Not your average halal pizza place: Toppings in Richmond Hill
You can’t go wrong with halal pizza — the ultimate in comfort food; warm, cheesy, gooey and savoury. Combine it with crispy, spicy wings and I can call it a night!
Everyone has their favourite joint that is their fail-safe when they don’t feel like cooking or just want to indulge in an end-of-the-week treat.
I have visited many halal pizza places in my time — as I’m sure most people have. I would not usually do a halal pizza review simply because they’re (in general) all very similar, save a few that are larger restaurant/sit-down places that warrant more discussion. I have written a “Best of Halal Pizza” list for BlogTO, but not a full in-depth review of any one place in particular.
Hearing about Toppings in Richmond Hill, I had to do a double take at this halal pizza place as it had a secret weapon up their sleeves — a great menu.
This is what drew me into Toppings: their meat lover’s pizza (with halal beef bacon!), BBQ chicken pizza and bacon cheeseburger. That’s it. Just these three things and I was determined to visit.
I’m not sure if many know, but most reviews I lug my kids with me. I think it’s important to have them involved because typically eating out is a family affair and I think to be a successful restaurant catering to Muslims, you have to be kid friendly. That, and more importantly, kids love pizza – they’re really the judge with this one.
So with that, kids in arms, I was off to Richmond Hill to find this Toppings place with their lure of beef bacon halal pizza and burgers.
Toppings halal pizza is in a very subtle location. They are literally tucked away from the main street and you need to be looking out for them to find them. It’s mostly a take-out place, but they do offer tables and seats for roughly 10-12 people dining in.
Settling in, the first thing we realize is that it’s cold, there’s a very obvious draft coming in, so we leave our jackets on. (Make sure you read more about this at the end).
As we sit, the owner, Mr. Imtiaz Bhalloo, greets us. A welcome gesture to get to know your clientele.
He takes our order: Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.49), Medium Meat Lovers Pizza ($11.99) which has halal beef bacon, beef pepperoni, ground beef and Italian sausage and a Medium BBQ Chicken Pizza ($10.99) with grilled chicken, red onions and banana peppers.
Just when I thought I was finished, I picked up their menu again and took another look inside. Wings. Can’t have pizza without wings. So we order BBQ (1lb $8.99). I notice “homicide” flavour as well which is their hottest flavour, a step-up from suicide. Then, since we seem to be on a roll, we also decide to throw in a Grilled Chicken Burger ($5.99).
I have to admit, very shamefully, that I did a really good job at finishing most food off myself. At one not-so-proud moment I nearly snuck the last wing while trying to distract my son by asking him to look in another direction. Motherly love kicked in and I returned the drumette to the plate
Everything was really, really well done and really well presented. My “Best of halal pizza” list for BlogTO is officially incorrect now because it doesn’t include Toppings halal pizza.
Going back to the location issue, I would never expect this level of food or service from Toppings based on their exterior facade. Their location doesn’t do them justice, but unfortunately, it’s what was available to the owner at the time. I will say that their warm service and tasty, family-friendly food made up for the little colder than normal dining area. Please do try and overlook this when visiting, they really are a hidden gem.
Finally, I love how Toppings had that neighbourhood feel to it with patrons walking in and chatting away with the owner – the whole atmosphere felt really relaxed. What do the kids have to say? My seven year old loved the food specifically the BBQ wings.
It was fun and really relaxed evening with the family. I would recommend trying this place out when you’re heading north or on route and you need a great place for lunch or dinner that’s quick and hassle free.
Meat Source as of March 23, 2013: Bismillah Meats and Misom Halal Food (Both hand-slaughtered meat suppliers)
426 Major Mackenzie Drive East, Unit #1, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 1J2
What’s your favourite halal pizza place?
Leave your picks in the comment section below!