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Decent Shawarma

k
katiej Jul 9, 2003 11:42 AM

I've been hungry for a decent chicken shawarma, like they serve in Ottawa. Even for me a 5 hour drive is a bit much to pick up a sandwich.

Anyone know of somewhere downtown where I can get a good shawarma?

  1. s
    Sekibun Jul 9, 2003 05:00 PM

    In the Annex, there are two decent places for Schwarma:
    1) Sarah's (Bloor&Brunswick, next to Future bakery)
    This is a place that I used to frequent in university (just graduated). Pretty good food here. Chicken/Beef Schwarma is 3.69 + tax. They recently raised the prices. Falafel used to be 1.99, but now it's 2.49. Bah!

    2) Place next to the Bloor Cinema (Bloor, just East of Bathurst)
    This place is cheap! Falafel is 1.99 and Schwarma is 2.49 I think. lots of other take-away stuff, all pretty good.

    I think there is also a decent place somewhere om Kensington Market, but I can't remember exactly where it is... Anyone know what I'm talking about?

    10 Replies
    1. re: Sekibun
      j
      james Jul 10, 2003 12:42 PM

      The Kensington spot you may be thinking of Akram's, which makes a nifty falafel

      1. re: james
        c
        ChinWhat! Jul 11, 2003 01:58 PM

        Theres a joint besides the Hooters downtown. Adelaide and John. Its right besides it, on the north side. My classmate, who's from Syria swears by it. He's been from windsor to hamilton and this spots his fav. I think its pretty good...

        1. re: ChinWhat!
          j
          John Jul 11, 2003 04:02 PM

          It's called Nez's Falafel House. As I work downtown at the CBC, I go there all the time for lunch. Food is great, they're open late (till 2am on most nights) and pretty reasonable prices.

          I highly recommend the chicken shawarma plate!

      2. re: Sekibun
        m
        michael Jul 12, 2003 10:44 AM

        there is a new place on queen street west called Arabesque.
        They are close to the dufflets store and next door to Butler's pantry (former Citron).
        He serves a fine falafel, nice shawarma and many other middle eastern treats. you can get fresh coffee beans and some groceries.
        You have to try out some of his specialty coffees.

        1. re: Sekibun
          t
          Trefusis Jul 21, 2003 03:40 AM

          I second recommendation (2) above (the shop next to Bloor Cinema). If I recall correctly, it is something of an institution in the area, and has the benefit of being open very late and being authentic. Their samosas are incredible, as is the shawarma.

          1. re: Trefusis
            l
            lex Jul 22, 2003 12:41 PM

            Ghazale's - chicken shwarma is $2.99 and everything else is just as cheap... good, fast and cheap - can't be beat!

          2. re: Sekibun
            g
            gentilesque Apr 19, 2007 11:24 AM

            Ghazele...next to the Bloor cinema. Almost impossible to walk by that place without gettig high on the intoxicating perfumes it emits...

            1. re: gentilesque
              n
              NegativeSleep Oct 9, 2009 09:33 PM

              I remember lining up for a Hot Docs film at the Bloor cinema a couple years ago, and it occurred to me then how strategically Ghazele was situated. The lineup stretched outside the building past the eatery, and the smell was so irresistible that people kept popping in for takeout.

              1. re: NegativeSleep
                Wahooty Oct 10, 2009 08:32 AM

                Yep, that's exactly how I wound up trying it for the first time - just as I got out of a screening I decided to grab dinner to eat on the ride home. I agree, the place SMELLS fantastic, but the flavor just did not match the smell at all for me. And the pre-cut meat, sitting in the steam tray and being microwaved also did nothing for me.

                1. re: Wahooty
                  m
                  magic Oct 10, 2009 08:38 AM

                  In fact to any shawarma vendors that might be reading this thread: do not pre-slice your meat!!! It reeks of service efficiency to the point of significant insult to your customers.

          3. m
            Michael Jul 14, 2003 02:22 PM

            Eaton Centre - south foodcourt. I think it's called the Shawarma King.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Michael
              e
              emanuelnazareth Mar 2, 2007 02:55 PM

              I would have to second Laila. In the last 3 days I've stopped by Ghazale's and Laila on my way home from work, both are across the street from each other and its tough to decide... Laila's is a bit bigger but costs a bit more. I find the Ghazale shwarma reminds me of my home-cooked Indian food... they have terrific samousas for $1 too.

