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Best Roti in TO?

  • g

My favourite is Ali's at Queen W. & Lansdowne but I'd welcome other recommendations. The wrapper they have is very good (thin, not greasy) and the filling varies--but when they do it well---YUMMMM! My fav is chicken with veg.

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  1. Given Ali's inconsistency, its surly service and its dinginess, I'd rather go elsewhere for my roti. Bacchus (a block east) and Vena (Queen West, west of Bathurst) do a good job with Guyanese/West Indian rotis, and Gandhi (also on Queen West, east of Bathurst) makes an amazing East Indian roti; its butter chicken and chicken jalfrizi rotis are some of the best food in Toronto.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mr. Guy

      I usually eat at Island Foods at King and Dufferin. I also have eaten at Roti Palace, just south of Honest Ed's on bathurst. Any thoughts on this place? I think its good but not the best. My favorite is the goat roti.

      1. re: alsiem

        I am not a vegetarian, but enjoy eating veg. cuisine quite often. In response, I would say that the roti with potato, squash and spinach at Caribbean Roti Palace (south of Honest Eds) is really excellent! Recommended.

        R.

      2. re: Mr. Guy

        I have to 2nd on the Gandhi Rotis. They are dangerous though. I go into withdrawl when I don't have them every week. The Butter Chicken & Chicken Jalfrizi are my favorites. They shouldn't be compare to Carribean Rotis as this is a different taste all together, just to be fair.

        1. re: Mr. Guy

          I have to 2nd on the Gandhi Rotis. They are dangerous though. I go into withdrawl when I don't have them every week. The Butter Chicken & Chicken Jalfrizi are my favorites. They shouldn't be compare to Carribean Rotis as this is a different taste all together, just to be fair.

        2. Sorry, forgot the name (might be "Roti King"). I'll do my best to explain the location...

          when you are heading south on Spadina from College, take the first street to the Kensington district (also has a parking entrance on the south side of this street). Also on the south side of this street, but maybe 3 stores west of the parking entrance is a Caribbean food place.

          in summary: good roti!!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Goober

            I went to Roti Hut last night (around 7 pm) and got a beef roti and doubles. Although it was a nice roti, I do not understand why people are praising it as the best roti in town. It was not fresh, and by the time I got home (5 mins later), only the centre was warm.

            I am not a roti expert by any means, but maybe I went there on an off night? Or the roti at lunch time is better since it is fresher? Maybe I need to get extra meat, extra gravy?

            This is the first time I had doubles - and it was not fresh either. Both items seemed to have been sitting around for many hours.

            When I used to work in Parkdale, I ate at the Roti Lady (always fresh and very cheap), Bacchus, Island foods, Ali's - and all were decent (some more expensive than others).

            If someone can convince me to go to Roti Hut again, I am willing to try it out. Perhaps they can give me their exact recommendation, and I will get that. Going at lunch is not an option for me, unless it is on the weekend.

            1. re: Goober

              i was at this location today!
              It's Patty King on the south side of Baldwin ; west of Spadina and yes they have great rotis.

            2. Without a doubt, the place to go is Roti Hut on Pitfied Drive in Scarborough. West of McCowan, south of Sheppard. You never get a "bad" roti from this place. Quality and flavour as well as quantity is exceptional.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sanjev

                Yes, The Roti Hut on Pitfield is the BEST IN TOWN. Have been to about a dozen around the city and the Hut is by far the best! I drive 15kms from work at lunchtime to have a chicken roti with extra meat, gravy and pepper. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......

                I have good taste for a white guy!

                JJ

                1. re: George

                  Yes I agree !!!! By far the best, and I'm a cracker as well. The first Roti I ever experienced was in Barbados around 1984. The owners asked where we are from and we told them Toronto, they told they owned the Roti Hut and told us where it is. I was living in the condos on the Easet side of mcCowan south of Sheppard. This opened my mind to ethnic foods and I've enjoyed all kinds since. I've tried Rotis from dozens of places around the city and this place is number 1

                  1. re: Spot

                    Yes! Roti Hut is great!!

                    I also like Ghandi's and Island Foods (on King), but Roti Hut is by far my favorite.

              2. Oooh... must chime in.

                The aforementioned Ali's and Bacchus on Queen West are decent (try Bacchus' pumpkin fritters with a bit of pepper sauce too.... mm-mmm-good)... Island Foods (or is it Island King) in the OCAD building at McCaul (you know...Village by the Grange) has quite a beefy curry to go with their rotis too.

                And, if you wanna trump that, head thee up to Albion and Islington, where Drupatee's and Roti Roti duke it out for supremacy (yea... I got a thing for roti).

