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Best of Toronto

The Best Late Night Falafel and Shawarma in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / March 12, 2013

Shawarma TorontoThe best late night falafel and shawarma in Toronto deliver in terms of ideal post-bar eats. Acceptably messy and often quite cheap, the places on this list will fill you up for little more than the change left in your pocket at the end of the night. These places keep the fryer going and the spit rotating late into the night, ensuring your midnight falafel or 2 a.m. shawarma is just as delicious as during the lunchtime rush.

Here is the list of the best late night falafel and shawarma in Toronto.

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See also:

The best falafel in Toronto
The best shawarma in Toronto

Top photo by Jesse Milns

Ali Baba's

Ali Baba's

With so many locations throughout Toronto, Ali Baba's has to be doing something right when it comes to shawarma and falafel. Or, uh, maybe it's just good business strategy. In any case, Ali Baba's offers itself as a cheap, late, reliable purveyor of pretty tasty Middle Eastern food, of which its falafel and shawarma definitely top the list. (Best is when you can snag two of either for under $10). Many Ali Baba's throughout Toronto are open until 4am on weekends. More »

Ghazale

Ghazale

Also fairly ubiquitous in Toronto's downtown (granted, not nearly to the same degree), Ghazale seems to always appear just when those shawarma pangs interrupt your route home. While the microwave-weary might want to steer clear of Ghazale's zapped falafel balls, the shawarma here usually delivers in terms of freshness, quantity, and taste. Most locations are open until 3am or 4am all throughout the week. More »

College Falafel

College Falafel

Excelling in the realm of donair, College Falafel stands out as one of the best for Middle Eastern in the area, despite the abundance of falafel and shawarma places nearby. For about six bucks and up, you can get a hot falafel, fresh lamb, beef, or chicken shawarma, and of course, Halifax-style donair right up until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Made-from-scratch ingredients definitely make the difference. More »

Sarah's Shawarma and Falafel

Sarah's Shawarma and Falafel

One of Toronto's favourite downtown falafel joints. Customers here are generally split between the falafels and the shawarmas, with most flocking to the Bloor Street spot for a late-night bite (up until 5am) after weekend antics in the Annex. Prices here definitely appeal to the student crowd. More »

Alexandria Falafel

Alexandria Falafel

Alexandria Falafel is a reliable mainstay for crowds filing out of Parkdale bars after last call. Open extra-late on weekends (4am as opposed to 2am during the week), Alexandria makes a pretty tasty falafel and is usually consistent in terms of fast, friendly service. Regulars can attest to the chicken shawarma as being sort of hit or miss, though at half past three on a Friday night, it'll probably get the job done anyway. More »

Falafel House

Falafel House

Cheap, fast, and with a good amount of seating. Falafel House isn't the most glamorous place by Yonge and Bloor (not by a long shot), but it does have a pretty decent beef shawarma when it's offered hot and fresh. Falafel (plate or sandwich) is another solid Falafel House choice, offered right up until 3am on weekends. More »

Pita Land (La Zeez)

Pita Land (La Zeez)

Pita Land (La Zeez) is Ryerson students' answer to late night falafel and shawarma. This Gerrard Street joint has a charming, terribly tacky patio for enjoying a doner outdoors, and a falafel that packs a consistent garlic punch. Not your overstuffed shawarma, this wrap usually comes at a reasonable size and is made fresh right up until 4am on weekdays and 5am on the weekend. More »

Nora Shawarma

Nora Shawarma

Nora Shawarma is well-tapped by the weekday lunch crowd, but when the weekend rolls around it's hungry club-goers all the way. A stone's throw from the Entertainment District and open until 4am, Nora has plenty of room for tired clubbers to get off their feet and share a two-sandwich deal for under $10. Hot sauce is a must for both Nora's falafel and shawarma. More »

Osmow's

Osmow's

While you'd be hard-pressed to find a place serving whiskey on the rocks at 4am, Osmow's is still serving its "Chicken on the Rocks" well into the morning. Good enough? The plate of rice, chicken shawarma, and special sauce is a signature for the Mediterranean restaurant, and while you might not get the same buzz, it surely will fill you up. Falafels and kebabs, of course, are on the menu, too. More »

Shawarma Max

Shawarma Max

Late night shawarma and falafel for North York, Shawarma Max's signature chicken shawarma leads the pack in terms of popularity. Open until 4am on weekends to accommodate hard-core Willowdale partiers, both the chicken and beef shawarmas can be had for about five bucks and change, with the falafel modestly holding place for vegetarian customers who saunter in. The patio is a big Shawarma Max draw in the summertime. More »

