Hello there! Long time no speak! Happy New… Year? It’s very nearly March.
Now, normally I wouldn’t be seen dead doing one of those “Top 10” listicles that were very popular on the internet a few years ago, but circumstances change! In my case, I’ve more or less visited all the kebab shops I’ve ever really wanted to, and as a result, updates to this website are now essentially limited to new openings, menu changes and the odd hidden gem that I discover. That said, it isn’t easy to find a hidden gem – you can do it by brute force by literally visiting every kebab shop and writing up the good ones, but that takes a) time, b) money, c) a little piece of your soul every time you eat from a bad one, d) toll on your waistline.
Instead, I scour tinterweb for potential leads, but that is also a difficult hunt itself. You can try this yourself (and if you’ve already done so, you’ll know exactly what I mean) – search engines just don’t come up with the goods.
A search on Google, for instance, for “Best Kebab in Glasgow” will give you information about the Dundas Street eatery of that name. It is not an establishment I wish to re-visit. Other top results include blogposts and review sites which are of varying quality, and invariably include places which personally I don’t really rate.
As such, and with a heavy heart, I realise that there is a gap for a fairly up-to-date listicle on what is good out there – and here it is. Your favourites are all here, hopefully alongside some hidden gems that you may or may not be aware of. All of the below I’ve visited in the last 12 months so unless any of them have gone particularly tits-up over the last year, I’d like to think that this is a fairly decent go of making a list – comments as always welcomed. Links to the original reviews can be found by clicking the restaurant name.
Last thing before we get to the 10 best (in my opinion) kebab places in the city – these are not in any particular order. This is not me saying that one is better than the other necessarily, merely that these 10 deserve highlighting.
And we start off with one such hidden gem – it amazes me that this place doesn’t get more “buzz” but over the last few years it’s established itself as a pretty decent outlet. Located on North Frederick Street next to The Ark, this place makes the list because, in my view, it’s probably the most “complete package” in town. This will require a little explanation I guess; Shawarma Police take an overall view when rating a restaurant based on the quality of the food (taste, portion size etc) and the service received (helpful, friendly are good, rude/disinterested/gormless bad) – and Pasha are the only place in town that consistently get both pretty much spot on. Not only that, but the prices are reasonable too.
Once upon a time, I lived on Allison Street and this place was far too handy for me, but since opening around about 2016 or so, they’ve gone from strength to strength, including a complete refit of the shop a couple of years ago. The reason I’m including Kurdish Street Food in this list is very much portion related – in my original review I’d likened the size of their mixed shawarma wrap to that of a small child; those things were huge! To this day, they’re still fairly big, but what with inflation and that, it was always inevitable that they wouldn’t be the behemoth in 2023 that they were years ago. They also make the list because of the exciting salad options offered – they will, if you ask, put olives in your wrap, and I do like an olive or twenty. Other eateries – take note!
‘Babs, the kebab offshoot of popular burger place Bread Meats Bread, makes this top 10 because of it’s extended menu, rather than the normal wraps and stuffed breads that are the primary focus of this website. Don’t get me wrong, the wraps are ok, if not a little on the pricy side – but the Iskender is frankly amazing, as are the grill plates I’ve had over the years. At one time, ‘Babs even had a brunch menu which is sorely missed and well overdue a comeback, should the management be reading! Like sister chain BMB, ‘Babs sell ABK Hell on draught, a solid German Helles lager which is a decent complement to grilled meat – the West Nile Street restaurant cements its spot in the top 10 on that basis
BBQ.Wrap.Salad, alas, is not a what3words location – their actual what3words address is the rather unfortunate “loses.brain.employ” – however the shop on Hyndland Street in Partick is well worth a visit. Included here for partly geographical reasons – it’s probably the best kebab shop in the West End, but primarily included because the portions are absolutely massive. Like Kurdish Street Food above, the shop lets you pick and choose what salad you would like, and they also include olives as an option. Minor criticism – the lamb isn’t particularly well seasoned, and tastes to me more like a Sunday roast than lamb shawarma. This being said, the salad and sauce more than compensates. Speaking of sauce – you get quite a choice in here – including, intriguingly, a BBQ sauce. I suppose the clue’s in the name.
