My 13 favorite Halal food places in GTA

Since I am a foodie, it is not surprising that my first post is about food :D. Recently there has been an influx of new halal options in the GTA (much to my delight!!). The burgeoning population of Muslims in the area makes this industry very attractive for new ventures. Below are my favorites that I frequent the most (in no particular order). There are other good places as well but these are the ones that remain top of mind for me.

1- Maro’s (Middle Eastern, Lebanese)

Located in Oakville, Maro’s is a quaint little place. I came to know of this place because it was close to work. It can get very busy with long wait times during peak hours so go early if you can. My friends and I used to send one of us ahead of the rest so that they can order and save a place for everyone coming later. My favorite is their beef dish pictured below, called Memories of Persia. The serving size is quite big so most dishes are enough for two people. The small patio outside is very pleasant for sitting and eating during fall. Menu:

Memories of Persia

2- Gilaneh (Persian)

It is located in Westin Prince Hotel, in North York. You can make a reservation but my friends and I have always been able to walk in as well. The menu is on the pricier end compared to the rest of the places in this list but the serving size is good. My husband and I usually end up here whenever we are taking another couple for dinner. My favorite is their Golbarg kebab which is a beef and chicken dish i.e. Char broiled pieces of boneless chicken wrapped in strips of veal tenderloin. Go here for pictures: Menu:                     PS. The interior is great for taking pictures 🙂

3- Darbar Persian Grill (Persian)

I stumbled across this hidden gem while driving by. Make a reservation before you go, especially on weekends. It is a great warm place to dine with family. All the persian grill items on the menu that I have tried were great . Pictured below is my favorite, Vaziri Kebob. Menu:

Vaziri Kebob

4- Bamiyan/Watan Kabob/Kandahar Kabab (Afghan)

To me these 3 are almost the same in terms of menu options. These places are almost always packed which speaks to the quality of food. Apart from the main entrees, one can eat boxes and boxes of their yummy Firni.

5- Affy’s Premium Grill (Steakhouse)

Great family place when one is in the mood of some steaks. Entrees other than their steaks (e.g. chicken fajita) are great as well. Make a reservation during peak times to avoid delays in getting seated. Menu:

Chicken Fajita

6- Black Stone Grill (Steakhouse)

This is a low key place serving great steaks on lava stones. The presentation of food sets it apart along with the ability to cook your steak to your liking. The appetizers are great too. Menu:

Tenderloin Steak

7- Istanbul Kebab House (Turkish, like the name suggests)

One of the best, if not the best place to get a taste of Turkish food. I have enjoyed every single meal here. The place is cosy and usually packed. It would be difficult to fit in a group bigger than 8 because of how the seating arrangement is done. I like the chicken options better but that is just my personal preference. We usually order Pide and doner. Menu:

8- Hakka Ren (Hakka chinese)

This place has a huge menu with almost everything being great. I usually start with their hot and sour soup and Drums of Heaven (lollipop chicken) for appetizers and then Mango chicken and Szechaun Chicken as the main course. Menu –

Drums of Heaven aka Lollipop chicken
Mango Chicken and Szechuan Chicken

9- Nandos (Portuguese-style chicken dishes )

Peri Peri chicken needs no introduction. My usual order is garlic bread, double skewers, half chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and Coca cola freestyle (I get peach fanta from the machine). When going out as a family of 4, the familia platter is more than enough for all of us.

10- Ziafat (Pakistani)

The list would not be complete without a desi Pakistani restaurant. Ziafat is a new casual dining restaurant that has become a must for me due to the prices as well as the taste. They offer a number of grill and gravy options. My dad is a fan of their goat paye. The desserts are great as well. Menu:

Seekh Kebab Lahori, Chicken Tikka Leg and Tikka Boti
Paye (Goat) and Chicken Handi
Pineapple souffle, Rasmalai, Kheer and Tiramisu

11- Gladiator (Burger)

The list would not be complete without some burger joints. Gladiator is the one of the recent additions to burger joints in Mississauga. Some of the burger options can be hard to fit in the mouth but I love it none the less. Most of the offerings are beef. The only issue I have is lack of chicken options for people with dietary restrictions. My go to burger is the “Warrior”. Menu:

12- The Burgernator

Burgernator, located in Toronto, has more variety of options than other joints. My go to burgers are “commander” and “Hasta la Vista”. Menu:

13- Chunky Chicken

If you are craving fried chicken and you are close to one of their Markham/Toronto restaurants, you have to try Chunky Chicken. It is good enough for my husband and I to drive all the way from west end of Mississauga to Toronto. My go to is the Peri Peri burger but even their pizza are so good. Menu: