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Fav Shawarma places in the GTA???

Mike Tyson Jan 3, 2008 06:12 PM

I personally remember the Shawarma place that was just outside College Station (on yonge just slightly north of Ryerson) that offered the 2 shawarma sandwiches for $5 or so.
The shop had a red sign and very tasty food. I loved the chicken shawarma sandwich the most.

^ Recently the place has been taken over by a NEW Shawarma business that just doesn't have the same zing as the previous owners. meh.

So where do you guys all go for your Shawarmas, Falafels and Middle Eastern rice dishes??
In the GTA?

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  1. 50firstdatesguy RE: Mike Tyson Jan 3, 2008 06:32 PM

    Someone will chime in with the proper name.. but the place across the street from Beer Station next to the movie theatre is tops for me. Bathurst/Bloor area, north side.

    3 Replies
    1. re: 50firstdatesguy
      thatlankyfoody RE: 50firstdatesguy Jan 4, 2008 04:41 AM

      name of the place you are referring to is Ghazale

      1. re: thatlankyfoody
        50firstdatesguy RE: thatlankyfoody Jan 4, 2008 04:44 AM

        Thats it, thanks thatlankyfoody. Some say quality has gone downhill a little but they're open real late and I've always found their Shwarma to be quite delicious, as recently as the summer/fall.

        1. re: 50firstdatesguy
          lolabella RE: 50firstdatesguy Jan 10, 2008 01:43 PM

          i like ghazale for their veggie stuff (grape leaves, etc.) but i really DON'T like their shawarma/falafel.

    2. m
      Mike Tyson RE: Mike Tyson Jan 4, 2008 05:40 AM

      Awesome guys. keep em coming!

      1. g
        ghetto_scarlem RE: Mike Tyson Jan 4, 2008 06:34 AM

        Lots of discussion on this topic before....this is only 1 thread.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ghetto_scarlem
          juno RE: ghetto_scarlem Jan 4, 2008 07:17 AM

          Here's a vote for Yakamov, a Russian/Israeli/ Middle Eastern hole-in-the wall (though it does have good seating) that I was first tipped off to, if I recall, on Chowhound. It serves up the tastiest chicken shawarma sandwich I've had in Toronto, and I've tried about a dozen or more different places. But if you live downtown, you'll have to travel north to get your teeth into it. It's in a vaguely down-at-the-heels plaza on Wilson Ave., on the south side about a block west of Bathurst St. Juicy, flavorful, with tasty extras to enhance the chicken, it's a quite substantial sandwich compared to many of its competitors. The place is clean, well run and does a busy lunch trade, somewhat less so at dinner. So lunch seems the best time to get it at its freshly-made best. I find it easily beats all the Bloor St. shawarma joints, as well as many of the Lawrence Ave. E. spots, many of which offer skimpy, tasteless (though certainly low-priced) sandwiches on pitas of uncertain quality. Of which the most unpleasant of the downtown bunch is Ghazale on Bloor St., which started out good and cheap, but has since degenerated, offering little more than a stale smell that permeates almost the entire block of Bloor on which it perches.

          1. re: juno
            Chester Eleganté RE: juno Jan 4, 2008 09:48 PM

            The best shawarma I've had in town was on a particular visit to the aforementioned Yakomoz (sic). All of its elements combine to make it truly standout. I should add though that you do have to get lucky with the timing to get the really good parts of the shawarma in general. And yes, the shawarma at Ghazale is the pits, especially considering its reputation.

        2. Googs RE: Mike Tyson Jan 4, 2008 07:47 AM

          Scarborough - Farhat (Mmmmmmmm lamb)
          Downtown - Jasmine

          5 Replies
          1. re: Googs
            Connoisseur RE: Googs Jan 4, 2008 08:48 AM

            Farhat Period. Anything else is second best...

            1. re: Connoisseur
              zoezer RE: Connoisseur Jan 4, 2008 04:13 PM

              Something 2 Talk About on Gerrard at Bay has good chicken shawarma and is a friendly family-run type of place. I have not eaten at Ghazale for a while but I walk by all the time and I think the smell is heavenly!

