Manakeesh is one of Toronto’s favourite Middle Eastern foods, a popular breakfast dish having originated in Lebanon. Sometimes spelt as ‘manaqish’, ‘manaeesh’, and ‘manakish’, it’s manakeesh to us at Al’deewan Bakery.
Toronto’s Best Manakeesh
Celebrating this fine Middle Eastern food that’s common to countries like Palestine, Syria, and Jordan as well, we thought we’d count down Toronto’s best manakeesh flavor by flavor. Highlighting the unique customizations you can find at Lebanon restaurants in Toronto like Al’deewan Bakery, manakeesh can fit into any diet. It’s healthy, filling, tasty, and enjoyable to share.
10 – Beef and Cheese Manakeesh
We start off our list with a classic. A Toronto favourite is the beef and cheese manakeesh, which gives a blend of ground beef, onions, tomatoes, various spices, and a mix of five cheeses. Any Canadian who enjoys ground beef on pizza, check this one out. This is a great introduction to manakeesh and all the deliciousness that comes with it.
9 – Za’atar/Thyme Manakeesh
Complete with thyme, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil, this style of manakeesh builds off Lebanese za’atar herbs. These herbs have a lot of medicinal properties with flavonoids, organic compounds, antioxidants, and more. Things like sumac, thyme, and oregano all fit into this category of za’atar herbs. This manakeesh is a healthy, standard option any Torontonian can enjoy to get a sense of what Middle Eastern cooking is all about.
8 – Za’atar and Cheese Manakeesh
With the za’atar and cheese manakeesh, you get a manakeesh split in two to share. A combination of a 5-cheese mix on one side and the thyme, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil on the other. If you’re splitting one of these meals with your partner or you want to sample two delicious versions of Toronto manakeesh, you can’t go wrong with this half-and-half.
7 – Za’atar Mix Manakeesh
The za’atar mix manakeesh offers a za’atar and thyme manakeesh with tomato, onion, and various spices added on top. It takes those combination herbs and heightens them with the influences of pizza as well as other elements of Middle Eastern cuisine. See how adaptable manakeesh can be! Any time breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s a variety to bite a piece from.
6 – Sujuk Sausage with Cheese Manakeesh
A hot, trendy manakish to choose for your dinner or lunch in Toronto is the Sukuj sausage with cheese. This manakeesh blends your Al’deewan Bakery five cheese mix with various spices and ground beef sausage. The Sujuk sausage itself is a semi-dry, spicy Middle Eastern sausage. It is deliciously fatty and often prepared with spices like cumin, salt, paprika, and garlic. A Sujuk topped manakeesh is a beef lover’s paradise. If you’re trying to avoid salt though, skip ahead.
5 – Spinach with Cheese Manakeesh
The spinach with cheese manakeesh is exactly how you’d expect it to look and more or less everything you want it to taste like. This isn’t to say it’s boring. Spinach is a great vegetarian manakeesh, packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, vitamins B6 and E, calcium, folic acid, carotenoids, and so much more. It’s a very nutrient-dense topping – maybe our most! A delicious spinach topped pizza-esque manakeesh that also throws in various spices and onions.
4 – Akawi Cheese Manakeesh
The Akawi cheese manakeesh is a classic relying on a salty Lebanese cheese with black herbal seeds. This kind of white cheese is native to the Middle East, commonly eaten as a table cheese sometimes paired with fruit. Like feta and mozzarella, the texture of Akawi is similarly difficult to melt. Atop a manakeesh, it adds a unique zing. It’s the exact sort of topping you want. In fact, Akawi is the most common cheese used on manakeesh internationally. If you order an authentically prepared manakeesh in Lebanon, this is probably one of the cheese you’ll find.
3 – Labneh/Yogurt Manakeesh
The always wonderful Labneh yogurt manakeesh brings together yogurt with dry Za’atar and thyme. We’ve already shared a little bit about what’s in the za’atar but when it comes to the Labneh, think of a thick-textured yogurt that is highly concentrated and similar to Greek yogurt. Labneh’s most commonly used as a spread on things like toasts, veggies, pita bread, and yes, manakeesh. If you haven’t had any before, you shouldn’t be caught off guard with the taste. Manakeesh lathered in Labneh is an underrated delight!
2 – Veggie Pizza Manakeesh
For the vegetarians out there and veggie lovers, here’s a manakeesh that leans more on Canadian pizza. Enjoy homemade pizza sauce topped with olives, onions, red and green peppers, and of course our five mix cheese. This manakeesh is as tasty as any other – flakey, chewy, and crispy. The only difference is you’re not getting any meat products on it. It’s all vegetables! Baked in an open flame oven, Al’deewan Bakery has the best vegetarian manakeesh in Toronto by far. Check it out if you don’t believe us.
1 – Feta Cheese Manakeesh
So in our opinion, what’s the best manakeesh in the GTA – well, the feta cheese variety. A feta cheese manakeesh takes your parsley and cow feta cheese, and throws it into a manakeesh that’s hard to resist. For lovers of feta, here is your answer. It can tough to choose between so many different cheese covered recipes, we know. That said, there’s nothing like taking on a manakeesh topped with feta. Cooked at Al’deewan’s in our open flame oven, it comes out tasting even better than a pizza.
Are you looking for a Lebanese restaurant Toronto in the GTA – try Al’deewan Bakery. We have all these manakeesh plus so much more. Our doors are open and our bakers work hard ensuring every manakeesh comes out looking and tasting just like it would in traditional Lebanon. We’re one of the few places that cooks our manakeesh in an open flame oven. From our perspective, there’s no other way to do manakeesh than doing it right in an open flame oven. Take on a manakeesh classic, a veggie pizza, or your favourite meats. The flavors of Lebanon await!