            2. l
              lex Jul 22, 2003 12:46 PM

              In addition to those places already suggested (Ghazale's, Akram's, Naz's) you could also try
              - Ali Baba's on 607 Queen W (Friday's they have 2for1 Shwarma plate for $9.99)

              - Laila 553 Bloor W (was the Annex Aida's) though their falafel gets more recommendations than their shwarma...

              1. a
                Adamino Jul 24, 2003 07:26 PM

                I've had Naz's Chicken Shawarma, and a few other placs as well. I can absolutely guarantee an amazing value and absolute bliss if you have a Chicken Shawarma sandwich (or plate!) from Falafel World. I'd say they give you twice as much meat as most other sandwiches I've had for about the same price. Friendly staff too!

                It's not downtown but right by Jane Station. North side of Bloor St, second block East of Jane. 2396 Bloor W

                Adamino

                1. z
                  Zengarden Sep 5, 2006 11:02 PM

                  Can anyone tell me if Naz's Falafel House is still around and worth going to?

                  I'm going to be in the CBC neighbourhood tomorrow evening and need a fast and unfussy cheapeat for supper.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Zengarden
                    c
                    Cheech5001 Sep 6, 2006 03:53 PM

                    Yes, Naz's is still around, and I am enjoying a chicken shwarma as I type.

                  2. Non Doctor Sep 5, 2006 11:20 PM

                    I have to say that Ghazale's beside the Bloor cinema is superb... I have to pay a visit every few weeks or so!

                    1. o
                      oishi Sep 6, 2006 06:56 PM

                      I may have the name wrong, but I think it's called "Mediterranean on the Go". It's location is on Dundas, east of University on the south side (yellow sign). Yummy!

                      1. thenurse Sep 6, 2006 07:51 PM

                        Queen Pita on Queen E, East of Leslie across from the Beer Store has great Shawarma. The rest of their food is good, too, including a yummy lentil soup!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: thenurse
                          e
                          embee Sep 7, 2006 11:51 AM

                          Maybe my timing has been bad, but I live in the area and therefore tried it on about 4 separate occasions. It certainly got some good press and it's cheap. I haven't been very happy. Dried-out shawarma at different times of day; blah, soggy falafel; indeciferable spicing in everything; odd lentil soup.

                          Not too impressed with Naz either, though I liked it better than Queen Pita.

                          I've been happier with the Armenian Kitchen on V.P. north of Eg and the Jerusalem on Eg west (though I haven't been to Jerusalem in a couple of years).

                          I used to like Aida's on Queen east, but it's current incarnation, Alex's, isn't as good.

                        2. c
                          capiscum Sep 7, 2006 09:29 PM

                          Personally, I think shwarma in downtown Toronto is terrible - but Ottawa can have it, since it's the only food they do well there *ducks*. To me, the best Middle Eastern in T.O. is in Scarborough, along Lawrence. I like Arz Bakery and Armenian Kitchen. There was an Egyptian one with a yellow sign, too, but I can't remember the name.

                          1. j
                            jen2202 Sep 7, 2006 10:18 PM

                            this is a great posting...im from ottawa and love shawarmas, the best in ottawa for those of u who dont know, is shawarma palace at 464 rideau st. As for toronto, ive eaten at a few places along bloor and queen streets and i am so unimpressed. 1st of all, why dont they cut the chicken off the spit, and why do they grill it?? and when the sandwich is made why dont they grill it to finish it off? where are the pickled turnips? what is going on??????? Please, if anyone has eaten a chicken sandwich in ottawa, can u tell me if any of these places make them the same way!!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jen2202
                              mainja Sep 9, 2006 01:43 PM

                              i didn't know what made shwarma in ottawa, but if it's off the spit, then grilled to finish you're looking for then red and white on yonge fits the bill. i don't know if they have pickled turnips, but they have pickled red cabbage which i imagine tastes basically the same (that is, pickilish). give them a try, they're between wellesley and college on the east side of the street.

                              1. re: jen2202
                                t
                                tbone187 Nov 21, 2006 03:14 PM

                                Just had a great one last night, exactly like this. It's on the south side of Bloor, just west of Spadina, mmmm. Put it in a press at the end to finish it off, good eating!