              1. re: Connoisseur
                Fat Swine RE: Connoisseur Jan 5, 2008 07:57 AM

                I used to love the food here too but now the place is just too dirty. Take a look up at the ceiling the next time you go.

              2. re: Googs
                warlock RE: Googs Jan 4, 2008 04:47 PM

                What a coincidence....just having some Farhat lamb shwarmas while i am typing this....

                1. re: warlock
                  Wahooty RE: warlock Jan 4, 2008 06:25 PM


                  I often make a quick shawarma run from work downtown, but have yet to find anything that compares to Farhat. And the lamb in particular....<uncontrollable spontaneous drooling>

              3. h
                hungry_pangolin RE: Mike Tyson Jan 4, 2008 06:26 PM

                A bit out of the shawarma circuit, but... Sarah's on Bloor at Brunswick is quite good (I always go for beef, there - beautiful seasoning); I forget the name of the place, but the shawarma at the "food mall" on the north side of Queen W across from City TV is very good but waaaaayy too expensive for the volume; Ghazale, by the Bloor Cinema was once my fave, but is not as good as days of yore. There's a new space, at Yonge and St Joseph, and their beef shawarma was lovely, and, I think, has the mayonaise-y sauce for which Haligonians hanker.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hungry_pangolin
                  warlock RE: hungry_pangolin Jan 4, 2008 08:32 PM

                  Ghazale has to be the worse I have had in TO...the shaved meat seemed to have been lying around for quiet some time and then they microwaved the Shwarma in front of me,instead of using a panini grill....that did it for me,I mean how can you nuke something like that in front of a customer....and yet people still drool over it,I guess they have never had Shwarma anyplace else...

                2. Dr Butcher RE: Mike Tyson Jan 4, 2008 08:42 PM

                  I prefer Ibrahim across the street from Farhat. More flavour and larger portions in my opinion. They don't have lamb though. Farhat is a little overrated IMO, there are better places a stone's throw away.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Dr Butcher
                    warlock RE: Dr Butcher Jan 5, 2008 03:35 AM

                    I have tried Ibrahims a couple of times,and yet it is still Farhats that I go back to....even though Ibrahims is cheaper...what I like about Farhats is the garlic paste and "Nasr's" pita that they use.....but I do know that Ibrahim's has its own fan following...

                    1. re: Dr Butcher
                      idnas RE: Dr Butcher Jan 7, 2008 04:49 PM

                      I love Ibrahim, especially their yogurt sauce. But I haven't tried Farhat so now I've got an excuse to go do a comparison!

                      1. re: idnas
                        Wahooty RE: idnas Jan 7, 2008 04:57 PM

                        I finally got around to trying Ibrahim this weekend, and I have to say that I loved their chicken shawarma. Lots of really good veggies/salads to dress it up, and the sauces were fantastic. However, they don't have lamb, and Farhat's lamb is so ridiculously tasty. So I guess now I have two favorites. :)

                        1. re: Wahooty
                          jen2202 RE: Wahooty Jan 10, 2008 05:47 PM

                          I was in the mood for a shawarma tonight and was glad to find this thread because I wasn't sure where to go. I wrote down the names of 3 place that were suggested on Lawrence St and the first one I saw while driving down Lawrence was Nasbi's. I went in to order a chicken shawarma but they were out of chicken for the day. So I continued down the street and found Ibrahim's. I went in and was served by a nice man named Mohammed, and I ordered a chicken sandwich. It was by far the best shawarma I've had in Toronto (originally from Ottawa). All of the ingredients were fresh and flavorful, the sandwich itself was huge, and to top it all off they offer a two for one deal. I was so excited I told Mohammed I would tell everyone about this place, and I couldn't wait to get home to share this experience with all of you!!! I've lived here for two years now have been struggling to find a good shawarma place, although it's not quite the same as home, it was delicious and I will be back for more very soon!!! Thank you fellow hounds!!

                          1. re: jen2202
                            Dr Butcher RE: jen2202 Jan 10, 2008 08:15 PM

                            I told ya! ;)

                            I stop by Ibrahim most Tuesday nights on my way home. They're open late and always seem busy whenever I go.

                            Nothing compares to Shawarma Palace in Ottawa but Ibrahim fills in adequately!

