Rexdale’s top takeout spots for goat roti, beef kebabs and chili chicken

Rexdale’s top takeout spots for goat roti, beef kebabs and chili chicken

More Great Takeout

Well, we’re in lockdown again. And this time it’s going to be a whole lot colder, darker and snowier than last time. The one silver lining is that many restaurants have yet again amped up their takeout and delivery options, making it easier than ever to get your pick of the phenomenal food this city has to offer (and then eat it at home). This week, we’re looking at all there is to eat in Rexdale, a west-end neighbourhood with restaurants offering all kinds of cuisines, from Afghani to Somali.


Conveniently open 24 hours and 365 days a year, this Somali restaurant is perfect for late-night munchies. Istarlin Mahamed opened Istar in 1999 and it’s now helmed by her son Mahamed Elmi. You can look forward to dishes like sambusa (house-made beef or fish samosas), sabayat hukum (a Somali breakfast wrap with seasoned scrambled eggs and cheese in house-made flatbread and either chicken, beef or salmon), hilib suqaar (braised beef with potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers), and house-made milk cake laced with coconut, milk and caramel. 235 Dixon Rd., 416-247-5624,

Roti Roti Family Restaurant

This strip-mall spot dishes up Caribbean classics and other favourites, like their famous flaky roti and boneless goat meal, tiger shrimp curry, aloo pie with chicken and puffy channa doubles. The shop also features daily specials and Caribbean pantry staples such as spices, hot sauce and frozen proteins (conch, oxtail). 979 Albion Rd., 416-745-9208,


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This self-described Somali-Mediterranean restaurant has been serving up their Somali fusion cuisine for about five years now. Tuck into their comforting chicken suqaar (chunks of chicken in spiced Somali stew), lamb tripe with mbogga (spinach, potato, carrot and tomato stew), their specialty muufo platter (beef, chicken or lamb), mahamri (fluffy fried bread) and delicious dips like mutabbal (smoky eggplant) and ful mudammas (fava beans). For dessert, there’s date cake with toffee sauce or halwo, a Somali confection infused with nutmeg and cardamom. 130 Queens Plate Dr. #1, 416-747-7222,


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Karahi Point

Serving feisty and flavourful halal Pakastini food since 2014, this quick-service counter with about 75 menu options is popular for its sizzling barbecue dishes like beef bihari kebab (marinated in ginger paste, spices, yogurt and mustard oil), chicken peshawari karahi (seasoned chicken, tomatoes, green chilies) and the lamb karahi (infused with ginger garlic paste, tomato and spices). Lunch deals are $10 or less and include a main plus a choice of naan or rice. 2642 Islington Ave., 416-746-6555,

Las Caleñas

This Colombian kitchen woos customers with comfort food like lechona (suckling pig), flaky empanadas (the chicharrón one is killer), gooey buñuelos (Colombian cheese fritters), plump chorizo, whole fried fish and pechuga de pollo (chicken and rice with fried plantain). 2965 Islington Ave. Unit 15, 416-792-2528, Facebook

Hamdi Restaurant

Open since 1996, this Rexdale favourite specializes in East African and Somali halal dishes like roasted goat (served with chapati, spaghetti or rice), flaky king fish, juicy fried chicken and rich chicken stew. Large platters that can feed two to four hungry people start at just $30. 18 Rexdale Blvd., 416-745-7888,

Mushkaki Restaurants Inc.

Worlds collide in this kitchen as East African fare is mashed up with North American fast food favourites. There’s the decadent mushkaki burger, topped with a fried egg and house sauce, that chef Osman Osman says goes best with an order of nacho-cheesy mushkaki fries on the side. There are also juicy T-bone steaks (for just $13), sweet tomato chicken, stir-fried shrimp and beef kata kata (flatbread cut into strips, cooked with house sauce and topped with beef strips). And don’t pass on dessert—his tres leches cake frequently sells out for a reason. If you’re out of luck, the milkshakes are a solid runner-up. 145 Rexdale Blvd. Unit 1, 416-747-6874,


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Faley Restaurant

If you have a hankering for halal Hakka cuisine, head to this family owned and operated restaurant for their signature Hakka chow mein, garlic chicken, chili beef, curry fish or Manchurian paneer. Family meal deals are also available and can feed two to six people, and their weekday lunch specials will only set you back $8 bucks at the most. 42 Rexdale Blvd., 416-746-4948,


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Schuey’s Bar and Grill

This well-stocked watering hole has been serving the citizens of Rexdale for over 20 years now. And while you may not be able to sidle up to the bar with a beer right now, you can get some of their pub grub to go. Daily specials include a half-rack of ribs (Thursday), pork souvlaki (Sunday) and hot hamburgers (Monday). Other menu hits include their chili poutine, the Hammer Platter (a whole kitchen sink of fried stuff including wings, ribs, chicken fingers and samosas), the Philly beef sandwich and the 10-ounce sirloin steak (for only $22.99). 1130 Martin Grove Rd., 416-249-1516,

Baghlan Kabob and Bakery

The Rexdale outpost of this Afghani kitchen offers a diverse range of dishes, substantial meal deal platters, kabobs, signature combos and daily specials for $10 or less. Best bets include their tender butter chicken, juicy lamb chops, minced beef kebabs and shawarma wraps—ask for it with fries inside. And be sure to load up on plenty of soft naan, as well as extra house chutney and yogurt dip. For a sweet finish, tack on an order of firnee custard (pudding featuring almond, cardamom, coconut) or baklava. 32 Rexdale Blvd., 416-401-0120,