Doner kebab

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Döner kebap or döner kebabı
Döner kebab slicing.jpg
Döner meat being sliced from a rotating spit. The iron heating-plate behind the spit is used to cook the meat.
Place of originTurkey
Region or stateBursa, Erzurum, Erzincan and Kastamonu
Creator(s)dates to 18th century[1]
CourseSnack or main course
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredient(s)Beef and Lamb
Variationsİskender, Chicken döner
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Döner kebap or döner kebabı
Döner kebab slicing.jpg
Döner meat being sliced from a rotating spit. The iron heating-plate behind the spit is used to cook the meat.
Place of originTurkey
Region or stateBursa, Erzurum, Erzincan and Kastamonu
Creator(s)dates to 18th century[1]
CourseSnack or main course
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredient(s)Beef and Lamb
Variationsİskender, Chicken döner

Doner kebab (Turkish: döner, döner kebap or döner kebabı) is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit, normally veal or beef but also a mixture of these with lamb; a cheaper version of chicken is also found. The dish is also widely known by its Arabic name, shawarma, or in Greek as gyro.

The sliced meat of a Doner kebab may be served wrapped in a flatbread such as lavash or pita or as a sandwich instead of being served on a plate. It is a common fast food item in the Balkans, Middle East, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Seasoned meat in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly against a vertical rotisserie, then sliced vertically into thin, crisp shavings. Toppings include tomato, onion, lettuce, pickled cucumber and chili.



Cağ kebabı, a related dish. Note that the meat is horizontally stacked.
Döner being carved in Bursa to prepare "Iskender"
İskender or "Bursa kebabı"

Before taking its modern form, as mentioned in Ottoman travel books of the 18th century,[2][3] the doner used to be a horizontal stack of meat rather than vertical, probably sharing common ancestors with the Cağ Kebabı of the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum.

In his own family biography, İskender Efendi of 19th century Bursa writes that "he and his grandfather had the idea of roasting the lamb vertically rather than horizontally, and invented for that purpose a vertical mangal". Since then Hacı İskender is known as the inventor of Turkish Döner Kebap.[4][5] With time, the meat took a different marinade, got leaner, and eventually took its modern shape.[3] The Greek gyro, along with the similar Arab Shawarma and Mexican Tacos al Pastor, are derived from this dish.[6]


Döner served in a "tombik pide" ("fatty" pita) also called in (Turkish: gobit).

A doner kebab is sometimes spelled döner kebap (the Turkish spelling), lit. 'rotating roast', or can be shortened to doner (Turkish: döner), lit. 'turn around',[7] also spelled "doener", "donar", "doner", or sometimes "donner".

The name gyro comes from Greek γύρος ('turn'), a calque of the Turkish döner,[8] a name which was used in Ecuador as well as ντονέρ [doˈner][9] The Greek pronunciation is [ˈʝiros], but the pronunciation in English is often /ˈr/ or, occasionally /ˈɡɪəroʊ/ or /ˈjɪəroʊ/.[10] The final 's' of the Greek form is often reinterpreted as a plural in English.

The word shawarma (pron.: /ʃəˈwɑːrmə/) is believed to have evolved from the Turkish word çevirme [tʃeviɾˈme], a synonym of döner (turning, spinning, rotating) and is used in most Arab countries as well as those Latin American countries where there are Arab colonies who have emigrated from the Ottoman Empire. Shawarma is, almost always, made of lamb though. In Turkey the dish is usually called simply döner" rather than "döner kebap or "döner kebabı", the latter of those being the most correct form in Turkish. In Greek, it was formerly called ντονέρ /doˈner/, and now called gyros 'turned'; in Armenian, it is "tarna", literally meaning "to turn".

Tacos al pastor ("shepherd style tacos") is a dish developed in Central Mexico, likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico.[11] Having derived from the shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish döner kebap and the Greek gyro]. While döner kebaps are almost all made from lamb and beef as are gyros, tacos al pastor in Mexico are made of pork. In Chile there are "döner", "shawarma" and "gyro" stands. The last one is made of pork.

Döner in Turkey

There are many variations of döner in Turkey:

Regional variations

Caucasus, Middle East and Asia


In Afghanistan, it is called shawarma. Döner is popular in Afghanistan and it is sometimes referred to as "Turkish kebab" or ("kababe Torki", Persian/Pashto: کباب ترکی), usually served with a variety of vegetables and a special yogurt sauce called "mast."[22]


In Armenia Ġarsi khorovats, šaurma or in the Armenian diaspora, "Tarna" (literally, "it turns"); it is usually lamb, pork or chicken on a vertical rotisserie, sliced and wrapped in Lavash, served with tahini, yogurt or garlic sauce and with a side dish of pickled vegetables or tourshi.[23]


In Azerbaijan doner is called Shaurma (Aze: Şaurma) or Döner (Aze: Dönər). Şaurma is made with chicken and always include garlic sauce, whereas döner can be made with either chicken or beef, and does not include garlic sauce. Both can be served in bread, lavash or in plate. Döner also can be served in tandoor bread. The most popular variety is Turkish döner.[24][25]


In Bangladesh shawarma along with döner kebap is getting popular mainly as fast-food item in Dhaka and to a lesser extent in Chittagong. Initially, fast food shops like Shawarma House and Arabian Fast Food added shawarma in their menu. These days, however, they are becoming common in many fast food shops and restaurants.


