The CNE 2018 Guide: 16 Of The Best Things To Do

Every year the CNE brings new offerings to Torontonians and tourists from near and far. While there are annual staples, from rides to food, there are also new additions every year and different events going on all weekend. Make the most of your time at the CNE by attending the right offerings at the right time. Here’s a breakdown of the best things to do at the CNE 2018.

15 Things You Need To Do At The CNE 2018

Food & Drink

While rides, games, and shows are reason enough to visit the CNE, the food building simply cannot be ignored. It’s the one time of year that we let ourselves try the most delicious, weird, and sometimes gross foods that the exhibition has to offer, without thinking about the calorie count.

At the CNE, it’s safe to say there’s something there for everyone – if you’re looking for a simple burger or there to get wild and try something new like deep-fried chicken feet. The last thing you’ll be at the CNE is hungry.

1. Edible GOLD Burger

This year the CNE is jumping on a huge trend that’s been surfacing: the gold trend. Bacon Nation will have an EDIBLE gold burger where the bun is wrapped in 24-karat gold foil, with a five-ounce beef patty, bacon, cheese, onion rings, jalapeños, and the rest. If you’re interested in spending $100 on a burger at the CNE, Bacon Nation is the place to go.


2. Chicken, Chocolate, and Marshmellow Sandwiches

The Heartbreak Chef is coming back to the CNE and bringing their southern-style fried chicken breast on a chocolate-topped brioche bun, with roasted marshmallows, crushed graham cookies, and chocolate inside. But if you don’t want something chocolately, they have an Apple Fritter Fried Chicken Sandwich for you to indulge in as well.

5. Hong Kong Style French ‘Toast’ Curds by King of Curds

King of Curds can also be found in the CNE 2018 Midway. This is a new place, offering the best Hong Kong French Toast with cheese on top, battered then fried for the ultimate taste bud satisfier. You can get it drizzled with peanut butter and other toppings of choice. For breakfast, lunch or dinner- I’m in.

6. Sweet & Savoury Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

With all these insane food options, how do you choose between sweet and savory? You don’t. Which is why Philthy Philly’s is serving a sandwich with steak, provolone cheese, sliced banana, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce all served on a chocolate éclair.


7. Liberty Noodle Burger

Liberty Noodle’s burger boasts an interesting combination of burger patty, fried chicken, and Spam on a bun made of ramen noodles. They also offer the Thrilla in Manila burger which is Spam on a ramen bun served with banana ketchup aioli. Weird.

8. PB&J Pork Sandwich

Just when you think the food can’t get any stranger, you find out there’s a PB&J pork sandwich at the CNE this year as well. Porkie’s Authentic Porchetta offers another sweet and savory treat for visitors. Pork belly and porchetta on a soft bun topped with peanut butter and sweet raspberry jam.

For food truck lovers, the CNE 2018 most definitely has you covered because the Food Truck Frenzy returns this year offering everything mentioned above and so much more. In fact, there will be 6 more food trucks that will be stationed at Princes’ Boulevard. This may not seem like a lot, but considering how many there already there, Toronto food lovers will get a lot more choice and variety. There will be over 20 food offerings which are all unique from one another. The Food Truck Frenzy will be held from August 24 to 26th from 11 AM to 11 PM accompanied by the Craft Beer Fest.

9. Craft Beer Fest

In the heart of the Food Truck Frenzy, 11 master brewers will sample their locally crafted beers at the CNE this year. Here’s the list:

  • Big Rock Brewery
  • Boshkung Brewing
  • Market Brewing Co.
  • Muskoka
  • Pommies Cider Co.
  • Sawdust City
  • Shiny Apple Cider
  • Spearhead Brewing
  • Steam Whistle
  • Vieni Cider
  • Whitewater

The food and drink coupled with pavilions, rides, games, live entertainment, and shopping makes the CNE an event we look forward to all year. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experience the weirdest offerings the event has to offer!

