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The Kebab Road: 8 of Montreal’s Best Spots for Turkish, Central, and South Asian Meats

From western China to Pakistan and Turkey, these underappreciated restaurants grill up a storm.

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Barbecue season may be coming to an end for all but the very intrepid, but there’s a way to keep the grilled meat going as the weather gets colder: kebabs. Meat on skewers looms large around the world but is especially cherished in South and Central Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, and parts of China.

This kebab map is inspired by grilled, spiced, and often minced meat from these regions. Rather than being roasted at high temperatures in a clay tandoor, the kebabs here are primarily cooked on a specialized mangal grill, traditionally using coal. Ground lamb or beef (either solo on mixed together) are shaped in undulating designs and molded onto classic flat skewers as a mixture of meat, onions, herbs, and spices. Chicken and other meats might also be speared onto skewers, sometimes sprinkled with cumin and ground chilies.

Want more meat-on-skewer recommendations? Check out Eater’s guides to Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, a number of which also get into kebab-adjacent territory.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 786 Restaurant Halal

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850 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montréal
QC H3N 1S4, Canada
(514) 270-0786
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Bright, family-friendly Halal 786 in Parc-Ex has a dedicated barbecue menu with traditional veal, chicken, lamb, and even fish. While you’re waiting for the grilling magic to happen, check out the tandoori naan breads with nigella seeds, with or without butter or garlic. Seekh kebabs made with minced veal or chicken laced with coriander are good choices here for authentic Pakistani flavours. Vegetarians are also well-served here: Curry pakora, chickpea flour dumplings in a yellow curry sauce, mustard leaves (sarsoon ka sag), and baigan masala (spicy eggplant) are a few dishes to complement the kebabs or which stand well on their own.

2. Fenêtre Sur Kaboul

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901 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2J2, Canada
(514) 522-6851
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Kebab- and carpet-lovers alike will enjoy the atmosphere and food at this popular halal BYOB spot near Parc Lafontaine. The walls are covered with crimson-coloured rugs and intricately decorated traditional clothing, the back room is set up for tea drinking and lounging on woven pillows while watching Afghan music videos on a big screen, and the generous kebab platters are enough to satisfy two or more diners at once. Compare and contrast the two minced meat kebabs — kofta and chapli, each with their own distinct preparation method and spice profile — or go for the win with the Kaboul kebab plate, adding a chicken kebab and grilled lamb chop to the mix. As an appetizer, try the ashak dumplings filled with coriander and leek, topped with yogurt and meat sauce.

3. Omnivore (multiple locations)

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4351 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1Z8, Canada
(514) 303-5757
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Omnivore’s kebabs appeal to carnivores and herbivores alike, offering a range of flavour variations for skewers. Straight from the grill on a platter or wrapped in pita, as a sandwich, diners have the choice of several healthy Middle Eastern-inspired salads and sides to choose between at the counter. A newer location near the BANQ on St. Denis spreads the Omnivore love away from the Plateau, making this value for money eatery a good choice for students, bus travellers, and Village people alike. 

4. Kebab Express

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5567a Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal
QC H3T 1Y8, Canada
(514) 344-8181
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Tucked into a Côte-des-Neiges brownstone, the brief menu at tiny Kebab Express offers the top Turkish skewer hits: iskender and adana kebabs made with minced halal lamb or chicken, and lamb cutlets grilled on a mangal grill. There’s a sandwich option for the skewers; Kebab Express’ yogurt sauce drizzled on an adana lamb kebab sandwich may just warrant repeat visits. Take-away is an option: Have some of the çorba red lentil soup while you’re waiting.

5. Marché Ariya

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3207 Boulevard Taschereau, Greenfield Park
QC J4V 2H4, Canada
(450) 812-7369
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This Afghan supermarket in Greenfield Park has two small tables for in-house dining and a lively takeout and delivery business driven by its specialty: kebabs. A glass display case near the store entrance is laden with minced meat shaped on traditional flat skewers. The tables provide a vantage point to watch the grillmaster at work while enjoying a hot shami kebab either in pita bread or accompanied by mounds of raisin and carrot-flecked Kabuli rice. Wander around the store to find different halal meat cuts, yogurt drinks, and spice mixes, and peer through the glass window at the back to see bakery workers producing the long, rectangular Afghan naan bread (in regular or whole wheat iterations) dotted with nigella and sesame seeds.

