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Jul 16, 2010 06:10 PM



A little over a decade ago I was in Norway for several weeks for a hockey tournament. One of the neat things was we stayed with host families. Almost immediately, the host boy I was with took me with his friends to go get "kebabs", and I absolutely LOVED it. A few years ago, I returned with my fiancee to Norway for a few months, and of course I ate as many kebabs as I could. These kebab shops were found on nearly every single block, and were the cheapest food available.

My question is this: is a kebab that is found in Europe (specifically Scandinavia - I have a very good friend that studied abroad in Denmark and loved them as well) the same thing as a gyro in the States?

I'm not really sure...from doing some research on the internet it appears they are either the same, or VERY similar. But when I was younger I had tried gyros and I wasn't a fan, yet I loved kebabs in Norway not much later. My friend who studied in Denmark says they are similar, but not the same.

Has anyone here experienced a kebab in Northern Europe? If so - are they the same? Is there a place in Minneapolis/St. Paul that serves kebabs like they do in Northern Europe?

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  1. IIRC, Caspian Bistro AKAs its Gyro sandwich as Doner Kabab. It will cost you all of $7 to find out if it's the same experience, and they have a nice little store in house.

    Caspian Bistro
    2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    3 Replies
    1. re: kevin47

      Great idea.

      Other places to try are Good To Go in the Minneapolis skyway which does persian kebab sandwiches and Kebabi in Eden Prairie which does the same.

      Links to menus:

      1. re: karykat

        That kabobi looked real good, but I think the store is officially closed. That's what I've been reading. Saved me a trip to EP. I was going to go, per your suggestion. Too bad.

        1. re: alpa chino

          I didn't know that. Thanks for catching it.

    2. Shish on Grand Avenue in St. Paul also serves both; at any of the restaurants mentioned, you probably could get a gander at the menu item before you order it (to see if it even looks like what you remember).

      Shish Mediterranean Grill
      1668 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

      1 Reply
      1. re: steve_in_stpaul

        Mediterranean Deli on Cedar Ave on the West Bank has some of the best Gyros around IMO.

        Mediterranean Deli
        523 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

      2. I'm confused and likely ignorant. Aren't kabobs pieces of meat and vegetables grilled on a stick? Gyros are meat and vegetables with various sauces and accompaniments wrapped in a pita. They don't sound the same to me, unless in Scandinavian nations they call what we call gyros a kabob.

        3 Replies
        1. re: GutGrease

          There are all kinds of names for them. Gyro is greek I think, the Canadians have the donairs and somewhere else calls them shwarmas...

          1. re: KC612

            My understanding is that a gyro or shwarma is meat sliced from a vertical spit or cone. A kabab is chunks of grilled meat. Either can be eaten in a pita.

          2. re: GutGrease

            Doner kebabs have been a big hit in all of Europe the past 10 years or more. They've even taken the place of many of the wurst stands in Germany. They are almost like a gyro, but usually with some spicy red sauce. I had mine in Vienna at the Naschtmarkt, but I noticed they were in many other European countries at the time.

            Here's a link.