Sometimes we’re tired of having the same old boring sandwich filled with processed meats, mayo, and cheese slices. This is when shawarma steps in – a heady Middle Eastern concoction of lamb, chicken, or beef with tomatoes, cucumbers, and tahini.
It gained even more popularity when Robert Downey Jr adlibbed his famous line, “There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here – I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.” Our handy guide lets you in on all of Toronto’s standouts and secret spots!
What is the average price of a shawarma in Toronto?
Based on the restaurants on our list, the average price of a shawarma in Toronto typically ranges from $12 to $15. This doesn’t include additional ingredients, drinks, or meal packages.
How We Chose the Best Shawarma Spots in Toronto
1. Shawarma Empire
|1823 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R 2Y3, Canada
|Sunday to Thursday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Friday to Saturday: 11 AM - 11 PM
Shawarma Empire is renowned for top-notch chicken and beef shawarma. Run by Ahed Darwish, the cash-only spot offers in-house-made falafel and a bustling atmosphere with lines forming during peak hours in this small but friendly place.
With forty-year-old recipes, Darwish ensures everything is made from scratch without preservatives. The menu includes chicken and beef shawarma, falafel, and classic spicy bread on the side.
The rotating meat cones for shawarma are assembled in-house, using fresh layers of raw chicken. Signature items include the chicken shawarma wrap and the beef shawarma plate featuring flavorful strip loin beef.
For a taste of freshness, try the falafel plate made with chickpeas soaked and ground in-house. Both the falafel plate and shawarma plate come with tahini.
Guests can complete their meal with a side of spicy bread and wash it down with a Vimto, an English drink with a slightly herbaceous cream-soda flavor.
Great food, large portions, vegetarian options
“Shawarma gem in scarborough. My go to spot for shawarmas.
Reasonable prices (did go up due to inflation).
Flavourful, the hummus tastes home made, the meat is well seasoned, the garlic sauce is not too strong, the rest of the ingredients were fresh.
Generous portions, they will pack your dinner plate or your sandwich with the toppings of your choice. The dinner plate even comes with a warm pita on the side.
The rice in the dinner plate however is, what i would describe it as ‘a little wet’ (for me), it comes with some type of beanlike (sorry i do not know what it is), but i love how it is. It blends well with the chicken/beef. The quality of the meats here are great.
Friendly service. Its a small place, but you can dine in. It does get busy especially during dinner time.
Vegetarian options: Falafels and salads”
Gayle, Google Review
Quick service, clean space, friendly staff, difficult to find parking
“Went In during lunchtime. These people have making your order and getting you out of there in record time down to an art.
Very friendly staff and clean! Food was really good! Definitely helped with my husbands craving for shawarma! Their pitas are made in-house it seems. They are smaller little pita pockets rather than your standard Arab pitas.
The plaza is really busy so you may not be able to park right away. But as it’s mostly takeout places, eventually, you will find a parking space.”
Sushima Hossenbux, Google Review
2. Ghadir Meat
|1848 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1R 2Y4, Canada
|Sunday to Thursday: 8 AM - 12 AM
Friday to Saturday: 8 AM - 2 AM
Ghadir Meat, a unique blend of a butcher shop and restaurant, specializes in fresh chicken and beef shawarma. They also offer shawarma poutine and shawarma by weight, along with Lebanese and Mediterranean groceries.
Originally a meat market, Ghadir has evolved into a butcher, grocery store, and eatery. They supply raw ingredients to other shawarma joints like Shawarma Empire.
With seating for about 18, Ghadir’s central area and additional overflow space offer a view behind the counter where shawarma is expertly shaved and orders assembled. They emphasize precision in butchery, using quality knives and their own spice blends.
The Ghadir Plate includes beef or chicken options with rice or fries, hummus, salad, garlic, and pita. Ghadir focuses on serving authentic Lebanese or Mediterranean-style shawarma, highlighting freshness and a unique spice blend.
Beyond shawarma, the menu features a beef kafta plate, Lahm-ajeen flatbreads, and BBQ specialties like a whole chicken platter or a family special. Ghadir also offers shisha, a variety of dates, and typical corner store essentials.
