Greek, Balkan and/or Turkish restaurants, bars, coffee shops, groceries and bakeries in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area [Danforth] [Scarborough] [Ossington]

Weekend brunch ended up at mamakas again.
I tried the fish as the main this time (lamb chops aren’t offered as part of prix fixe anymore)a hefty portion and done well.
This prix fix is becoming hard to beat especially one can end up paying this much real quick for not very good options in this area


Mabelle Turkish Bakery at 1110 Wilson Ave looks good.

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How much was the set menu? It isn’t posted on Mamakas’ site today. I know I saw a menu with prices posted for the Mamakas Sunday Lunch when I had brunch at Bar Koukla a few weeks ago.

I am planning to lunch at Mamakas in mid Sept.

45$ and 55$ with drink for 3 courses
It’s on their site as well

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Which Agora are you speaking of?

The Mamakas’ owned Agora on Queen W near Trinity Bellwoods’ Park.

Not to be confused with Cosmo’s Agora in Scarborough.
There would be an outrage in Scarborough if anyone tried to pass off that blended Icey espresso as a a Greek Frappé. I know there are several places to get a proper Frappe in Scarborough. I used to visit a Greek coffee shop on Vic Park 20 years ago.

I have only been east of Main once in the last 4 years, so I haven’t had a chance to visit Cosmo’s Agora. I know it’s a good store. I get that sort of stuff at Serano on Pape.

Agora means market so it gets used a lot by Greeks and Cypriots.

For reference, Cosmos Agora is located at Warden and Lawrence

Nice lunch of melitzanasalata, keftedes, spanakopita, and lamb shanks hula at Mamakas today. Thanks for recommending it, @elvisahmed . This was my first dine-in visit since 2015. Patio Season 2023 [Toronto] [GTA] - #34 by Phoenikia

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We revisited Petros82 as we were going to an opera and there were only a few patios still open in the area. Although still a bit pricey, the food was even better this time around.

We had a bottle of the same orange wine that we had last time: 2019 Thrace, Anatolikos Vineyards - honey and floral and very bitter orange peel (and some mushroom) - fantastic and went amazing with all the dishes.

The daily crudo featured fresh red snapper wrapped around garlic, tomato, vinegar sauce with red and green peppers, cilantro leaves - bright flavours and packed a kick:

An impressive appetizer special featured spaghetti with peas and sea urchin butter, bedecked with whole sea urchin on top - very rich from the sea urchin and perfectly balanced with the acid of some lemon juice:

Another great appetizer special had perfectly fried halibut cheeks (crusted with quinoa and Parmesan) complemented with a salad of cucumber, avocado, chilis, and sweet tomatoes:

The grilled calamari skaras with caper berries, garlic confit, cherry tomatoes, lemon brown butter was terrific - perfectly done, very smoky, and lemony:

After so many apps, we could only handle one main: astakomakaronada lobster pasta - spaghetti, lobster, spinach, brandy, with a tangy cherry tomato sauce and plenty of fragrant olive oil - lots of bold flavours and yet not overwhelming the lobster:

We deliberately avoided dessert, which had choices that sounded less interesting.


I have to visit this place.

FWIW, Greeks in Greece, many expat Greeks, and Greek Canadians don’t tend to eat desserts after dinner. Greeks tend to eat fruit after dinner if they’re craving something sweet.

Pastries are usually served around 4 pm with a cup of coffee.



I was heading to the airport and decided to take a detour to try Galata Café, a Turkish place on Dundas West. Phoenikia mentioned it above. They had a single outdoor table, which was lovely given the relative warmth today.

I decided to order a gözleme. This is like a stuffed flatbread, though the dough is made of thin layers. I tried the eggplant version, which also included sweet red peppers and onions. It came with a side salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion, and what appeared to be spinach leaves. The dough was light, more bread-like than pastry-like. It was very good and I’d like to try some of the other variations.

Having already been caffeinated, I tried the salep. This is a hot milk drink that mixes in flour from an orchid tuber and is topped with some cinnamon. It was pleasant, though not particularly distinctive in flavour.


Despite having lived in Riverdale for 20 years, we had never tried Pantheon. Tonight we finally made it. We mainly tried dishes that aren’t commonly on the menu at other Danforth Greek restaurants, but in doing so we skipped the grilled meats and can’t really compare on that index.

They had a number of Greek wines by the glass. The Retsina Malamatina Thessaloniki was quite pleasant and aromatic. The Assyrtiko Chalkidiki was a bit more average.

We started with the Pikadiko Loukaniko, house-made orange-scented sausage, sautéed with peppers and mushrooms - hearty and delicious.

