I hate eating shawarma in Toronto. It’s usually terrible, dry, overly-sauced with awful seasonings, and is no where near the level of deliciousness that you’ll find in the Middle East. Not even close, or in the same universe of flavor. Eating shawarma in this city is an aggravating and disappointing experience, and so I’ve generally avoided it for years.
This summer, at the suggestion of local food tour guide Howard Tam, I set aside my skepticism to try one place in the suburb of Scarborough. I didn’t have high hopes. However, if there is one place that can churn out fantastic shawarma, of course it ends up being in the food mecca known as Scarborough. Ghadir Meat Market, the Lebanese grocery store-butcher-baker-everything-under-the-sun-mini-food emporium, blew me away. It turns out that Suresh Doss, one of Toronto’s best food ambassadors, also agrees - he’s also profiled the restaurant as part of his CBC series on restaurants in the city.
At the restaurant, the hummus was silky and smooth, and full of high quality olive oil; the grilled lamb sandwich has a special place in my heart now; and the shawarmas are on point. I finally found a place that didn’t make me cringe, and that is addictively delicious. The pictures don’t do it justice, but Ghadir is now one of my favorite places to eat in Toronto. Bonus points for the fact that it’s usually open until midnight.