The best shawarma in Toronto is a product of patience - meat is built on a spit, then marinated at length and finally slowly roasted as juices drip down to coat and caramelize its exterior. Whether you get your shawarma piled into a platter or wrapped up into a sandwich is your call, but of course it's the meat that makes this dish, no matter how many pickled turnips or squirts of garlic sauce are applied to accentuate it.
Here are the best restaurants for shawarma in Toronto.
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At Bathurst and Lawrence, this kosher kitchen shaves tender bits of delicious shawarma over plates of hummus ($11), and into sandwiches on pita ($8) or laffa ($11).
This family style restaurant with adjacent take-away counter packs succulent shawarma into house baked pita pockets ($5.45-$6.75) at lunch hour, while at dinner it's best to enjoy the flavourful meat as an app ($8) in part of a spread with salads, dips, and mixed pickles.
Choose from chicken, lamb or beef shawarma sandwiches ($7.50-$9) at this late-night takeout counter at College and Ossington. Dress up your selection to order with selections including a vibrant array of pickles, salads, and spicy and garlicky sauces.
Me Va Me Kitchen Express
The local chain of Middle Eastern eateries continues to thrive, as locations pop up around the GTA. Enjoy sit-down family-style food or express takeout that caters to the lunch crowd. Massive laffa wraps stuffed with chicken shawarma will set you back $9, while the menu also features boxed entrees ($14) and apps like shawarma over hummus ($9).
Another chain hailing from Thornhill, Sofra Grill operates three locations, including its newest outpost on Spadina in Forest Hill. The sit-down restaurants serve chicken shawarma as entrees ($16) with salad and a starch, while the best value can be had in sandwich form - wrapped in laffa ($9) or packed into a pita ($8).
Shawarma slathered with house-made tahini ranks among the menu favourites at this Scarborough eatery. Order chicken or beef versions wrapped in a pita ($5.50) or as a main course ($13) served with salad and rice or fries.
Two shawarma for $7 is a steal at this Scarborough fast food joint, and while they're not the biggest portions (you might want to eat two to yourself), they're really good. Have it topped to order with fresh ingredients, and do not turn down the warm, simmering hot sauce.
Pita stuffed with shawarma in chicken ($6.50) or beef ($6.75) varieties are house favourites at this eatery near Downsview. Complete dinners ($11-$11.25) are also on offer to to satiate big appetites.
Tender chicken shawarma (or beef and lamb) can be ordered up on plates ($15-$16), in pita pockets ($8-$9) or nestled into puffy, fresh-baked laffa ($11-$12). Expect a second location to open in the coming weeks on Yonge St. in North York.
While the eclectic menu at this express lunch counter is always in flux, shawarma is a menu staple. Orders come wrapped in massive sheets of Markouk bread brought in from Bistan Bakery in Montreal.
Locations in Scarborough and Markham sell overstuffed beef or chicken shawarma sandwiches two at a time for $7.65. Have 'em loaded up with traditional toppings including fresh vegetables, pickles and garlicky sauce.
Fill up on deliciously seasoned chicken or donair shawarma at this Etobicoke joint. Best of all, you can choose to have both offerings mixed on one plate ($7.65-$8.85) or in wraps ($4.87-$7.52).
This Bloor West Village institution might be best known for its namesake chickpea balls, but the flavourful shawarma tucked into pita ($6.50) or packed onto a plate ($11) never fails to satisfy. Shawarma here is offered in a choice of chicken and beef.
This family owned and operated restaurant on Lawrence East has been in business since 1962. Beef and chicken shawarma entrees here are excellent value, sold for $9 with salad, tahini and rice or fries. Sandwiches are even friendlier on your wallet, priced at only $4.
The Best Shawarma in Toronto