Shawarma's King

Shawarma's King

Impossible to miss at the corner of Queen and Church, Shawarma's King is open until midnight or later during the week and 4am on weekends. The menu here includes pretty consistent shawarma plates and wraps, as well as falafel, kebabs, grilled shrimp, and more. The menu is totally Halal and available for dine-in or take-out. More »

The Empire

The Empire

The Empire is a definite frontrunner in terms of best bang for your buck for late night falafel and shawarma. On Mondays and Fridays you can snag two falafel wraps for $4.99, of which the falafel balls are always fried fresh to order (no microwaving here). This spot is open until midnight during the week, and often much later when the weekend rolls around. More »

Discussion

46 Comments

johnsonstarfish / March 12, 2013 at 01:43 pm
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I find College Falafel overpriced a tad.
Pete / March 12, 2013 at 01:45 pm
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Ali-Baba #1....wow.
Conspiracy / March 12, 2013 at 01:56 pm
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Ali Baba is #1? Were you paid to put them there?
shane replying to a comment from Conspiracy / March 12, 2013 at 02:06 pm
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My understanding is that these sorts of articles are not actually ranking these shops from best to least, but rather simply listing 12 great places in no particular order. This should be made clear more often, even though it has been on occasion.
srs replying to a comment from johnsonstarfish / March 12, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Agreed, I often order a half dozen falafels (just the balls) along with my shawarma. Charging $1.00 for a single falafel is an incredible rip off. Most places charge half of that, which is still outrageous.
phil replying to a comment from shane / March 12, 2013 at 02:21 pm
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then blogto should remove the numbers.
also, ali baba is dirty.
Simon replying to a comment from Conspiracy / March 12, 2013 at 02:30 pm
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It's amazing how many people react the EXACT same way every single time a list is posted on BlogTO.

To help the slowpokes catch up, these lists are voted on by the readers of the website. The site doesn't create these lists themselves and the rankings are a reflection of the voting results.

We all clear?
Michael / March 12, 2013 at 02:31 pm
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Shawarma Max is #1 at a minimum
aha / March 12, 2013 at 02:31 pm
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I went to the Ali Baba's close to University and Dundas and had a nice long eyebrow hair in one of shawarmas I had.
I'm never going back there or any Ali Baba's for that matter... it should not be #1.
Brandon / March 12, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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No Hero Burger???
KP / March 12, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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wow someone knows nothing about great late night shawarma

you probably had a few too many beers and just picked whatever was closest to you
AB replying to a comment from Simon / March 12, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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As a regular reader of BlogTO, I know that these lists are voted on by readers, but nowhere on the page does it say so. It's only natural for people (esp. those new to the site) to assume the list was compiled by BlogTO staff. They are not "slowpokes". To avoid this coming up again and again, would it hurt to have a little disclaimer like "rankings based on reader votes"?
lauren / March 12, 2013 at 03:44 pm
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falafel queen at queen and bathurst! great samosas and falafel for when you can't be bothered to brave the smoke's lineup next door
J / March 12, 2013 at 03:49 pm
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Ibrahim Pizza & Bbq !!!

241 Shawarma @ birchmount and lawrence

BEST in the city - hands down!
nardl blarn / March 12, 2013 at 04:21 pm
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This is obviously written by someone who went / goes to ryerson, sometimes visits the annex and gets the queen streetcar home to parkdale. Coverage = not great.
David / March 12, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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No question the best is Dr.Laffa
Jose replying to a comment from David / March 12, 2013 at 04:56 pm
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Yes Sir!!!! David knows his spots! Dr.Laffa for the win!!!

Although tucked away in some industrial area, Dr.Laffa is as authentic as it gets.

Ali Baba's shouldn't even be on this list.
morga replying to a comment from Jose / March 12, 2013 at 05:17 pm
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David and Jose have no idea how to read. The title says "LATE NIGHT" which DR Laffa does not fall into as it isn't open late. It even closes at 3pm on fridays. I love Dr Laffa and would say it is the best in tow, hands down. But it's not late night eats. Learn to read boys.
Michael replying to a comment from Jose / March 12, 2013 at 05:20 pm
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This list is for Best Late Night Shawarma. Dr. Laffa is not open late.
Alan replying to a comment from AB / March 12, 2013 at 08:15 pm
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If there was a like button, you would be at ~90 likes. Maybe more.
Simonyyz replying to a comment from aha / March 12, 2013 at 08:28 pm
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Let's just hope that was an eyebrow hair.
Gabe / March 12, 2013 at 09:36 pm
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Ali Baba's is great all over the city. Great quality, good service, awesome food.

