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Eat & Drink

Toronto to get its first hummus focused snack bar

Posted by Liora Ipsum / March 15, 2014

hummus torontoThere's about to be a lot more hummus in Toronto. The former Ezra's Pound on Dundas West at Bellwoods is soon to become a hummusia named S. Lefkowitz, paying tribute to owner Ezra Braves' grandfather. It's set to open later this month.

The decision to convert the popular coffee shop was somewhat sudden, though Braves told me "the concept has been haunting me... it's been a bee in my bonnet".

The specialized snack shop cites inspiration from the Middle East, specifically the famous Israeli eateries in Akko, a beach-side city where hummusias incite rivalries in the same way bagelrias duel it out in Montreal.

The menu is set to revolve around the house chickpea spread available with various toppings like hot olives, spiced beef, tahini and labaneh. Dips and flat breads will be available for takeaway, though the plan is to keep about 20-seats and the lovely patio for on site snacking.

Coffee will somehow find its way on the menu, though Braves has already sold the shop's espresso machine. Maybe opt for mint tea instead.

Photo by azgalarneau on Flickr



sassy / March 15, 2014 at 09:53 am
Yup I can see that idea being a flop. Toronto is not LA lmao #whatacrappyidea
Jojo / March 15, 2014 at 10:31 am
This is my dream come true. I went a week eating only variations of hummus and pita once. Not kidding. Hummus is my favourite food. All hummus. All the time.
hummus head / March 15, 2014 at 10:40 am
Well I personally am super excited because hummus is something I crave daily and can't seem to make as well myself. Along with the Me Va Me on Queen street, I'm going to be in hummus heaven.
pz replying to a comment from sassy / March 15, 2014 at 10:41 am
Yeah, it's not... it's only the most multi-cultural city in the world with a huge food(ie) culture. Moron.
Akko / March 15, 2014 at 10:47 am
As someone who was born in Akko, glad to see it get some recognition for one of the top hummus places on the planet. You really haven't tasted hummus until you've been to Akko.
anothergrainofrice / March 15, 2014 at 11:12 am
dare I be another one, you're right sassy Toronto is not LA because you're in it! I can't wait I love hummus and can't wait to taste all the flavors and all the divine ways it's going to be dressed up. Can't get enough look forward to this and some mint tea!
M / March 15, 2014 at 11:13 am
This would be awesome for take-out! Pick up some hummus and picnic in the park
Muna / March 15, 2014 at 11:17 am
This sounds amazing and a sweet back story too :)
Jo / March 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm
This is a great idea....I've been craving for something like this!!!! It will be a great addition to the city's food experience.
Humus Moses / March 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm
As an Israeli I hope he's gonna deliver! Haha
I have no idea why do they call it a snack!
A proper Humus dish should fill u up for an entire day! it's an heavy mofu! LOL
BTW the best humus in Israel isn't made in Akko (sorry buddy..). Tel Aviv-Jaffa has the best variety of humus styles..
The Hummus God / March 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm
It's funny to read the reaction of North Americans
Humus dish is like a basic food in Israel..There's nothing revolutionary about it (don't get me wrong, it's AWESOME!), A) hummus places in Israel are a big thing since the 50's Hahaha. & B) Hummus is not a snack!
Walid shatara / March 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm
Humus & labneh is not israili food & never been,it is 100 % Arabic dishes & stolen by israil as they have stolen the Palestinian lands
Jerry replying to a comment from Jojo / March 15, 2014 at 01:16 pm
Agreed, this is great news! Hummus is the BEST!!
Rob replying to a comment from Walid shatara / March 15, 2014 at 01:17 pm
I have no idea of the veracity of this, but if that is the case it doesn't mean a food can be adopted as someone else's. Take ramen, curry, hot dogs, etc. They have become well-known dishes of other places.
gogo knecht / March 15, 2014 at 02:22 pm
we don't know for sure maybe started in greece then went tno egypt. either way Walid, this is NOT the place for politics and negativity.
Nate / March 15, 2014 at 02:46 pm
@walid shatara. what a joke. You are semitic cousins with the same ancestors, who ate the same foods. Stop trying to divide
SpringIsInTheAir / March 15, 2014 at 03:19 pm
Ukraine, Poland and Russia all share similar foods. Not everything is exactly the same but similar based on region.
please / March 15, 2014 at 03:48 pm
There's nothing Israeli about Hummus, and it's Akka! This is mere cultural appropriation and colonial entitlement. I like the picture though!

stephanie / March 15, 2014 at 04:03 pm
This thrills me- hummus is a food group of it's own in my life and the variations are never ending. There are great hummus joints all over nyc, it's a long time coming and as another mentioned, perfect portable park food. Bring on the chickpea n tahini revolution!
Palestinian Granddaughter replying to a comment from Walid shatara / March 15, 2014 at 04:41 pm
Thank you Walid !! I am from Palestinian descent and that was the first thing I though about… Please do your research people before claiming that certain dishes come from somewhere they don't..
Andy / March 15, 2014 at 06:49 pm
I'm not from Israel, but I can say for sure that a hummus place might do really well in Toronto. Hummus Bros in London, UK was always packed when I lived there, to the point that they had a few locations within a year of opening their first.

That said... It's not something that the Dundas/Ossington area would likely be a great home for - its appeal in the UK was more as a quick snack in lieu of being able to sit down for a proper lunch. Delicious as this place may be, this kind of concept is best launched from areas with higher foot traffic and neighbouring office buildings.
Abi / March 15, 2014 at 07:17 pm
You do realize you can go to alot restuarants and middle eastern take out spots in Toronto today and get hummas.

For me and most I think it'll come down to price. Hopefully it's popular enough so they can cover business costs and rent. While I do know the difference between good quality fresh hummas and the store bought type. The restaurant environment I'll appreciate for eating in.

Those taking about taking it as take out eat in bellwoods park, I may weigh on getting the store bought variety if I'm going to end up paying over $10-$15 to takeout some hummas to the park when I can just walk up to the Metro on College or walk up to College Falafel at Ossington and College then go to the park. Cheers. I'll give it a try!
HistoryBuff / March 16, 2014 at 12:26 am
Considering that Israel didn't exist before 1948 and that Hummus has been on middle eastern tables for 1000's of years I think its safe to say that hummus is not Israeli. Those hummus shops in Akko were all originally Palestinian.
Give credit where credit is due, that is all.
Hummuss replying to a comment from Akko / March 16, 2014 at 01:00 pm
If it is anything like Hummus Brothers in NYC I will be very happy
tart / March 17, 2014 at 09:21 pm
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Jason / March 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm
Ate there today... Delicious!!!
m / April 1, 2014 at 06:28 pm
at lasttttttttttttt
Adam replying to a comment from Jojo / April 29, 2014 at 02:19 pm
Hummus is my favourite food group. I like your style JOJO!
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