The Best Persian Restaurants in Toronto
The best Persian restaurants in Toronto is a hard list to compile. When it comes to ethnic restaurants, this city seems to mix its highs and lows. While no one would dream of putting a no-fuss pizza joint on a list of best Italian restaurants, we don't bat an eye when making the same comparisons with cuisine from other parts of the world.
Perhaps this has to do more with scale, with fewer restaurants specializing in food from certain regions. With that disclaimer out of the way, this list highlights some the best places to sample Persian food, ranging from restaurants known for innovation and quality to those offering classic take-out options and family-friendly meals.
Here are the best Persian restaurants in Toronto.
This is the third restaurant opened by the husband and wife team behind The Pomegranate, and later, Sheherzade. Nestled in Little Italy, Takht-e Tavoos offers a quaint Iranian-inspired setting and twists on brunch classics such as spinach narguesi with eggs made your way atop a bed of spinach, served with Iranian feta and tea, or haleem, a thick porridge made from wheat berries and lamb.
Kadbanu is the sister restaurant of Banu and run by the Mohyeddin family. The eatery is a favourite among young-Iranians craving a modern take on familiar dishes. It specializes in lunch items like fresh salads, hearty soups and delectable sandwiches made with sesame-crusted barbari bread. Make sure to try the mirza shasemi, a bold purée of eggplant, tomatoes and garlic topped with a fried egg, or their daily selection of traditional stews like ghormeh sabzi, slow cooked with fresh herbs.
This is the place to go if you're on the lookout for Iranian inspired decor. The wall hangings, ornate tiles and turquoise ceiling creates a fairy-tale like backdrop for one's dining experience. The restaurant features a flavourful selection of Iranian inspired dishes such as fesenjan, a thick stew made from ground walnut and pomegranate paste and aloo gheysi, a plum, apricot, saffron and chicken stew.
This is a modern Iranian Kabob and vodka bar. It's the place to go if you're in the mood to sip on a pomegranate vodka martini, while munching on a skewer of char-grilled kabobs and mouth-watering dips. My go-to dishes are the zeitun parvardeh, an olive, pomegranate and walnut dip, mast o moseer, a garlicky yogourt dip and the Kabob Chenjeh, a charbroiled skewer of beef tenderloin marinated in citrus yogourt.
North is a classic Iranian family-style restaurant nestled in a strip mall near Yonge and Steeles, an area also referred to as Tehranto. Unlike its modern downtown counterparts, this place offers large portions anchored by heaping plates of basmati saffron rice and homemade bread. The kabob selection is always satisfying, and on weekends you can dine while enjoying live performances of Iranian pop-music.
Zaffron is smack in the heart of Tehranto on Yonge between Finch and Steeles. From this location you have a prime view of some of the most popular Iranian shops. The embodiment of the hybrid immigrant identify, the menu offers both Iranian and Italian dishes. Try one of their Iranian appetizers like dolmeh (stuffed grape leaves) or Tadig, a crispy piece of rice-coated bread served with an Iranian stews.
Gol Inc. is a good option for anyone who wants the comfort of a big Iranian meal without the fuss of cooking or the cost of dining out. The North York takeout join offers a variety of popular dishes at an affordable price. This place has everything you want for your Iranian takeout needs, from chicken and beef kabobs to traditional savoury stews.
This is another North York buffet offering takeout and event catering. Tah Deeg has offered its large menu of classic Iranian dishes for 20 years. On a cold day, try their ash, a vegetable soup made with traditional herbs, beans, and spices, topped with fried mint and onion, and a dollop of kashk, a sour-yogourt based paste.
Diwan lives inside the architecturally-stunning Aga Khan Museum. On a nice day, Diwan's large dining room floods with sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows, offering picturesque garden views.The restaurant's design is exquisite featuring hand-carved and painted wooden panels imported from Syria. If you're visiting the museum, stop in for a mezze platter, which changes daily.
Altona Kabob is another takeout option in North York. This place is quick with their service and often open until 4am, making it an ideal spot for your post-party cravings. For under $10, you can get a large plate of rice and two skewers of charbroiled koobideh, ground-beef kabobs, with a side of a roasted tomato.
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