Tried the best shawarma spots in Toronto according to locals and this one brought me back home

This Review article is part of a series by Narcity Media. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

People can be very opinionated about their favorite shawarma spots in Toronto because there are so many delicious places to choose from. But to name one place as the best shawarma in town takes a lot of thought and dedication, so I decided to take on the difficult challenge myself.

As an Arab who grew up in the Middle East and now lives in Canada, the craving for food that mimics the flavors of home is always an adventure I embark on.

This time, Narcity set up a poll on Instagram to find your favorite shawarma spots in Toronto, and I picked the top three recommended locations.

Something to note is that the shawarma that Canadians know is very different from the kind found in the Middle East. A shawarma wrap from home has three main ingredients: chicken, garlic sauce and pickle. That is it!

Some places like to spice things up and will have chips, turnips, and hot sauce.

I started my adventure at Lazeez Shawarma in a new downtown location on Church Street. I then visited the “famous” Mr Zagros on King and Bathurst and finally made my way to the mysteriously located Shawarmama on Queen Street West.

After visiting all three spots and literally having to change my jeans and sweatpants, I chose my favorite shawarma spot in Toronto.

Lazeez Shawarma

Wrap with chicken shoarma and garlic fries from Lazeez Shoarma.

Wrap with chicken shoarma and garlic fries from Lazeez Shoarma.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

Price:

What I ordered: Chicken shawarma wrap with garlic, turnips, hot sauce and a little bit of lettuce, with a side of fries and more garlic sauce.

Address: 373 Church St., Toronto, ON

Why you’ve got to go: This affordable shawarma shop is conveniently located by Toronto Metropolitan University, so it’s perfect for a quick bite between classes.

The chicken in the shawarma wrap was something else. It was full of flavor and mixed with the garlic and hot sauce it was the perfect combination between flavorful and spicy. I really liked that you could choose your spice level and all of your ingredients, making it completely customizable.

If you like spicy fries and garlic, these fries are for you! Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of soggy fries (poutine lovers, leave me alone). I prefer my fries crispy and dip them in a garlic sauce.

Menu

Mr Zagros

Mira is holding a wrap with chicken shawarma and garlic potatoes.

Mira with a wrap with chicken shoarma and garlic potatoes.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

Price:

What I ordered: Chicken shawarma with tahini, garlic, pickles and pickled turnips with a side of garlic potatoes and garlic sauce. Wow, that’s a lot of garlic!

Address: 700 King St. W., Toronto, ON

Why you must go: the bread! That’s all. But seriously, the bread they use to wrap their shawarma is made in-house and is super delicious!

And if you like juicy, tender and satisfying chicken, run right there, because not only did the smell of that flavorful chicken fill the place, but the taste definitely satisfied my taste buds.

But what was absolutely amazing were the garlic potatoes and sauce. They were just the way I like them. The garlic sauce was less spicy and more garlicky, while the potatoes were crispy and had some sauce, making them flavorful but not soggy. Honestly, great!

The only let down was that there was too much chicken in the sandwich which made it quite filling. It was also huge! It was bigger than my face and really hard to finish.

Menu

shawarma

\u200b\u200bMira with her wrap with chicken shawarma in Azkadenya.

Mira with her wrap with chicken shawarma in Azkadenya.

Mira Nabulsi | Narcity

Price:

What I ordered: “Mama’s Chicken Shawarma Sandwich” which contains chicken, pickles and “mama’s secret garlic sauce” wrapped in toasted saj bread. Of course I also got a side of fries and extra garlic sauce!

Address: 235 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON

Why you should go: Shawarmama is actually a haunted kitchen in Azkadenya on Queen Street. Their shawarma wrap and decor teleported me back to my hometown. From the moment I walked in to the moment I left I was super happy.

Diving into the shawarma, the wrap is exactly what I would expect in a traditional chicken shawarma wrap – bread, chicken, garlic sauce and pickles meaning we have a winner!

The chicken was nicely marinated and not too greasy, while the garlic sauce and pickle gave it that crunch and juiciness that is a must in a wrap.

The fries were kind of like those Costco fries your grandma would buy you as a kid. This means that every bite was crispy but soft inside, which makes it the perfect combination in my opinion.

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Done

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for – drum roll, please!

And the winner is: Shoarmama!

My mission was to find a shawl that resembles a Middle Eastern shawl, and this is the one for me. Honestly, I’m salivating just thinking about that sandwich.

Don’t get me wrong, all the places were delicious, but we went on an adventure to find the best shawarma place in Toronto.

In second place is Mr Zagros just because the sandwich was so big and there was too much chicken for my taste.

In third place is Lazeez Shawarma. It was great, but not really shawarma, in my opinion. It was more like a pita bread, which could be a favorite for many.

Still, all of these options are great. If you are a shawarma fanatic in Toronto you must visit them all because you won’t regret it!

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