Herby Toronto

Herby Restaurant

Herby is a Persian restaurant specializing in food from northwestern Iran. 

This homey restaurant is a culinary love letter to the rose-filled fields of Herbi: a scenic village near owner Javad Zehdifar’s hometown in Tabriz

herby torontoWith a menu of eats that are specific to the Azeri-speaking Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, the restaurant is filled with Iranian blue pottery and photographs taken by Zehdifar’s son-in-law, including of his niece in said rose fields. 

herby torontoZehdifar isn’t a professionally trained chef—all his recipes are passed down from his mother and grandma—but he’s definitely a purist when it comes to his ingredients. He imports roses from Herbi for his tea, served with organic brown sugar. 

herby torontoFor several years, Zehdifar owned ran a small takeout spot called Tah Deeg by Yonge and Finch before closing up shop in 2017 to pursue something a little more upscale, with Persian brunch on weekends that includes trays of eggs, mashed dates, and feta cheese.

herby toronto “It was always my vision to make my new place as a combination food, art, and culture,” he says. 

herby torontoIf you’ve ever been to a Persian restaurant, you might know some of the dishes by their Farsi names rather than the Azeri translations, though some recipes are specific to Tabriz.

herby torontoThe kashk e bademjan ($9.50) is a delicious oven-roasted eggplant mixture with walnuts, fried onion, yogurt sauce, and a mint oil.

herby torontoYou should definitely get this with a portion of Barbari flatbread via Salamat Bakery.

herby torontoAll the meat is juicy and tender here. Chicken tava kebab ($19.99) is oven-roasted chicken breast served in a tava, or a pan, with grilled veggies and rice served on the side.

A veal and beef version is served in the tava as a whole, circular piece, and is equally delicious. 

herby torontoA koobideh sandwich is the sub of my dreams, with a whole skewer of juicy minced beef kebab inside and assembled with pickled cucumbers on a sesame seed bun. 

herby torontoIncredibly popular in Azerbaijan, Iran, is Piti ($22.95), which is sometimes referred to as abgoosht. 

herby torontoServed in a clay piti, this lamb leg and chickpea stew requires a bit of manual mashing with a mallet. You can pour out the stew to drink separately from the meat, though ultimately you can eat this dish however you like. 

herby torontoA rose water drink called Shovaran with organic teff flour at the bottom is delicious year-round, but especially used in summertime to cool down. 

herby toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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