                              2. pancake Sep 9, 2006 04:08 PM

                                If you ever are at York University . . . . Falafel Hut has good Shwarma . . . .

                                1. chinwhat Sep 9, 2006 07:27 PM

                                  no, its not downtown, but if you're ever out in Mississauga - or more specifically, Streetsville, you gotta check out Osmo's. By far, the BEST i've ever tried. egyptian style. soooooo good.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chinwhat
                                    n
                                    NTQ May 3, 2007 09:45 PM

                                    I work downtown Toronto and have tried several places as well as places around the city and GTA. Used to work in Ottawa and the shawarmas there are better than Toronto but I have to agree with chinwhat. Osmow in Mississauga is the most delicious I've ever tasted. Beats the turkish donairs in germany too. It's in Streetsville on Queen street just south of Thomas. You can get them 'little bit spicy' to get the best flavour.

                                  2. z
                                    Zengarden Sep 9, 2006 08:45 PM

                                    I loved the shwarma spots in Windsor and Montreal. Must agree that I haven't found anything equally delectable in Toronto. Perhaps part of the reason is that we are slow to catch on to Lebanese food as a fast food?

                                    1. b
                                      bestandworst Sep 10, 2006 09:02 PM

                                      South Food Court at the Eaton Centre beside Marche! Great chicken shwarma. Fresh off the spit because of so much traffic. Always fresh! Including pickled turnips! Very very good. Shwarma IS fast food, so how could you go wrong in the busiest food court?

                                      High marks to the place upstairs on John St too. Chicken only, I never get the ?other stuff?.

                                      1. b
                                        bobbieMac Sep 11, 2006 02:57 PM

                                        Champion Kocharech(sp?) on the danforth just west of Donlands has a really good shawarma along with other Turkish specialties. Not as cheap ($5) as some of the places mentioned above but there aren't that many places in the east end.

                                        Totally agree with Ghazales (the place next to the bloor cinema) for both shawarma and samosas.

                                        1. y
                                          Yongeman Sep 11, 2006 09:16 PM

                                          Hey jen2202,

                                          Try Farhat on Lawrence E., a little west of Warden on the north side. Sounds like what you're looking for. 3 or 4 spits of meat on the go at a time: chicken, beef or lamb. Pickled radish galore, and almost always some kind of line. There are comments on Farhat in other earlier threads here. $3.50 for one, or 2 for $6.00.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Yongeman
                                            t
                                            torontogal Sep 12, 2006 02:05 AM

                                            I agree with Yongeman. We, too, love the shawarma at Farhats. Very very tasty, and an excellent value. You're right about the line up; on our last visit they had run out of pita and we had to wait while they ran out to get more. Just a heads up - go there early if you want to try the falafel (also great).. its often sold out by 7:00.

                                          2. a
                                            ascendance Sep 12, 2006 04:58 AM

                                            The thing to keep in mind in Toronto is that there's a vast mix of people from across the Middle East, so you can get shwarmas that are Israeli, Lebanese, and even Syrian in style. So, the flavors and choices of filling will vary (i.e. whether there are pickled beets/turnips/whatever).

                                            Me, I have a tendency to eat at Wrap and Go, or whatever it's called, at Yonge and Carlton. I wouldn't say it's the best place (I find the beef a little sour, but for some crazy reason, I keep ordering it in preference to the chicken), but one of my friends is in the same building, so I eat there out of convenience.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ascendance
                                              j
                                              jen2202 Sep 13, 2006 12:25 AM

                                              im definatly with the Lebanese on the shawarma tip...yummy, thanks to those of u who have helped me on where to go for the style im used to!! i fully intend to try these places and ill let u know what i think!!

                                            2. d
                                              downtown Nov 22, 2006 12:30 PM

                                              Try a tiny place called Something To Talk About (don't be put off by the name) on Gerrard just west of Bay. No pickled turnips but good shawarma and other sandwiches.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: downtown
                                                xtal Nov 22, 2006 01:45 PM

                                                I second Something 2 Talk About (yes, the numeral is actually a part of the name). I've been there a few times, and have been impressed with all the wrap-type sandwiches.

