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Best of Toronto

The Best Shawarma in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / February 27, 2015

Best Shawarma TorontoThe 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.

See also:

The top 25 falafel in Toronto by neighbourhood
The best falafel in Toronto
The best hummus in Toronto
The best late night falafel and shawarma in Toronto

Dr. Laffa

Dr. Laffa

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). More »

Sababa

Sababa

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. More »

College Falafel

College Falafel

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. More »

Me Va Me

Me Va Me

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). More »

Sofra Grill

Sofra Grill

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). More »

Armenian Kitchen

Armenian Kitchen

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. More »

Shawarma Empire

Shawarma Empire

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. More »

Euro Shawarma

Euro Shawarma

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. More »

Famous Laffa

Famous Laffa

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. More »

Flaming Stove

Flaming Stove

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. More »

Tasty Shawarma

Tasty Shawarma

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. More »

2 Bros Cuisine

2 Bros Cuisine

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). More »

Falafel World

Falafel World

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. More »

Nasib's

Nasib's

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. More »

St. Andrew's Poultry

St. Andrew's Poultry

The recently revamped butcher in Kensington Market now boasts its very own Foodie Bar, where chicken and lamb glisten with natural juices as they slow cook on a vertical spit. Single pita sandwiches sell for $5.75-$6.75, but they'll cut you a deal if you order in pairs ($8.50-$12). More »

Discussion

53 Comments

grey / February 27, 2015 at 02:55 pm
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Thanks for the list of new (to me) places to check out. All my favourite places have either shut down or gotten new, inferior management. Been craving something better for a while.
Help Me / February 27, 2015 at 02:57 pm
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The guy that owned the Village Pita in the Village on the Grange food court was a Shawarma master. (not much to recommend the current management). Where did he go? I want to go to there. Help me BlogTO.
Jibbly / February 27, 2015 at 03:01 pm
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Man, I had no idea you could get prepared food at St.Andrew's! For sure gonna check that out now. Thanks BlogTO!
Len / February 27, 2015 at 03:07 pm
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More people need to know about Golden Pita Pocket on Highway 7 and Keele. This place finally made the nominees but apparently didnt get the votes. At lunch there is always a line to the door and for 10 bucks the wraps he makes defy laws of physics they are so stuffed and are so goddamn delicious.
JMC / February 27, 2015 at 03:11 pm
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I'm shocked there's even one near the downtown core that made this list. Downtown T.O. is ROUGH for people who like good shawarma, or gyro. At least Ali Baba is cheap now, so if you're hungry enough at least the price now matches the quality of meat.
Raffy / February 27, 2015 at 03:33 pm
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I dont understand how Ba-Li Laffa is not on this list. They have 2 locations and their shawarma is up there with any of these, probably top 5 in my opinion. They're both located on Bathurst (One at steeles and the other at wilson). Not even having them on this list is a travesty and pretty much destroys the credibility of this list.
memm / February 27, 2015 at 03:35 pm
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I'll check some of these out but I don't have high hopes.

Good garlic sauce, pickled turnips and moist chicken seems like a trinity Toronto shawarma joints just can't crack for some reason. They'd rather stuff bizarre toppings inside (like french fries and corn (wtf?), gross, and STOP WITH THE PURPLE CABBAGE FILLER) to make up for a bad wrap.

From those photos sababa looks like it the only one really close to good shawarma.
Ena / February 27, 2015 at 03:42 pm
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Empire is my favourite. My mouth's watering just thinking about their shawarma...
Gary / February 27, 2015 at 03:45 pm
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Toronto has become a Shawarma hot spot with Shawarma joints on every corner. I ain't complaining because I love them. It's great to have so much choice all over the city. Shawarma, Poutine and Tim Horton's rule the Toronto restaurant scene.
DEATH!DoNotLookAtThisPost / February 27, 2015 at 03:51 pm
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How could you guy's miss Ibrahim Pizza & Bbq on Lawrence Ave. in Scarborough? For $5 it is great.
Some Dude / February 27, 2015 at 03:52 pm
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Armenian Kitchen? Really? Personally I think it went downhill 5 years ago. Shawarma Empire is much better than some of the previous joints mentioned.
Jason / February 27, 2015 at 04:17 pm
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Dr. Laffa? #1? Really? Really?
Chicken / February 27, 2015 at 04:50 pm
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Best schwarma on rice is Doner Kebab at Yonge/Gerrard.

Best schwarma pita is yet to be found in Toronto. Pita Nutso needs to come downtown. Osmows in Mississauga is really good but the Osmows downtown is horrible.
Sam replying to a comment from memm / February 27, 2015 at 06:00 pm
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The top choices here have terrible shawarma. technically they are not even shawarma. Me Va Me does chunks of meat as if it is a kabob sandwich or something. I once asked them about garlic sauce and the guy was all confused.

