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Best of Toronto

The Best Dosa in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / May 25, 2009

Dosa TorontoDosas may not be ubiquitous in Toronto, but from Mississauga to Little India they're not tough to find. For the uninitiated, dosas are a typical South Indian staple consisting of crepes made from fermented rice and lentils, accompanied with sides such as sambar (a tangy lentil soup with vegetables) and various kinds of chutney (coconut, tomato, tamarind, mint). Outside of the restaurants themselves, they often make an appearance at summer festivals at Harbourfront and the annual Masala! Mehndi! Masti!

Here are the nine best restaurants in Toronto to get dosa, as voted by the readers of this site.

Writing and photos by Mishal Cazmi

Madras Dosa Hut

Madras Dosa Hut

This Albion location of Madras Dosa Hut is without a doubt one of the finer looking dosa restaurants around. From Monday to Friday, the bright red restaurant offers unlimited dosas for $8.99. The unusual offering of dried fruit masala dosa is a pleasant surprise with a spiced potato stuffing and crushed dried fruit glazed on the crepe from within. All dosas come with four chutneys and a generous serving of sambar. Suburbanites need not venture far because the restaurant has a second location in Mississauga. More »

Udupi Palace

Udupi Palace

Found in Little India, Udupi Palace’s front entrance boasts clipping after clipping of restaurant reviews, almost all raving about its quality dosas. For an extra dollar, you can upgrade a chilli cheese dosa to a chilli cheese masala dosa by asking them to add the potato filling. The restaurant wins hands-down for the tastiest sambar- light and flavourful with just the right seasonings it can also be equally savoured as a soup. A refreshing (and an incredibly tasty) falooda is the perfect way to wash down a savoury meal here. More »

South Indian Dosa Mahal

South Indian Dosa Mahal

The recently relocated South Indian Dosa Mahal is certainly an eye-catcher with its bright pink walls and matching decor. For those with a large appetite, there are several thali options including the vegetable and dosa thali that comes with four plain dosas, sambar, chutney and three different curries - vegetable, potato and eggplant. The latter’s sambar is forgettable but the curries are well worth the order. Bonus! After filling up on dosa don't forget the take-out. Get 3 samosas for $1 or 10 samosas for $3.00. More »

Madras Masala

Madras Masala

Madras Masala has an incredibly diverse range of dosas. Even after its dosa festival, items from its festival menu (off–the-menu items) continue every Tuesday for $4.99. The rest of the week, it offers the typical dosa fare, starting from $6.99 up to $10.99. In addition to its South Indian menu, the restaurant cooks up an equally vast selection of North Indian and Indo-Chinese items such as Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani and Gobi Manchurian. More »

Saravanaa Bhavan

Saravanaa Bhavan

On weekends, families flock to this restaurant for its weekend vegetarian buffet. On other days, people still drop in, usually for dosas. As someone who always gets masala dosas (with potato filling as opposed to a standalone crepe), this is the only restaurant where I’d think of forgoing the masala because the dosa and chutneys are oh-so-good. The dosa is as a dosa should be - crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. The tri-colour chutneys - tomato, coconut and mint - even as a smaller side, pack plenty of flavour and so to choose a favourite would be like asking to choose a favourite kid. More »

Dosa City

Dosa City

This suburban restaurant has been open for a little over a year yet it confidently touts itself as “the best dosa place in town.” The dosas are served with sambar and four different kinds of chutney - coconut, tamarind, spicy tomato, and coriander. It has very reasonable prices ranging from $6.19 to $8.49 for incredibly large dosas that consume over half the table. More »

Rashnaa

Rashnaa

This South Indian and Sri Lankan restaurant in Cabbagetown makes a lot of good food, but nothing quite as popular its masala thosai (dosa). For a light lunch, the masala thosai is $5.95 with sambar and coconut chutney. During warm weather, it's nice to have the option to indulge in dosa on the restaurant's patio. More »