                                              2. TOfoodie Nov 22, 2006 04:18 PM

                                                Love Ali Baba on Queen West around Lansdowne. Probably the best I've had in the city and they toast them up real nice....

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: TOfoodie
                                                  y
                                                  Yongeman Dec 2, 2006 09:15 AM

                                                  Ali Baba on Queen W. near Spadina, is now renamed, 'Omar'. Is this new ownership? I also just saw another 'Ali Baba' on Weston Rd. south of Lawrence, I think. Anyone know if this is the same as the one on Queen? Any good?

                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                    TOfoodie Jan 26, 2007 01:05 PM

                                                    I have a feeling that Ali Baba is a franchise because I've seen the one on Queen W near Spadina and on on Dundas W near Roncesvalles. Haven't tried those ones, but the one I go to at Queen near Lansdowne is yummy!

                                                2. e
                                                  EPIcureanTO Nov 23, 2006 01:28 AM

                                                  QUOTE" on Jul 14, 2003 Michael replied

                                                  Eaton Centre - south foodcourt. I think it's called the Shawarma King. /END QUOTE (darnit all!!)

                                                  3rd-ed.

                                                  It's a cheap n' cheerful place hidden between MacDonalds & the Marche. They also have great Dolmades!

                                                  Caution- there is always a lineup with the office worker lunch crowd!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                    t
                                                    Tour boi Nov 23, 2006 04:04 AM

                                                    No one mentioned Yummys on Yonge street between Bloor and Wellesly. They too make a wicked Shwarma. But I must say there are certain places on St.Catherines Street in Montreal that make wicked Shwarmas as well. Been to the one in Ottawa. They where so good I had to have two. So I agree with you there...Tour

                                                    1. re: Tour boi
                                                      Chester Eleganté Nov 24, 2006 06:42 AM

                                                      Had the shawarma & falafel from Grab N'Wrap tonight... pretty good but still much prefer Red & White, plus the joints near Bathurst/Steeles. Tried the kebab at Aladdin's Palace last night.. dried out and uninspiring. Still need to give Farhat a shot.

                                                      In Montreal, I love Boustan's at Crescent & Maisonneuve, but I hear Ottawa bests both cities.

                                                    2. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                      deelicious Nov 23, 2006 04:13 AM

                                                      Love the chicken there. So busy and so fresh!

                                                    3. m
                                                      magic Nov 23, 2006 11:55 PM

                                                      Uggh, I think Shawarma King (is that what it is called... who even cares) in the Eaton Centre is not good at all. My faves:

                                                      1. King Falafel at Bathurst+Eglinton (when it is fresh it is lovely, when it is dry...not so much)
                                                      2. La’Zeez, at Gerrard/Jarvis
                                                      3. Anoush on Yonge, north of Finch (sooooo good).

                                                      I agree with Ghazale, next to Bloor Cinema. Their shawarma and food in general is very nicely done, and really fresh. Cheap too. I also agree with Mediterranean 2 Go, on Dundas/University. They have very good shawarmas. And I've heard very good things of Armenian Kitchen yes, been meaning to go for ages.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: magic
                                                        e
                                                        EPIcureanTO Dec 2, 2006 12:06 AM

                                                        Hey, when you are stuck working in touristland, there's not alot of options @ lunchtime.

                                                        I do go to King Falafel quite a bit, as it is in my area- but they really are hit & miss, but the ladies are always so nice. The new Hallelujah is giving them a run for their money tho. Great soup there & live music sometimes. Wasn't impressed with Jerusalem as someone mentioned already.

                                                        Will have to check out Ghazels as that is near my school.

                                                        Donair house -is that the one on elm? The have the famed "Nova Scotian Donair". It's awesome for those indulgent days!!
                                                        -EPI
                                                        Edit***gah- I can't belive these posts aren't sub organized in time sequence.

                                                        1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                          Chester Eleganté Dec 2, 2006 06:26 PM

                                                          I believe the Nova Scotian Donair at Yonge and Elm is called "Gyros". Donair House (Turkish) is a block north beside the Big Slice. Hah yeah so I did ask the DKH owner if the garlic sauce happened to be sweet, and he was like, "No! Is not sweet! Is garlic!!" Good times...

                                                          Bissli, and especially Me va me, are both very good. Thornhill is where it's at.

