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Dec 26, 2009 01:20 PM

Shawerma - suggestions for locations in Scarborough, Markham & Pickering

I have just been initiated into the wonderful world of shawermas. The one I located is out in the west end where I used to go for business. I'm never on Hurontario now and would love to locate a few location suggestions for great shawerma in the east end.

Your advice appreciated!

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  1. The best I've found are on Lawrence just west of Warden in Scarborough. My favourites are:

    1. Shawarma Empire
    2. Ibrahim's

    Some love Nasib's but I find them a bit bland.

    In Durham I am still looking for good shawarma, a very solid falafel can be found in Oshawa at one of the two Pita Deli locations. Huge, huge sandwiches at a decent price.

    1. Try Pita Land at Morningside and Kingston Road.

      6 Replies
      1. re: SMBC

        I find it difficult to believe that a chain restaurant would be in the same league as Shawarma Empire. What's so special about it?

        Shawarma Empire
        1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R2Y3, CA

        1. re: Googs

          You would be right.. Pita Land isn't good at all, tried more than 1 location

          Wish I could try this notorious Shawarma Empire but I haven't been to that neighbourhood in like... ever

          1. re: duckdown

            There is a street festival of mid eastern foods there every spring (June maybe?).
            Usually mentioned in Chow, and worth going to if you figure out the parking.

          2. re: Googs

            I'm not sure that SMBC was stating that one was better than the other... just that the OP might want to try SMBC's suggestion.

            In regards to Pita Land, I've been to the one at Gerrard/Jarvis and it was pretty good. I’ve been there dozens of times, mainly when it operated as La Zeez, but in my couple of times back since Pita Land took it over the quality had not dipped. That said it’s been a couple of years so who knows. At any rate, I think SMBC’s suggestion seemed genuine and innocuous enough.

            1. re: Googs

              Took your recommendations and enjoyed 2 shawarma. Tender, juicy and delicious with just the right blend of toppings. I like spicy hot sauce and these did not disappoint. Only draw back is the appearance of messiness and the ambiance means you HAVE to take out. Also for newbies - you order and get your food before paying. They handled an order of 16 just before me - did it all in 10 min. Those guys really move!

              Shawarma Empire
              1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R2Y3, CA

              1. re: xssnrg

                It may be a little dishevelled inside, but it's never ever dirty. I dine there about half the time I go. Hot food, hot sauce, hot DAMN!

          3. Also, do consider going to a place like Arz Bakery on Lawrence just east of Pharmacy and pick up the ingredients yourself. I love doing Shawarma with chicken breast on the barbecue in the summer. The marinade is really easy. Look it up on line, but I think it involves about 8 cloves of garlic and a 1/4 tsp of both cinnamon and allspice along with olive oil and lemon.

            1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

            1. If you don't mind driving a few miles farther try Pita Deli in Whitby which is on Thickson rd. near the 401

              Pita Deli
              1600 Champlain Avenue, Whitby, ON L1N 9B2, CA

              1. In addition to the places mentioned on the Lawrence/Warden strip, I really like Johnny's Shawarma at Kennedy/Ellesmere.

                8 Replies
                1. re: magic

                  mmm Johnny's Shawarma is great, i always get Shawarma with a chicken and beef mix, and their fries are pretty good too, fresh cut and tasty. Best part is they have cards where you buy 9, get your 10th free!

                  Id say its more expensive then Ibrahims

                  1. re: jmarcroyal

                    Johnny's rocks. Johnny is a real nice guy too.

                    1. re: magic

                      its a shame they close so damn early!

                  2. re: magic

                    I just tried Johnny's today after reading this. IMHO not that great. Doesn't compare to Shawarma Empire, Milo's, or Yakamoz (my 3 favs). It was a lot like Pita Land. I also got a piece of steel wool in my sandwich, but that's beside the point.

                    373 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3H1T3, CA

                    Shawarma Empire
                    1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R2Y3, CA

                    1. re: haggisdragon

                      Holy smokes, a piece of steel wool in your sandwich isn't a major point?? I got a bone in my burrito from Burrito Boyz once and I still haven't let them live it down

                      1. re: duckdown

                        Yeah well, I just mean that I thought the sandwich itself was just okay. If I hadn't got the steel wool it still would have been just okay. I'm a pretty hardy individual and although I wasn't pleased with the extra ingredient, it didn't really phase me.

                      2. re: haggisdragon

                        Oh that's too bad. Apolgies for your bad experience. :(

                        1. re: magic

                          No worries, he WAS a pretty nice guy.