The Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto: 2014 Edition

Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto

Selecting the Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto has never been an easy task. The tail end of 2013 has set of a period of growth where many, many new halal restaurants have been opening up. This means that what we perceived to be the best before, might not be today. Here we’ll outline what stood out to be the best of the best for 2014.

This restaurant growth comes as no surprise since Toronto boasts the highest concentration of Muslims in all of North America. With half a million living in the GTA, representing many different cultures, Toronto sits in a beautiful and humble halal culinary hotspot. This year, we’re not only focusing on taste, but also ambiance, passion and a desire to excel in culinary excellence by maintaining an innovative and exciting menu.

This list is a combination of our opinion based on our combined years of eating just about everywhere and monitoring the success and growth of restaurants as well as social media polls involving you! Your feedback matters so we always use our online tools as a gauge to see if our views are aligned with popular opinion. If you’re not joining in on our conversations — follow us now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

As usual, halal restaurants defined by halalfoodie.ca, are fully halal – meaning no pork products, no alcohol and only halal meat on the menu. And remember: ownership, meat sources and halal authenticity can change at anytime so always double check before you sit down for a meal at any halal restaurant.

Here are the Best Halal Restaurants in Toronto, in alphabetical order:

Halal BeefAffy’s

2200 Brock Rd, Pickering
What: One of the first restaurants in (kinda outside) of the GTA that catered to those Muslims who wanted some good ol’ halal western cuisine, Affy’s is a classic.

Why: Almost everyone we know has at least one favourite dish at Affy’s that they find themselves craving from time to time. For us, it’s definitely the Cajun Stuffed Chicken with extra sauce, and a side of poutine! Oh, and we can’t forget their Mango Milkshake which we always order when we’re there. It’s a restaurant that serves good food, great sized portions, and offers a nice ambience for those above-average occasions.

 

burgernatorThe Burgernator

269 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
What: Burgernator is located in hipster central, Kensington Market, and in line with the current gourmet burger obsession that has taken over the city.

Why: They’re on this list because they push the envelope and come up with weekly features that push creativity and cater to the latest burger craze. Recently, they’ve introduced cool burgers like The Bombay Adventure and Mexican Night Fever. Their regular offerings are also well-received by the general Halal Foodie audience, and we’re excited to see what they come up with next!

 

Charcoal Kebab HouseCharcoal Kebab House

3256 Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough
What: Offering a unique type of cuisine that many probably have never experienced before, Charcoal Kebab House serves dishes from a region in China called Xinjiang. The folks from this region are known for their hand pulled noodles (langman) and charcoal grilled kebab skewers.

Why: It’s different, it’s cool and it’s delicious. We like that there’s restaurants offering a new cuisine that cater to the Muslim community popping up around the city. Though the dishes may ring a bell (for example, they serve a Manta that’s similar to the Afghan Mantu), the seasoning and spices they use are different from anything you’ve had before.

 

Crave Grill HouseCrave Grill House

25 Woodbine Downs Blvd #5, Toronto
What: Opened for a few years now, Crave’s service and food gets better and better every time we go back.

Why: They made the list for Best Of Halal in 2013, and was also one of the Best New Restaurants last year, and they’re still doing well, alhumdulillah. Their food is always consistent, as well as their service. They also serve their drinks in mason jars which obviously is a big win to us. If you haven’t tried their ribs yet, be sure to do so next time you visit!

 

Kara Mia MarkhamKara Mia

7690 Markham Road, Markham (Formerly the Vaughan location)
What: Kara Mia, an Italian-inspired restaurant is a GTA favourite, and has been for quite some time.

Why: Kara Mia is solid and has been solid for many years. They are dependable and an overwhelming favourite amongst the community. When they closed their Vaughan location for a few months in order to prepare for their Markham opening, everyone we knew was quite sad and going through Saffron Poutine withdrawal. Their Markham grand opening had guests waiting over an hour, with little complaint – the food is THAT good.

 

Lahore Tikka HouseLahore Tikka House

1365 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
What: Ask anyone you know where to get good Pakistani food, and they’ll tell you: Lahore Tikka House, a well-loved Toronto favourite, located in Little India (AKA Gerrard Street in Toronto).