                                                          1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                                            Food Tourist Dec 3, 2006 01:57 PM

                                                            Oh my gosh, I'm so excited to hear there are Nova Scotian-style donairs in T.O. I'll have to check out "Gyros" at Yonge/Elm when I get nostalgic. Thanks for the tip!

                                                            1. re: Food Tourist
                                                              Delish Dec 3, 2006 02:58 PM

                                                              You can also try College Falafel on Ossington, just north of College. They have a sign outside advertising Halifax style Donair.

                                                              1. re: Delish
                                                                Food Tourist Dec 3, 2006 03:00 PM

                                                                Thanks, Delish! Although I wasn't a fan of the sweet donair sauce, I love to reminisce about the great donairs found at "pizza corners".

                                                              2. re: Food Tourist
                                                                red dragon Apr 17, 2007 11:23 AM

                                                                Me too! I used to live in Halifax and remember having donairs with a sweet garlic sauce, they were so good. I remember once in our haste to get one, we locked our keys in the car, with the car running ... duh?

                                                              3. re: Chester Eleganté
                                                                Mr.D Dec 25, 2006 04:12 AM

                                                                Me va Me absolutely with out a doubt the very best shawarma in the city of toronto nothing compares, oooops sorry its on the north side of steeles which actually makes it in thornhill between Bathurst and Yonge st.

                                                              4. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                                y
                                                                Yongeman Dec 3, 2006 12:09 PM

                                                                EPIcureanTO, I also like King Falafel for shawarma and falafel. But since you're in the area, go a bit further west on Eglinton, at the NE corner of Caledonia. There is a fairly new place calle Babos Donerpoint. It's Turkish, so it's a different twist on the usual shawarma. Very tasty and BIG. The bread is a huge, flat Turkish bread, made fresh and filled with lovely fresh ingredients, then grilled. I've only been once, but can't wait to get back. They also served a complimentary hot apple cider while waiting. Very nice people. You can also check out a newish Portuguese place about 2 doors east called Lavrador BBQ. Great, homey food.

                                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                                  e
                                                                  EPIcureanTO Dec 3, 2006 05:15 PM

                                                                  Ah yes- "GYROS" & not donair! One should not post when in a rush!

                                                                  YM-Thanks for the Caledonia & EG. dining tips! I rarely go W. of Allen for any reason, but I have been looking for a new Portuguese BBQ place!

                                                                  Gracias again..

                                                            2. s
                                                              Scruncheons Nov 24, 2006 12:08 AM

                                                              Not at all downtown more on the Lawrence strip: the falafel/shawarma place in the same plaza as NASR foods -- chciken shawarma and falafal were really good; beef okay but not great. The only place I've had a better such sandwich is Palestine.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Scruncheons
                                                                t
                                                                torontogal Nov 27, 2006 02:12 AM

                                                                I believe the place you are referring to is called Farhat (on Lawrence E., a little west of Warden on the north side in the same plaza as NASR). I agree they have the best shawarma in town !!! (see my post above)

                                                                1. re: torontogal
                                                                  red dragon Apr 17, 2007 11:24 AM

                                                                  Tried Farhat's last week. It's very small inside and smoky. The beef was very tough and chewy though; will try the lamb or chicken next time. Staff is friendly.

                                                              2. p
                                                                Pizza Lover Nov 24, 2006 02:52 PM

                                                                By far the best shawarma deal going on right now is at Bissli at Centre and Dufferin in Thornhill.

                                                                It's Israeli style (meat in pita pocket and not rolled inside a thin flat pita). For $3.95 you get a huge amount of superb meat inside a pita with your choice of a variety of real salads (not wimpy lettuce as some places stuff their sandwiches with) such as eggplant, israeli salads, veggies, tahini, humous etc.

                                                                Love this place.

                                                                1. q
                                                                  QueenofQueen Nov 30, 2006 03:29 AM

                                                                  MONTFORTS in Oakville....open until 4am.
                                                                  BEST chicken shawarma.
                                                                  Oh man....

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: QueenofQueen
                                                                    Chester Eleganté Nov 30, 2006 05:24 AM

                                                                    Man I've been jonesin to try Montfort's as well. My sister is out in Missy and she raves about it even though she doesn't care too much for shawarma.

