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Cafe Tangiers

Posted by Guest Contributor / Reviewed on October 25, 2012 / review policy

cafe tangiers torontoCafé Tangiers is a hardly noticeable hole-in the wall that I've been enjoying for years, for for far more than just its ambience, and the smoke and fragrant shisha scents that assault the senses upon walking in. A two-minute walk from Greenwood station, this shisha bar is one of the oldest among a string of shisha joints now beginning to crowd this section of the Danforth.

cafe tangiers torontoIn the last five years, Café Tangiers has passed through several different hands of ownership, but they've all managed to retain a distinctly old-world feel, with Moroccan lanterns and multi-colored scarves hanging from the ceiling, and hand-painted portraits of North African jazz artists on the walls.

cafe tangiers torontoA well-loved late-night spot, (it opens around 5 and closes when everyone's gone), Café Tangiers boasts a clientele of regulars, as well as those who hear of it through word of mouth. It's also one of the best shisha spots I've been to in Toronto, and one of the best priced-- just $10 for a large shisha pipe with multiple coals.

cafe tangiers torontoOur flavors of choice for the night were the classic double apple and grape/mint. Coupled with your choice of red or green Moroccan mint tea, (my personal favorite is red mint, a blend of red tea and mint leaves with sugar) available in small for $4, medium for $6, and large for $8, sitting back and enjoying good company is almost impossible not to do.

The first thing my motley crew of friends orders is the muajanat, a tangy savory spinach pie (they also come in chicken and beef) in a doughy triangle that is folded and baked at $1.50 each or 4 for $3.00.

cafe tangiers torontoMousakhan (chicken pieces in an aromatic blend of spices that practically tickle the salivary glands) is wrapped in crispy, and flaky thin bread and comes both in appetizer form (3 pieces for $5) or an entrée that comes with a fresh salad and Caesar dressing, but sprinkled with sumac for a tinge of spice, or their famous French fries for $10. I can't seem to say enough to people about Tangier's French fries--crispy and double fried, they never disappoint.

cafe tangiers torontoMy friend orders the lahmajoun, a thin-crusted bread baked with ground-beef and spices folded with a side of those fries for $5. I order one of my favorite dishes, the Tangiers melt.

Basically, this heart-burn inducing plate is purely amazing, and features a mix of three or so dishes from the Tangiers menu. Wrapped in the lauhmajoun (crispy bread), this mix contains fries, hot-sauce, garlic sauce, and cheddar cheese, all for $7, this bundle comes secured with a toothpick. According to my friend, who is not as impressed by flavor medleys as I am, the Tangiers melt lived up to its reputation.

cafe tangiers torontoIf you are a lover of garlic (as I am), I recommend that you pair your fries (and definitely the Tangiers melt) with their thick, creamy garlic sauce that I can gladly spout sonnets about. It will add another layer of zip to your meal, and as a dip, condiment, or spread, this stuff packs a delicious, mouth-watering punch (don't forget to bring some gum).

cafe tangiers torontoCafé Tangiers is a little gem that has survived the various poppings-in-and-out of other restaurants on this side of the Danforth, and continues to live up to the standard I set every time I bring a newbie to experience the experience.

cafe tangiers torontoWriting by Rehaana Manek. Photos by Haseena Manek.



Daniel levinstein / October 20, 2012 at 09:04 pm
I have to agree this place is great value and wossam whom I believe is the new owner is one of the most genuine man you can meet! You must try their daily specials ! Double apple is a standard when visitong! Great job keeping this place authentic.
Ghandoura / October 24, 2012 at 02:41 am
While everything sounds and looks wonderful, it must be noted that the menu has absolutely nothing to do with Morocco. The few items mentioned in the article are obviously Levantian (Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese), and the mousakhan is actually a VERY Palestinian dish (also Jordanian, but that's because 80% of the population is Palestinian). Anyhow, the place sounds lovely, and I would try it had it been a smoke-free restaurant.
Rick / October 25, 2012 at 10:06 am
How is this place exempt from the indoor smoking laws?
Just curious.

I would love to try this place out.
Obvious / October 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm
Uh, you know Shisha bars exist, right?
Izzy / October 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm
You lost me with the frozen fries in photo #1.
Ken / October 25, 2012 at 01:02 pm
the fries wrapped in manooshe looks really interesting. can never go wrong wrapping one food inside another.
Gabe replying to a comment from Izzy / October 27, 2012 at 08:32 pm
Frozen Fries? Not sure if they are frozen or not. But I'd rather have place that focuses more on all the other offerings than the fries. By the way there's nothing wrong with cutting up a potato in slices/fries then freezing them, its not changing the potato.
Tim replying to a comment from Izzy / October 27, 2012 at 08:34 pm
Ha ha!! That's right most of our ancestors relied on freezing, canning, jarring, and preserving to get by through the winter months. It;s funny that someone would comment on a "junk" food like fries and suggest they're not good or healthy, ITS FRIES!!!!
Aydin / October 28, 2012 at 10:00 am
Will someone please sneak over there one night and paint over the unnecessary apostrophe in their sign? What's with people who think that just because a word ends with an "s", it needs to have an apostrophe?
It look's wrong, doesn't it?
Jose replying to a comment from Rick / October 28, 2012 at 11:15 am
Laws are very specific. With that in mind, the shisha or hooka bong is filtered tobacco, where as cigarettes are not. If you have ever been to a hooka bar, you will notice that you can still breathe inside -- the smoke/tobacco isn't as strong and thick, because it is filtered through water and tubes.

I think they have yet to include the practice of shisha in the law books, which I believe they are currently in the process of doing.
marc replying to a comment from Aydin / October 28, 2012 at 03:44 pm
How about you do it yourself? Honestly I hope you have some deformity that keeps you in the basement and allows you to only communicate via blogto. I really hope this is case because this would be the only reason to make such a "whining" comment on a c- internet forum.
Jean François / October 30, 2012 at 05:32 pm
I just went there and it's not a place that I would bring a girl to.
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