6. Antep Kebap

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1626 Maisonneuve Blvd W, Montreal
QC H3H 2N4, Canada
(514) 903-7979

Quick service spot Antep Kebab, right by Concordia, brings in the crowds with Turkish kebabs on rice and homemade sesame bread. This halal spot is popular with students and workers alike, so plan ahead if your time is limited. There’s a dizzying photo menu with LED arrows above the kitchen prep space; see what everyone else is getting and be prepared to order quickly. 

7. Restaurant Persia

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6710 Rue Saint-Jacques #105, Montréal
QC H4B 1V8, Canada
(514) 489-8484
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The understated strip mall location and simple interior of Restaurant Persia on St. Jacques in NDG belies some formidable culinary delights within (not to mention the owners’ caring approach). Homemade specials rotate throughout the week, with the halal kebabs served daily. Be sure to try the moist kobideh (minced lamb) kebab or the barg (cubed lamb) option, both served with fluffy saffron rice. Fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks are featured as a special, too, served with herbed rice laden with dill and fava beans: When winter really hits, this will warm you from the inside out.

8. Le Taklamakan

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7401 Boulevard Newman A35, LaSalle
QC H8N 1X3, Canada
(514) 365-0005
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Lamb is an important part of the diet in the Xinjiang region of northwest China, and halal Uyghur restaurant Le Taklamakan is one of the few places in town showcasing this Turkic cuisine. Tender grilled lamb dusted with cumin is presented on ornate skewers, and other specialty dishes are on offer here, including toho kormisi (chicken stewed with potatoes); thick homemade laghman noodles — think udon but with more chew — with a vegetable sauce chock full of radishes, peppers, Chinese tree ear fungus, and lamb. Then there’s sambusak, an empanada-like pastry cooked in a tandoor and filled with lamb and onions. Named after the central Asian desert and staffed with Uyghur and Kazakh chefs, Le Taklamakan is in a strip mall in Lasalle, but you’ll definitely feel transported further than that with your visit. Bring lots of friends if you can: portions are huge.

1. 786 Restaurant Halal

850 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montréal, QC H3N 1S4, Canada

Bright, family-friendly Halal 786 in Parc-Ex has a dedicated barbecue menu with traditional veal, chicken, lamb, and even fish. While you’re waiting for the grilling magic to happen, check out the tandoori naan breads with nigella seeds, with or without butter or garlic. Seekh kebabs made with minced veal or chicken laced with coriander are good choices here for authentic Pakistani flavours. Vegetarians are also well-served here: Curry pakora, chickpea flour dumplings in a yellow curry sauce, mustard leaves (sarsoon ka sag), and baigan masala (spicy eggplant) are a few dishes to complement the kebabs or which stand well on their own.

850 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montréal
QC H3N 1S4, Canada

2. Fenêtre Sur Kaboul

901 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2J 2J2, Canada

Kebab- and carpet-lovers alike will enjoy the atmosphere and food at this popular halal BYOB spot near Parc Lafontaine. The walls are covered with crimson-coloured rugs and intricately decorated traditional clothing, the back room is set up for tea drinking and lounging on woven pillows while watching Afghan music videos on a big screen, and the generous kebab platters are enough to satisfy two or more diners at once. Compare and contrast the two minced meat kebabs — kofta and chapli, each with their own distinct preparation method and spice profile — or go for the win with the Kaboul kebab plate, adding a chicken kebab and grilled lamb chop to the mix. As an appetizer, try the ashak dumplings filled with coriander and leek, topped with yogurt and meat sauce.

