Tabule Toronto: Restaurant Offers a Modern Taste of the Middle East

Tabule Toronto is one of the city’s best Lebanese restaurants. Its menu offers a modern take on popular Middle Eastern dishes.

When Tabule Toronto in Midtown first opened in 2005 it was a welcome addition to the swath of falafel takeaway counters in the downtown core. Today, Tabule runs four locations in Toronto, each space offering a distinct vibe and homage to friendly Middle Eastern hospitality.

Tabule Toronto Locations

Tabule’s popular Middle Eastern dishes can be enjoyed at four locations in Toronto: Midtown, Riverside, Canary District and Bayview Village.

  • Tabule Midtown: Toronto’s original Tabule restaurant opened in 2005. Owners Diana Sideris and Rony Goraichy went for a very authentic feel, using traditional decor and dinnerware. The now famous Arnabeet (flash fried cauliflower with tahini) was complimentary for the first four months, cementing its relationship with newcomers. During the recession, the duo decided to expand the Yonge location, taking over the space next door.
  • Tabule Riverside: Tabule on Queen Street East used to be an old medical clinic, but with the help of Commute Designs, Tabule launched with great success. The Riverside outpost also has a fantastic hidden back patio!
  • Souk Tabule: The owners were approached to open a new culinary concept in the Canary District, which would become the athletes village for the Pan American Games. In 2016, Souk Tabule opened its doors, launching the brands first fast-casual concept. Souk Tabule offers everything from brunch to dinner, desserts, and a souk-inspired marketplace for customers to purchase their favourite items such as Ibrik water jugs and specialty spices.
  • Tabule Bayview: Diana and Rony were approached once again to open a fourth location at Bayview Village. Their latest concept opened its doors in 2017.
The front entrance at Tabule Toronto.
Step inside Tabule Toronto.

The History of Tabule Toronto

Middle Eastern food was not commonly found in Toronto when Tabule opened its first concept in 2005. When owners Diana and Rony first opened Tabule Midtown, the neighbourhood was very excited about experiencing a new cuisine and concept. The restaurant’s popularity grew organically by word of mouth. For many people, a visit to Tabule was their very first experience tasting authentic Lebanese dishes.

Diana explains, “Middle Eastern cuisine in Toronto has evolved incredibly since we first opened. I would say more so in the past five years. We are happy we opened when we did and established a strong brand and following. The turning point was in 2013, when Yotem Ottelenghi and Sami Tamimi published their cookbook Jerusalem. They even chose to host their book release party at our restaurant. Today, it’s easy to visit supermarkets and find babaganuj, hummus and spices like sumac. When we opened most people in Toronto really didn’t know about these ingredients.”

An intimate and glowing dining room at Tabule Toronto.
An intimate and glowing dining room at Tabule Toronto.

Tabule Toronto Design

The original Tabule Midtown was designed by Diana herself. Her aim was to offer a traditional Lebanese ambiance, with many of the design details sourced from Lebanon and Morocco. Later, the Riverside, Bayview Village, and Souk locations were designed by Toronto’s own Commute Designs. Each Tabule location was designed to compliment its neighbourhood, while consistently offering a slice of Lebanese culture in a contemporary way.

Step inside and you’ll find a welcoming dining room featuring traditional geometric patters and hand-painted Arabic details washed in black and turquoise. A choir of elegantly framed mirrors open up the space and allow you to peak to see what your neighbours are eating. Overhead, industrial chandeliers offer a warm glow that splashes through the space.

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Tabule Toronto's bar serves cocktails inspired by the Middle East.
Tabule Toronto’s bar serves cocktails inspired by the Middle East.

Tabule Toronto Bar

Tabule Riverside is where the brand first teamed up with a mixologist to develop signature Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails. A petite mojito list offers several Middle Eastern twists to the classic Cuban cocktail. Beer fans will find plenty of local craft options while tea and latte lovers can enjoy their hot cups infused with mint, honey and cardamom.

  • Beer: Nickel Brook Naughty Neighbour APA, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Flying Monkeys Antigravity Lager, Conductor’s Craft Ale, Sweetgrass Golden Ale, Brickworks Queen 510 Cider.
  • Cocktails: Harissa Caesar, Beiruit Sangria, Old Fashioned Hookah, Habibi Mojito.
  • Tea: Moroccan Mint, Arabian Nights, Vanilla Rose, Lebanese Mint, Arabesque Mint, Egyptian Camomile, Hibiscus.
  • Signature Lattes: Honey Cardamom, Lebanese Spiced Hot Chocolate, Cinnamon Honey.
Moroccan mint tea and baklava at Tabule Toronto.
Moroccan mint tea and baklava at Tabule Toronto.

