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15 of the tastiest shawarma wraps in Toronto and the GTA

Fresh, portable and delicious, these Toronto shawarma joints have got you covered for your next picnic lunch.

 

The best shawarma in Toronto | A chicken shawarma wrap from Chef Harwash

There is no shortage of great shawarma in Toronto and across the GTA. Whether you need a quick lunch or post-party alcohol-absorber, chances are there will always be a shawarma counter open near you.

For our part, shawarma is perfect for one of our favourite summertime activities: sitting in the park. Perfectly portable and hearty after a long stroll, shawarma is definitely our favourite picnic centrepiece.

Similar to the al pastor meat found in tacos (which was invented by Lebanese immigrants bringing Middle Eastern cooking methods to Mexico), this Levantine meat preparation starts by piling thin slices of marinated chicken, lamb or beef on a vertical rotisserie spit. It slowly cooks and keeps warm while it rotates, waiting for hungry diners to come take a taste. Finally, the meat is shaved off and added to your favourite preparation: salad bowls, rice platters or — our favourite — wrapped up in flatbread with fresh veggies, pickles and lots of sauce.

To get the really good stuff, make sure to expand your horizons past downtown. Some of the best food in the city can be found in unassuming places, and good shawarma is no exception. Don’t worry if you can’t make the trip, though, all of the shawarma on this list is available for delivery too.

The best shawarma in Toronto: Scarborough

Armenian Kitchen

1646 Victoria Park Ave.

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Since its inception in 1989, this Victoria Park institution has been known for their creamy homemade hummus. The shawarma sandwiches are equally worth the visit, though, with chicken, lamb and beef served hot off the spit, topped with fresh tomatoes, onions and tahini — add a dollop of hummus for the perfect bite.

@kitchenarmenian

Chris Jerk

2570 Birchmount Rd.

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For a different take on our favourite spinning meat, head to Chris Jerk Bistro for a taste of spicy, tender jerk chicken shawarma. Aside from the traditional wrap, you can also have your shawarma piled onto rice and peas, salad or for a Canadian twist, try it on their signature poutine.

@chrisjerkbistro

Shawarma Empire

1823 Lawrence Ave. E.

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Like most good things in life, this gem is tucked away in a Lawrence Avenue strip mall. Serving up chicken and beef shawarma by the pocket or by the pound, topped with pickles, tomatoes, garlic sauce and as much hot sauce as you can handle — you’ll definitely never leave here hungry.

@shawarma_empire_toronto

Ghadir Meat

1848 Lawrence Ave. E.

The best shawarma in Toronto | A spread of food at Ghadir Meat

Open since 1992, this legendary shawarma counter also doubles as a Lebanese/Mediterranean grocery store and butcher. Alongside their many meaty offerings, enjoy their hand-cut shawarma in a classic wrap, or you can buy it by weight and pile it as high as you’d like with a platter of hummus, tahina, mixed pickles and fresh pita bread.

ghadirmeatmarket.com

The best shawarma in Toronto: Downtown East

Chamsine

235 Queen St. E.

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Low prices and high stacks of juicy shawarma are on the menu in Moss park. Formerly a St. Clair West staple, die-hard Chamsine fans can now get their fill of flavourful, affordable shawarma plates and sandwiches at the Queen East location. While the shawarma wraps make a perfect takeaway meal, the salad plates are an excellent veggie-packed alternative.

@chamsine.shawarma

Souk Tabule

494 Front St. E.

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Available for takeout and delivery, the Souk Tabule shawarma wrap is a must-try. While we could gush for days about the tender beef shawarma and fresh toppings inside, it wouldn’t be a complete package without their made-to-order saj (traditional Lebanese flatbread) wrapped around it.

souktabule.com

Lebanon Express

439 Yonge St.

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This Toronto chain is a go-to favourite for healthy halal options. Alongside their tasty shawarma wraps, their assortment of salads and sides come in family and party platters, perfect for sharing while catching up in the park.

lebanonexpress.ca

The best shawarma in Toronto: Downtown West

Shawarma Royale

398 College St.

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With locations across Southern Ontario, Shawarma Royale is a reliable spot for delicious shawarma wraps and platters. Their many wraps range from basic to royale — try the King Lamb Wrap topped with Royale tahini sauce, tomatoes, pickles, parsley and onion.

shawarmaroyale.com

Shadi Shawarma

167 Roncesvalles Ave.

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Healthy shawarma platters, salads and sandwiches make this a Roncesvalles go-to. The principal owner Shadi Ghanim comes from a family that has been cooking Middle Eastern food for three generations.

@shadishawarma

Chef Harwash

707 Dundas St. W.

One of the many reclaimed shipping containers in Market 707 (where you’ll find some of the city’s best street food), Chef Harwash promises an authentic Damascene experience without having to leave Toronto. Choose between fruit-marinated beef or juicy chicken shawarma, both of which are served with pomegranate sauce (a Syrian staple) and all the regular toppings. Conveniently located near Alexandra and Trinity Bellwoods parks, this is the perfect stop before your next picnic.

@chefharwash

Zaad

348 Bloor St. W.

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Inspired by the historic city of Jerash in northern Jordan, Zaad is a Bloor West favourite for Middle Eastern eats. Their chicken, beef and lamb shawarmas come in small pita pockets or large 12-inch saj wraps, the perfect grab-and-go meal.

zaad.ca

Eat Nabati

160 Baldwin St.

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Even if you’re trying to cut out meat, you can still enjoy a classic shawarma sandwich guilt-free. Eat Nabati’s 100 per cent plant-based menu includes vegan “chicken” and “beef” shawarmas that taste just like the real thing.

eatnabati.com

The best shawarma in Toronto: Midtown

Aish Tanoor

994 Eglinton Ave. W.

This Eglinton West staple is known for its 100 per cent kosher cuisine. The name “tanoor” is in reference to the oven which is central to making their famous laffas — a slightly thicker, chewier middle eastern flatbread — perfect for sandwiching their succulent chicken shawarma and your choice of toppings. Don’t skip on a side of their velvety hummus, crispy falafels or a salad to round out your meal.

@aish_tanoor

Flaming Stove

21 Davisville Ave.

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Tucked behind a Hasty Market, Davisville locals flock to Flaming Stove at lunchtime for their fave falafels and shawarma. The popular chicken shawarma wrap, with your choice of toppings, and their grab-and-go selection of salads make for a quick, delicious lunch.

flamingstove.com

Dr. Laffa

3519 Bathurst St.

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Expect homemade laffas and succulent chicken shawarma at this kosher counter. Top your sandwich with as much as you want from their selection of extras including fresh salads, fried eggplant, Morrocan carrots and an assortment of sauces. Although the many Dr. Laffa locations are north of Lawrence, it’s well worth a trip to get a bite.

drlaffa.com

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