Some would debate that the purpose of food is to act as fuel, but visit Toronto’s top Persian restaurants and you’ll discover the true purpose – flavour and culture. After sampling the artistic combinations of spices highlighted at the city’s best, you’ll wonder why you didn’t always take the time to smell the saffron during every culinary experience
Bringing Middle Eastern food from midtown to trendy Leslieville, Tabule’s two locations offer modern design, consistently delicious cuisine and an array of hearty options. This husband and wife team has been cooking for the city since 2005. Traditional Persian meals are complemented with other delights from the region.
Amongst pasta and pizza joints on College St. sits The Pomegranate, not so typically nestled in Toronto’s Little Italy. This spot is easy on both the eyes and taste buds, with classic Iranian decor and beautifully crafted meals. Eggplant, lamb, pomegranate and chicken are a few ingredients that build each delight.
Located next door to its sister restaurant, The Pomegranate, Sheherzade offers the same attention to flavour with a focus on kebabs. Bringing a more homestyle approach to Persian fare, the menu is inspired by the culture’s bazaars where food is prepared on an open-air grill.
Designed to bring diners straight to the source, Shomal North’s architecture will be the first to draw you in, with the traditional fare and hospitality keeping you engaged. Cooking fresh meals in Toronto since the 60s, this joint has perfected classic kebab, serving only the highest quality Halal meat.
Queen West’s Banu serves up tradition with the unexpected. The restaurant’s vodka bar dispenses fresh fruit beverages, which will give you confidence when ordering the talked-about grilled lamb testicles. But no fear, with the unusual comes the tried and true – Banu’s stews and kebabs are perfected by using only organic meats.
To outsiders strolling Toronto’s busy Yonge Street., Darvish might not look like much, but this is how locals often claim their best-hidden secrets. The restaurant’s authentic fare is delivered in full portions, with traditional stews, kebabs, hummus and dolmeh-barg (grape leaves filled with rice and spices) keeping appetites content.
Comfort food comes in all forms and preferences, and at Gol Inc., Iranian barbecue will ease your soul. The tiny takeout spot serves Chelow kebab, the national dish, fresh off the five-foot charcoal grill. Choose your preferred meat, and why not order up a side of stew or eggplant dip to take home?