I usually go to the one in Parkdale...
http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/alibabas

http://alibabas.ca/
Alex replying to a comment from lauren / March 13, 2013 at 12:53 am
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The falafel place on Queen and Bathurst sucks.
Huda / March 13, 2013 at 01:24 am
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Ali Baba is really just the most awful Shawarma ever.
kir / March 13, 2013 at 07:32 am
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i would nominate sultan's as the best, at main/danforth.
... / March 13, 2013 at 09:46 am
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I think most food tastes great late at night. Get over it people.
FoodEater / March 13, 2013 at 05:14 pm
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both Ali Baba and Ghazalle gave me the shits on more than one occassion, you really put that crap at number 1 spot? horrible blogto, just horrible
Jeromey / March 20, 2013 at 12:38 am
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Ghazalle at Bloor/Bathurst, right beside the Bloor cinema is not listed on the map but is my favourite.
yt / March 21, 2013 at 10:00 am
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The only thing Ali Baba's is #1 in is DineSafe infractions! Heyooo
Julia / April 4, 2013 at 12:47 am
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As an Annexer, I will never understand why people continually put Ghazale above Sarah's for best Shawarma. Sarah's chicken shwarama sandwhich is perfect.
Matt / April 5, 2013 at 09:08 am
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Apparently no one likes getting drunk east of Jarvis.
GRBY / April 8, 2013 at 01:52 pm
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Tov-Li on Bathurst (there's two locations) is better than all of these places combined. Ghazale is a close 2nd. Blog TO failed hard on this post.
american tourister laptop bag / April 16, 2013 at 09:27 am
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In fact when someone doesn't know then its up to other visitors that they will assist, so here it takes place.
seekfood / April 23, 2013 at 09:05 pm
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Ghazale is not bad, but iv been going to a new place on college and Bathurst called shawarma bites I tried the falafel and the chicken and they tasted amazing!!! They have a home made flat bread i highly recommend it! Iv yet to try the" shawarma works" my buddy is addicted to it ...it's like a poutine.
James / November 24, 2013 at 12:46 am
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Interesting. It's as if nothing outside the downtown core exists, judging by the restaurants featured here, and that's despite the fact that more Falafel/middle eastern cuisine is available in the East End/Scarborough and in the North of the city.
Scoot / November 24, 2013 at 03:11 am
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Falafel Queen should be #1, or at least ON this list. Ali Baba's and Ghazalle are GARBAGE wrapped in more garbage.
JL / November 24, 2013 at 07:15 am
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Anything east of the DVP?
MW / November 24, 2013 at 11:09 am
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College Falafel is definitely not worthy of this list. Food is just not great and the place smells of oil.

Hot shwarma across from the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. West, however, is delicious, clean and friendly. Their falafels are incredible.
Ashley / November 24, 2013 at 11:28 am
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Alexandrio's on Queen's Quay (beside Captain John's) has by far the best schwarmas in Toronto...I dream of their pork schwarma often.
pauk / November 24, 2013 at 02:25 pm
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Shawarma's King should and IS number one! freshest ingredients! best taste! BOOM!
Sacha / November 24, 2013 at 07:56 pm
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No possible way Nora belongs on this list. Place is terrible.

There's an Ali Baba's just down the street that is a much better bet in in the same neighbourhood.

Liberty Shawarma at Spadina/Bremner is also much better -- although certainly further.
Al / November 25, 2013 at 05:30 pm
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Thank you for not including Falafal Queen (Queen and Bathurst), the place where the late-night guy goes back and forth between handling the cash and making your food without ever washing his hands.
Alex / January 16, 2014 at 03:03 pm
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One of the best Falafel and Shawarma in Toronto I have ever tried is on 1150 Sheppard Ave West called babaganoush Shawarma it is amazing truely.
RM / September 5, 2014 at 01:27 am
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I know no one asked, but if anyone is wondering what the *worst* shawarma is, late-night or otherwise, my vote goes to Wrap n' Roll on Yonge between Wellesley and College.
I didn't even know you could f*ck up shawarma that bad.
Liz / September 5, 2014 at 02:05 am
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Ghazales definitely deserves 1st place. Though I won't argue with Baba's. On second thought, just send me one chicken shawarma with extra pickles from both places and I'll get back to you.
Niko / September 5, 2014 at 10:45 am
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This list is flawed. It should simply say "Go to Ottawa or Montreal". I have tried many of these restaurants (except Ghazale) and others and it seems no one can get all three of these right: 1. Good frothy garlic sauce (at some places this tastes more like ranch dressing, like what Dominoes pizza garlic sauce is to Pizza Pizza garlic sauce), 2. dry but tender chicken (some end up way too wet - one of the most satisfying things is biting into a shawarma and getting some crispy resistance against your teeth mmmm), 3. crispy pita (see previous comment). Anyways, the best answer is steer clear of TO shawarma.

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