Tabule Toronto Menu

Born and raised in Beirut, chef and restaurateur Rony Goraichy learned, at an early age, that sharing a meal with friends and family is an expression of love. Rony began working part-time in restaurants when his family immigrated to Toronto in 1988. He began a professional career in actuarial studies but soon realized he needed to follow his passion for food. In 2005, he traded in his suit for a chef’s coat and opened the first Tabule restaurant with his wife Diana Sideris. Rony’s self-taught interpretations of traditional Middle-Eastern dishes, has resulted in the creation of an award-winning menu. He says the secret to his success is that, “When I cook for you, I try to make every dish special and impart the flavours and feeling of a beautiful journey.”

Chef Goraichy’s extensive Middle Eastern menu is organized by appetizers, hot and cold mezza, entrees and desserts. Here’s a sampling of Tabule Toronto’s most popular menu items.

Tabule's signature falafel with tahini.
Tabule’s signature falafel with tahini.

Tabule Toronto: Appetizers

  • Chicken Livers: chicken liver sauteed with lemon.
  • Mujaddara: rice and brown lentil with onions topped with concasse.
  • Garlic Shrimp: sauteed shrimp in a spicy tomato garlic sauce.
  • Ma’Anek: ground beef with middle eastern spices and pine nuts.
  • Falafel: chickpea patties with parsley, garlic, onions and spices with tahini.
Hummus, babaganuj, and tabule served with warm pita.
Hummus, babaganuj, and tabule served with warm pita.

Tabule Toronto: Hot Mezza

  • Fried Eggplant: slices of eggplant fried and topped with lemon garlic dressing.
  • Garlic Tomatoes: sauteed tomatoes seasoned with garlic and coriander in tomato sauce.
  • Arnabeet: flash fried cauliflower finished with tahini.
  • Kubbe: cracked whole wheat stuffed with ground meat, onions, and pine nuts, served with garlic yogurt sauce.
  • Warak Enab: grape leaves stuffed with rice, tomatoes, garlic, lemon and spices.
Fried cauliflower with tahini, one of Tabule Toronto's original crowd pleasers.
Fried cauliflower with tahini, one of Tabule Toronto’s original crowd pleasers.

Tabule Toronto: Cold Mezza

  • Akaawi Cheese: seared with nigelli seeds and topped with tomato concasse. Finished with za’atar and evoo.
  • Fattush Salad: tomatoes, cucumber, mint, onions, parsley, whole wheat pita, with lemon garlic sumac vinaigrette.
  • Hallum Salad: baby arugula, onions, seared hallum cheese, and pomegranate dressing.
  • Hummus: chickpea puree, lebanese tahini, lemon juice, garlic and toasted pine nuts.
  • Babaganuj: pureed BBQ eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon.
  • Tabule: parsley salad with whole wheat bulgar, tomatoes, onions, mint, lemon and olive oil dressing.
  • Labni: Lebanese yogurt cheese mixed with garlic and topped with za’atar.
  • Assorted Pickles: turnips, olives, hot peppers, dill pickles.
Lamb and beef Kefta with roasted vegetables and rice.
Lamb and beef Kefta with roasted vegetables and rice.

Tabule Toronto: Entrees

  • Kefta: two skewers of ground mixed lamb and beef with onions, parsley, garlic and spices.
  • Tawuk: two skewers of marinated chicken breast.
  • Lamb: two skewers of dry-aged lamb.
  • Kefta Banadura: two skewers of ground mixed lamb and beef in a tomato garlic sauce.
  • Lahmeh: two skewers of tender veal tenderloin.
  • Lamb Chops: four pieces cut from dry-aged Ontario lamb rack.
  • Grilled Shrimp: charcoal-broiled shrimp marinated in middle eastern spices.
  • Red Snapper: line caught fillet baked with herbs and olive oil.
  • Grilled Salmon Kebabs: Atlantic salmon grilled with lemon, garlic and spices.
Tabule Toronto's sizzling garlic shrimp.
Tabule Toronto’s sizzling garlic shrimp.

Tabule Toronto: Desserts

  • Vegan Lebanese Rice Pudding: raisins, hint of orange blossom, pistachio, cinnamon.
  • Kunafa Ashata: phyllo pastry layered with custard and topped with rose water syrup.
  • Muhalabiya: Lebanese custard topped with pistachios and rose water syrup.
  • Baklava: bite size baklava with pistachios and cashews.
  • Gelato: pistachio, burnt honey, chocolate, vanilla halva.
  • Sorbet: mango, blood orange, lemon orange blossom, pomegranate.

Tabule Toronto Reservations

Tabule Riverside810 Queen Street East, 416-465-2500

Tabule Midtown: 2009 Yonge Street, 416-483-3747

Tabule Bayview: 2901 Bayview Avenue, 416-222-5424

Souk Tabule: 494 Front Street East, 416-583-5914

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