What is it?
Many Hamiltonians swear by Lulu’s Shawarma.
As an avid lover of the popular Middle Eastern sandwich, I make a point of trying it in every city I visit. After I heard about Lulu’s I had to give the mom-and-pop restaurant a try.
I visited Lulu’s for the first time on a Friday night. The small restaurant was packed with a line up of hungry people waiting for their chicken shawarmas and falafel pitas. The smell of fresh grilled chicken wafted through the warm shop.
I watched on as Tammy Barnes recited orders to her husband, Rizgar Rada, as he stood over juicy and tender chicken shavings.
They seamlessly worked on dozens of orders together, a technique they’ve perfected the past 10 years.
Few people stayed to eat in the cafeteria-style cluster seating surrounded by lilac walls, which were decorated in View Readers’ Choice award placards.
Most visitors, like myself, grabbed their food to go before retreating back into the busy downtown core or in my case, the Silhouette’s basement office.
I indulged in a loaded chicken shawarma, while my co-worker ate away at the chicken and rice combo.
The food was packed with the familiar flavour of shawarma that I love and we found ourselves surprisingly satiated half-way through our meals.
How to get there from campus:
Take the 1 or 5 bus from Sterling at University to Main at MacNab.
Head east on Main Street towards John Street and turn left onto John Street for a quick five-minute walk.
You’ll find the distinctive orange brick building with a purple Lulu’s Shawarma banner at 32 John Street North, on the corner of King William.
A chicken shawarma in a pita sandwich or on a bed of rice with a pita on the side are $7.08.
For $3 you can upsize the chicken and rice to a large, while also getting a salad and extra pita bread.
For $5.31 you can get a falafel pita, or you can go for a bigger meal that includes rice, salad and pita for $9.73.
Chicken shawarma and falafel salads also go for a little over $7.
Lulu’s has eight side orders that fall under $5, ranging from onion rings, French fries and fattoush salad, a Middle Eastern mixed vegetable salad with fried pieces of pita bread.
What to get:
The chicken shawarma is the showstopper here.
The loaded pita comes with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, tahini and hot sauce.
It’s both savoury and filling. If you are looking for a dinner-like meal, go for the falafel or chicken shawarma platter with rice, garden salad and pita bread.
You can save $2 if you want to opt out of the garden salad and bread, just order the extra chicken side and side rice for $4.42 each.
Why it’s great:
Lulu’s Shawarma reminds me of my parents’ take on the shawarma dish since it’s both homey and comforting.
The chicken is fresh and flavourful and the sauces are mild enough as to not take away from the well-seasoned chicken.
The rice is soft and pigmented thanks to the added yellow turmeric, just the way my mother makes it.
Lulu’s Shawarma has a convenient location that’s easy to get to, especially if you are looking to grab a quick, affordable and filling meal. Just make sure to bring cash.