Good food, fair prices, needs more cleanliness
“This place is the best for its kebab items. Most of the time, it remains busy and crowded for the high demand for their food. Overall price and quality of the foods are good. Taste is also excellent. However, along with the food variety, they also sell traditional middle-east food items in the shop. There is also a separate portion where grill fish and kebab are sold. If you are thinking of a parking facility, the answer is yes. They have a parking facility outside the shop. The employees are very friendly and cooperative. Overall, cleanliness is good but can be improved a bit more. Decoration of the shop is average. Food preparation and delivery time are very reasonable. So, kebab lovers can pick this place to have a delicious kebab at an affordable price.”
Rahat Aziz, Google Review
Various offerings, vegetarian options available, parking may be difficult during peak hours
“I have tried a lot of food from here. The chicken and beef shawarma taste really good. The sauce and meat are delicious. Just for shawarma, it’s $10.72 (after tax).
The grilled chicken platter (drinks and fries) is good enough for four people. Just get a pack of pita bread for $1 (they often run out due to high demand), totaling around $35 (after tax).
The salmon fish platter (comes with pita and three sides) also tastes good and is suitable for two people. I don’t think it’s overpriced, considering the expensive market price of fish. It’s around $33, including drinks.
Vegetarian options: Falafel – but ask about the ingredients in garlic sauce (may contain egg)
Dietary restrictions: Hummus and tahini – may contain nuts
Parking: Depends the day
Weekends night may be difficult but still u will find the parking”
Aslan Lion, Google Review
3. Souk Tabule
|494 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1H7, Canada
|Sunday: 10:30 AM - 9 PM
Monday to Thursday: 11:30 AM - 9 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Saturday: 10:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Souk Tabule offers Lebanese cuisine, vegan options, and groceries in a modern setting with outdoor seating. Highlights include the must-try shawarma wrap on saj bread, available for takeout.
As part of the Tabule family, it combines a market, bakery, cafe, and quick lunch spot, serving high-end Middle Eastern food. They sell their spice blends and Lebanese imports and offer in-house saj bread made in a traditional oven.
For drinks, diners tend to enjoy the mint lemon-limeade or the jalab lemonade for a refresher. Their menu features saj pita, dips like muhamara, and a full souk platter.
Exclusive items include open-faced beef shawarma, canary salads, and Lebanese brunch molten shakshuka. The back of the restaurant offers a quieter area with unique design touches.
Casual cafe ambiance, great food, perfect location for walking to other spots
“It’s a cafe style restaurant with good Middle Eastern food. You get seated on a table, scan the menu with QR code (standard) and have to walk to the cashier to place the order and pay upfront, after which the server will bring your food to the table.
Our group went here on a day with great weather and sat outside on the patio and had an amazing time catching up. The location of the restaurant is beautiful and close to the Distillery district (one of my fav spots in the city). The food was amazing and the quantity was more than sufficient. They have plenty of vegetarian options as well and they taste great.
They don’t take reservations unless it’s a large party of 10 people or more.”
S B, Google Review
No table service, QR code for payment, generous servings
“This is like the casual, fast-serve little brother of Tabulé and feels like it. You won’t find table service here, as it feels much more lunch-orientated.
But if you like Lebanese food or want to try Beirut street food, this is the spot.
You can order through the QR code app at the table or at the counter and they bring you the food when it’s ready. So, if you’re a fan of minimal interaction with serving staff, this is the place for you. (It is a service-style very much like many places in the UK, for example.) I’m not so hot on this style personally but I understand why it exists in this setting.
The food is almost as good as Tabulé. Huge flavours, generous servings, and high-quality ingredients. We tried so many different options and all were excellent, but special shout out to the pulled chicken wrap and the falafel. There are plenty of good falafel to find in Toronto if you know where to look, but Souk/Tabulé must be up there in top 3, if not #1. They are absolutely perfect in every way. There wasn’t anything we ordered that we didn’t like.
Good coffee and sides. Dirty rice is a must.
Staff is all helpful and friendly. Atmosphere is clean, minimal, and bright (the opposite of Riverside Tabulé). Too bad the alarm (testing?) kept going off. That wasn’t too pleasant but downtown condos seem to do this all the time.
Probably the best lunch spot in the Canary district.”
Vee, Google Review
|348 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W9, Canada
|Opens daily from 11 AM - 11 PM
Zaad is a casual Middle Eastern spot in Toronto that offers traditional shawarma and falafel. Walk in for sandwiches or platters, with highlights like beef, chicken, and lamb shawarmas in pita or saj wraps.
