CNE Outfit

Nut-free Canadian National Exhibition Meal “Let’s go to the Ex”

Going to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) or “the ex” is a summer tradition. It’s a day for sugary, fried and generally yummy but awful for you food. Every year there is another crazy or disgusting food they introduce. Sometimes it is for the best those food experiments (like a hamburger with two donuts for the bun) are off limits due to allergies.

Having a nut allergy often bars you from carnival fun; but I have found a few staples I always eat at “the ex”. I am also a bit lactose intolerant, but today I’m just going to take pills and deal with the consequences. Below was my “Let’s go to the ex” meal that was allergy-friendly!

Tiny Tom Donuts

Tiny Tom Donuts

Whenever I see a Tiny Tom sign I run for it before there is line. These are tiny, mini sugar donuts that everyone in Toronto is familiar with. It is a CNE and food truck staple. They have various sugar toppings; but I always go with the classic cinnamon sugar. They are best when warm, first you shake all the sugar and eat them from the bag. I always buy extra to bring home and heat up for breakfast, however my partner and I ate them all and there wasn’t enough for the next day!

Hot Bunz

Korean Stuffed Hot Bunz

I needed a ‘real’ meal not just dessert. I used to get these Asian fusion buns at another market and now whenever I see them I’m excited. I got the pair of small ones so that I’d have room for more donuts and could get two flavours. I bought “Seoul City Pulled Beef” which was stuffed with beef and caramelized onions and topped with fried onions and some sort of garlic sauce. The other bun was “Bacon Butter Chicken” which I ate for lunch the next day. It was similar to the beef, but the bacon on top made is extra yummy.  Since they are small they are perfect for snacking.

Ice Cream Waffle Sandwich


I have seen this classic at the ex for years and always thought it was off limits. But when I passed by the stand I saw them cutting Chapman’s ice cream into slices (which is usually nut-free) so I figured I’d ask. To my shock the snack was nut-free. A thick slice of vanilla ice cream was sandwiched between two waffles. It wasn’t a sugary sweet waffle, but still tasted great.

Overall I had a balanced meal, I started with dessert and ended with it! What is your favourite CNE or carnival food?

Note: All allergy sufferers know before you eat you must always ask about ingredients. Please take my reviews as information only; never forget to ask your server about ingredients before you eat. Happy nut-free snacking!

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Bright Shadows

DIY, Fashion, Allergy Life. Toronto jewelry designer, blogger & starving artist at heart.

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