Middle Eastern Food in [Toronto]

My favourite spots are the Syrian Zeyzafoun followed by the original Tabule on Yonge.

I have visited Tabule enough to know exactly what I order every time: the fried eggplant, the garlic tomatoes, the mejadra, the baba ghanoush. I also order the fried cauliflower and fattoush occasionally. I order chicken and meat as well, but I alternate those orders. I order enough so that it fills my fridge for 2 days. :joy: When I am trying to stick to a diet, I get the chicken skewer with fattoush.

I have had hit or miss meals from the Haifa Room, Little Sito, and Fet Zun.

I have had hit or miss meals from Parallel Basta, and better meals from Parallel on Geary.

I haven’t been to Fat Pasha or Byblos in 5 years.

I haven’t been to Amal.

I liked Sara, but only visited once.

I have not visited Miss Aida on Roncesvalles or Azhar on Ossington yet.

I haven’t been to the original Jerusalem on Eglinton West in 7 years and it’s been over 15 years since my last visit to the Jerusalem on Leslie.

For cheap places downtown, I enjoyed Lebanese Garden ( College near Augusta- they do Too Good to Go at the end of the night, for anyone looking for a bargain) and Zaad (Bloor and Spadina).

I look forward to any of your thoughts and recommendations


Tabule and Shawarma Empire are my favorites.


Tabule is our overall favourite and has been for years. The garlic tomatoes, the cauliflower, and the chicken livers are our favourite hot apps. The mains are all very good too. Souk Tabule is also great for their brunch dishes.

We also haven’t been to Jerusalem in several years, but I have not noticed much slippage over the decades. Their menu is similar to Tabule’s - I think Tabule was started by people who used to be at Jerusalem.

Byblos is our favourite place for fancied-up Middle Eastern. The menu is a little less ambitious than when it first opened, but still very enjoyable. We’ve been to the downtown location more, but the uptown location seems just as good. Fat Pasha is more casual and still has great food, including the signature roasted cauliflower.

Maha’s was great the first time and oversalted the next time, making the line-ups less enticing. Papyrus has good Egyptian take-out, including the sandwiches and koshari.

Dr. Laffa remains great for the laffa and they also do a great shakshuka. Only my wife has been to the Toronto location of Miznon, but she says it’s as good as the New York City location that we enjoyed a few years ago.


I found Miznon to be quite good. I have been to the Toronto location twice.

I also enjoy Dr Laffa.

I’ve been to Maha’s around 5 times. I don’t enjoy their food that much. My last order was their Mind-blowing Chicken which I find more okay, or pretty good, than mind-blowing.


Take-out Parallel salad ($21)

and extra chicken shawarma ($12, by itself) from Parallel Basta on Augusta in Kensington Market

Not crazy about the honey vinaigrette that has hidden mustard. I used the beet tahini as my dressing, and mixed the Chicken Shawarma into my Parallel Salad.


@mig , for modern Middle Eastern close to King and Spadina, I liked the food at this spot a little more than Basta , but I haven’t been since before 2020. https://www.sara.restaurant/


I’ll second those choices. Have you ever eaten at Laymoon? There are 2 with one being in Ajax. I’m eager to try it because the menu looks good, but sure wish I could get a reliable opinion on it.


I haven’t tried Laymoon yet, looks tasty tho.


Laymoon’s IG profile popped up in my feed today.

Didn’t realize there was a Thornhill location, as well as the Ajax locatjon. https://www.instagram.com/laymoon.ca

Yes, ma’am. That’s the 2nd location I referred to. I’m hoping to get to the Ajax one either this weekend or next. I’ll be sure to report from the eastern front.

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I’ve now been to Parallel Basta in Kensington Market twice. I liked their seasoning on the chicken shawarma and I like their salads. A lot of salads in Toronto give me hives (from some sort of preservative or maybe a vegetable wash, or maybe pesticide residue, not sure. I’ve been to an allergist). Luckily the Parallel Basta salads don’t give me hives. :slightly_smiling_face:. It is way more expensive than the most non- Israeli Middle Eastern fast casual options, or mom & pop options downtown. Parallel Basta is a more upscale restaurant, and I think it uses higher quality produce and meats, but it adds up quickly. A main course vegetable salad with chicken shawarma on the side comes to around $40, so roughly twice what a salad topped with doner or shawarma costs at Otto’s Berlin Doner or a shawarma shop.

