The Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto: 2012 Edition

Best Halal Restaurants

Gone are the days when the best halal restaurants meant Pakistani or Middle Eastern food. Today’s restaurant owners are keeping up with the demand for diverse cuisine, quality ingredients and modern ambiance. From authentic Thai to classic comfort food, the best halal restaurants today offer more choice than ever before.

Since the range of best halal restaurants is so broad, it’s difficult to rank these places in order. We’ve tried to select a good variety of cuisine styles, location and budget to illustrate the best-of-the-best within the full spectrum.

You may be tempted to add places that you feel we may have overlooked. However, we’re only highlighting places that adhere to a full halal menu (with meat being from hand slaughtered sources), do not serve pork and do not serve alcohol. If one of more of above points are not applicable to the restaurant you feel deserves mention, it’s likely not aligned to what we believe constitutes a halal restaurant. If you have a suggestion that does meet our requirements, please share with us in the comments section below!

Halal authenticity can change at any time, so please remember to always verify with our choices below prior to eating. Not in any particular order, here’s what we think are the best halal restaurants:

1. Kara Mia, 7690 Markham Road, Markham
Ask anyone what they think about Kara Mia, and I’ll halal bet you it will always be something positive. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything negative about their food or service. It might get busy on a weekend, but in terms of food quality, professionalism and true culinary expertise, Kara Mia ranks very high. Their Italian inspired menu has morphed over the years to include some homely favourites like burgers and steak. But Chef Abdurrahim’s take is always stellar and rises above expectations. Read our FULL REVIEW here.

2. Bamiyan Kabob, 62 Overlea Blvd
Bamiyan Kabob is one of the best-known Afghan restaurants in the city. Most entrees feature a combination of meat, rice and naan, which sounds meek but just the opposite with their brilliant mix of spices. The white sauce is a must with your meal and so is their dessert, firnee, which is a creamy homemade pudding, spiced with cardamom and topped with pistachios. I prefer the newer Markham location mostly because it’s more spacious however; the Toronto location is more convenient and accessible.

3. T-Buds Tea Lounge, 3343 Yonge St
Only one year new and very humble in their halal status, T-Buds is not your typical halal restaurant. They’re an uptown lounge serving light foods and a huge assortment of tea which makes it a great place to enjoy a long and lazy Sunday brunch. The food quality, presentation and price are not what an average halal food eater would expect because quite frankly, we’ve never been able to fully enjoy a place like this before in Toronto. I tend to go for their dessert crepes and teas rather than a meal, but do try their savory fusion crepes like The Moghul or The Great Ceasar. Read our FULL REVIEW here.

4. Pizza Land, 1801 Lawrence Avenue East
Pizza Land, as the name suggests, is best known for their pizza. But almost everything on their menu is equally as delicious. I usually order a plate of BBQ wings, Shish Taouk or their home burger with fries. When I’m in the mood for fresh and wholesome comfort food I head here. There’s something for everyone and the quality is always consistent. I give them points for being clean and having ample seating with large tables, which makes it a great spot for families. When you’re finished, head next door to the amazing Lebanese bakery for dessert!

5. Chick Felay LaRosh, 2565 Steeles Avenue East #18
The owner of Chick Felay LaRosh opened his doors after leaving his Nando’s franchise many years ago. He offers those of us who crave that flame grilled peri peri chicken a wonderful and fully halal option (currently only the Brampton location is HMA certified). Their flagship location boasts a large interior and a great variety of menu items. Read our FULL REVIEW here.

6. Restoran Malaysia, 815 Major Mackenzie Drive East
This spacious Malaysian restaurant tucked away in Toronto’s north features beautiful décor and equally beautiful food. The menu is vast, literally pages and pages of appetizers, soups, rice, noodles and main dishes. I love the various homemade roti canai and prata they offer along with their soothing teh tarik, or pulled tea. This place gets packed on a Friday or Saturday evening, and with no reservation service, be prepared to wait if you arrive later than six in the evening.

7. Pak Centre, 2683 Lawrence Ave East
Pak Centre is on this list because of their ambiance, comfortable seating and cleanliness. In regards to menu and taste, they are comparable to most other reputable halal South Asian restaurant featuring the usual suspects – butter chicken, tandoori chicken, biryani, etc. However, they do offer some distinct dishes like Murgh Mumtaz, which is boneless chicken breast stuffed with cheese, baked and served with cream laced mango curry. I also like the fact that Pak Centre dishes are not soaked in oil and they pay attention to presentation and proper food plating. Read our FULL REVIEW here.