Next up was the Scallop Saganaki - sautéed scallops with melted cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic butter. This is exactly not my preference for scallops, but my wife picked this one and enjoyed it.

They offer a number of imported Greek fish, pan-fried with a dusting of flour. Unfortunately they didn’t have smelt, one of my favourites. So we went with the anchovies. The were a tad overcooked, in the sense that the first few were perfect and piping hot. The rest overcooked in the interim and were a bit chewier, thought still tasty.

The roasted lamb on the other hand was perfectly cooked, slow roasted so that all the collagen melted and the meat was moist and tender. The only issue was a slightly over-salted gravy. The lamb came with Greek potatoes, straightforward veggies, and a side Greek salad.

Our appetites flagging, we shared a walnut cake, which was flavourful but drenched in perhaps a bit too much honey.


Aleria is a newish Greek and Mediterranean restaurant on Queen West connected to Greek & Co, and Papi Chulos corporately. Those restaurants are run by Matty Tsoumaris and a couple partners.

I haven’t been to Aleria. It seems to be focused on souvlaki.

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The moussaka and pastitsio used to be quite good at Pantheon. Of course, those dishes are offered at most restaurants on the Danforth.

A lot of Danforth Greeks choose Pantheon when they want seafood. I used to have it on my rotation.

My preference on the Danforth has typically been Mezes followed by Megas. In my 30s, I ate Greek food on the Danforth 3 or 4 times a month. I confess, I haven’t even ordered Greek food from a Danforth restaurant in 3 years.

I do stop at Serano Bakery on Pape for baked goods and groceries a few times a year.

My only Greek restaurant meals in Toronto this year have been at Mamakas and Bar Koukla.

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Pantheon is still my fave fir Greek on the Danforth.


What dishes do you like there?

Do you have any recommendations?

I always go with seafood at Pantheon. They do it well.


I decided to compare the pork souvlaki at Soula’s and Mezes tonight. Both restaurants take orders through Ritual, which is the app I usually use. Both also seem to be available through UberEats and DoorDash, maybe SkiptheDishes as well.

$10 pork souvlaki in a pita, with fries

Beef and rice dolmades with tomato sauce ($10 for 3)

Pork stick ($5.50 )

Beef and rice dolmades with avgolemono sauce ($16.50)

Quail ($16.50)

Mixed veg ($11)

I give the slight edge to Mezes. Pork souvlaki was good at both.
More generous amount of pork for the price at Soula’s. The chunks of pork were bigger at Soula’s . Soula’s included extra pita bread, wrapped in foil.

Soula’s dolmades had more cumin and other spices in the filling. I’m not used to the tomato sauce, it’s a regional variation.

I didn’t try the quail from Mezes yet, I picked it up for tomorrow. The vegetables were generous.

I would go back to either place.

The pick-up at Mezes is more seamless. The food was on time. The old restaurant space acts as their take-out space.

At Soula’s, the order took maybe 10 minutes longer than the app suggested. It’s busy near the door, and a more cramped space. The staff were friendly , but some were stressed. The space near the door, on a Saturday, would be a reason for me to go elsewhere. Soula’s has a heated patio, which is sealed up. Too sealed for me.

Astoria, Megas and Kalyvia were relative empty tonight. I didn’t check inside the Friendly Greek, Christina’s or Pantheon. I think I’ll likely compare other pork sticks or pork souvlaki the next time I visit the Danforth.

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Finally followed up on elvisahmed’s rec of Chef Mustafa. We had noticed it on one of our wanders during the pandemic. It’s a casual place that was full of families. Service was a little intermittent as there appeared to be only two staff handling a full restaurant. The food was very good and we will definitely want to come back for more of the dishes.

First up was the manti - teensy, delicate beef dumplings, smothered with a garlicky yoghurt, a red butter sauce that tasted of tomato, and mint.

Our other appetizer was the fried eggplant, stuffed with tomato, pepper, and onion, covered with some mozzarella cheese, and served with converted rice (with frozen peas and carrots) and lavash bread. Straightforward and tasty. The lavash was fresh, warm, and great for mopping up everything.

Although elvisahmed had recommended the chicken kebab, we’re always suckers for lamb shank and ordered their version with what turned out to have a similar accompaniment to the eggplant. The shank was beautifully braised, tender, fall-off-the-bone, moist, with the tendon melted down. (Unfortunately no pic.)

We did try some pide as recommended. Faced with many choices and only so much stomach space, we went for the mix pide that included the chicken kebab, beef doner, beef sausage, and spinach. Overall very enjoyable, a lighter and more delicate version than Pizza Pide. I do miss the squirt of lemon on it, but the little pickled hot peppers added some acid.

We were too full to have anything else, including dessert.