I will probably get a Leaf Doner doner at some point this month. Leaf Doner took over the Our Spot location on Baldwin near Sanagan’s.


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Went to Miznon for dinner. It was pretty much empty at 5:30 and only partially filled by 6:30. You order at the counter and then they bring you your food and drinks to your table. We have only previously been to the New York City location and this one seems comparable in terms of quality.

Cocktails - before 6:00 pm they are $10 and come with crispy za’atar pita chips with tahini.

  • Pomegroni: gin negroni, with pomegranate and soda - sort of a fruity negroni spritz.
  • Strawberry Fields: vodka/gin (we chose gin), elderflower, strawberry perfume, lemon, mint, soda - fresh and light.

“The best hummus that you will ever eat!” came topped with chickpeas, tahini, Miznon’s green spicy sauce, tomato seeds. Very creamy and smooth. I would preferred a bit more lemon to balance the richness. The two pitas were fantastic, fluffy and pillowy.

“Whole roasted baby cauliflower - the original, world-famous, cauliflower by chef Eyal Shani” - pure and simple, but a bit unevenly salted (bombs in some areas, a desert in others).

Lamb kebab pita - a juicy ground lamb kebab (nicely spiced) in the same wonderful pita, with grilled tomato, grilled onion, tahini, Miznon’s spicy green sauce, and pickles - a great sandwich and the best thing we had for this meal.

Choco-banana pita trail - caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce in pita. Maybe by this point we had eaten far too many pitas, but we still enjoyed this.

There are still many items on the menu we would like to try, so a repeat visit will be in order.


Whatever you were doing to get these photos, do that more.


The lighting was bright at Miznon, so I could use no flash. Many restaurants are too dim for this to work.

Sorry to double up on a single spot (just noticing as I found this thread), but also checked out Miznon in Yorkville this week. It’s a short walk from me (near Bloor-Yonge) but the price is a bit of a deterrent, although great for a treat.

I tried the Schnitzel this time, and my partner the Falafel. Both were well worth it, though I will say having visited 4-5 times now, I find the sauce level varies wildly by visit. In the past I’ve had a soggy mess of a pita by the time I get to the end, and this time we both agreed we could have used a bit more sauce.

Love their dine-in concept of order at the counter, seat yourself, take a number, and get it brought over. Very casual but warm and relaxed at the same time.


Has anyone tried Mossop’s in the Financial District yet? Affiliated with Romi’s on St. Clair W. I’m not one to voluntarily eat in the Financial District unless my work’s paying for it, but just checked out the TorontoLife article on them and their brunch caught my eye - a free salatim platter with any brunch item ordered?

Sure, $18 for a 3-egg omelette with za’atar sprinkled on top is steep, but that with the pictured platter seems like a great variety?


Didn’t have this on my radar. If you try it, let us know how it is.


I haven’t tried Mossop’s.

I don’t think $18 is steep for a 3 egg omelette right now. Greasy spoons that are in residential neighborhoods are charging $12-$15. Most breakfast mains are around $15-$20 lately!

On the topic of Romi’s.
I really wanted to like Romi’s. Their carrot salad was inedible. I almost never throw out food. I tried a couple other salads. I didn’t try any of their baked goods.


We recently tried the Basque cheesecake from Romi’s (pictured below) and the Nutella rugelach. The cake was lovely, not too sweet, not too rich. I am not a big Nutella fan, but everyone else loved the rugelach.

I also just dined at the new Bayview Village location of Tabule with work colleagues. The interior feels very mall-ish. But the food is as good as the other locations. Garlic tomatoes, chicken livers, cauliflower, fried eggplant, and kebabs were all great.