Dosa Darbar

Dosa Darbar

Dosa Darbar is a relatively small dosa place on Albion located fairly close to Madras Dosa Hut. The restaurant is a good option for those on-the-go who’d like to pop in and out for a quick lunch. There are several daily dosa specials such as the Darbar Crazy Dosa for $7.99, a combination of four toppings - cheese, onion, rava, and mysore. For a lighter snack, there's also a baby dosa for $2.99. While the ambiance may be forgettable, the food is not. The accompanying sides (the sweet mint chutney are particularly a standout) and the potato filling are top notch. More »

Discussion

32 Comments

apetimberlake / May 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm
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REXDALE IN THE HOUSE!

radjib / May 26, 2009 at 01:03 am
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If you guys are including Mississauga in this mix then you need to check out Guru Lukshmi (used to be called Dosa Corner) http://www.gurulukshmi.com

Best dosas ever.
Allan / May 27, 2009 at 10:19 am
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Great read. Light hearted, yet very informative. More "Best of"s like this please.
Ira L / May 29, 2009 at 02:19 am
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I agree, Guru Lukshmi is fantastic.
VG / June 14, 2009 at 10:53 am
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This list is clearly missing some of the best south indian / dosa places in town.

Anjappar Chettinad (www.anjapparcanada.com) is the other one that comes to mind. They have two locations in GTA - one in Scarborough and the other in Brampton. They are a chain of restaurants from India, featuring Chettinad cuisuine, with many locations overseas just like Saravanaa Bhavan.

Nilgiris - foodpages.ca/nilgiris.ucomments (Markham & McCowan)

Udupi Madras Cafe - 265 Enfield Pl Mississauga

Madras Palace - www.madraspalace.com
Tim / August 18, 2009 at 09:33 am
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Looks like we have a new contender!

http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/madras-pantry
Geeta / December 1, 2009 at 02:59 pm
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Dosa Dosa the best place for Dosas in Toronto closed recently :(
ram / April 9, 2010 at 05:27 pm
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gurulaxmi does have the best dosas, but they are expensive and what is most objectionable, is that they slyly insert 10% gratuity charges over and above the taxes. this is not legal or ethical. you have every right to refuse to pay this as they cant take gratuity from you by force. unfortunately our desi people dont bother to read the bill carefully and pay blindly. so a sada dosa of 6.50$ actually costs you 7.15 + taxes. this is the most expensive sada dosa anywhere in GTA!

next time you go there, insist on taking the 10% off the bill and pay tip directly to server, if you want to.
Nayla replying to a comment from ram / July 16, 2010 at 11:35 am
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I couldn't agree with you more this guru laxmi dosa place is more interested in ripping peopled off than serving dosa. Gratuity is given seperately not included also the service lousy and slow.
Foodie / October 6, 2010 at 12:29 am
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Before i start i just wanted to say that i am Caucasian and an Indian food lover. I've visited almost every South Indian rest in Toronto and Gurulukshmi is by far THE BEST. The flavors are fresh, vibrant and absolutely authentic. It is a bit crowded and the waiting period is quite long on weekend evenings, so we usually go on weekdays or weekend lunch.

For those who complain about the 10% gratuity, you clearly don't understand the value of this place. Many rest including Mandarin charge for service, and the funny part is it's self service buffet! haha, anyhow, i just wanted to say that this place is quite simply out of this world

give it a shot on a weekday!! Cheers!
Indian foodie / December 16, 2010 at 06:59 pm
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I have eaten Dosa in India from North to the most authentic places in the South and the best Dosa in the GTA is definitely Guru Lukshmi...
BYE BYE GURULAXMI / May 13, 2011 at 02:40 pm
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Gratuity !
10% for a group of three customers OR 15% for a group of four or more customers......and for what? ?

1)The most uncomfortable environment which does not care for your presence as a customer for a short while?

