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Macedonian Restaurants in GTA?

Hi, my wife and I just finished Carabram and loved the Macedonian pavilion, I have never seen any Macedonian restaurants anywhere, talked with some of the people there stating they exist. A year is long to wait for Zelnik....Any ideas?

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  1. Mak Deli on Lawrence East serves the FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) population. Haven't tried it. According to the website, there is a "restaurant" section- part of the deli with tables. Not sure if they would have table service.. I don't know of any other FYROM Macedonian restaurants in Toronto.

    There are quite a few Bosnian places in East York and near Roncesvalles/Dundas W that serve Cevapi and other items that would be common in FYROM, Bosnia, and other parts of the former Yugoslavia.

    A thread on FYROM products

    If you're looking for something like Zelnik, you might want to consider trying Bosnian burek from a Bosnian bakery or deli, or the Greek snail shaped- rolled spanakopita or tyropita from Akropoli Bakery (which is similar to burek, with a chewier, thicker pastry than standard commercial filo


    Mak Delicatessens
    1335 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M3A, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: phoenikia

      Hi there, I think my wife got the name wrong as we are familiar with Burek and buy it from Willy's on Hurontario..but this 'Zelnik' was more of a spinach/feta filled pie slice shaped pastry which we loved. They also have Cevapi like ground meat sausage shaped burgers as well...called Kebapi I believe...but some differences, this bean stew which we liked as well as the Zelnik mentioned above...we have Serbian friends so we are familiar with the regional differences of food for instance, Bulgarian type 'cevapi' has cumin and parsley in it and they are equally good....just wanted to try these things instead of waiting yearly with Carabram.

    2. I have tried most of the East European - Balkan type of places in Toronto. My favourite at this point is Market Jolly on Marlee just south of Glencairn (and the subway). I posted some info about it on the same thread that Phoenikia has listed.

      If you're looking for zelnik, the closest thing is bourek. Market Jolly's is very good (although not as good as my Mom's homemade!) - they have it ready-baked or frozen so you can bake at home. They have a counter where you can sit and eat, but it's really a deli store that also has prepared take-out foods.

      Mak Deli is good too, and has a couple of small tables where you can eat their take-out stuff. I sometimes find their bourek too greasy.

      Good luck on the zelnik quest, and let us know what you find!

      1. You may want to try:

        Madera Restaurant Inc
        836 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, M4J1L6
        Phone (416) 465-2653

        The comments below are from Toronto.com

        Editorial Profile
        Madera offers a blend of casual dining and live entertainment. It's a popular spot for the city's Yugoslavian community and east-enders alike, hosting private parties, engagements, baptisms and more. Menu items include cabbage, red pepper and

        1. For some really old postings, at the Ontario board type in Macedonian Restaurants Jar, then fill in the boxes using oldest first, past 5 years, Canada, and in Ontario type in Macedonian. I won't do a whole rehash here, but they are all gone PERIOD!!! No deli, nothing comes close, zilch! I have even checked out for info several Macedonian churches and the Macedonian Seniors Home on O'Connor Drive. I grew up when within a 2 minute walk I had 5 Macedonian Restaurants. Do the search for info please!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jar

            I don't know if you remember, but wasn't the Red Violin a Macedonian restaurant before they swiched to Brazilian Cuisine?

              1. re: foodyDudey

                Can't we all get along without starting to dredge up political nationalist inclinations? I don't want to see a repeat of a Yugoslavianesque dispute on Chowhound.

                Let's all admit that we enjoy a good zelnik and have affinity for other foods from our neighbours...c'mon give peas a chance.....ok, I admit that was a really bad pun, but I still chuckled

            1. Just a rehash of what , sadly hasn't been seen for a decade +, but one really has to wonder why between the churches, the business people, Macedonian now aging population,,,, that somehow an authentic old style Macedonian restaurant cannot exist. I am of course of interest to Slavic not Greek Macedonian food. In it's hayday, many restaurants serving daily fresh cooked food, from a hot table or sitting in the oven, with a large choice.

              A start was complimentary usually bean soup, almost all meats in both stew or roast, stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, beans, roast potato, orzo pasta, rice, cabbage, so much more and all very tasty, although wonderful hot peppers offered as a side! There was never yogourt in the supermarkets, but they made their own! Desserts not bmuch available, everyone went to enjoy the greatest European home cooking.

