When the sun is shining and the air is sweet, we can't resist the urge to venture out of our comfort zone and try something new. Summer is the best time to break out of our molds, go out and explore — and what better place to discover than our own backyard? Just a stone's throw away from Toronto, Markham is a foodie destination teeming with incredible restaurants and culinary experiences.

Follow the 404 or take the GO Train from Union station straight to Markham for a foodie day trip or even a weekend getaway. You'll be amazed at all the diverse and delicious dishes there are to try in Markham. While there are a lot of different cuisines throughout the GTA, some things can only be found in Markham. Discover its unique culinary landscape this summer.

5 reasons to make Markham your next foodie destination

1. The incredibly diverse Markham food scene

It's easy to fall in love with a new dish or style of cuisine that you've never tried before in Markham. The city is brimming with food and drinks of all kinds from all around the world. From the lovely Italian fare (and excellent patio) at Il Postino on the main strip in Unionville to the steaming xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at Ding Tai Fung in Markham, there's something for every palate. 

2. Markham's wide range of dining options

We're all feeling the pinch, but sometimes we still want to go out for a fabulous lights-out meal. In Markham, you have the best of both worlds. From casual eateries and stalls slinging street food to fine dining restaurants that could rival any Toronto spot, Markham has it all.

Pick up homemade items, desserts and ready-to-eat meals from the family-run Village Grocer in Unionville. Noodles will never be the same after a meal at Big Beef Bowl. Their traditional Lanzhou-style hand pulled noodles are a chewy bowl of goodness. Just don't order the large noodles if you value your outfit — it's slurp-city. 

For fantastic food served in a 70s-style dining lounge, visit Peter's Fine Dining in Markham and order their dishes prepared tableside. Another old-school spot for excellent fare, The School in Unionville is literally an old school house converted into a fine dining restaurant.

3. Local favourite restaurants in Markham

In Markham, you'll find up-and-coming new restaurants and classics that have been around for decades. Old or new, there are plenty of local favourites that are unique to Markham. A staple that's been around since 1989, Unionville Arms Pub & Grill is a go-to spot for locals that does pub food really well.

4. Award-winning restaurants in Markham

Markham is home to a number of award-winning and top-rated restaurants. Visit the one-Michelin-star Frilu before it closes down for good at the end of July or head to the lauded Chiang Rai in Markham for impeccable Thai food. 

5. Markham is always hosting cultural events and festivals 

Check the events calendar for a list of what's on in Markham. Between the live music on Thursday Nights at the Bandstand and the beloved Main Street Markham Farmers' Market every Saturday, plus festivals like the epic Taste of Asia, there's always something delicious going on in Markham.

To start planning your trip to Markham, head to visitmarkham.ca or follow @visitmarkham on Instagram. Want to bring your furry friends along? Check out this list of the best dog-friendly spots in Markham