Related: The 5 Best Bars in Toronto You Need to Try Right Now

Besides the epic food, here’s what else you can find at the CNE 2018 that will not disappoint:

10. The Lantern Festival

This year, there will be an indoor lantern festival with 17 illuminated sculpted installations. The displays were created by 90 artists using 4000 meters of synthetic silk, 55 meters of steel, and arrived in eight shipping containers that traveled more than 12000 km from China to Toronto. This lantern festival is located in the Enercare Centre, Hall D.

11. East Coast Kitchen Party

Another interesting set up is the East Coast Kitchen Party which will be returning to CNE 2018. Here, you’ll be able to eat East Coast cuisine and craft beers, watch a Ceasar drink making competition, or witness an oyster shucking contest. You’ll feel like a Maritimer here as if you’re on the east coast. This event will be held on August 18th and 19th, from 6 PM to 12 AM on Saturday, 11 AM to 11 PM Sunday. Located at Princes’ Boulevard.


12. The Gaming Garage

There will also be the Gaming Garage which was very well-loved last year. However, this year, they are bigger and better. You can participate in pinball tournaments and even have a chance to win big money. There are also table-top games and VR experiences you can’t miss out on. This will be held from August 24th to 26th from 10 AM to 10 PM in the Enercare Centre, Hall F.

13. Concerts And Live Music

We can’t forget the live music at the CNE as it is one of the main attractions. Canadian musicians will be taking the spotlight where you’ll see The Trews, Mariana’s Trench, Bedouin Soundclash, Men Without Hates, and more from August 17th to September 2nd in Bandshell Park. The show prices are even included in the park admission fee! Win.

14. Parkour Demonstrations

For the adventure seekers, if you’re looking to watch something jaw-dropping, head over to the Toronto Star Food Building throughout the days of the CNE. The showtimes will vary by day, but when you do catch the CNE parkour demos, they’ll surely impress.

15. Butter Sculptures

Butter sculptures, an offering from past years is returning and a must see. When else will you get to witness 1000 LBs of butter sculptures into pop culture references? Located in the Enercare Centre, Hall A.


16. The Asian Market

This year, the Asian market is coming town. A new attraction where you can eat, explore vendors, interactive and see the entertainment offered during the market. The Asian Market is a tradition that dates back to the medieval Chinese Tang dynasty.

How Long Does The CNE Last?

The CNE will be running from August 17th to September 5th.

How Much Does The CNE Cost?

General Admission from 14 to 64 years is 19.99 which includes grounds admission, and access to all shows and exhibits on any one day of the 2018 CNE. Child Admission is $16 and the Family Pass is $59. You can purchase your admission tickets at CNE gates, participating GO Transit Stations and Union Station or online at

How Much Are The Ride Tickets at the CNE 2018?

Ride tickets vary. A Ride All Day Pass is $65.99 ($62 for children and seniors) and includes grounds admission, access to all shows and exhibits and unlimited midway rides on any one day of the 2018 CNE. If you just want a ride pass with no admission, it’s $42. Here’s more about ticket pricing.

Don’t miss out on weird food, fun rides, interactive experiences and more by visiting the CNE this year!

Looking for more things to do this summer? Download Kibii to discover the most exciting things to do near you. 

Related: The Best Water Activities To Do in Toronto This Summer

By | 2018-08-29T17:03:06+00:00 August 17th, 2018|Eat & Drink, Entertainment, Things to Do|

About the Author:

Michael has an extensive development background where he uses his broad base of technical and business consulting skills building award-winning apps. As the CEO of Kibii, he keeps a general oversight of the business and strategy, combining his passion of entrepreneurship and technology. Michael loves showing off his competitive nature at a game of table tennis and challenging his next opponent at VR racing. When Michael isn’t working at Kibii, he enjoys getting out with friends and being active. He loves participating in intense games of soccer, hockey and volleyball, or simply a Saturday afternoon with friends sipping a drink poolside.