Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Soufi’s

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Soufi’s

Soufi's

It was only a matter of time before Toronto’s growing Syrian population would start to influence our restaurant scene. My favourite spot was opened by Jala Al Soufi and her family last summer on one of the last truly indie stretches of Queen West. Beyond excellent espresso-based coffees and matcha lattes, they really only serve two Syrian specialties: knafeh, warm phyllo mini-pies of akkawi cheese or vegan cashew “cheese” finished with rosewater and crushed nuts; and manakeesh, pillowy flatbreads, smeared with halloumi, labneh, za’atar or spiced beef, baked in the oven and folded into a sandwich. You can get takeout, but it’s better to grab one of the stools at the window and appreciate how fast this little café, with a soundtrack of Arabic pop just discernable above staff shouting orders through the kitchen window and the whir of the espresso machine, has become an essential part of the neighbourhood.

676 Queen St. W., 647-350-7737, soufis.ca

Manakeesh topped with cheese and spiced beef sausage.
Co-owner Jala Al Soufi.