Doner is widespread in western China, especially among Uyghurs, owing to the common Turkish culture.


Doner is a popular fast food in Georgia.


Doner is popular in Iran and it is known as "Turkish kebab" or ("kabab Torki", Persian: کباب ترکی), Some times it is called "kabob Estanboli" (Kebab from Istanbul).


In Kazakhstan doner has become popular since declaration of independence when Turkish business in Kazakhstan started to develop rapidly. Now doner is one of the most favorite types of fast-food in Kazakhstan, especially in Almaty.


A döner location in Ueno, Tokyo.

In Japan, doner kebabs are starting to appear, mostly in Tokyo, where they are predominantly sold from parked vans. Doner kebabs have been adjusted to suit Japanese tastes; the salad is usually omitted in favour of shredded cabbage, and the sauce is composed primarily of mayonnaise.[26]


In Pakistan, the doner kebab is referred to by its Arabic name, shawarma. Locals usually prefer to eat Shawarma with fizzy drinks. It is available in all major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan and Quetta.[27]

South Korea

Doner kebab is available throughout much of Seoul, particularly in the foreigner-dominated neighborhood of Itaewon. There are two main varieties: the first, sold from street carts, is modified to suit Korean tastes, with chicken rather than lamb, shredded white cabbage, and honey mustard; the second is offered at permanent takeaways such as Ankara Picnic, Mr. Kebab and Sultan Kebab, and features a lamb option along with more traditional sauces.[28][29]


Doner kebab is known as Shawarma(沙威瑪) in Taiwan. It is popular among night markets and streets throughout Taiwan and usually made from chicken and is served on leavened buns with julienned cabbage, slice of tomato, sliced onions, ketchup, and mayonnaise.[30]


There is at least one doner kebab shop on the island of Koh Samui. There are many kebab shops around the Nana area on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, and in Pattaya on Walking Street.[31]


Doner kebab is increasingly becoming popular in Vietnam among the locals. Throughout Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City many doner kebab stalls can be found, contributing to the local street food variety. Bánh mi doner kebab, the Vietnamese version of the doner kebab, has some fundamental differences with the original doner kebab. First of all, pork is used instead of beef and lamb. Second, the meat is served in a Vietnamese baguette, which is widely available in Vietnam. Thirdly, the meat is topped with sour vegetables and chili sauce. On contrary with many other countries in Asia, the doner kebab in Vietnam has been localized and is primarily consumed by the locals, while in other countries in the Far East kebabs are primarily sold to expats, tourists and the middle class, and the original recipe is used.[32][33]



In Albania, doner kebabs are usually called "sufllaqe" and sold at fast food stores. In southern parts of the country, they are called "gjiro". They are made with either pork or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, French fries, ketchup, and/or mustard, etc. In general, a normal gjiro in Southern Albania is made with tomatoes, onions, French fries, ketchup, mustard and "salce kosi" (yogurt sauce). In the capital (Tirana) they are made with meat wrapped in freshly made pitta with thick yoghurt and cucumber sauce. Another variant includes a Russian Salad dressing versus salc kosi or mayonnaise.


Doner kebab shops can be found in all cities across Austria. Kebabs (rarely referred to as "Döner") outsell burgers or the traditional Würstel (sausage) stands.[34] The range of doner is similar to other German speaking countries, but one is more likely to find a chicken kebab in central Vienna than lamb or beef kebab.


