.
The Markham location is small, cozy and a minimally decorated space. Popular with the working crowd on weekdays and locals on weekends, the restaurant has white ceilings, plush high-back chairs, original hardwood floors, fresh flowers and several paintings hanging on the walls.
There’s a homey and relaxed vibe here and I wouldn’t have expected to find a restaurant like this in Markham. It feels very much like a small coffee shop or café in Seattle, New York City or downtown Toronto.
I started with the Creamsicle Smoothie at the recommendation of my server. Made from nutmilk, banana, avocado, orange, vanilla, and agave this smoothie had a thick consistency and came in a large tall glass. The taste was similar to a creamsicle popsicle however I noticed a bit of a mint aftertaste after a few sips.
Choosing an entrée was difficult. Everything sounded delicious and I really wanted to test Rawlicious’ interpretation of a meat dish that I eat often.
I ended up ordering the soft shell tacos with a side salad and I was quite surprised – in a good way. Made in a dehydrator, the corn taco shells were pliable and had a bit of a sweet taste to it at first bite. The taco filling was impressive – salsa, guacamole, walnut refried beans, shredded romaine and sour cream made out of cashews.
The tacos were similar in taste and flavour to traditional meat tacos you’d find at your favourite Mexican restaurant.
The large servings were so filling I passed on dessert even though the cheesecake and brownies sounded very appetizing.
I decided to order the Nachos Platter to go and have my omnivore husband share his thoughts about this vegan appetizer.
The paper thin chips were accompanied by cashew nut sour cream, salsa, guacamole and olives – similar flavour combination as the tacos I had for lunch.
He said it was quite good but by the time he got half way through the chips, they started losing their crispiness. The travel time from the restaurant to home in the summer heat might have contributed to their quick change in texture.
Rawlicious creatively interprets traditional meat dishes in a way that keeps flavour profiles in tact. According to several servers, the Pad Thai and Rawitch (a raw sandwich with “bread” made out of dehydrated onions) have been getting rave reviews from many first time diners and now they’re both on my “To Eat” list.
Stepping out of my food comfort zone was worth it at Rawlicious and I’m confident I will do it again soon.
Do you find yourself consuming more fruits and vegetables during the summer?
Cheryl is founder of Kids On A Plane – a blog dedicated to family travel in North America and the Caribbean.
When she’s not on a plane, you can find her exploring the GTA with her two young children and husband. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.