The cozy decor is inspired by Jerash in Jordan, with the refined space featuring bold tiling and colorful lights. Everything, including pickles, juices, and desserts, is made in-house with Saj wraps loaded on-site with chicken and flavorful meat mix
Standout fries come seasoned with cayenne and rosemary, paired with garlic and Zaad sauce. Dips and vegan salads are fairly priced including house hummus and baba ghanouj.
The saj platter offers unique choices with pickled cabbage, fiery pickles, and options like chicken, lamb, beef shawarma, or vegetarian falafel. Zaad’s menu extends to house-made pickles, desserts, and hand-pressed juices.
Authentic spice levels, flavourful offerings, can be noisy
“Decent Shawerma. Even the mild ones are spicy, so depending on your tolerance choose the spice level.
The rice is fully flavourful. They add some parts of small flowers to make rice. That is the authentic way they claimed, so don’t be surprised if you found them in your rice plate. Lots of sauces cover the entire food plate. Overall a normal and ordinary Toronto shawerma.
The metal chairs are not comfortable and they were a bit wet, maybe from previous customers’ rainy jackets. The food was served in to-go boxes for dine-ins. They also spoke Arabic loudly with a customer-friend who was seated at a table from the back of cash. I know this is normal in middle east, but nice to be considerate of other customers around.”
Nima E, Google Review
Great food, amazing customer service
“I had an absolutely delightful experience at Zaad Shawarma restaurant! The food quality was truly exceptional, with each bite bursting with flavor and freshness. The shawarma was incredibly delicious and perfectly cooked. However, what truly made my visit memorable was the amazing service provided by Mohammad. His attentiveness, friendliness, and genuine care for the customers created a warm and welcoming atmosphere. He went above and beyond to ensure our dining experience was exceptional. I can’t wait to visit Zaad Shawarma again for both the outstanding food and the exceptional service!”
Ahmad Karim, Google Review
5. Dr. Laffa
|3519 Bathurst St, North York, ON M6B 3B5, Canada
|Closed on Saturday
Sunday to Thursday: 11 AM - 9 PM
Friday: 11 AM - 2 PM
Dr. Laffa is a Kosher restaurant famous for its Laffa bread that started in 2008 and now has five GTA locations. Owned by Yoram Gabay, the restaurant follows a family tradition of Laffa baking from Israel.
The restaurant features a large circulating oven where Laffa is prepared. The dough is hand-stretched, placed on a rotating oven, crisped, and transformed into the delicious, chewy Laffa bread.
A recommended pairing is the Dr. Laffa Hummus Plate. This crowd favourite features thick, creamy, housemade hummus and a generous serving of beef and lamb mix on the side.
Another popular item is Chicken Shawarma, available on a regular pita or Laffa bread. It’s loaded with lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, onion, turnips, and eggplant.
Plus, customers can customize it and finish with a drizzle of sweet mango sauce or opt for tahini and/or garlic sauces.
For a fresh side option, loyal customers get the Tabouli Salad, a light and crunchy mix of diced tomatoes, parsley, red onion, and couscous topped with olive oil and lemon dressing.
Good space, great food, amazing customer service
“Fantastic! Fresh food and toppings, very kind and friendly staff, amazing Laffa wraps! Come hungry and skip your diet for the day, you’ll thank me. We ordered 1 laffa wrap for each of us and we both could only eat half. Took the rest to go. This is the kind of place where you pay for 1 meal and get an amount enough to save half for dinner time. The shop is very clean and there are plenty of tables to sit 4 people at each with space in the restaurant to skip a table to be able to physically distance with other patrons. I’m very glad that I was recommended Dr Laffa’s, and I am eager to go back again! I recommend the chicken schnitzel!”
Muhammad Hassan, Google Review
Flavourful shawarma, slow service, inability to disclose materials for food allergy issues
“My go-to place for shwarma when I’m visiting family in Toronto.
For the most part, my shwarma is always tasty and I add eggplant, coleslaw, carrots, pickles and hummus. Only once has my order been wrong and the tin foil was wrapped within the food, causing me to have to pick the tin foil out myself.
Service can be slow at times. Also, my boyfriend has a severe peanut allergy and the staff wouldn’t tell us what oil they use to cook the French fries. Every restaurant we eat at, staff always tells us what oil is used. It’s a shame as I loved eating their fries prior to me dating my boyfriend.”
Simon W, Google Review