                Hint: eat roti with your hands (washed, of course) as you would with a sandwich. The oils from your skin will react with and lend a differ flavour to the roti. Guess this goes for all hand-ready foods, uh?

                Hope this helps.

                Will

                1. I always go to Tarin Roti Shop on Gerrard east of Parliament in Regent Park. The location can be a little scary but the roti are amazing. He makes each shell fresh when you order. It takes a little longer but is worth the wait. The hot sauce here is the best in the city. IMHO.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: K8

                    thanks for the tip! i live not too far from there, and would like to try this shop (i usually go all the way to gandhi's for the butter chicken or the chicken jalfrezi roti). what are your favourite rotis from tarin? thanks!

                  2. Not in Toronto, but Barb's Roti in Mississauga is the best Roti I've had. It's located in a scary looking strip mall on Lakeshore, just west of Dixie. Don't be afraid to go in !

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Mangia

                      My mother says it's the best too!!

                      1. re: Mangia

                        Just went to Barbs after a couple of Recs. It was delicious but not in the same ball park or nearly as good as Mother of India on many levels. We ordered Butter Chicken Roti's. What we got was a vegetarian roti loaded with potatoes, carrots and peas with flecks of small chicken chunks. It was also on the small side. The chinciness of the chicken combined with the size of the roti was dissappointing considering with tax it was about $10/roti. The shell was super fresh and chewy. The shell was a stand out and the strong point of the dish. We also had a double which was melt in the mouth hot fresh puffy curry chick pea goodness. The front man at the counter was friendly but at the same time seemed a little pre-occupied and wanted us in and out as fast as possible. We had to ask repeatedly for cutlery then napkins then the water we ordered and paid for. Overall, the roti was good but I would not return.

                        1. re: food face

                          I too recently went. I also thought it was delicious, but yeah, I thought they were a little cheap with the protein as well. My butter chicken roti was really quite tasty, but while one cut half was loaded with chicken, one half was completely devoid of chicken. They BOTH should have been loaded. I also wasn’t sure how it qualified as a butter chicken roti seeing as how there was no butter, cream, or tomato base anywhere to be found. That said it was still delicious. But for about $10 bucks it better be. Especially since the amount of chicken was lacking. Overall though, one of the better rotis I’ve had in Toronto. But not the best. I’ll have to try Mother of India. That sounds interesting. Never been.

                          My double was really delicious as well. Wonderful. Could eat 10 of those.

                          Service was, like yours, iffy. I think I might have had the same guy. Younger fellow? Nice enough, but not in a superhurry to accommodate small requests.

                          I’d definitely return, but will have to do so in good weather as there are no tables or stools there (picnic tables across the street, on south side of Dundas). So who knows when that will be.

                      2. Although not in Toronto - the best Roti that I've found in the GTA is Alima's in Brampton.

                        Alima's Roti and Pastry
                        13 Kenview Blvd. Unit 49
                        Brampton, Ont.
                        L6T 5K9
                        (905) 791-7684

                        If that is not in your area - then I've also found a good place at a food court at Sheridan Mall (Jane and Wilson)...great Roti there as well.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John Boy
                          l
                          Lemoy Montrichard

                          It is the best, I have been leaving Hamilton, which I am doing now, to collect my order.

                          It is the best roti, so, make a trip and taste for yourself.

                          Lee

                        2. I’ve had rotis from many shops around the GTA. It’s very hard to find a shop that is consistently busy, therefore able to serve you a fresh roti right from the baking stone, not reheated in a microwave.

                          I’ve found that Drupati’s at 925 Albion road, just east of Islington, is the best I’ve had. They have a large menu, and are so busy that you get a number when they take your order. I’ve been just before the lunch hour during the week. If you feel that you’ve found the best roti in Toronto and haven’t tried Drupati’s, you owe yourself a comparison. It’s definitely worth the drive.

                          I’ve heard good things about Alima’s, especially their doubles. I’ll be trying them today.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RobT.O.

                            I tried Alima's and although they were OK, I still prefer Drupati's. Aside from their excellent boneless goat/lamb, boneless chicken (made with all white meat!), bone in chicken (made with dark chicken meat on the bone), they also offer conch and duck rotis.
                            I've had their shark and bake, and it was huge and tasty! The food is so fresh, I'm interested in trying their stew chicken and caliloo one day.

                            I work about a half an hour away from Rexdale, where they're located, but it's worth the drive as a treat once in a while. They have tables so that you can eat there, but I can't resist taking the roti back to the office to eat it there. This way I can enjoy a couple piping hot Doubles, or Sahina in the car. But then I'd only have room for half the roti, and have to save the rest for dinner. Their rotis are on the large size.