                    2. l
                      lamaranthe RE: Mike Tyson Jan 5, 2008 07:56 AM

                      Yummi's, on Yonge, corner of Broadway, 2 blocks North of Eglinton. May be not the very best in town but their pita-lamb shawarma with all the trimmings is quite good.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: lamaranthe
                        ziggystardust RE: lamaranthe Jan 5, 2008 02:18 PM

                        My vote so far goes to Metro Foods, south side of College @ Spadina. Palestinian- run place with really tasty, inexpensive shawarmas and mixed plates.

                        1. re: ziggystardust
                          Mike Tyson RE: ziggystardust Jan 5, 2008 04:58 PM


                          Did you know Metro's shawarma chicken has curry mixed into the spicing??? Unique I believe for chicken shawarmas in the GTA.

                          Thats why the chicken has a slight yellow colouring to it. Mmmmmmmm I know curry the minute it hits my tongue man.

                          Metro is very good. Hope they last long. They got a bit of competition with I believe 2 other Shawarma places to their east on College...

                          I think they will do alright, especially since they also operate as a convenience store too...

                          1. re: Mike Tyson
                            Wiley RE: Mike Tyson Jan 5, 2008 06:51 PM

                            If you're shopping at Vaughan Mills, forget the food court and head for "Grill 4 U" for a big juicy shawarma.Just outside the mall in the strip of perimeter stores.

                            1. re: Wiley
                              Mike Tyson RE: Wiley Jan 7, 2008 05:00 PM

                              Alright thanks for the advice...

                              though I do not see myself going up to Vaughan any time soon...

                              thanks regardless though.

                            2. re: Mike Tyson
                              jonnybee RE: Mike Tyson Jan 11, 2008 02:54 PM

                              Actually, it's not that unique to the GTA Iron Mike. Most of the Israeli shawarma places use some sort of "curry powder" in their preperation (it's that tumeric and/or cumin that really lingers on all day).

                              Gotta figure the curry flavour is a very very regional thing, as I never taste it in a Lebanese shawarma. On the flip side, I've never tasted cinnamon in an Israeli shawarma, which I'll taste in other middle eastern shawarmas.

                              I am assuming the curry is a Palestinian creation, as those flavours are rarely used in Eastern/Central European Jewish cooking, Any food anthropologists out there?

                              BTW, I've had some excellent shawarma sandwiches (Israeli style) recently at Hannah's Shawarma at Bathurst & Carville in Richmondhill. If only they'd let food safety standards go little bit and not keep their salads/dips so cold, though that issue is not unique to Hannah's

                              1. re: jonnybee
                                Mike Tyson RE: jonnybee Jan 12, 2008 07:45 AM

                                hee hee you called me Iron Mike...

                                oh yeah the owner of Metro Foods happens to be Palestinian too... you are right.

                        2. Pati RE: Mike Tyson Jan 6, 2008 02:43 PM

                          I think it's called King's Shawarma in the Eaton centre (lower level, Queen St. side) it's pretty good. My boyfriend has tried Shawarma in Europe, and is pretty convinced they're the best around. In fact his mouth is watering w/ the mention of it right now.
                          He also wants me to mention the potatoes.
                          He's heading to Farhat's right now to check it out.

                          1. s
                            snackboy RE: Mike Tyson Jan 6, 2008 03:55 PM

                            Hi All,

                            I live around the corner for a la turque . . . It's at Wellesley and Church just north of Wellesley on Church

                            Check them out . . . They are huge and tasty!! . . .and they are very friendly

                            Let me know what you think...


                            1. l
                              lolabella RE: Mike Tyson Jan 10, 2008 01:46 PM

                              used to go to sarah's on bloor all the time, but then i discovered pita-Q which is also on bloor, at the corner of spadina (next to greg's ice cream...a good pairing!!) their shawarmas are SO yummy and they grill them so they're good and crispy on the outside. plus, their hotsauce is fanTAStic, and so tasty.

