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Best Middle Eastern Food in Toronto

howdydoody Jun 1, 2007 09:02 AM

Could someone tell me what is the best middle eastern food in Toronto?

  1. s
    stevius Aug 19, 2010 11:18 AM

    Really surprised no one has mentioned Armenian Kitchen on Vic Park, west side just north of Eg, In no way fancy, we enjoy the freshness and quality of what they do very much. It's tremendously reasonable and as consistent to day as it was when I first began patronizing regularly in the late 80's. The combo plates are an excellent, cost-effective, straight forward option of stand-by dishes - and easily good for 2 ppl. Their shwarmas are great.

    Armenian Kitchen
    1646 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M4A, CA

    Armenian Kitchen
    1646 Victoria Pk, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: stevius
      gypsy_queen Dec 3, 2010 11:57 AM

      Agreed. But beware that that the shawarma can be dry if it has been sitting around. Best to ask for it to be freshly cut from the spit if you happen to be there during a quiet moment.

      I, too, have been going there since the 80's... I recall when it was just a little sandwich joint where the Adult Video store is now. Great to see them make it!

    2. m
      mobirose Aug 29, 2007 09:54 PM

      Bamiyan Kabob on Overlea in East York serves yummy Afghani kabobs. Sort of a fast-food environment. When they first opened, their portions seemed bigger but as they became busier their prices went up. We haven't been there lately since moving further away, but I remember their rice and salad with the Barg Kabob were delicious!

      1. a
        acd123 Jun 5, 2007 07:30 AM

        Definitely try Mezzetta on St. Clair West of Bathurst. Really good Middle Eastern. The way to do it is to get 10 to 15 small dishes (I think 10 is $28 and 15 is $40 or something like that). An authentic experience.

        3 Replies
        1. re: acd123
          Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 5, 2007 07:55 AM

          Mezzetta regularly has special on certain nights, second dish $1 or something like this. Find out which nights. Mezzetta is quite good on a special, but can be a little acidic depending on what you choose.

          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
            Finnegan Jun 6, 2007 12:02 PM

            Alladin's Palace: Victoria Park/Steeles. Not much to look at but the food is fantastic. great dips (hummus, babaganouche(?)), salads and grilled kebabs and Shwarma...a mixed plate goes for about $8 and you get a huge portion.

            1. re: Finnegan
              Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 6, 2007 05:15 PM

              'Finally. Stick with "the "mixed plates' chicken or beef shawarma or veg ( labneh)combos.

        2. f
          FlavoursGal Jun 5, 2007 06:13 AM

          Don't forget Jerusalem, on Eglinton a few blocks east of Allen Rd. The food is wonderful and, best of all, consistently so.

          3 Replies
          1. re: FlavoursGal
            erly Jun 5, 2007 06:51 AM

            Thanks embee, and I have been to Morocco, so should know its' location.
            Similar, but not the same.
            Probably why I enjoyed the food, as Middle Eastern is not a favourite of mine.

            1. re: FlavoursGal
              iontrance Jun 6, 2007 10:05 PM

              Jerusalem used to be very good but I've had consistently bad experiences with it over the last two years so I don't even bother with it anymore. Halleluia which is a short walk from Jerusalem is better.

              1. re: iontrance
                pescatarian Aug 29, 2007 08:45 PM

                I went to Jerusalem on Eglinton this evening for dinner and was disappointed. I have been there many times in the past, but it's been awhile. I tend to go more often to Sofra or Me-Va-Me, or Sababa, if just for the take-out falafel.
                I remember thoroughly enjoying the food at Jerusalem. In particular the fried eggplant and fried tomatoes were always heavenly, but tonight they were both missing something. Perhaps lemon and a bit more garlic. The falafel was dry and overly salty. The hummos was good, but not as good as Sofra. Pita was dry. Chicken was pretty good. Kofta was overly salty. Perhaps it was just an off day.

            2. j
              juno Jun 2, 2007 11:44 AM

              I can speak only for the middle eastern joints in my end of town. There are number of them around Bathurst and Steeles, and, moving southward down Bathurst, even more on and off Bathurst St. till about Eglinton. They can be described as middle eastern, Israeli, Israeli/Russian or Arab/Israeli, and serve the local Israeli/Jewish/Russian community within the middle-echelon price category. And most are pretty much the same: the same menu choices, the same prices, the same acceptable service and bare-bones restaurant design, down to the same house wines and dreary beer choices. And all are, surprisingly, pretty good at the price (about $20 per person before tax and tip, with no alcohol). The most popular around Bathurst and Steeles is Me-Vah-Me, but I see little quality difference between it and the nearby Meron and, diagonally across the street, Anton. Farther south down Bathurst, Mr. Combo (at Sheppard) is pleasant and tasty, and on Eglinton, west of Bathurst, there's Halleluia, a somewhat bleak space but with good execution of the standard dishes. If I had to pick a favorite, it'd be Mashu Mashu, on Spadina Rd. in Forest Hill Village, which is smartly designed, with an accommodating young staff and a lively atmosphere. Its menu is a little more adventurous (particularly good salad variations), and though it may charge an extra dollar for many dishes, I think it's worth it.
              I'm sure there are good middle eastern joints along the Arabic stretch of Lawrence Ave. E., but I rarely venture that way. And some upper level quality joints like one I tried on Harbord St. west of Spadina a while back, but despite the tableclothes and more professional service there (the name escapes me), I noted precious little difference between it and the places I've just mentioned (except maybe for a better wine list). Well, perhaps there was a little more finesse in the chef's execution.
              But for value, almost any one of the spots on, around and down Bathurst St. will do for me. For that kind of cuisine, I'm not looking for a divine experience. All I want is a decent feed within driving distance. In my mind, middle eastern food isn't in the class of quality French, Chinese or Indian. But it's certainly tasty when you're in the mood for a spicy, garlicky kick at a modest price.

              5 Replies
              1. re: juno
                Finnegan Jun 4, 2007 11:16 AM

                Frahat at 2020 Lawrence does great Shwarma...most people seem to go for Take-out but there is some seating available. Afterwards, I usually wander next door to Nasr Foods to pick up some great middle eastern ingredients.

                1. re: Finnegan
                  Finnegan Jun 4, 2007 02:17 PM

                  should read "Farhat" not Frahat

                  1. re: Finnegan
                    erly Jun 4, 2007 03:08 PM

                    The best Middle Eastern meals that I have eaten in Toronto were at Boujadi on Eglinton.
                    I have not tried many M.E. restaurants, but of the ones I have, this restaurant stands out.
                    Tablecloths, beautiful pottery, and a very good Tanjine.

                    1. re: erly
                      embee Jun 4, 2007 03:34 PM

                      Sorry to be picky, but I wouldn't really consider Boujadi to be "Middle Eastern". It is quasi-kosher Moroccan and, therefore, Sephardic, but this isn't what most people would be looking for when craving Mid-Eastern food. It's a great place, though.

                2. re: juno
                  iontrance Jun 6, 2007 10:06 PM

                  Halleluia has another location on Steeles between Dufferin and Keele. I believe it is north of Steeles on Petrolia (sp?) Road. Essentially north of the IDF / Long McQuade plaza.

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