                            Here's a link that includes a map:
                            http://canada411.yellowpages.ca/bus/O...

                            1. re: RobT.O.

                              Drupati is really good. I've only been a couple of times, but I love their roti and doubles. They also serve a smaller sized roti for, like $2.50 one day of the week--a great deal! Sorry, don't remember the day.

                          2. my vote is always for Island Foods

                            1. I'm on the Island Foods bandwagon. I often seem them making their rotis fresh (the actual dough) and not nuking them. I'm a fan of the Channa roti (get them to add spinach to it... yum!) the boneless chicken and boneless goat are good too. I grew up on this stuff and miss it when I've gone too long without it.

                              Check them out...
                              Dufferin & King
                              Village on the Grange (Dundas and University)
                              Don Mills (west side btw lawrence and sheppard i think)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: wontonfm

                                The Don Mills location is on Don Mills just north of Lawrence.
                                South of York Mills.
                                It is always empty.
                                Not a great location for roti.

                              2. I gyanese friend of mine swears the best roti is at the caffeteria at the Bay at Yonge & Queen! I have not tried but she is a super foodie and knows her Roti...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: OnDaGo

                                  I believe you remembering very well some great curry chicken and rice and beans I had there a while ago.

                                  A strong rec for roti is Blue Water on Vic Park n of Eglinton.

                                  I found my roti from the Don Mills Island Foods dry. Maybe the pieces of chicken and potato were too big.

                                  1. re: OnDaGo

                                    I have to humbly disagree with your friend. I tried the roti at the Bay, but they were nowhere near as good as Roti Hut (Pitfield Dr. in Scarborough). Now that I work far, far away from Roti Hut, I have found absolutely nothing downtown as good as theirs :(

                                  2. I like Coconut Grove, 183 Dundas W 1 1/2 blocks East of University, 416 348 8887. very nice Guyanese couple. Roti's consistently good. Excellent prices.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Nemesis

                                      Mona's or Roti Hut in Scarborough,. Case closed. Go there and try for yourself

                                      1. re: Nemesis

                                        Me too! Coconut Grove serves up a delicious boneless Chicken Roti that is always great. Plus the owners are the nicest people you'll ever meet. I also like the Roti's served up at Island Foods and Pam's Kitchen. I visit Roti Hut whenever I can (which is not enough as I depend on co-workers to drive me there) :(. Of course I have to mention Ghandi's, but this is a different flavour than a traditional island roti, still it is an awesome roti.

                                        1. re: Ron M

                                          Bad news - maybe. I was at Coconut Grove last week. The old owners have sold and "retired" from the restaurant business. I feel terrible that I didn't get to see them and say goodbye, but such is life.

                                          The place still looks the same, and the new owners - who also seem very nice - say they're committed to keeping the old customers happy. They even plan to reintroduce some long-lost dishes, such as fish. However, my roti was not up to the standards I'd come to expect - the channa were either over- or under-cooked and very hard, the wrapper lacked the same tangy essence that I've enjoyed, and the hot pepper sauce just seemed... different.

                                          I'm willing to give the new crew a wide berth, and some time to perfect the art. Let's hope they're up to the challenge.

                                          1. re: Webdude

                                            I'm so sorry to hear that. Probably one of my favorite lunch spots in the Toronto area. Anyone I've brought there loved the food. The best of luck to them in their new pursuits.

                                            1. re: Ron M

                                              I'm happy to report that my second experience with the new owners was more successful than my first. The food was much more what I was expecting, and I am now thinking - tentatively, of course - of re-adding it to my lunch rotation. Any other experiences?

                                      2. My favourite place makes a different type of Roti, it's mixed roti, meaning its kinda like roti all chopped up and very spicy (I think it's sri lankin). I usually get chicken mixed roti but I think the real name is something like cooty or coochty roti? The place is on Kennedy just south of eglinton on the east side, you can't miss it because there's pretty much only one plaza there and the store is all orange with a big orange sign. And it's cheap too, chicken roti is like $4.50 and its a huge portion. So check it out if you are in that neighborhood. It's really yummy!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Sharkalopodous

                                          The place you mention is quite different, so study the menu board, they even have Butter Cake for delicious dessert, otherwise to most an unfamiliar menu. On the north side of Eglinton, a few hundred feet west of Kennedy, there is another Sri Lankan food take out store, many quite diffeent items!

