Just to let you guys know, I am not a Muslim but I know a fair amount of Islam and its various tenants. I know that there are different degrees of observance, with some accepting “automated-slaughter” and others maintaining orthodoxy (slaughter by hand). Civil and religious laws mandate transparency, allowing the consumer to know exactly how food is sourced. If you have any specific questions about certification, reach out to the restaurant directly.
The Best Halal Restaurants
All of the restaurants have been vetted for quality, either in person or vicariously through other reviewers. People are surprised about the sheer quality, which vastly outnumbers the amount of kosher restaurants in Toronto. This makes sense considering the difference in population, with under 200k living in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs. While there has been some tension over the Israel/Palestine conflict, the relations are generally peaceful and calm. There are different Israeli restaurants in Toronto, many of whom serve the same food as the Halal variety. Furthermore, some foods are dually certified, making it easier for Jewish and Muslim patrons to enjoy a tasty meat.
Peace Through Food
The first restaurant is my favourite, hands down. The owner trained in Montreal, working at the famous Schwartz’s deli on Main Street. After manning the brisket for a couple decades, the proprietor decided to move down the 401 and open shop in Scarborough. He has a huge assortment of different deli items, of which I assume are delicious. As a smoked meat connoisseur I can tell the real stuff from the packaged imitation. The process is as much an art as a science, requiring generations to perfect the perfect recipe and finishing. Please note that Shwartz’s is not Kosher, meaning that it is not certified or under the control of an Jewish food authority. With that being said, Kosher-style does not include pork nor does it include the mixture of meat and milk. Despite being Catholic himself, he has opened up this Canadian classic to the world, including Muslim diners.
As you can see, Halal comes in a huge variety of styles and formats. If you are ever unsure of whether something is Halal (or not), kindly check with the owner. Furthermore, you can also check with the Islamic food council who can direct you better. Just to remind you, somethings are clearly labeled and other things are not.