901 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2J2, Canada

3. Omnivore (multiple locations)

4351 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Z8, Canada

Omnivore’s kebabs appeal to carnivores and herbivores alike, offering a range of flavour variations for skewers. Straight from the grill on a platter or wrapped in pita, as a sandwich, diners have the choice of several healthy Middle Eastern-inspired salads and sides to choose between at the counter. A newer location near the BANQ on St. Denis spreads the Omnivore love away from the Plateau, making this value for money eatery a good choice for students, bus travellers, and Village people alike. 

4351 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal
QC H2W 1Z8, Canada

4. Kebab Express

5567a Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal, QC H3T 1Y8, Canada

Tucked into a Côte-des-Neiges brownstone, the brief menu at tiny Kebab Express offers the top Turkish skewer hits: iskender and adana kebabs made with minced halal lamb or chicken, and lamb cutlets grilled on a mangal grill. There’s a sandwich option for the skewers; Kebab Express’ yogurt sauce drizzled on an adana lamb kebab sandwich may just warrant repeat visits. Take-away is an option: Have some of the çorba red lentil soup while you’re waiting.

5567a Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal
QC H3T 1Y8, Canada

5. Marché Ariya

3207 Boulevard Taschereau, Greenfield Park, QC J4V 2H4, Canada

This Afghan supermarket in Greenfield Park has two small tables for in-house dining and a lively takeout and delivery business driven by its specialty: kebabs. A glass display case near the store entrance is laden with minced meat shaped on traditional flat skewers. The tables provide a vantage point to watch the grillmaster at work while enjoying a hot shami kebab either in pita bread or accompanied by mounds of raisin and carrot-flecked Kabuli rice. Wander around the store to find different halal meat cuts, yogurt drinks, and spice mixes, and peer through the glass window at the back to see bakery workers producing the long, rectangular Afghan naan bread (in regular or whole wheat iterations) dotted with nigella and sesame seeds.

3207 Boulevard Taschereau, Greenfield Park
QC J4V 2H4, Canada

6. Antep Kebap

1626 Maisonneuve Blvd W, Montreal, QC H3H 2N4, Canada

Quick service spot Antep Kebab, right by Concordia, brings in the crowds with Turkish kebabs on rice and homemade sesame bread. This halal spot is popular with students and workers alike, so plan ahead if your time is limited. There’s a dizzying photo menu with LED arrows above the kitchen prep space; see what everyone else is getting and be prepared to order quickly. 

1626 Maisonneuve Blvd W, Montreal
QC H3H 2N4, Canada

7. Restaurant Persia

6710 Rue Saint-Jacques #105, Montréal, QC H4B 1V8, Canada

The understated strip mall location and simple interior of Restaurant Persia on St. Jacques in NDG belies some formidable culinary delights within (not to mention the owners’ caring approach). Homemade specials rotate throughout the week, with the halal kebabs served daily. Be sure to try the moist kobideh (minced lamb) kebab or the barg (cubed lamb) option, both served with fluffy saffron rice. Fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks are featured as a special, too, served with herbed rice laden with dill and fava beans: When winter really hits, this will warm you from the inside out.

6710 Rue Saint-Jacques #105, Montréal
QC H4B 1V8, Canada

8. Le Taklamakan

7401 Boulevard Newman A35, LaSalle, QC H8N 1X3, Canada

Lamb is an important part of the diet in the Xinjiang region of northwest China, and halal Uyghur restaurant Le Taklamakan is one of the few places in town showcasing this Turkic cuisine. Tender grilled lamb dusted with cumin is presented on ornate skewers, and other specialty dishes are on offer here, including toho kormisi (chicken stewed with potatoes); thick homemade laghman noodles — think udon but with more chew — with a vegetable sauce chock full of radishes, peppers, Chinese tree ear fungus, and lamb. Then there’s sambusak, an empanada-like pastry cooked in a tandoor and filled with lamb and onions. Named after the central Asian desert and staffed with Uyghur and Kazakh chefs, Le Taklamakan is in a strip mall in Lasalle, but you’ll definitely feel transported further than that with your visit. Bring lots of friends if you can: portions are huge.

7401 Boulevard Newman A35, LaSalle
QC H8N 1X3, Canada

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