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Oct 3, 2008 07:50 AM

"East Coast" Style Donairs in Toronto?

I realize it's hardly fine dining, but I'm a huge fan of the donairs one can find on the east coast, particularly in Halifax. There's something about the meat that is that much tastier than any gyro, shawarma or what passes as a donair here in Toronto. Not to mention, the sweet donair sauce, which is a mixture of sugar, vinegar, garlic, and evaporated milk.

King of Donair had a brief run in Kingston, primarily serving the late-night drunken Queen's students, but sadly is no longer there.

Is anybody aware of where I can get my donair fix in town?

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  1. College Falafel on Ossington and College claims to serve authentic Halifax style donairs. They seem to have a very loyal client base, which is a good sign. BF has tried their donair but he thought th sauce was too sweet and the meat was too tough. I do love their falafel though.

    when it's not too busy, i recommend sipping their Turkish coffee on cold night. I have only had it once - worked like a redbull.

    7 Replies
    1. re: happycamper

      My wife and I were in Halifax during the summer and tried the donairs at a couple of the popular places. I don't know how someone could enjoy having a desert topping on a meat sandwich. We got some donair sauce on the side (after reading about its sweetness on this board) and about 1/6th of a teaspoon was tolerable. We ordered the donair with tzatziki instead and it was excellent, but not all the places offer tzatziki.

      1. re: acd123

        We did the same thing on a trip to Halifax last summer. Getting a donair in Halifax seemed like getting poutine in Montreal. The sweetness turned me off at the time, I was super hungry and ended up gobbling the whole thing up anyway. Since then I've been sort of craving another one! Donairs in Toronto have had what almost tastes like a fruity sauce that's not really very good or even similar to the sauce in Halifax. (BTW they put donair sauce on pizza slices out there too!) I'd be interested in checking out an east coast style donair here too!

        Also isn't a donair sans donair sauce but with tatziki essentially a beef gyro?

      2. re: happycamper

        I've heard there is a really good "authentic" place in Orangeville; but that's definitely outside Toronto.

        I will see if I can remember the name

        1. re: duckdown

          Absolutely let us know the name if you find out. I drive through Orangeville on a reasonably regular basis, so I'd love to knwo where it is.

          1. re: duckdown

            Do you remember the name or location? Also was it for donair pizza or a regular donair? I see that a place called Johnny's sells donair pizzas, but not sure about a donair.

            Headed there tonight so I thought I would ask...

            1. re: duckdown

              Have you tried the Halifax donair at Shawarma and Grill on Fisherman Drive off Highway 10 north of Bovaird? It was really quite delicious but the last time I had a donair in Halifax was 2005 so my memory of "authentic" is foggy.

            2. re: happycamper

              This is the only place that I've found that has anything close to an authentic Halifax donair.

              Let us know if you find something better!

            3. I'm new to Toronto and I had no idea what a "halifax donair" was but I just googled it and it looks like the type of donair you find all over Calgary. I Loooooooove the sweet sauce and finding out it comes from the east gives me another reason to look forward to visiting there someday soon!

              Sorry for the no content, but I've been craving a good donair since I moved out to Toronto.

              1. If you are really desperate for donair go to the donut shop downtown Toronto at Adelaide St W & Sheppard St (across the street from First Canadian Place). It used to be a Greco express and they've kept the greco recipe. It ain't King of Donair but it will do in a pinch.
                One quick edit...don't bother with College Falafel if you are looking for east coast style donairs. They make a decent 'sandwich' but tastes nothing like Halifax donairs.

                4 Replies
                1. re: A flock of seagulls

                  Can't actually vouch for the 'East-Coast Authenticity" of Babos Donerpoint on Eglinton and Caledonia (mentioned often on this site), but it appears to be definately authentic Turkish based on national pride of the owners and the client base. More importantly though, they make one wicked donair/.gyros/schwarma. I get the combo with both chicken and beef, hot sauce, garlic sauce and sweet sauce. Bring a bib and a large appetite. Best I have eaten in TO by far!!

                  1. re: robb

                    It amazes me how little attention Babos Donerpoint, which is definitely not Halifax style, receives on the Ontario boards. Not that they need the business (they do well enough on their own) but easily one of the best, maybe the best donair/shawarma I've found in Toronto so far. Great stuff. And I have Chowhound to thank for this find. Just surprises me that it doesn't receive more chatter.

                    1. re: magic

                      I've been wanting to get to Babos for months after reading about it on this board. Maybe tomorrow. It's hard because when I crave shawarma, I usually head straight for King Falafel.

                      1. re: acd123

                        Yeah, give Babos a try. They have a small parking lot too. Convenient. I love both King Falafel and Babos. But they are very different. Both excellent. I think you'll enjoy.

                        (I like getting to Caledonia via Roselawn/Castlefield btw.... moves better than Eglinton)

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