Surprise! Greektown is home to some of Toronto’s best Middle Eastern cuisine—here’s what to eat and where.
East-end Toronto’s Danforth Avenue—known to locals as “the Danforth”—includes the Greektown strip between Chester and Jones avenues. While there’s always room in our hearts and bellies for souvlaki and meze, Greektown is increasingly known for its Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian and Yemeni fare (among other international cuisines, including a growing number of Ethiopian restaurants and cafés).
If you’re in the mood for Middle Eastern food, catch a ride on the Line 2 Bloor-Danforth subway and get off at any one of the four TTC stations along the strip (Chester, Pape, Donlands or Greenwood).
Here are our picks for tasting all the Danforth has to offer.
Where to try... Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is known for meat-based dishes, hearty soups and the globally famous kebabs. If you’re on the go but still want to enjoy some delicious Turkish food, stop by these places.
This small local gem is loved for its welcoming vibe, fresh flavours and generous portions. Start with manti (piping hot ground beef dumplings topped with garlic yogurt and butter) or savoury feta rolls, then indulge in a mixed kebab plate.
Mr. Pide specializes in traditional Turkish pides. A pide is a savoury bread commonly baked with feta cheese, parsley, mozzarella and dash of nigella seeds. It can also be layered with a variety of toppings—sort of like a Turkish pizza!
Where to try... Lebanese cuisine
Lebanese cuisine features fresh herbs and spices, resulting in unique and earthy flavours. Spit-roasted meats like chicken or lamb shawarma offer tender, succulent meat best eaten right out of the takeout container while it’s still hot. Pick a park bench and enjoy a Lebanese classic!
This fully halal family restaurant features Lebanese and pan-Middle Eastern fare like shish tawook, falafel and kofta, alongside fusion faves like shawarma poutine.
Where to try... Egyptian cuisine
Egyptian food is also renowned for its fresh herbs, flavours and texture. It’s also notably vegetarian-friendly due to a focus on legumes and vegetables.
Three standout items that encapsulate Papyrus’ authentic take on Egyptian fare are: ful (fava bean stew), tameya (fava bean fritters) and koshari (layers of rice, lentils, pasta, a bold tomato sauce and garnishes).
Where to try... Yemeni cuisine
Yemeni cuisine is best known for hot and spicy flavours found in meats and soups, as well as tasty desserts and enriching beverages. If you want to turn up the heat, this is the cuisine for you!
Try a Yemeni classic like fahsah (shredded lamb cooked in a stone pot with fenugreek sauce) and wash it down with traditional beverages like the shahi adani (Yemeni milk tea), fresh lemon-mint juice, or an Arabic coffee made with beans straight from Yemen.