Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tavoos: An excellent new Persian restaurant is now open on College Street

Residents of Dufferin Grove/Brockton Village were excited on Good Friday to discover that the long renovated space at 1120 College Street at Dufferin is now open. Turns out it's the home of Tavoos, a Persian restaurant from the same owners as Pomegranate and Sheherzade at College & Bathurst. The restaurant's full name is Takht-e Tavoos, which means Peacock Throne, a reference to historic Persian rulers. 

photo of Tavoos restaurant, exterior shot 
photo of sign outside Tavoos restaurant

A full year of renovations in this former bakery space have paid off. The room is ornately decorated with eye-catching Middle Eastern rugs, pottery and murals. You can choose between traditional Persian seating and regular tables and chairs. Pre-revolutionary Persian pop music floats through the air. 

So far Tavoos is only open for breakfast and lunch, but there are plans to expand to dinner later on. Tavoos's menu is different than Pomegranate, with a fusion feel and a focus on brunch items.

photo of Tavoos inside 
photo of artwork at Tavoos 
photo of the floor booth at Tavoos restaurant 

The knowledgable waitress explains the traditional way of eating dizi sangi, a clay pot stew made of lamb shank, chick peas and white beans, to one of the first diners. You take the pieces of meat out of the stew and soak up the remaining broth with pieces of the flatbread; then you use the remaining bread to scoop up the meat and beans. Other specialities include haleem—a bowl of spiced wheatberry porridge—and kalleh pacheh, a Persian soup made from sheep head and hooves.

photo of the menu
Open image in new tab to see the full-sized menu.

I opted for one of the breakfast dishes, the Tavoos Soltani Special. It was a sort of omelette with two sunnyside up eggs served on top of wonderfully crispy spiced potato chunks. The perfectly prepared plate comes with two pieces of puffy, fresh flatbread, olives, tiny grilled tomatoes, pieces of creamy, rich feta and walnuts. The olives were a surprising treat, as they were coated with a sweet pomegranate and walnut paste. 

photo of tea 
photo of Persian breakfast 

It's a strong start for Tavoos, and with curious passerbys popping their heads in regularly to check out the space, it seems destined to do well here in this up-and-coming neighbourhood. I look forward to trying more dishes as the menu expands. 

Tavoos is located at 1120 College Street near Dufferin in Toronto. Telelphone: 647 352 7322. The restaurant currently opens at 10am and closes in the mid-afternoon. Tavoos is closed on Easter Sunday and Monday. 

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  1. This looks like fun! That said, I'm really craving a good Turkish breakfast place... any ideas?

  2. I love Pomegranate and Shahrzad dishes and the environment and decoration of them too. I would never get tired of going there. I will definitely go to Tavoos too. These owners have a very special taste for restaurants and dishes.

  3. I will try Zeitoun for Turkish breakfast next week. I have high hopes for their breakfast, since I really like their Manti and Pide(s). And I hope to try Tavoos as soon as possible!!!!

    1. Zeitoun sounds interesting. Hope the breakfast was good.

  4. Just had brunch here and it was amazing! Delicious potatoes and flat bread ... everything was great. Open 10am-4pm. You must go.

  5. This was one of my worst experiences I've ever had regarding restaurants, Here is why:
    1- We reserved the seats from before (because we heard that it is a small place) but when we arrived, there was three seats less than people and the waitress said we don't have enough seats! So our children end up seating on our laps (we sat not on the beds but at the back of the restaurant around a table)

    2- We ordered and 45 minutes later, nothing comes up except waters. Water was not even cold (and it is a very hot summer day). there is no ice in the glasses, just tab water. Then I asked the estimated time of food arrival from the waitress, after another 10 minutes she came back and said "we have two more tables to serve before we serve you"! no apologies at all! They didn't warn us at door that it will take more than an hour to receive the food. Then I said, thanks but we can't seat any longer (given it was brunch we were very hungry by that time, so we decided just go to somewhere else.). After another 5 minutes she came back and said "we can't cancel your order as it is already in process." Then I said fine!

    3- We got our food 1hour and 15 minutes after our arrival, but not all of it, They missed some of the orders!! The waiter first said you didn't order that, then said you might order it to my colleague, and at last said said " Did I write it down?"

    4- The food was not hot, not even warm!! I really doubt it that it was fresh.

    5- After we finish we asked for the bill. After 10 minutes the waiter came back with a the bill. The bill was mixed of hand written and not itemized lines (so we couldn't tell if they charged us for the right foods). The funny part is that they manually added their tip to the total of the bill with pen!

    We paid it all and just left without a word. Of course they didn't bother to say good buy or any kind of apologies!

  6. You're an idiot for paying and not complaining.

    Don't reward mediocrity.