                                                                    Yeah, so last night I was starving so I went and checked out the Donair Kebab House at Yonge & Gerrard. Ordered the chicken + veal sandwich, and after the owner sliced off the veal, he went ahead and sauteed it up for a few minutes... damn, it smelled so good in there. Both the hot sauce and the garlic sauce were a really nice house mix (though he's pretty stingy on the latter), and very tasty sandwich.

                                                                    1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                                                      m
                                                                      magic Nov 30, 2006 11:42 AM

                                                                      Agreed. Donair Kebab House is really really good. Not the greatest service ever, but the veal donair is so good.

                                                                    2. re: QueenofQueen
                                                                      mainja Apr 18, 2007 08:03 PM

                                                                      There's a Montfort in Burlington too. It's where I was first introduced to shawarma, and I've not had anything nearly as good since. I'm thinkin' it might be time for a trip west...

                                                                    3. e
                                                                      emenel Nov 30, 2006 12:23 PM

                                                                      my favourite is King Shwarma at Queen and Bathurst. It's a different style than most of the ones listed here, and I tend to prefer it. They don't roll or grill the shwarma, it's a whole pita stuffed with meat, lettuce, tomato, and sauce.

                                                                      link: http://www.whereidine.com/restaurants...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: emenel
                                                                        aser Jan 15, 2007 08:48 PM

                                                                        This is my favourite also, although the dingy conditions tends to scare people away. The veggies and hot sauce is what makes it for me, very fresh tasting. Been going here for over 10 yrs now.

                                                                        I think the pita pocket thing is israeli style.

                                                                      2. l
                                                                        lcohen999 Nov 30, 2006 03:00 PM

                                                                        MeVaMe is always good and greasy @ bathurst and steels

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          hoopert Dec 25, 2006 03:42 AM

                                                                          Agree with emenel, I've lived in Ottawa for 5 years and had the donairs and shawarmas. They don't compare with the ones at King Shawarma. The hot sauce is awesome. Everyone goes there for the hot sauce. Oh, and the have pickled turnips too!!

                                                                          1. r
                                                                            redcoconut Dec 25, 2006 06:07 PM

                                                                            Sarah's on Bloor W. is the best for getting plates IMO, well the one down the street close to Bathurst (is it Aidas or Laila?) makes better Falafel sandwiches. So, if I felt like getting something to go I would go for the one that stuff it in the pita better. But if I want to sit and have a plate I always pick Sarah's. I will even take 30 minute subway rides from Pape to get it.

                                                                            As for Queen pita, I agree with embee. For a plate, it's way over priced and you don't get much but lettuce and rice on the side. I wasn't impressed with the falafel either, hard on the outside and mush in the middle.

                                                                            1. r
                                                                              redcoconut Dec 25, 2006 06:08 PM

                                                                              Oh, but if you are ever around Bathurst and Wilson, there is a small bakery called Beirut, if it is still they make great falafel and sweets.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: redcoconut
                                                                                y
                                                                                Yongeman Dec 26, 2006 12:56 PM

                                                                                And the guy who works the front of Beirut is a real character, too.

                                                                              2. squingy Jan 15, 2007 01:19 PM

                                                                                I love Farhat's on Lawrence East. There's always a line up whichever time if the day I go in. Meat is spit roasted and carved in front of you, stuffed into a pita with all the fixins and then put into a sandwich grill for a few minutes. Make sure you ask for the garlic sauce, it gives it a little kick.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: squingy
                                                                                  r
                                                                                  robb Jan 15, 2007 03:46 PM

                                                                                  I've tried all the places listed on this site in search of a great schwarma and falafel. Tov Li, Jerusalem and Farhat are all very good, but the overall winner is Jacomoz(spelling) on the south side of Wilson directly across from Bagel World. Huge sandwiches with succulent meat (chicken only, fresh veggie toppings and the best baba and humus I've ever eaten. Be prepared though, for a fairly messy sandwich. The other salads, eggplant , cole slaw,taboule are also excellent as are the chicken kababs. This place is packed at lunchtime so be prepared to wait but enjoy!!

                                                                                  1. re: robb
                                                                                    y
                                                                                    Yongeman Jan 15, 2007 03:54 PM

                                                                                    Thanks for the tip. I have passed by this place so many times. You may like to try Babos Donerpoint at Eglinton and Caledonia (see other recent postings) for a Turkish take on the shawarma (doner).