Why: Minus the fact that it’s 2014 and they still serve you their food on styrofoam plates and you’ll be dining on a folded picnic table, the food is why we’re putting them back on the Best Of List for 2014. Though we hear people complain all the time about the decor, or lack thereof, the restaurant is always packed. And by always, we mean we’ve had to wait in a line outside the door to be served before. Don’t forget to grab a Falooda on the way out, it’s a favourite of ours!

 

MushkakiMushkaki

145 Rexdale Boulevard, Toronto
What: Mushkaki is a west-end restaurant that offers the best of fusion cuisine, and always, always hits the spot.

Why: Mushkaki does fusion very well. We’re used to seeing South Asian or East Asian fusion, but Mushkaki’s style of East African, Italian and North American fusion is unique and super flavourful. One of the most appealing things about Mushkaki, besides their all-star dishes is the price point: you won’t break the bank with a meal from this popular joint.

 

Naan and Kebob MississaugaNaan & Kabob

1801 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough and 30 Bristol Road East, Mississauga
What: An Afghan restaurant with delicious Afghan food, great decor and prices that don’t put a major dent in your wallet, Naan & Kabob is a popular restaurant.

Why: We can’t say it enough – the love for Afghan food is at an all-time high right now in the GTA, and more and more Afghan restaurants are popping up in our ‘hood. Naan & Kabob serves up great portions for great prices, and the food is really something to write home about (do people still say that?). With two locations that both make the cut, our east-end and west-end Halal Foodies could enjoy great Afghan cuisine.

 

ParamountParamount Fine Foods

Multiple locations across the GTA
What: The best thing about Paramount is that no matter where you are in the GTA, there will be at least one in the vicinity and that the food is consistent across the franchise.

Why: It is one of the best restaurants to grab a delicious and authentic Middle Eastern/Lebanese meal – in an equally wonderful atmosphere. Don’t forget to try their manakesh, homemade hummus — and their pita is to die for. We’re excited to see what their new franchise — Fresh East — has to offer soon!

 

Restoran MalaysiaRestoran Malaysia

815 Major Mackenzie Drive East, Richmond Hill
What: A trip to Richmond Hill is incomplete without a stop at this halal Malaysian restaurant that never lets us down.

Why: Confession: their ‘No Reservations’ policy is a tad bit annoying, especially when you go on a weekend evening with a large group of people. But the (sometimes) super lengthy wait is well worth it when your first warm dish arrives at your table. Great decor and the food is not only great, it’s actually beautiful – so colourful and vibrant – it makes the trek up north worth it.

 

Notable take-out options

These places don’t quite meet the guardrails for a full fledged restaurant, but they’re spectacular take-outs that deserve recognition:

Something 2 Talk About, 78 Gerrard Street West, Toronto
Appropriately named – they’ve been solid over the past years and need to be on this list. They don’t have seating, but have proven over the years to be something to talk about!

Fry Haus, 296 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
They are new but they are a combination of excellent prices, courteous staff and really good food. They specialize in German street food, do not serve pork products and only use meat from Iqbal Halal Meats.

Burger Factory, 5130 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Who doesn’t love carnival style food? We sure do — and that’s the type of fare you’ll find in the West End’s most loved burger joint. Although they don’t have much room to sit in and eat, take out is a wonderful option. Try their tornado fries and funnel cake!

 

 

By: December 20, 2014

23 Comments


  • I think Chinese Halal Restaurant would be a better choice than Charcoal Kebab house, because i find their menu options very limited while at Chinese Halal Restaurant you basically get a whole book as a menu,with tons of options, organ meats, lamb, beef, fish, etc. plus the food is consistently good and most important its from the same region as the food at Charcoal Kebab House.


    • Chinese halal restaurant is selling alcohol, pretend to be non- Muslim and ask beer in your next visit, or have a peek their vip room


      • How is that possible when they don’t have a liquor license and every restaurant review website states that they don’t serve alcohol? I will ask them next time but this sounds highly doubtful.


  • Affy is rubbish now. Atleast their Pickering location. Go there only if you want to take chances with your dinner… I have been disappointed with poor food and worse service.


    • Agreed. Affys went downhill super fast. It serves mediocre food and the lack of customer service is not even worth mentioning.


    • Totally agree. Affy’s is the place to go if you really want to take chances with your dinner. You never know what you’ll get…from hair, to bugs to, hour long waits, to just fine service and meals. SO SO SO inconsistent. Very sad.


