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Feb 2, 2009 07:23 PM

Best Kebab/Shawarma in SD???

Who can point me in the direction of the best Kebab/Shawarma in SD? If you've been to Zankou in LA/OC, their Shawarma is awesome, though my Egyptian friend says it's "overrated." Whatever, I still like it.

I recently had the shawarma dinner platter at Zeytouna Cafe in Mission Hills/Hillcrest (just a bit west of Bronx, on Washington) and was blown away by the beef Shawerma meat. It's perfectly seasoned and tender. It got my tummy hungry for shawarma/kebob! Who makes the best???

Thanks in advance,


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  1. Hmmm....I think that for "most authentic", that's a tough call. Sultan Shawarma, in the gaslamp quarter is pretty good. Granted, he makes it on your average Pita bread. But it is traditional. Great side story is that the owner financed the place by serving as a translator during the Iraq war.

    For a more gourmet take, there is the Kebab Shop on 9th Street, just above Market. Delicious. Pretty much everything there is excellent. And the Doner Kebabs are served on a nice flatbread. Between Sultan Shawarma and the Kebab Shop, I'd say that the Kebab Shop is probably the winner.

    But they are two different takes on the dish, so I think it's nice that you can give them both a try since they are only a few blocks apart.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cookieshoes

      I really love the chicken shawarma at Mama's in North Park. It's an order at the counter, or eat outside kind of place but really great.

      1. re: runningforfood

        I have no idea what is authentic for shawarma but Mama's is my favorite too. Best > authentic? haha

      2. re: cookieshoes

        I know everybodys taste is different but if I compare the Doner Kebab at Kebab Shop to the stuff you get in Germany and especially in Berlin (where this type of Doner Kebab was first served) it is absolutely lousy. The meat is below average, the sauce has hardly any real garlic punch and the bread is just a sad joke compared to a good pide.
        Unfortunately I haven't seen anything in SD which even has some kind of similarity to a real good Doner Kebab.

        1. re: honkman

          Shouldnt the bread be fladenbrot rather than pide to be a true berliner doener?

          1. re: kare_raisu

            As far as I know there are two main types of fladenbrot in Turkey pide and yufka. Yufka is very thin whereas pide is thick and fluffy. (And the greek pita is somewhere in between.) I have seen (and eaten) all three types of bread with Doner Kebab and according to turkish people in Berlin pide is the original way but most of the times you see pita as the prefered choice in most shops.