2)A totally disorganized place where servers do not care to remember who ordered what?( why? Oh Yes, it brings Gratuity)

3)The so called management does not think fit to provide you anything other than what they can make you pay for. You are lucky if you can get a glass of water without asking for.Do not expect someone to refill your glass or water jug on your table.

4)You are not welcome if you ask for basic necessities like spoon, fork / knife and paper napkins. Even if you ask for, the server requests another one who quickly gives you an impression that you are a pain and he/she does not care since his/her 10% 0r 15% gratuity is assured no matter how you feel.

Friends, Why pay someone your hard earned money and get treated disrespectfully? and pay "Gratuity" on the top of it ?
Foodlover / May 13, 2011 at 03:16 pm
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guruluxmi's dosas are no doubt the best, but what i resent about them quite intensely is this:

1. they charge 10% gratuity for under 4 people and 15% over 4? i believe tips are to be given if you receive good attentive service, not to be collected by force! this compulsory charge, makes their food terribly expensive.
2. the place is a fire hazard and someday will lead to a lot of trouble for its owners and patrons. i am quite surprised how they have managed to get licensed for seating so many people in such a small place, without adequate moving space and room to manoeuvere and evacuate in case of fire. surely there is somethinh seriously amiss here.
3. the tables are designed to squeeze in max no. of people, there is hardly any room to sit or accomodate more food plates for a group. people are virtually breathing down each other's necks and could actually reach out and eat from your table, they are so close! you cant have a pvt conversation, i could hear every word the people next to me were saying.

all these things spoil your fun. looks like the owner is simply counting his take and least bothered about the comfort of his patrons. i for one have stopped visiting them.
anusha / July 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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udupi madras cafe in mississauga by square one also has p good dosas (and at really good prices). i def recommend.
priya / September 3, 2011 at 04:15 pm
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Dosa Darbar:The best place in Toronto,the Dosa"s taste's really good,the chuteny"s and the sambar are osuim, the service was also good. and they have very good deal"s for take out"s and the price"s are resonable.
Srikanth / September 24, 2011 at 01:35 am
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Dosa Darbars biryani is awesome. Real Hyderabadi dum ke biryani. I bet there is no other restaurant in Toronto who can make biryani like that. I ate biryani at so many places but this is number 1. Try it and you will love it.
kunal / September 26, 2011 at 08:05 pm
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awesome Dosa":s in dosa darbar.andi ordered some item"s for the catering,for 70 people, the item"s were so good and our Guest"s liked the item"S very much.and the quantity they served was good enough and the price"s were Resonable, The ADANTAGE in this place they are SPECALISED in making NORTH andSOUTH Indian,ITEM"S for Catering
rajan / January 8, 2012 at 08:11 pm
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I tried Idli/dosa batter produced by chennai caters in mississauga. Its really good and value for money. Generally available in all indian shops in mississauga, bramption and scarbrough. they do sell IDLI with 2 variety of chutney and sambar. I got feel of chennai.
durga / January 12, 2012 at 08:40 pm
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The Dosa"s in DosaDarbar are really good,thechuntey's and the sambar really taste"s good,i tried the onion masala Dosa and the mysore masala dosa they taste really good and Rate"s
are Resonable.and they have very good deal"s for take out"s.
and ihighly Recommend this place for the Dosa lovers.
mayavi / January 20, 2012 at 11:12 am
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The Dosa at the DosaDarbar are really good and tastey,the Biryani,is owesom, the chuteny"s and the Sambar are really,good they have very good deals for take out's to.
deepa / February 19, 2012 at 06:39 pm
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Dosa Darbar,the best Dosa in Toronto,i ever had it,upon my friend suggestion,i went there.the place look"s simple, but the food really taste"s good and i ordered Rava onion Masala dosa.it was osium and the Sambar and the Chutiney"s are really good and Tastey, the money what we are paying is worth it
roligupta / March 13, 2012 at 07:59 pm
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Awesome Dosa"S in Dosadarbar,Along with the Dosa's i had Birayni and idli"s.the service was so good and the flavour for each variety of dosa is so UNIQUE. MUST SEE PLACCE FOR DOSA LOVER"S.
Kay / August 5, 2012 at 06:46 pm
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Gurulaxmi is good but I think there is greed and terrible service.