                                          1. re: Sharkalopodous

                                            I mistakenly got that that type of roti when I went to an indian restaurant...completely different that the carribean style being discussed here

                                            1. re: Sharkalopodous

                                              Little late now, I realise, but might be of interest -- the name I think you were looking for is "kottu roti" (sometimes I see it spelled as "kothu roti" and I've seen a variant spelling for "rotti"). It is Sri Lankan, I believe.

                                              The name derives from the Tamil word for "chopped".

                                              cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kottu

                                            2. I really like Brendan's Roti Garden, on Hayden just south of Bloor (one block east of Sherbourne). I'm not an expert in this kind of food, but I like it more than the roti I've had at Island Foods for instance. I'd describe the wrapper like Ganache describes Ali's - thin, not greasy. The jerk roti is nice and spicy but not that "too hot" that obliterates the flavours. And the spinach roti is very tasty, too.

                                              Has anyone else tried this place? If you're an aficionado of Caribbean food, how does it rate compared to other places?

                                              1. Sorry, but i'd have to disagree with people ranking Bachus and Island Food up there in terms of the Roti Pyramid. They are good, but really, nothign spectacular.

                                                I find Bachus to be wayyyyy to Caucafied (like that word?) and Island Foods to be...well....just average.

                                                Ali's (although service is surly as someone mentioned) is probably one of the best roti shops in the downtown core (second the Roti Hut as the best in the GTA). Ghandi's is good, but again, its an East Indian take on a West Indian dish catering to Queen St. whities (sorry my white bretheren). I like to keep my roti as authentic as possible and to be honest, Ali's is close to that.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: goodcookiedrift

                                                  {Ghandi's is good, but again, its an East Indian take on a West Indian dish catering to Queen St. whities (sorry my white bretheren)}

                                                  goodcookiedrift everything I know about roti and dhalpuri would suggest that its an Indian dish that was adapted by those that moved from India to the West Indies. My mother being half Indian and having been originally brought up in the Islands and watching her make roti and puri's ( two differnt things that folks tend to use interchangeably); I believe that I am not incorrect.
                                                  Nonetheless will check you suggestion for Ali's ( as well as Ghandi)

                                                  1. re: Grazor

                                                    I think you're right Grazor...west indian roti probably evolved from Indian roti, but today they are two entirely differnt dishes...ie don't walk into an Indian restaurant expectng to get your roti served in in a warm bread wrap.

                                                2. For a long time, I've been an accolyte of Coconut Grove on Dundas. I still get down there when I can, which is not quite as often any more.

                                                  Because... I've discovered Ritz Caribbean Food (450 Yonge Street, and others). Good, solid vegetarian options, and the place is lined up out the door pretty much every day of the work week.

                                                  A warning: It's only open til about 2 pm, so don't plan on a late lunch.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Webdude

                                                    I agree with Ali's being the best Roti downtown...the best Roti places in the GTA are in Scarborough (maybe it has do do with the large caribbean population). Coconut Grove on Dundas near University is very good (i notice they've expanded their menu considerably)....the chopped up Roti is probably the original style from India and should not be confused with the West Indian style that's served in a nan style wrap. Just like every caribbean island is different so is their style of Roti. Guyanese roti (i.e. coconut Grove) tends to be a little wetter (i.e. lots of gravy) and the bread is a little softer and chewier. The roti from Trinidad tends to have less gravy and the bread is a little crispier.Regardless of the style, it's all pretty good

                                                    1. re: Finnegan

                                                      who makes these trini style rotis?

                                                      1. re: chocabot

                                                        ACR on Lawrence near Midland does a Trini style roti.

                                                        1. re: chocabot

                                                          A good place for Trini style Roti in East York is Danforth Roti at 2844 Danforth. They have a fantastic, almost sweet, hot sauce that they add if you tell them you like it hot. The doubles are always fresh as well.
                                                          moggie

                                                          1. re: moggiemac

                                                            Dad used to get the goat roti from the one on Danforth (can't remember the name) but it is on the North side of danforth around main st and dawes. He had to convince them that he really wanted it hot, but after a few visits they got to know him and spiced it up for him.

                                                            There also used to be one in Cliffcrest plaza on Kingston road in Scarbourough, not sure if it is still there, but again the goat and shrimp Roti's were a staple for my parents when I was not home for dinner.

                                                            1. re: moggiemac

                                                              Danforth Roti is definitely the place to go if you're in East York. If you've got a bit more time it's worth driving up to The Curry and Roti Restaurant at 1732 Lawrence Avenue East. I think it's worth getting on their mailing list to keep up on their specials.

                                                              from their latest email (earlier this week):
                                                              Our very own ice cream We've made the custard from scratch,
                                                              and churned it ourselves and we have added real fruit - coconut pineapple mango
                                                              only $1.99* serving
                                                              Ask for this delicious dessert to top off your enjoyable meal!