              It's getting too late for us few Chowhounds that know this exceptional cuisine, but truly hope some Macedonians would re-create this special type restaurant. Not myself of Macedonian descent, but was lucky enough to grow up in an area that had 5 great restaurants!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jar

                Hey Jar,

                Given the appropriateness of the date (it is Christmas after all...for us Orthodox I mean) I am just curious if you have gone to the Mak Deli on Lawrence between Vic Park and the DVP? That might the closest thing to what you are looking for.

                Also, you may want to try Skardalija, Bonimi, and Zam in the West End. Keep in mind that they are Serbian, not Macedonian, but they may have some of the dishes you enjoyed if Mak doesn't have them.

                1. re: Lazar

                  Another Serbian option that would be closer is Rakia Bar on Queen E or in the Annex. While Rakia won't have old-fashioned roasts or a hot table, they've got cabbage rolls, schnitzel and cevapi. From Twitter: @RakiaBarTO: Anything better then a Balkan trio on a night like this? Cevapi, Cabbage Roll, and mini Black George schnitzel.... http://t.co/i4gPQ0dFz5

                  1. re: Lazar

                    Has anyone dined at Skardalija, Bonimi or Zam lately? Which do you like the best?

                2. So sad--RIP Macedonian Village and Geneva near Queen and Parliament. From a time gone by, but they're irreplaceable.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Wiley1

                    So Sad to have to agree with you Wiley, just hoping that perhaps a group of Macedonian business people might talk to their elders, and come up with something, and you know that there need not be a lot of capital for d├ęcor. I grew up when in that area were both the Macedonian Village and the as well as the Constantinople, the International and a place within a Pool Hall. As well Macedonians ran a Canadian restaurant Mary's Lunch on the south west corner of Queen and Parliament, but they did a special Macedonian hamburger, simple topping of a delicious tomato sauce loaded with sweet onion. My posting a last gasp at the community to perhaps bring back their history and amaze food lovers!

                    1. re: Jar

                      The problem with this scenario is two fold.
                      #1 If you can't stuff it into a taco/donut/cupcake/burger..it won't sell. There's no market for it.
                      #2 This is probably the biggest reason there's no Macedonian restaurants left. The best Macedonian cooks and keepers of the traditional recipes are women and I doubt any of them will come out of retirement to open up a restaurant and the younger ones want nothing to do with the biz(can't say I blame them).
                      I'm of Macedonian descent and my father did quite well in the biz. You know why? He served "Canadian" food not Macedonian food.

                      1. re: petek

                        I live in Windsor. There are a handful of delis and restaurants that serve/sell Balkan food. Without knowing details, I'd guess each is either Serbian or Croatian. They manage to survive here, and possibly even thrive. I wonder why that would be when Windsor's population (on the whole) is so much smaller than Toronto's?

                        I'm not proposing that anyone make a special trip here to shop, eat freshly made burek or eat cevapi at a grill or at the K of C Croatian centre, BUT ... if you are headed to the US (or back to Canada) via the Ambassador Bridge/Tunnel, why not seek out these places?

                        I'm pretty sure at least one of the bakeries (Union, I beieve) has a spinach and cheese burek (spinach, cottage cheese and feta mix) that is hot and fresh at about 11 am or so on days that they are open. Ditto to the meat version.

                        I should add that there are a couple of Albanian-owned restaurants that have a couple of Balkan dishes on their menus as well. My Croatian friend tells me that many Croatian restaurants in her hometown are owned and run by Albanians, even though the cuisines don't necessarily overlap much. These restaurants here in Windsor serve primarily continental cuisine, with a couple of nods to Balkan cuisine thrown in.

                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                          I know a Croatian Cdn form Windsor, and I got the impression , at least during the Balkan War,the Croatians supported their own bakeries and coffee shops, and the Serbs supported their own shops, and it was tense for a Croatian to enter a Serbian run establishment, etc.. Things have since calmed down, but it might explain why there are so many established Balkan options in Windsor.