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  magic Jan 15, 2007 05:22 PM

                                                                                  I agree about:
                                                                                  -Donair Kebab House at Yonge+Gerrard. An amazing veal donair, oh man, I can taste it now. But the service was pretty second rate and they were stingy with the ingredients, yes.
                                                                                  -Me Va Me. Their shawarmas and dressings are fresh and tasty and out of this world. I've only been to Me Va Me Express location. Their service is laughably rude and indifferent though. They are apparently notorious for this.

                                                                                  Also, what's a Nova Scotian Donair???

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: magic
                                                                                    e
                                                                                    EPIcureanTO Jan 25, 2007 07:21 PM

                                                                                    You need to go to Nove Scotia to find out......kidding! I 'm afraid if I tell you you won't try it..

                                                                                    Here's a hint- it's like the folks from "de Islands" like to mix with their stout-but with a gyos.

                                                                                  2. Mr.D Jan 24, 2007 09:21 AM

                                                                                    Found two new places for Shawarma that are just sensational What a Bagel only at their store on Bayview just north of Steeles is making a shawarma for .$5.50 that is just unbelievably good and has twice the amount of chicken in it than most places. The second place I found is new called Hannas Shawarma a little bit of a run up north but well worth the drive on 9301 Bathurst St in the plaza at Carville Rd.Great ambience there good music super clean place and the shawarma was fantastic as well you get a huge plate of cut up Strub Dills to go with it all for $5.50. Me va me you have finally met your match

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                                                                                      zarathustra Jan 26, 2007 06:25 AM

                                                                                      Its not downtown, but there's only one place I'll eat Schwarma. Mee Va Mee Express on Steeles, west of Yonge or Mee Va MEE at Steeles and Bathurst.

                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                        lmc1971 Jan 26, 2007 10:22 AM

                                                                                        I can't remember the name for the life of me...but his place is a small hole in the wall with a few tables. Has been in this spot for at least 10 years...best kept secret and I almost don't want to tell anyone about it! It's on Cumberland St...few steps west of Yonge (north side). They have the best shawarma I've ever had...cheap too....2 people can eat like king's (and queens) for $10. The second best shawarma I've ever had was at the lower level food court at Square One MIssissauga...laugh if you will...but this beat every other place in Toronto I've tried, including Shawarma King (Eaton Centre) and that joint next to the Bloor Cinema.

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                                                                                          indiegirl2 Jan 28, 2007 10:46 AM

                                                                                          Three answers to this.
                                                                                          1) La Luna in Hamilton on King street. I heard someone insist this was the best shawerma he'd had west of Riyadh. I believ you can't have a better recommendation than that.
                                                                                          2) For those not wanting to travel to Hamilton, I've found 2 GTA places. One on the south Side of Orfus Road, at Dufferin. Can't remember the name but it i son the back side of the electronics shop, across the parking lot from Seoul House. Ask for it "Arabic style" and they actually grill it after it is stuffed to make the pita crunchy! Heaven!
                                                                                          3) Misissauga at the corner of Highway 10 and Derry I believe it is called Pita Express. The Lamb Shawerma is absolutely the best! I haven't seen it offered in lamb anywhere else, but it is FANTASTIC. So good that now that I'm talking about it, I gotta go there NOW!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: indiegirl2
                                                                                            Food Tourist Apr 14, 2007 10:37 AM

                                                                                            The lamb shank sandwich at The Empire on Bloor West is also fantastic. Really moist and tender. (This small take-out dive has pictures of pizza on its sign outside but there was no pizza to be found inside.) Interestingly, they offer some "East African" food as well - mostly veggie stews/curries. Their chicken shawarma wasn't anything exciting. Even though cut from a spit. No pickled turnips. And not sure what the point is of quickly grill-pressing the finished product over the wrapping paper.

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                                                                                            EPIcureanTO Jan 28, 2007 12:48 PM

                                                                                            ^^ wow- thanks for the Orfus tip- I had been wondering- think I'll stop by on my next trip out there.

                                                                                            BTW in case anyone is wondering- I went to King Falafel on Queen W of Spadina. Not worth the $6.00 for the shwarma, in my mind.