8. Paramount Fine Foods, 253 Yonge Street
Located across from Toronto Eaton Centre, Paramount is an ideal place to grab Lebanese and authentic Middle Eastern food in the heart of the city. It gets very crowded and there might be a delay in placing your order, but the food is worth the wait and several steps up from your typical shawarma joint. Of the various items they offer, I would say their manakeesh dishes and shish taouk plate are my favourites along with their refreshing cocktail juice, which is a mixture of mango, strawberry and banana. Read our FULL REVIEW here.

9. Hakka Garden, 25 Overlea Boulevard
This restaurant has reclaimed themselves in my opinion after a few years of being just average, mainly for lack of customer service. However, recently they’ve stepped up their game and have moved to the top of my list for Indian style Chinese food. They are now one of the few Hakka restaurants that have a reputable meat source and do not serve alcohol, pork or a partial halal menu. Their portions are quite large for the price; three (maybe even four) people can eat from a single dish if you order extra rice. I would say most items on the menu are delicious, but I personally like the garlic chicken and crispy beef best. I’ve also heard that their chicken pakora, chilli chicken and spicy green beans are worth a try! Read our FULL REVIEW here.

10. Lahore Tikka House, 1365 Gerrard Street East
Quite possibly the definition of South Asian halal restaurant in Toronto because it’s located in little India on Gerrard Street. People of all nationalities flock to this colourful, multi-level restaurant to experience Pakistani food. I usually stick to the grilled or tandoor made choices like their kebabs and ribs as I find their curry and rice dishes get greasy and unnecessarily spicy — which is when the sugarcane juice serves as a refreshing palate cleanser. Using the no frills approach to dining, you will eat with disposable plates and plastic cutlery. Not sure that this is true Lahori style food, but it’s worth a visit if you’ve never been. I wouldn’t call this the best place, but it is one of the best known.

 

By: July 4, 2012

44 Comments


  • Awesome list!
    Didnt Restoran Malaysia close down awhile back? And they opened Villa Malaysia instead but even that closed down. If you can confirm the major mac location that would be great! Im a huge fan of their food.


    • Halal Foodie on July 5, 2012

      Thank you Nadia! I’m not sure about past closures with this restaurant. The place we’ve listed in our article is still located on 815 Major Mackenzie Drive East last time we checked which was just last week. I hope that helps! We are looking at doing a detailed review soon, so please subscribe to our site (enter your email on the right side of the home page) to get instant notification of when a new post is released!


      • Both Restoran malaysia and Villa Malaysia are still open! Being a Malay-Malaysian, i’m proud to promote the restaurants! Ask me if you’d like a suggestion for the food 😀


        • Halal Foodie on July 29, 2012

          Thanks for confirming Ahnaf! I would love to hear your suggestions!


          • just a few suggestion that i can think of right now.

            for the food: try Nasi Lemak or try any rendang weaten ith white rice. Mee Curry or Char Kuey Tiow are good as well

            For the drinks: try Teh Tarik or Sirap Bandung

            dessert: kuih ketayap

            *note: learn to eat like Malaysians when you are there! 🙂


  • Thanks!


  • No love for Affy’s?!


    • Halal Foodie on July 7, 2012

      🙂 We’ll be adding them soon! What’s your favourite dish there?


      • Cajun stuffed chicken, steak penne and their tiramisu. Their caesar salad and mushroom soup are also delicious!


        • Halal Foodie on July 8, 2012

          Yum! I’m going to try these next time I visit. I haven’t found a dish that I love but I’m hopeful! They do make a great mango milkshake though!


    • Affys,s really, where you wait an hour for your food, the veggtables are frozen and god forbid your kid spills his drink. They’ll give him the clothes to clean it up. These are facts.


  • Have to add the best halal Chinese restaurant in Brampton/Mississauga, Singapore Garden. Their Crispy Ginger Beef is second to none!


  • This is a great halal restaurant: Chinese halal restaurant (its actually called this) in North York. I recommend the mini spicy lamb chops and lamb skewers and the spicy sweet and sour soup.


  • Salaam – I live in Pickering and I found a really nice cafe next to masjid Usman, called Flavors. I didn’t try everything, but the chicken parmesean is enough for me to rank this a 10 / 10 🙂

    They also have some really nice shisha/hookah (if that’s your thing)

    Definitely a must-add to the list

    Oh and it’s literally next door to Affy’s


    • Yes! Just heard of them too! Sounds great, will check them out. Thanks for the recommendation!


      • I’ve had a Philly Cheesteak as well as another sandwhich cant remember the name, they were SO salty, neither I nor my friends could finish our food. The fries didnt even taste good. I dont know if it was just a bad day, but really bad food, so salty!


  • Diversified food offerings are the need of the hour for a restaurant’s success. It is quite impressive that many culture wise rooted restaurants are now offering multinational cuisine to their customers.


