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Chainsmoker Urban Halal BBQ

Address: 5555 Eglinton Ave W Unit E112

Phone Number: (416) 621-6275


City: Etobicoke (other locations in London & Milton)

Category: BBQ

West of Centennial Park in Etobicoke, nestled in a spacious plaza, is a gem of a restaurant that carries a simple but effective philosophy: bringing people together over really, really good barbecue. While the meat is halal, this barbecue joint hopes to attract people of all faiths and identities with this accessible product. Chainsmoker also has locations in Milton and London, with even more on the way.

Inside, real wood finishes add a rustic warmth accentuated by dark metals & art that add an edgier, industrial feel. There are large tables for dining with a bigger crowd as well as more intimate seating at both bar and standard height.

The Etobicoke location offers “Cartel Fries,” which stars versatile handcut fries that have that double-fried crunch surrounding a light & fluffy interior. We tried the Jerk Fries, which come topped with spicy & tender jerk chicken, chili & garlic aioli, crispy garlic pieces, finely sliced pickled red chilis, and sweet onion. This dish was a delight to the senses, both in flavor, aroma, texture, and presentation. It’s a perfect dish to share with friends or even keep all to yourself as a hearty main course.

Chainsmoker also offers a “Between the Buns” category in their menu, which appears across locations. The offerings from location to location differ, however. For instance, the Cowboy Sandwich (pictured above) is exclusive to the Etobicoke restaurant. Contained between freshly baked, fluffy bread is a smokey “triple a” pulled brisket, creamy coleslaw, crispy onions, pickles, and chili aioli. The bread, although soft, holds up well to sauces and heavier toppings – which is in itself impressive. As for flavour, each ingredient perfecltly complements the whole to create a straightforward sandwich with big flavour. All sandwiches can be enjoyed with a side of fries or a caesar salad.

As for the main event, there are a variety of beef and chicken dishes to choose from. We went with the Smoked “Triple A” Beef Back Ribs, where diners are treated to a generous portion of fall-off-the-bone, juicy beef ribs served with sweet soy’n lemongrass marinade alongside some rice dun’up (a.k.a. garnished with those delightful chili & garlic aioli mentioned earlier… We had a serious debate about whether we were above licking the plate clean in a public setting). This dish reminded us of an elevated version of a Hawaiian plate lunch (sans macaroni salad) that we enjoyed this summer on our travels (IYKYK). The asian-inspired sauce was a pleasant change-up from the usual sweet & peppery heat that a BBQ item usually packs. This dish was just the right amount of spicy, sweet, and savory – and the presentation was beautiful.

All in all, we had an amazing experience at Chainsmoker Urban Halal Barbecue. The staff and owner are kind, helpful, and knowledgable; and ultimately enhance the experience provided through food. In terms of price, the most expensive item we tried was the $28 short ribs, and the least expensive was the Jerk Fries at $16. The portions are sizeable and the food is approachable, yet elevated by global flavours and beautiful presentation.


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