                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                              sman Mar 3, 2007 05:54 PM

                                                                                              Paramount Foods in Mississauga (1290 Crestlawn Dr.) makes a great sandwich - the best I've had in the city and the only place I eat shawarma. They also do platters (try the grilled meat) in addition to making their own bread and middle eastern sweets. Well worth the visit.

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: sman
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                                                                                                niru Apr 18, 2007 11:34 AM

                                                                                                Barakat in London, ON (corner of Richmond and Central) has to make one of the best shawarma and fallafel i've ever had. it's family owned by a couple of brothers from lebanon and you'll often see their mother in the back doing prep work. open late, and super cheap. definitely worth the trip to london.

                                                                                                1. re: niru
                                                                                                  y
                                                                                                  Yongeman Apr 18, 2007 12:01 PM

                                                                                                  Oh right, niru. I'm going to drive 2 hours to London for a shawarma, when there are scores of excellent spots right here in TO. It is nice to know that there is a good Lebanese spot in London when I do go there, however.

                                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                    mainja Apr 18, 2007 08:05 PM

                                                                                                    I would imagine that there are people from London who read this board, it is after all, an Ontario-wide board and the original request doesn't mention a city other than Ottawa...

                                                                                                    1. re: mainja
                                                                                                      y
                                                                                                      Yongeman Apr 19, 2007 11:49 AM

                                                                                                      That's true, mainja, but niru did mention that it was worth the trip to London...maybe from St. Thomas or Stratford.

                                                                                                      1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                        mainja Apr 19, 2007 03:08 PM

                                                                                                        okay, point taken... *grin*

                                                                                                        and the initial post does say 'downtown' in it, which we can, in our Toronto-centric way, assume means Toronto...

                                                                                                  2. re: niru
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    Connoisseur Apr 18, 2007 12:18 PM

                                                                                                    LONDON???

                                                                                                    1. re: niru
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                                                                                                      fickle Apr 22, 2007 04:14 PM

                                                                                                      I love the garlic dip at Barakat. Yummy. We always order a shawarma sandwich and a combo plate to share so we can have the best of everything. We drove there from Toronto over the easter weekend to visit my mother-in-law who lives a block away from Barakat. Enroute we picked up take out from Camp 31 for dinner and had Barakat for lunch. It's not a bad chow drive ;-)

                                                                                                  3. g
                                                                                                    Giggles Apr 23, 2007 03:30 PM

                                                                                                    Hi,
                                                                                                    We resently found a really great place for shawarma in Richmond Hill on Yonge & Elgin Mills it's called Joe's Hamburgers near the Leon's furniture store. The food is great & there's always a line up so you know it's good.

                                                                                                    Has anyone else been there?

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                                                                                                      andjules Apr 23, 2007 03:45 PM

                                                                                                      Momo's at Robert and Harbord. Best I've had since Montreal. I've also been impressed with the Ali Baba's at Dundas West and Roncesvalles - it's better than any other Ali Baba franchise I've been to.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: andjules
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                                                                                                        gulten Apr 23, 2007 06:23 PM

                                                                                                        The Best Veal+Lamb Doner sandwich on a pita for 5.95+tax or dinner plate.The dinner comes with fresh garden salad+ basmati rice or bulgur (cracked whit) or roasted potatoes or french fries. Everithing is fresh and homemade. The falafel is incredible . The location is called ISTANBUL GRILL on Bathurst&Wilson. The service is outstanding.After your meal you always get a realy nice turkish tea on the house. When the customers are leaving they also get a piece of turkish delight

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                                                                                                        lmr337 Sep 8, 2009 04:35 PM

                                                                                                        You have got to try Montfort!! Especially the one in Milton and Oakville. The shawarma's are AMAZING and the garlic sauce is addicting!! That's not all they have, everything is great!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: lmr337
                                                                                                          duckdown Sep 8, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                                                                          Montfort's is OK, not the best, not the worst. I've gotten a piece of bone in it once or twice too... but i do like the seasonings. Their "Montfort Chicken" can be good too (but you gotta eat it when its hot, not good for take-out.. it's a marinated chicken breast tossed with pineapple & garlic sauce)

                                                                                                          If you like Montfort's then you gotta try Agabi's in Oakville, I consider them both similar but Agabi's being way higher quality.. similar spicing though

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