They have moved to a new location but it is horrible. The wait is the same and it is true that you have to ask for water and the servers take long before they even attend to you.

This restaurant is expensive.
Phil / August 28, 2012 at 04:47 pm
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I just walked into this restaurant for a quick lunch. I ordered masala dosa. It was golden brown, medium crisp and pipping hot.
It was served with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and corriander chutney along with fresh and hot sambhar. I was surprised that it was 2 ft in length and 1 1/2 ft in width filled with potato filling (masala). Food was fresh and tasty. I enjoyed the dosa. When I finished my lunch and got the bill I was even shocked as the price was only 4.99$. Nothing can go wrong for this price. I would recommend all of you to try dosa at this place and you will feel satisfied.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm
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I have eaten Dosa in India from North to the most authentic places in the South and the best Dosa in the GTA is definitely Guru Lukshmi...
Praveen T / October 4, 2012 at 07:32 pm
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I would recommend all of you to try this place once and your search for a tasty dosa might end here.

One of my friend referred me to Dosa Darbar located at Islington Ave and Albion Rd. I ordered Special Green Dosa. This dosa is made from whole green lentil. The dosa was topped with green chillies, corriander leaf, cumin, ginger pieces and ghee was brushed on top of the dosa. The dosa
was filled with upma (wheatlets pudding) instead of masala made from potato. This combination was very unique in taste and I was totally satisfied. The dosa was served with coconut sauce, tomato sauce and corriander sauce along with steaming sambhar (lentil soup). All the items were fresh. The service was awesome as they served me with more chutneys and sambhar as required.
I would definitely recommend all of you to try this place.
Vijaya / October 10, 2012 at 03:41 pm
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Meenas's Fine Foods in Scarborough. They are a small take out place, but have been around forever. People who live in Scarborough know where I am talking about!

You have to place an order at least an hour ahead, but it is totally worth it. The dosas have a nice crisp texture, and tang from the fermentation, and I love the accompanying dips.
MM replying to a comment from Phil / November 29, 2012 at 08:23 am
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Funny no mention of PLACE
Praveen / October 1, 2013 at 08:17 pm
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Thank you Deepa. I saw your comments here and tried "Brunch Platter" at Dosa Darbar. It was really good, tasty and fully satisfied. The platter had baby masala dosa, sooji halwa, mendu vada, idly, upma and lemon rice. On the side we were served 3 chutney and sambhar.
Anjala / December 10, 2013 at 01:50 pm
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After reading so many reviews I finally visited DOSA DARBAR located at 1150 Albion Rd. It is a small place with about 40 seats but clean and comfortable. I asked the waiter and he suggested EGG BURJI DOSA. The dosa was a big 2 feet wrap made from lentil and rice batter. It was stuffed with scramble eggs garnished with chilly, onion & spices. Also it was served with 3 different sauce and sambar. The food was good and service was attentive. You should try this place.
Roy J / February 12, 2014 at 03:49 pm
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I like trying new dosa's. I ordered pav bhaji dosa when
I visited "Dosa Darbar". The bhaji was spread on
the dosa along with fresh onions and corriander. This reminded me the taste of traditional bhaji which they serve along with pav back home. The dosa was served with 3 chutney and sambhar. It was very filling. I had a good experience.
Hats off to the cheff where he combined south indian cuisine to the north. You should try and you will definitely like it. Also please let me know if there are any other new dosa's at other places.
ranjeet singh replying to a comment from Allan / March 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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GURULAKSHMI is the best. I live right by the restaurant and it is literally PACKED every day of the week. I have never seen such die hard clientele

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