alforat restaurant

This Toronto restaurant is giving away free shawarma in honour of its late owner

A Toronto restaurant will be giving out free shawarma next month in honour of its late owner.

Originally founded by Ali Al Awadi and his father, Alforat is a restaurant that specializes in Iraqi street food, including Iraqi-style shawarma.

According to his family, Ali passed away in a tragic swimming accident when he was trying to save his friend who didn’t know how to swim, back in June 2021. Ali and his friends went on this trip to celebrate the new restaurant that would open later that year.

"Ali was a very generous man who loved helping people. His friends come and tell us stories about how he used to do work for them and never took a penny," his brother Karar tells blogTO.

Ali and his father decided to create their own restaurant when they saw that there wasn't real Iraqi street food within their community or in the GTA. They wanted to give Toronto their own take on Iraqi street food, with their blend of spices ground in-house.

"He wanted to have a cooler in the restaurant that had prepared food for people in need. Our family always cooked meals throughout the years and served it to neighbours, friends and relatives," says Karar.

To commemorate the year of his passing, Karar and his family have decided to honour Ali by giving out free shawarmas to all of Alforat's customers on June 5.

"We wanted to keep his dream and name alive so we decided to do a memorial day every June 5."

At this year's event, Alforat is planning to serve up to 500 kg of shawarma in loving memory of his passing.

The restaurant hopes to get as many people as they can to visit the restaurant to not only eat some delicious shawarma but to celebrate Ali's life.

Alforat will be hosting this event on June 5 from 12:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. All proceeds from the event will go to a local charity.

Lead photo by

Karar Al Awadi

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