Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

Cinderella Restaurant

Cinderella Restaurant serves scratch-made Middle Eastern classics like falafel and shawarma for rock bottom prices, right out of a takeout restaurant that's practically inside a subway station.

Apparently it’s so named because it really is something of a Cinderella story, the owners having opened the restaurant after moving here from Syria.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

The confines of the space are small but a hot table is in clear view, and there’s one four-person table in a main area as well as a bar with high seating that looks out on a northbound bus stop.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

I recommend the falafel, for sheer value if not for the crispy, slightly oily delicious chickpea balls fried to a golden brown, $6.99 for a plate and only $3.99 for a sandwich.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

For the plate, I get the falafel on a bed of rice with little bits of noodle in it. Hummus and an addictively-potent garlic sauce are heaped on the side, a little tahini dressing the falafel. All sauces are made in-house except the ketchup and mayo.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

All that’s revealed to me about the shawarma is that a fresh new cone of meat is layered on the spit every single day; marinades and preparation remain a closely guarded secret.

cinderella torontoI can see why: shawarma ($8.99 for a plate, $5.49 for a sandwich) is caramelized and fragrant, spices permeated deep into the dense meat. House hot sauce on this is just a little fiery and totally lovable, a base of yummy yellow garlic rice for this plate.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

A healthy dose of house pickles is mandatory with either of these items. While I’m in the shop a customer professes his love of pickles in general and these especially—and I have to agree with him.

Briny and so strong they’re almost hot, the pickles are cut into uneven strips so you can modulate the acidity of your meal.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

Fries ($2.99) feel a little tossed off but are a must-have for a side at a place like this. I wouldn’t be shy about asking for some of that shawarma piled high on top of these.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

Lentil soup is also $2.99 and seems like it could be an equally random side, but it has a surprising depth of flavour: rich and complex, topped with a little crushed dried pepper.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

Kebah are a snack item, the crusty exterior breaking to reveal a soft interior of ground beef, onion and bulgur.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

One visit and I already know my next order: falafel or shawarma on yellow garlic rice, hold the hummus and double up on that garlic sauce, double pickles, no lettuce.

Cinderella Restaurant Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Cinderella Restaurant

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