Flavours of Toronto: The spices and textures of North African, Moroccan and Eritrean restaurants in Toronto

North African, Eritrean and Moroccan cuisines are respected for their intense spices, tender meats and comforting teas. Such an expansive area has a wide variety to its cuisines, which differ from one region to the next. Taste them all at any of these Toronto restaurants.

Marjane Cafe

In Marjane, diners eat beneath a warmly coloured tent on cushy, opulent seats, surrounded by dim lights and a cozy atmosphere. They mainly do catering, but are open for lunch, and for dinners only if you make reservations. The tagines are in a league of their own.

Pero

Purveyors of Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines, Pero in Bloordale combines stellar service with great food. They have a ton of vegetarian options and do Ethiopian coffee really well.

Lucy

More laid back and cozy than the other restaurants on this list, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant on the Danforth just does great food, with big portions. The decor isn’t anything fancy, but the spices are wonderful and the meat is very tender.

Casa Maroc (Walima Cafe)

One of Toronto’s favourite Moroccan restaurants was Walima Cafe on the Danforth, then they changed their name to Casa Maroc and moved to Avenue Road in Nortown. The family-run restaurant moved from the cozy, pillow-heavy traditional decor to a sleek, upscale look with the move, but the food is still fantastic. Start with the mint tea, of course, then try the tapas (some are Moroccan, some are Spanish), the lamb, the merguez sausage and the tagines.

Rendez-Vous

Rendez-Vous is a Toronto staple for lovers of Ethiopian food. Located on the Danforth, they do a spectacular traditional coffee ceremony and have a ton of vegetarian dishes. The prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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