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Jul 6, 2010 10:01 AM

Where to find lebanese style shawarma?

I live in Thornhill and do not like the chicken shawarmas that are abundant in the area. Anyone know where I can get good Lebanese beef shawarma, with the spice, sauce tabouleh? All the food joints in the area that sell shawarma only have the mild boring chicken shawarma (Sofra Grill included).

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  1. I do not know the name of the place and just tried to find it on the internet and can't so this may not be of much help. There is a place south Etobicoke at Lakeshore Blvd and Twentieth Street and it is Medateranian.....I know they have Shwarama, however I have not eaten there or know what is on the menu. I cannot find this on the internet though.
    One I have been to that was really good was The Kabob House on Lakeshore Blvd (south side) near Eighth Street. From what I see online they have beef shwarma, however I did not have beef so maybe call to confirm. I ate there once and it was really tasty with a really strong garlic sauce on my shwarama. Went with co-workers and they loved it too.

    1. Right. You don't have many options in the area. Offhand, I can think of:

      Villa Madina (Vaughan Mills food court) - it actually is Lebanese, and overpriced cuz of the location. I think it's okay, but not one of my faves.

      Shawarma Max (Yonge north of Sheppard) - In the style, with pink turnips, tabouleh, the wrap pitas, good sauces (the tahini is distinctively nutty). I went recently and its components have improved so it was actually not bad, but I tried the chicken, not the beef.

      Anoush (Yonge south of Steeles) - It's prolly been a year and a half since I've been, but it was amongst the best most of the time. Persian with Turkish influences. Don't know if things have changed.

      Shawarma Max
      4969 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5N6, CA

      Anoush Fast Foods
      6119 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2M3W2, CA

      Villa Madina
      1 Bass Pro Mills Dr, Thornhill, ON L4K5W4, CA

      1. I've inquired about this many times, especially since I've experienced good shawarma in Montreal and Ottawa, and I hate to say it, Toronto has nothing that even comes close :(

        A true Lebanese style shawarma, not Syrian/Iranian/Turkish/etc. should use white meat chicken that soaks up the marinade beautifully and have a good 'toum' sauce to go with it.. And if you're really lucky, they finish the sandwich over open charcoals, like Boustan... amazing.

        If you ever find one worthwhile, let me know. Until then, the only 2 Lebanese places worthwhile in the city I've found is Falafel World at Jane & Bloor, and Nick's Famous Shawarma in Mississauga.. Garlic sauce is disgusting at Nick's though, I opt for tzatziki instead

        Falafel World
        2396 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S1P5, CA

        6 Replies
        1. re: duckdown

          yeah its too bad there is no selection. back in 90's there was a fantastic shawarma place run by a Lebanese family in the Thornhill Square Mall. This was before the big reno. I worked at the mall and had to buy a shawarma every shift I worked. It was that good. I just cant stand the chicken shawarmas that are in the area, its soo bland!

          1. re: Karsalis

            If you want what I consider a really decent shawarma you should try Sababa on Steeles (north side) between Bathurst and Yonge. They make thier own pita bread in house as well, not the standard dry wraps all others use. Thier version of shawarma is made with Turkey and is really quite flavourful. Not boring at all, comes with a good portion of meat along with the tahina, and they will add hot sauce or tzatziki if you wish. Give it a go, I believe you will be pleasantly suprised in comparison to the average shawarma in to T.O area. There is the Sababa restaurant and specialty store.
            Go to the back in the store section and find the takeout counter. Enjoy.

            390 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J6X6, CA

          2. re: duckdown

            Have you tried any of the shawarma joints on Lawrence between Pharmacy and Warden yet duckdown?

            1. re: haggisdragon

              I wish! I've been hearing about the much-talked about Shawarma Empire, Ibrahims, etc. for years now.. I just have absolutely no reason to ever go out to that area, especially since I'm so far west in North Brampton

              I do know that if I ever have to go to Scarborough for, well, anything.. then I would definitely be stopping into both for a take-away sandwich. But until then, I just can't justify a 45 minute drive for a sandwich, even if I *do* drive crazy distances for food usually

              Will let ya know if I ever make it out there though :)


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

            2. re: duckdown

              Try Town and Country Market, Hurontario+Fairview Rd. just south of Central Pkwy, hidden behind the Shell station. Gem of a Lebanese grocer--good take-out.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                Actually I've seen this place quite a few times when driving down Hurontario, it has that orange and yellow sign with arabic writing on it.. theres a Popeyes in the plaza as well IIRC.

                I have never stopped in nor knew what they sold there, but it sounds like the kind of place worth checking out. Maybe they have some yummy roasted pistachio nuts too, sounds like it could be worth it

                This is a little more in my area, I will check it out and report back!

                thanks for the tip!

            3. The Israeli-style shawarma is not only chicken -- try Mi va Mi, Kotel, Mizrach, etc. for variations with lamb, beef, turkey. As for Lebanese-style shawarma, Thornhill is not so much Toronto's heart of where to find it, but try Paramount, the new and very popular Lebanese place (same folks as the Mississauga one) at Yonge at Glencameron: I have not tried the shawarma there, but they do a nice job in general.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Disparishun

                Great pastries/bakery at Paramount but their shawarma was a huge let down when I tried it at their Mississauga location.. Very greasy, and didn't like the garlic sauce at all.

                Definitely gotta have their cashew baklava though!

                1. re: duckdown

                  Town&Country's Chicken shawarma smelled nice late this a.m. You should check 'em out. They also have fresh dates now--nice.

                  1. re: Kagemusha

                    That's the spot I keep meaning to stop in, I've heard it mentioned on here several times. I'll check them out this week for sure, thanks for the reminder

              2. Today I went to a small restaurant at Vic Park and Sheppard called Tasty Shawarma for lunch.

                Fabulous, friendly and fresh - is my verdict!

                This small, humble, strip-mall eatery lives up to its name and provides hands down the best & tastiest shwarma (or shawarma) in the city!

                It's quite inexpensive (a sandwich for under $5), but this weekend's deal was generous: 2 sandwiches for $7.

                I recommend including on your sandwich the owner's homemade green spicy sauce (looks like relish), addictive homemade garlic sauce and those delicious shredded pickled purple turnips.

                Another thing that makes this place great is that Tasty Shawarma only serves fresh, specially ordered, thin pitas (white or whole wheat) that are really soft and not at all starchy to eat. I highly recommend the friendly owner's amazing, made from scratch falafel (not from a powder mix - and quality is key, as he is always changing the oil to ensure freshness).

                Also great is his fresh made tabouli salad, along with a piece of their special order baklava - which the owner gave me to sample today! Reflecting the quality and care of the food, as well as the friendliness and passion of the staff, business is good.

                I was there at 1:30 pm and the beef shwarma on the spit had already been whittled down to half its original size - or less!

                They have chicken shwarma, too. But I love the beef more, especially the brownest bits.

                Disclosure: I have been a repeat customer for the past 2 years since discovering it.

                Note: Cash only. Sit down or takeout.

                2993 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1T3J5, CA

                Tasty Shawarma
                2993 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1T3J5, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: eggoman

                  Im pretty sure every shawarma place offers 2 Shawarma for 6.99, just to let ya know...(atleast every place on Lawerence...)