                              Also, when i'm up in the Lawrence and Victoria park area for middle eastern foods, i always grab a sandwich from...well, i don't know the name, but they are in the same plaza-thingy as NASR foods, which is also really a great place for groceries (but not as good as the nearby ARZ foods)

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: lolabella
                                Mike Tyson RE: lolabella Jan 10, 2008 03:38 PM

                                I think I pass by Pita Q all the time..

                                its at Spadina/Bloor right? Next to the JCC and Dominion?

                                I should try that place someday...

                                1. re: Mike Tyson
                                  pancake RE: Mike Tyson Jan 10, 2008 06:20 PM

                                  At york university, in york lanes (on campus) there is a great shawarma place with student friendly prices. I graduated a few years back and it is still missed. Fresh pita, juicey meat. Delicious.

                                  1. re: pancake
                                    ayl RE: pancake Oct 26, 2008 05:12 PM

                                    Falafel Hut is probably the only good thing about York Lanes. The prices are good, the food is great and the staff is super friendly!

                                2. re: lolabella
                                  tribe RE: lolabella Mar 3, 2009 12:01 PM

                                  I have long wanted to try Pita-Q...are they really better than Sarah's? Sarah's is my absolute favourite.

                                3. duckdown RE: Mike Tyson Jan 11, 2008 11:00 AM

                                  I need some NEW places in Mississauga/Brampton that ISNT:

                                  Pita Nutsy
                                  Vita Pita
                                  Nick's Famous Pita

                                  Anyone know of any other places?


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: duckdown
                                    pcavaliere RE: duckdown Oct 28, 2008 10:58 AM

                                    My favourite Chicken Shawarma Sandwich (wrap) is in Mississauga. Its called Pita and Grill. Its a small family run place located on Eglington and Dixie. Thick, big, juicy and delicious. Lots of chicken, any topping you desire and very good garlic sauce. I have tried many Shawarma places in search of better (La Zeez, Hannah's, various places in Scarborough and others) to no avail.

                                    1. re: pcavaliere
                                      duckdown RE: pcavaliere Oct 29, 2008 04:47 PM

                                      ahh, not a fan of that place at all

                                      all dark meat, and i found a bone in it one time ;(

                                      they also have a location at hurontario & derry road that keeps horrible hours, they close at like 5pm

                                      thanks for the addition though :) cheers

                                  2. j
                                    jamesm RE: ShawarmaLover Oct 23, 2008 01:09 PM

                                    Anyone been to the place that just opened in Parkdale about a block west of Dufferin on Queen?

                                    1. finelydiced RE: Mike Tyson Oct 23, 2008 01:28 PM

                                      I don't profess to be a huge connoisseur of all things shwarma, but a place close to my abode never seems to let me down...A La Turque, on Church north of Wellesley. I like the fact that whether it's 4PM or well after last call, the veggie options to pile on are always fresh.

                                      1. w
                                        Westwardho RE: Mike Tyson Oct 26, 2008 07:06 PM

                                        LaZeez (On Gerrard just west of Gerrard beside Hooker Harvey's )
                                        Clean. A little pricey but really good. Open late. Great falalel and I'm a big meat eater.
                                        Best I've had for a while.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Westwardho
                                          Wiley RE: Westwardho Oct 27, 2008 12:56 PM

                                          This might not sound like a shawarma place, but Joe's Hamburgers at Yonge and Elgin Mills serves a beauty that must contain the meat of a quarter chicken! Appropriately, however, they're not two for $5--more like $6.50 each..

                                          1. re: Wiley
                                            wheresthafood RE: Wiley Oct 28, 2008 05:55 PM

                                            I like the chicken shwarma wrap at Ali Babas (Lawrence & Weston). I think they may sell beef shwarma too, but my timing always seems to be off and they are always sold out.

                                        2. s
                                          Stevesinu RE: Mike Tyson Apr 16, 2009 02:43 PM

                                          Unfortunately, the GTA does not boast great shwarma and falafel joints. Having eaten food in Lebanon, I would have to say that the Israeli places in the city are much better than the Lebansese restaurants. I think Me Va Me take out on Steeles is the best by far3. It is just west of Yonge, on the north side, and in the same plaza as Henry's camera. Keep in mind that the take out location is at a different location than the sit down restaurant that is at the corner of steeles and bathurst.

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