                          Folia Grill (still serving Greek fast food) is currently run by Albanians, according to a friend who lives nearby. I realize other Hounds had mentioned Armenians currently own it, but that might not be correct.

                        2. re: petek

                          Agree with petek.

                          The few 2nd generation Macedonian Canadians I know who are still in the restaurant business run diners/greasy spoons. That's what still sells.

                          1. re: petek

                            I understand exactly what you are saying, yes very many Macedonians ran Canadian restaurants, met lots of them. Even Macedonian churches offer Canadian food for their events! With decades having past and many examples of new cuisines having been introduced, it is just unfortunate that a culture with a fairly large population just does not portray an outlet representing their history in Toronto. The saving grace has been that I do have an excellent well worn Macedonian cookbook!

                            1. re: Jar

                              ...what is the title of that book? Is it in English? If it is in Macedonian, that is ok too.

                              1. re: Lazar

                                The title of the book is Traditional Macedonian Recipes, bought many decades ago at the Geneva Restaurant, although the Macedonian Church at 17 Regent Street used to sell them, seem to be origin of the book de to mention of Ladies Auxillary. Mine is a revised edition. Says Copyright Pending 1969! Absolutely excellent, no doubt long out of print, and with the Internet providing few less interesting recipes, the book has been a Goldmine!!!

                                1. re: Jar

                                  Is this the book you are referring to? Apparently it can still be ordered.

                                  1. re: Lazar

                                    Lazar, that certainly looks like the book because of the very distinctive central design, mine similar orange cover with orange plastic binding rings --- guessing yours is a later printing as I see " 40 Additional "{ --- ?recipes?}, probably a few gems among them!!! Having grown up in a home with Ukrainian and Polish cooking still widely available in the GTA, it was wonderful to actually have those fantastic Macedonian restaurants within minutes away

                                    1. re: Jar

                                      Hey Jar,

                                      Actually, I don't have a copy. I did a quick google search and the Ladies Auxiliary still sells that book that you can "order online" (essentially print out a form and mail in).

                                      The restaurants were before my time, unfortunately, but I do love to listen to my relatives talk about the "Macedonian Village" area of Toronto where they used to live. Always fascinating.

                            2. re: petek

                              True enough your statements are, was just hoping some group might proudly come out and create one old fashioned real Macedonian restaurant. And yes many Macedonians ran regular Canadian restaurants. Ironically in the heart of Macedonian restaurants, at the south west corner was Mary's Lunch where Macedonians had a regular Canadian operation, but they did just one thing different. When you ordered the 15 cent hamburger, it came one way, with only a very thin delicate tomato sauce that contained tons of delicious fried onions.

                          2. re: Wiley1

                            They had great homemade yogurt, too.
                            Geneva, that is..

                            1. re: Wiley1

                              Cold outside again today, but on a hot summer day, at the Geneva a soup bowl of yogort came with two really terrific thick slices of Macedonian bread and separate tabs of butter!!

                              1. re: Jar

                                Wiley, by the way the name of the restaurant then being opened is perhaps as time goes by a lesser known fact. As many immigrants come to Canada knowing only their own language, thus Mr. Lombo let the sign maker choose the name of the restaurant GENEVA, So, no one ever to enjoy such cuisine, would really be throw off at such a name. I have had freshly full cooked meals there at 10 am, I have seen fire station staff come in with many pots to fill and take back to the station, I have been there when Mr. Lombo would at 5.30 pm or so himself mop the floors on and on!!! You could find yourself with seated nearby known popular personalities or someone who came vin asking for food and that individual enjoyed the same meal, but also was given a bag with a couple sandwiches!!!

                                1. re: Jar

                                  Interesting--I always wondered about the name. I did the pots thing once. This had to be the only restaurant in town where the cook would walk by your table and drop a couple extra meatballs onto your plate!

                                  1. re: Wiley1

                                    Oh, heck, I did forget about Mr. Lombo so casually walking along a part of his restaurant, and as casually, without a breath stop dropping a few extra meatballs. He then would stand cross armed and waiting to approach your table....do you want more??? My favourite of this similar approach was his similar drop of more hot peppers!!!??? He would watch your enjoyment and ask if you want more peppers! We had to been there at one time or another at different tables/friends/etc.,