  • Affys has the worst customer service. Had a reservation for 9:15 got there at 9:13, had to wait until 9:35 for a table. Once we got the table it took 20 mins for a waitress to take our order than another 35 mins to get the food. The next time I called for pickup and they gave me someone else’s food. Overall I have had some of the worst experiences at Affy’s. The food isn’t even even that great anymore. Similar food is available available a store called sizzling skillet in scarborough and it’s much better than Affy’s.


  • Thank you so much for these reviews! I love to try restaurants that you recommend. I have family coming next week from abroad and need to pick a restaurant for around 15 people. What would be the best non-desi restaurant with delicious food, good atmosphere, ample space and good service? I was thinking Hakka places like Faley, Royal Jasmine or Eddies but I’m not sure about their quality or halal status. Can someone please guide me as to the best Hakka style restaurant? I was also considering Restoran Malaysia, but going so far with a large group incl kids and no reservation is risky. Sukothai is also good but they don’t have that much space to accommodate a large group (at least not the Parliament one).


    • Halal Foodie on January 19, 2015

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I think Hakka is your best bet to please everyone in your group. I replied to you on Facebook as well!


  • My two cents: I feel bad for all business, Social media is a killer, any one can go and talk rubbish about any business. Its truth or dare. Not that I agree or disagree with peoples comments but its a one way street.
    How do we know that its the truth. I strongly believe that every story has three sides. His, yours and the truth. I would not go on social media and hurt any ones business. I would simply call the company and express my views and suggestions. Hope we help improve. Change comes within, Easy to point fingers at others. Lets help our selves before we go around hurting others. Be kind, Be humble and peace will come.


  • Zesty Pita & Burgers is my favourite top Halal restaurant West of GTA. I have become an addict since they opened close to where my family lives. I can attest to all what the hype around them is about. Zesty Pita is simply the top best Shawarma place in Burlington, Milton, Hamilton and Oakville by many miles and miles. Chicken Shawarma dinners are huge, same for the wraps under $6. Rice is flavourable, chicken fresh, perfectly grilled and seasoned. My husband is a chef and knows about Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Would easily give this place 5 stars without hesitation. The Falafel and Tabouli salads we regularly order is made to order every time we show up. They owners know us by name and just jump into action as soon as they see us walking through the doors. Nice to have a place who can anticipate your need without having to ask every time you walk in. The burgers are all 100% Halal and one bite can prove you are eating real beef burger not bread crumbs. This place will be around for a long time if they keep their quality, service and prices top notch as they are now. I suggest to add zestypita.com to your blog list and expand your reviews to the Greater Toronto Area including Burlington, ON. Thank you


  • I like Damas , located at lawrence+victoria intersection, food tastes good.


  • Great article! I am a big foodie and I really love a lot of these restaurants – Charcoal is great with good portions, Affys is consistently great food, Mushkaki is delicious and again great portions, and Lahore Tikka House is a classic! I would add Bamiyan to this list too, I personally find it better than Naan and Kabob (though Naan and Kabob is good too!). Also, sukho thai is the best thai I’ve had in the GTA and deserves some love!


  • In the summer latest Halal Foodie magazine I saw ad for “Melt Grilled Cheese” restaurant. It said Scarborough location is halal but that another location has opened in whitby since June 1st. I checked their website and I saw bacon and items with pork so I’m not sure if whitby location is halal or not?


    • Halal Foodie on July 14, 2015

      We’re looking into it! It may have been bought out by another owner – stay tuned for confirmation!


  • Why isn’t the one and only mother of all Afghan food on here? Bamiyan Kebob?


  • Most of these restaurants are West or East. Any good ones in the downtown core, more preferably near the Financial district?


  • try out oceanpalate.com for halal food. I find it best specially their bhiryani its like having home food


  • Lahore Tikka House, has any one checked to see who the owners are ?
    No one can put Kosher sign on their establishment, without going through a rigorous process. Where as any one can put a sign “Halal”. we need to be careful, do not want unscrupulous use of “Halal” signs.


  • How come you guys are missing out Osmows?? Tabbaq Rest. ? Guru lakshmi (veg.) And thn galitos..huh?


  • If your looking for Afghan food then I recommend Kandahar Kabob, The food is amazing……..


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