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Jul 9, 2003 11:42 AM

Decent Shawarma

  • k

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?

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: james

        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!

          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

        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

          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

            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

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

            1. re: gentilesque

              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

                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

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Michael

              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. 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. 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


                1. 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

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