The Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto: 2013 Edition
Our 2012 list for the best halal restaurants in Toronto was the most viewed post on our website with thousands of pageviews each month, alhamdulillah, which tells me — this is the kind of information you want to know!
After doing more research, polls, etc., I have revised this list based on what I feel represent the best halal restaurants in Toronto for 2013.
I will be adding some more targeted lists over the next few weeks, which will cover:
- best NEW halal restaurants,
- best family halal restaurants,
- best burger joints
- and more!
There will be overlap, but I’ve had many requests to segregate into these categories.
** Like our 2012 list for the best halal restaurants, this one is in no particular order — they are all pretty diverse and give you a good scope of places to try out (if you haven’t already!)
You may want us 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 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 prior to eating.
Not in any particular order, here’s what we think are the best halal restaurants for 2013:
1. Affy’s Premium Grill, 2200 Brock Rd, Pickering
It took me a long time to find “my” dish. But I finally did (Cajun Stuffed Chicken with a mango milkshake), and now I can finally agree with everyone on the Affy’s bandwagon that it is a good and “safe” restaurant. They’ve improved leaps and bounds from when they first opened, although we still hear complaints of poor customer service. Either way, you will always see a familiar face and most people agree on this place when deciding on where to eat with a large group. Read our FULL REVIEW here.
2. Bamiyan Kabob, Markham, Toronto and Mississauga
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.
4. Pizza Land, 1801 Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough
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 usually something for everyone and the quality is more or less consistent. I give them points for being clean and having ample seating with large tables, which makes it suitable for families. When you’re finished, head next door to Patisserie Royale for dessert!
3. 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 – except that there portion sizes are getting smaller. It might get busy on a weekend, reservations are a must. But in terms of food quality, professionalism and culinary expertise, Kara Mia ranks well. Their Italian inspired menu has morphed over the years to include some homely favourites like burgers and steak. But Chef Abdurrahim’s take rises above expectations. I highly recommend their Peppercorn Steak with Saffron Poutine. Read our FULL REVIEW here.
5. Restoran Malaysia, 815 Major Mackenzie Drive East, Richmond Hill
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.
6. Sukhothai, 274 Parlaiment St location ONLY ** THIS LOCATION NOW SERVES ALCOHOL**
When Sukhothai first opened their doors, it was a wonderful and welcome surprise to be able to enjoy authentic Thai food that was halal. They do not serve any pork or alcohol and purchase all of their meat from a local halal butcher. Most of the food is incredible, but my favourite dish is khao soi with chicken. The dining area is very narrow and décor is modest with pictures of the owner’s travels throughout Thailand. Update – the Parlaiment St location has gone through renovations and they’ve opened a 2nd location on Wellington St. which serves halal meat (no pork on their menu either) but do serve alcohol so please make sure you go to the right location! Read our FULL REVIEW here.
7. Pak Centre, 2683 Lawrence Ave East, Scarborough
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, Richmond Hill, Toronto and Mississauga
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 Shawarma and Shish Taouk plates are my favourites along with their refreshing cocktail juice, which is a mixture of mango, strawberry and banana. Some of their items can be bland which makes the meal seem heavy and boring at times, but mixing in their sauces usually helps break up any lull in excitement. They feature a wonderful assortment of baklava – and their pita is a must. Read our FULL REVIEW here.
9. Hakka Garden, 25 Overlea Boulevard, Toronto
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 great for the price; three 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. Hamdi, 18 Rexdale Blvd, Toronto
Somalian cuisine has two main influences; South Asian and Italian which make it a unique and very comforting style of cooking. Hamdi is very well-known as the best Somali restaurant in Toronto. Meals come as fragrantly spiced meat and rice or noodle combination. Tall refreshing glasses of juice are constantly being refilled (my favourite is mango) and meals are served with a customary banana. Their intense house hot sauce and complimentary clove spiced tea rounds out the meal. There is a downtown location as well. Hamdi is not in it’s glory years any longer, they have let go a bit on quality and proportions, but still feel that they are a must try if you haven’t been before.
11. Crave Grill House, 25 Woodbine Downs Blvd #5, Toronto ** NEW ADDITION! **
Crave Grill House was featured on our Best NEW restaurants list for 2013 but due to their increased popularity and consistency with great food and wonderful service – we’ve moved them to this list as well. They started with a bang, and they are holding the momentum. Favourites are their ribs and various pasta dishes. This place is a must try if you’re looking for a new halal grill house!