                                                              Our own Homemade drinks $1.50*
                                                              Mauby made from the bark
                                                              Sorrel brewed from the flowers
                                                              Organic Iced Tea - the leaves are picked from our own backyard

                                                              hmm, their website's not feeling healthy right now and I can't attach the PDF of their menu. Drats. In any case, they do good party platters which are particularly helpful if you love the Trini/Guyanese family meals, but don't have any connections in the community to get poulourie from a little lady who makes 'em at home.

                                                      2. Roti King is on Eglinton W., between Dufferin and Oakwood. I drive past frequently, but have never stopped. Anyone tried it? Any good? Thanks.

                                                        1. I have to add a voice for Gandhi's. The butter chicken roti is awesome. I know it's east Indian. For west Indian rotis, I loved the boneless chicken roti at Brendan's. Delicious gravy!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: air621

                                                            I have to disagree. After hearing all the hype about Gandhi's Butter chicken Roti I finally tried it last week and was extremely dissapointed. The filling was not relatively close to what butter chicken is supposed to be. The chicken pieces were bland and the curry was nothing special. Although my dissapointment may be influenced by the almost 30 min wait for my roti.

                                                            I give it another try but this time I will definitely order ahead.

                                                            1. re: foodie179

                                                              A big factor is also if you got the mild or the medium. I've had both and there's a significant flavour difference between them. I only order the medium now. We order them at work a couple times a month. A few of us ordered different rotis (aside from the BC). I had the kofta roti (way too rich and mushy) but a co-worker got the straight up chicken and declared it as good as the BC. Another one had the chicken Jalfrazi and said it was also very good (and hot).
                                                              Def. call ahead. They are well prepared to take out orders. At lunch time, you may sometimes have to wait for over an hour for your order

                                                              1. re: foodie179

                                                                oh my god thank you for saying that 179, i had exactly the same feeling about their tikka masala roti. i got it medium and i found it to be not bad, but definitely lack luster. Unless i orderd the wrong thing im really not sure what the fuss is about

                                                            2. I have to say Caribbean Queen of Patties just east of Lansdowne on the south side of Bloor. I usually have the veggie roti, stuffed full of spinach and chickpeas, and it is out of this world! I want one RIGHT NOW!

                                                              1. Is there still an Island Foods in the food court at the bottom of The Grange? Used to really love their chana roti but haven't had one in a couple years.
                                                                Might have to swing by there and have one again if they are still there!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Beauvoir

                                                                  Yes, still there and busy as ever last time I went!

                                                                2. A little background for those who are unfamiliar with roti: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roti#Wes...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mrbozo

                                                                    Curry and Roti's website is back up and running.

                                                                    http://www.curryandroti.com/

                                                                    I particularly like that I can get a Guyanese patty and/or a Jamaican patty.

                                                                    They've added a few things to the dessert menu, so we'll have to go up again soon.

                                                                    1. re: LadyPB

                                                                      Thanks for that. Now I can hold this over my Guyanese friend ;-)

                                                                  2. Anyone else plan on going to this roti 'throwdown' at the Harbourfront today? I'll be there! ;)

                                                                    http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/wha...

                                                                    For The Roti And Curry Lover In You
                                                                    August 3, 2008

                                                                    Who makes the best Roti in Toronto? Vote for the best Roti. Winner to be Announced Aug. 3, 5:30 pm. Followed by Once Upon a Roti with Chef Jules Bedeau. Whether Sada, Paratha, Dosti, Aloo or Dhalpouri: It all does taste nice! Come and learn the art of Roti! We will answer the age-old questions: Bone or boneless? Do you eat roti with your hands or a knife and fork? Who makes the best roti?

                                                                    Roti is an international dish which transcends borders and brings many cultures together

                                                                    www.onceuponaroti.com

                                                                    Prices
                                                                    Everyone: FREE

                                                                    Sunday, August 3, 2008
                                                                    5:30PM Lakeside Terrace
                                                                    235 Queens Quay West , Toronto Ontario

                                                                    Among all the countries that will participate in making the best roti in the contest, my pick will be:

                                                                    1st. Guyana
                                                                    2nd. Trinidad & Tobago
                                                                    3rd. Jamaica

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: YummyYummy

                                                                      So....any information about who won? (and which places were in the competition?)

                                                                      1. re: Yongeman

                                                                        Can't find the results, but Caribbean Roti Palace was leading by a few votes late on Friday. Headed there a couple of hours later and saw they have a signboard posted next to the cash register asking for votes.