My favourite type of Shawarma is on a spit rotating and being freshly cut off that grill.

I suggest Nutso, Nasib's and Paramount: all Arabic owned and doing it Lebanese style
Arec Uzun / February 27, 2015 at 06:10 pm
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Stick to Turkish restaurants and DONER thats the real Shawarma!!
ALI / February 27, 2015 at 06:18 pm
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The Best shawerma is not even on this list!

Check out Taita's bakery on dufferin close to finch near York University and Sofra Istanbul on steeles close to keele. The two best shawerma's by far!
Vasu / February 27, 2015 at 06:37 pm
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You missed Ghazale. They are certainly very good. Me Va Me does not really even have a shawarma the one time I went there when they opened last year it was more like a Gyros wrap. This list is embarrassing
Mada / February 27, 2015 at 06:40 pm
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Real shawarma (chicken or lamb) is wonderful. BUT it has to come off the spit roast that was constantly rotated and marinated by the cook. Also you need garlic sauce and I think they are pickled turnips to go with it. Unfortunately the real thing is only at those places near Lawrence and Kennedy. Paramount does a decent job but is not as good as those holes in the wall. The list from blog t.o. is full of these places that give you greek salad and carrots in your so-called shawarma and have the meat sitting in trays. PASS
Samir / February 27, 2015 at 07:14 pm
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I am Lebanese so I am biased, but with that admission I have to insist that shawarma is originally from Lebanon and Syria and I can tell you this is not the best by a mile. Blogto editors, what do you call "the best"? Nasib's OK, and other than that try Puita & grill and Ali Baba. Sababa and Dr. Laffa do NOT even have proper shawarmas!! That is why this list is so weird. By the way, the Indian and Chinese cooks at Me Va Me told me the owner is someone who bought the franchise from another person and has it as a business. Now I was in there and wasn't going to be impolite and leave but come on. Have some decency to do what you know and love not just as a business I guess. Yes, I wouldn't go to Me Va Me either
Lisa / February 27, 2015 at 07:24 pm
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Everything at Milo's Pita is THE BEST. Especially the shwarma plate.
JM / February 27, 2015 at 07:42 pm
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The correct answer is Shawarma Empire. Nasibs is very good as well.

Oh well, once again this site pulls a list out of its ass. They say everything is voted on by people that come to this site, but Ive been coming here for a long time now and Ive yet to see any kind of area where im able to vote on a list. There is zero credibility here...

I mean seriously, they are going to release another list in a few days, we all know that. I scanned the homepage and unless im missing something, there is nothing anywhere to vote on. Why not, at the top of this list, say how many total votes were counted, and say how many people voted for each location??

Jamie / February 27, 2015 at 08:13 pm
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Liberty Shawarma!
Newuser / February 27, 2015 at 08:32 pm
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Really love Flaming Stove - glad to see them on the list! Closest to Montreal I've seen.
bolz / February 27, 2015 at 09:58 pm
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The best is all in Scarborough Ibrahim BBQ and about 20 others are better than all the places on this list you can walk from pharmacy to Birchmount on lawrence and find the most competitive saturated shawarma market in Canada
Adam / February 27, 2015 at 11:04 pm
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Is that French fries in the lead photo? Who serves that? That is not shawarma... that is crap who chooses these stupid lists? the ad department?
duh. replying to a comment from Adam / February 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm
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..it's St. Andrew's Poultry......
sean / February 28, 2015 at 12:18 am
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Sarah's in the annex even though they were recently on the dinesafe list. also can't remember the name but on the SE corner of Yonge and Carlton...although the old grey haired guy is working there who doesn't speak english give it a pass and come back next time.

