BEST LONDON KEBABS

With a history dating back thousands of years and encompassing a rich tapestry of recipes, traditions and nations, the kebab is a foodstuff to be cherished and respected. 

Converse to popular (and unfortunate) association, the Middle Eastern dish has so much more to offer than a dodgy doner at 3am.  

Berber & Q Shawarma Bar

Kebab or kabob? The kebab takes many forms, one of those being the shawarma, similar to the Turkish doner with an Levantine twist. Grilling gurus Berber & Q chose to put the shawarma front and centre of their second venture on Exmouth Market. Get your chops around their insanely juicy lamb shawarma served in a pita with tahina and herb salad. 

46 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QE, shawarmabar.co.uk

Tarshish

Remember the 2018 Oscars? Of course you don’t, because the only award ceremony anyone was thinking about in march should have been the British Kebab Awards. Tarshish, a Turkish and Mediterranean grill in Wood Green, scooped the top prize in the Fine Dining category. Traditional Turkish options range from adana shish to chicken beyti, with cocktails and live music bringing the party to this 300 cover restaurant. 

Black Axe Mangal

Thanks to a daily changing menu, we can’t guarantee you’ll get a kebab at Black Axe Mangal – we can, however, guarantee quite the experience regardless. BAM cooks its meat in a traditionally fiery Turkish mangal oven, and the results are both innovative and stonkingly well cooked. If you can’t get a kebab exactly, tuck into their lamb offal flatbread – so good that it’s the only dish to never leave the menu. 

156 Canonbury Road, Highbury, N1 2UP, blackaxemangal.com

Yalla Yalla 

With a name that means “come on”, these Lebanese cafes look to guide us from the streets of Soho to the streets of Beirut. Mezze is the name of the game here, but there’s always room for a healthily sized portion of Yalla Yalla’s shawarma, shish taouk or kafta meshoue, served with vermicelli rice and a sumac dusted salad.

Various locations, yalla-yalla.co.uk

The Athenian

Souvlaki, the Greek incarnation of the kebab, is popularly sold as street food in the gyros style (shaved off a rotisserie) and wrapped up in a hot pitta with yoghurt, tomatoes, red onion and chips – yes, chips. Inside the wrap. Souvlaki specialists The Athenian has six locations across London, serving up all the usual fillings, as well as a vegan tomato croquettes version.  

The Kati Roll Company

On its global travels the kebab has also made itself home in India (chicken tikka is technically a kebab), where the kati roll serves up some spice. The New York-hailing Kati Roll Company now boasts a location in London, where spiced meats are wrapped up in paratha bread and served with accompaniments including beaten egg and yoghurt. 

24 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 8QL,thekatirollcompany.com

Gokyuzu

If you head to Green Lanes in Harringay, you’re spoilt for choice with kebabs. Known as Little Turkey, the plethora of Turkish restaurants in the area take some navigation, but Gokyuzu should be on your map. An increasingly upmarket option, the restaurant boasts authentic food in slick surroundings – and a side of Turkish pizza never hurts.

Various locations, gokyuzurestaurant.co.uk

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