CLOSED: Sofra Mediterranean Cuisine (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 5025 Yonge Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

Sofra Mediterranean Cuisine opened this year and looks rather unassuming from the outside. The “restaurant” is mostly a bright take-out area with a few tables scattered inside and out front. At first, I dismissed it as another fast food place, akin to Shawarma Max or Pita Pit. But, after walking by a few times and finding it busy at all hours, we were intrigued and stopped by for a late dinner.

As a warning, although you can be served while dining-in, it seems much quicker to just go inside and order at the cash register. It took less than five minutes to order, pay and pick our toppings and then brought over the finished plates to our table.

After seeing the size of the chicken shawarma laffa ($7.45; almost a foot long), my husband and I decided to share. In the end, we each still had a wrap the size of a regular Z-teca burrito. This was my first experience having laffa bread and found it had the chewiness of freshly baked naan but the thickness of a soft pita. The consistency is slightly denser, perhaps due to it being made from chickpea rather than wheat flour.

With tons of topping to choose from, we decided to let the lady put whatever she thought would be good (which ended up being everything). Unfortunately, I can’t remember all the ingredients but lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red cabbage, babaganoush, tahini, hummus, toum (garlic sauce) and skhug (hot sauce) were just a few of the things inside. The chicken was tender and there was decent portion of it. And while there were so many sauces, none of them were overpowering and worked well to complement each other. My husband and I both agreed it was one of the better shawarma wraps we’ve ever had.

Seeing a pile of baklava ($3.50) sitting on display, we couldn’t help but have one for dessert. Although it was soaked in a buttery syrup, we found it was at least not too sweet. Of course, it contained some customary chopped nuts, but Sofra’s also seemed to incorporate a fig paste as well.

With other locations across the GTA, Sofra is not exactly the one-off Mom & Pop shop we originally thought. Based on the pictures on their website, the North York site seems to be the most casual as the other locations appear to be more restaurant–like. But, even though it was small, it felt cozy, especially with the welcoming attitude of all the staff. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!