  • Patna on Lawrence Ave E is also very good. And Walima on Avenue Rd is awesome!


    • Hello Mishal

      I strongly recommend Sharif at near steels and Markham just opp. Hyundai showroom. It is 100% Halal and food is also very good. try and let me know


  • Why isn’t Paramount on this list??


  • I don’t wish to challenge your vast knowledge of restaurants and I do appreciate your list as very informative to someone who been searching for a helpful website. As soon I seen Lahore tikka house on your list I have to immediately ask you double think your list for the “top halal restaurants”. Also I question you credibility of your reviews as well. I know this restaurant and its previous owner and a employee still works there. It is disgusting and over-rated. To the fact they freeze there food especially their kebabs, many people I know getting food poisoning, getting served cold or mild food. As a Pakistani I can clearly tell you is a over-hyped restaurant.


    • Halal Foodie on December 2, 2012

      I agree with you on that one – I don’t say it’s the best, but it is extremely popular and there is a huge following that would disagree with us – which is why they’re on the list! I personally only like their BBQ stuff, and know there are plenty of better places in Toronto.

      This list is a living document which I will adjust from time to time. I am trying to capture a well rounded list of places and although LTH is not the best, as you mention, they have put Pakistani food on the map for Toronto which is noteworthy on its own.

      I’m just an opinion of a person who likes to write and in no way am I saying I know all there is to know – so I really appreciate your honest feedback! Looking to hear more of your thoughts on our other reviews 🙂


  • My office is just shifted here and I am new to this area. Can any one suggest 100% confirmed Halal food near union station and also a prayer place to offer daily salah.

    It will be highly appreciated if you email me at ishakpatel7@yahoo.com


  • My favourite isn’t listed here. Agra indian cuisine on king st. $11.95 for all u can eat and they don’t offer low-quality food either just because it’s a buffet. The manage (owner?) even showed me their meat order invoice stating halal chicken, lamb, and beef. I thought it was kind of him to show us assurance.


  • You must add Bar Burrito near sheppard/yonge on the list. Their steak and chicken is halal (not ground beef) and make awesome Mexican food! 🙂
    Yelp has mixed reviews about this place, but I went with two of my friends and they tried to eat the whole menu in one day. So maybe it depends on your taste, but I think it was delicious!


  • A few you may want to try:

    Faley’s restaurant : http://www.faleyrestaurant.ca/

    Zaytoun Halal Grill: http://www.zaytoungrill.com/home/

    Also Hero burger, their beef burgers are Halal which is also stated on their website as well.


  • Im sure I dont speak for myself when I say this but I really appreciate what youre doing Halal Foodie! Thank you for all the reviews!

    I just stumbled on 3 or 4 places on your page that I’ll be sure to take my family to. Lord knows how bored we are visiting the same halal establishments in our Scarborough area haha. Although I wont finish posting here without giving a shout-out to Damas Grillhouse on Lawrence and Victoria Park, by far the best mediterrinean/middle eastern 100% halal spot in the GTA, second only to Paramount!!

    amas Grillhouse at Lawrence Ave East and Victoria Park


    • Halal Foodie on March 1, 2013

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate the words of encouragement!

      There are more exciting lists coming up – next one is just for best NEW restaurants! So make sure you subscribe w/your email – you’ll get it directly mailed to your inbox!


  • Kathy-Ann Fazia Mohammed on March 29, 2013

    This is my favorite article


  • Are there any good places (burger joints and sit down establishments) in Mississauga?


  • If anyone is in scarborough, most definetly check out this hakka joint, it’s not just another typical hakka restaurant. Just try the food and you’ll thank me!

    It’s called Logus Garden

    http://www.lotusgardentoronto.com/

    And Review/Rating it’s got 95% positive!!!

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/10/1584872/restaurant/Scarborough/Lotus-Garden-Hakka-Indian-Style-Chinese-Cuisine-Toronto


  • We recently tried Asian Garden in Richmond Hill and loved the food. Their services are large!
    Beware of ‘manchurian” anything on the menu though..it is very spicy!


  • sorry…not services, but their PORTIONS are large!


  • Please tell us where this Asian garden is located in Richmond Hill. We assume it is halal


  • Surprised not to see Lasani Grill (Markham and Ellesmere). Very tasty. I work nearby and am not the owner. http://www.lasanigrill.ca/


  • I am surprised that Crave Grill House is not on this list? It has some pretty good reviews and their halal steaks are one of the best in town. http://www.cravegrillhouse.com/


  • The summary is excellent. I think you need to expand on this list. Can you tell me if Federicks is halal? I am reading conflicting reviews.


  • Federick Hakka Chinese is hand slaughter halal


  • Is Bamiyan Kabob is still HMA Certified?


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