Dr. Mantis replying to a comment from Adam / February 28, 2015 at 12:25 am
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Fries are actually authentic in some parts of the middle east. Usually shawarma's are very minimal. Not chock full of crap to satiate north americans.
anne-marie tynan / February 28, 2015 at 12:28 am
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Where is Sultan of Shwarma on Danforth at Main??
joe replying to a comment from anne-marie tynan / February 28, 2015 at 01:11 am
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Probably still at Danforth and Main.
ADAM / February 28, 2015 at 07:31 am
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MILO's PITA IN THE AMC BUILDING AT YONGE and DUNDAS - SOURCE? IM ACTUALLY AN ARAB !!
Darren / February 28, 2015 at 10:36 am
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Sultan Shawarma, at the intersection of Main and Danforth, serves amazing shawarma, and is almost always busy. Also, an added bonus is that it's open until 4 am on some days and has decent prices for their food
Yuri / February 28, 2015 at 03:23 pm
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Shawarma is actually Turkish, not Arabic, and as such it was popular all over the Ottoman Empire - both in Europe and west Asia (AKA as the Middle East). I had wonderful shawarmas/doners in Jordan's Aqaba, Romania's Bucharest, Israel's Haifa, Palestine's Ramallah, and all over Turkey.
I regret to say that up to that day I didn't find a single decent one in Toronto.
Liliya / February 28, 2015 at 04:13 pm
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Almanqal Shawarma at Danforth & Woodbine is good too
weekly / February 28, 2015 at 08:47 pm
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Liberty Shawarma rocks!!
Bloorcourt / March 1, 2015 at 11:55 am
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The Empire at Bloor and Rusholme does Shawarma right. My favourite, and many others too.
Me Va Me Ya / March 1, 2015 at 07:57 pm
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Yes Me va Me the dump with dry overpriced chunks of meat sandwiches and Chinese sandwich assembler LOL @ this website
Jason / March 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm
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King David thumbs up
Rahim / March 2, 2015 at 01:04 pm
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Grill 4 U has THE BEST shawarmas in the GTA. Hands down. They have a location in the shopping plaza just north of Vaughan Mills mall - in the Boston Pizza parking lot. It's always lined-up. Ask for the homemade bread and hot sauce with tahini. You'll thank me, shawarma lovers.
Ac replying to a comment from Jibbly / March 3, 2015 at 08:49 am
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We started selling prepared food when we reopened in September 2014! Come on by!!
ubertorontofreeride / March 3, 2015 at 01:50 pm
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Need a ride to these shawarma shops?

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David / March 3, 2015 at 04:23 pm
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Kruzo grill & Mr. Laffa in Thornhill have the best shawarma in the Greater Toronto Area.
thedude / March 3, 2015 at 09:31 pm
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where's king falafel?! So simple. So delicious.
hai wan / March 3, 2015 at 10:06 pm
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Tasty Shawarma is downright awful, i live around the corner. 95% of Shawarma joints in toronto really suck. Water/tahini + water/"red" sauce + overly greasy, shitty meat + stale pita, then flattened in a panini press. Also, lettuce has no business in a shawarma.

Nasib's is the truth. Good meat, actual tahini, actual hot sauce.
Heather / March 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm
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This list is incomplete!!!! Ibrahim's is the best place ever in life!!!!!!
Ehjay replying to a comment from Heather / March 4, 2015 at 12:29 am
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Ibrahim's is good and open late ... They just need to understand what 2-4-1 means.
mando / March 4, 2015 at 07:09 pm
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just tried 2 Bros cuisine in etobicoke there shawarma is out off this world man the chicken in very tender and soft all the topping are fresh and the garlic sauce is amazinggggggg I order the large mixed wrap donair and Chicken it's huge one and I couldn't stop eating it even I was full and he ask me if I want garlic sauce on my fries he recommend it to me and it was very delicious and be careful with the hot sauce it's extremely hot the owner is a very nice guy he makes everything by him self home made he give a simple off a lintel soup it was very good wow this place is my spot for for shawarma
Hayat / March 5, 2015 at 08:45 pm
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One of the best shawarma in Toronto (euro shawarma)
Blogger / March 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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One that needs to be added to this list is Al Tanoor which is located at 1993 Lawrence Ave E. The pitas are baked in house and everything is fresh. A must try if you are in the area or definitely worth the drive too!
Confused / March 6, 2015 at 05:45 pm
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How is King Falafel at Bathurst and Eglinton not on the list?? Most of these places nuke the meat to reheat it or have bland and flavorless vegetables and bread. Check out KF for really really good Schwarma
ghazale for ever / March 10, 2015 at 06:20 am
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It's a big mistake that ghazale on college in not on the list ... they do chicken breast shawarma and they make every thing in there small kitchen. .
customer service is the best service i have ever had on the city
garlic .. hummus ..thine ... Hot sauce they are delicious
there vegetarian side is amazing lots of choices
don't miss it
661 college St
Nelson Galvao / March 10, 2015 at 05:07 pm
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Bro, where's Taste of Shawarma on this?
ToFoodDude / March 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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Um... Taste of Shawarma on Dufferin & Castlefield? Easily the top Shawarma spot both late night and day for the midtown area. As well as Red & White Mediterranean on Lawrence & Blackcreek (home made sauces are to die for aswell as the use of their unique rice in plate versions). Also I strongly disagree with Dr. Laffa being #1.. more suited below Sofra, Euro, etc

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