Sometime, in the distant past, I commented on one of the blogposts that this site is top-heavy with reviews of City Centre/West End/Southside establishments – something I was keen to change. Indeed, even now, I’m on the lookout for other decent places to eat in the North and East of the city – feel free to comment with tips! Dunya was one such tip – I forget who it was but thank you! The restaurant is located on Duke Street just by the railway station – it’s not far from Parkhead Forge/Celtic Park – and was very much a game-changer for me. This place makes the top 10 because the food was outstanding – at the risk of repeating myself here, this was a massive wrap for not very much money, the bread was fresh, the kebab was toasted in a sandwich grill, and the meat was amazing.
The OG. Nuff said. Well, I should probably say a bit more than that, in fairness – but what is there to say about the legendary Kinning Park establishment that hasn’t already been said? They’ve been at 7 Paisley Road West for as long as I can remember, serving their signature kebabs in their fancy paper bags with separate pide breads, and if anything, their inclusion is testament to their longevity. If I were absent from Glasgow for a prolonged period, this would almost certainly be my first visit to anywhere in the city
Two kebab places? Isn’t that cheating? Well, maybe. Who knows? I’m going to justify this by the fact that they’re run by the same people, so there. Doner Haus (and, by extension, Shack) get their inclusion in this top 10 primarily because it’s my go-to when I’m in town, and the reasons it’s my go to are as follows: The Mixed Chilli Doner is probably my favourite kebab in the city, and they sell Lowenbrau on draught. The two locations are different beasts – Doner Haus on West Nile Street is a more formal restaurant than the casual Doner Shack at Silverburn Shopping Centre, the latter only sell Bitburger, but unlike Doner Haus they do flatten the bread which in my opinion makes for a tastier kebab. Either are well worth a visit regardless.
Further up Paisley Road West from Istanbul, Shawarma Grill are probably the best kept secret in the southside, which is an astonishing feat considering the absolutely massive animated digital sign. I say “best kept secret” in a city-wide context, I should clarify – whenever I walk past they are generally full of patrons dining and maintain a healthy takeaway queue, but like Pasha before, with Shawarma Grill’s excellent prices and good quality food, I find it odd that more isn’t said about this place.
(I did a joint review of Shawarma King and Hajar’s (below) – click the link to see why)
Any conversation regarding Shawarma in Glasgow will, in a matter of seconds, turn towards the small unit on King Street in the Merchant City. This being said – for years I actually did not really rate them at all! As mentioned at the top of the page, I consider quality and service to be the considerations on this blog, and my initial visits (albeit late in the day) were not promising – lukewarm wraps at best, served by people who weren’t overly customer-friendly.
However! This is a 2023 update, not a 2018 flashback. My last few visits have been nothing short of astounding – and it’s to their credit that they’ve managed to improve their game.
Since I reviewed Hajar’s on Sauchiehall Street, they’ve been busy expanding their empire – as well as a location on Howard Street (taking over from the old Bifteki takeaway), they are also about to open up another location in the Merchant City on John Street (well, at least that’s what the sign said when I walked past). The history of Hajar’s I’ve gone through on the main blogpost but the tl;dr is they vacated Glasgow, went to Edinburgh, and came back again. Hajar’s Shawarma round off the top 10 for being a solid all-rounder – based on the Sauchiehall Street location, the price is decent for the area, the wraps are consistently good, and they’re actually fairly speedy compared with others on this list meaning that if you go in there hungry, you won’t have long to wait.
Wait a minute, you left out these guys!
Well, it’s a top 10, and an entirely subjective one from my point of view. Your top 10 won’t be the same as mine, and that’s ok. It’s probably time to issue a very occasional reminder that I am not some kind of omniscient kebab guru, I’m just a bloke with a computer, a 33k modem and a bunch of opinions. Had this been a top 15 or top 20, I dare say that the notable omission you’re probably thinking of would have made the cut. Indeed, compiling a top 10 wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped and there were some places that even I’d thought would be here, but when I weighed everything up, didn’t quite get there. I will finish on this note – check my other posts. If the kebab shop you like isn’t on the list, but I’ve previously visited and rated it 7/10 or above – I still think it’s worth a visit.