Doner kebab restaurants and food stands can be found in almost all cities and smaller towns in Belgium. The variety served is similar to that of Germany and the Netherlands. However, it is not uncommon to see doner served with French fries in Belgium, often stuffed into the bread itself (similar to the German "Kebab mit Pommes"). This is probably done to suit local taste, as fries are still the most common Belgian fast food. Many different sauces are typically offered, including plain mayonnaise, aioli, cocktail sauce, sambal oelek or harissa paste, andalouse sauce, "américaine" sauce and tomato ketchup or curry ketchup. Belgians are renowned for mixing two sauces for maximizing taste effects (e.g., garlic and sambal). Another basic ingredient of the typical Belgian doner kebab is two or three green, spicy, Turkish peppers.[35]


Doner kebab stands are a common sight in Bulgaria. The Doner kebap or Dyuner (Дюнер) is widely made of chicken meat, and it’s wrapped in a flatbread or Turkish wrap. It consist a wide variety of salad choices most commonly used are tomatoes, chopped lettuce, onions, hot peppers, cabbage and cucumbers. Rice and bean salads are offered along the coastline. In recent years the use of French fries has become a popular ingredient. It is served with yoghurt-mayonnaise based garlic sauce, with ketchup or mayonnaise on demand, and hot spices. It’s a widely adopted fast food choice, and there are a number of venues that specialize in the Greek, German and Turkish styles of Doner kebabs in the whole country.


In growing number of cities in Croatia doners are becoming extremely popular. Called simply, kebab (kebabi plu.) got a lot of attention over the past few years with number of consumers constantly rising. In bigger cities such as Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka doner stands can be easily found. Cost of a usual doner kebab in Croatia varies from town to town, although average price is around 20 kuna (2.75€) with special and extra ingredients such as ketchup, mayonnaise, pepper, salt or different sorts of salad coming free of charge. Common ingredients are: Beef or chicken meat, salad, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, yogurt sauce.


In Denmark, doner kebabs are sold under a variety of names depending on the doner salesman's ethnic background. In Copenhagen, doners are usually sold as shawarma, or simply kebab, whereas it is sold as guss in other parts of the country. Doner kebab was first introduced to Denmark in 1981 by Turkish migrant workers, and has since become a staple. The meat would typically be beef, rather than lamb. Doner is typically served with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream dressing and chili oil either in a pita bread, or as a dürüm. Kebab is also served on pizza along with lettuce and créme fraiche or garlic dressing.


A plate of doner kebab in Kamppi, Helsinki

In Finland, kebabs have gained a lot of popularity since Turkish immigrants opened restaurants and imported their own traditional food. This popularity is apparent when perusing choices of cuisine, especially in larger cities. Kebabs are generally regarded as fast food, often served in late-night restaurants also serving pizza. However, recently kebab restaurants have begun to appear in shopping malls and in the form of proper high street restaurants as well.[36] There are at least 1122 currently active restaurants that serve kebab foods[37] in Finland. Furthermore, there is on average one kebab restaurant for every 5222 people in mainland Finland.[38] Beef is predominantly used, which also means that it is cheaper and more readily available. Some doners can be a mix of lamb and beef. Unlike in Central Europe, where kebabs are made from whole cuts of meat, practically all available kebab in Finland is made from ground meat. Often restaurants do not prepare the meat themselves, but use processed ready-made pieces instead.


Most kebab shops (themselves known simply as kebabs) are generally run by Turkish or North African immigrants in France. The basic kebab consists of either "pain de maison" (Turkish soft bread) or "pain arabe" (unleavened flatbread) stuffed with grilled lamb shavings, onions and lettuce, with a choice of sauce from sauce blanche (yogurt sauce with garlic and herbs), harissa (spicy red sauce originally from North Africa), ketchup, or several others. Kebabs are usually served with chips, often stuffed into the bread itself. This variation is called Doner grec ("Greek kebab"). Other variations include turkey, chicken, veal, beef, and replacing the Turkish bread with pita bread or baguette.[39]


A version developed to suit German tastes by Turkish immigrants in Berlin has become one of Germany's most popular fast food dishes. Annual sales in Germany amount to 2.5 billion euros.[40] Veal and chicken are widely used instead of lamb, particularly by vendors with large ethnic German customer bases, for whom lamb is traditionally less preferred.

Döner, common German style (Berlin)
Döner kebab in a dürüm

Typically, along with the meat, a salad consisting of chopped lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, and tomatoes is offered, as well as a choice of sauces like hot sauce, herb sauce, garlic sauce, or yogurt sauce. The filling is served in a thick flatbread that is usually toasted or warmed. A German variety of döner presentation is achieved by placing the döner meat and the add-ons on a lahmacun and then rolling the ingredients inside the dough into a tube that is eaten out of a wrapping of usually aluminum foil, sometimes called "Türkische Pizza". When plain dough is used instead of lahmacun the rolled fast food is called "dürüm döner" or "döner yufka."

Tarkan Taşyumruk, president of the Association of Turkish Döner Producers in Europe (ATDID), provided information in 2010 that, every day, more than 400 tonnes of döner kebab meat is produced in Germany by around 350 firms. At the same ATDID fair, Taşyumruk stated that 'Annual sales in Germany amount to 2.5 billion euros. That shows we are one of the biggest fast-foods in Germany'. In many cities throughout Germany, "Döner" is at least as popular as hamburgers or sausages, especially with young people.[40]

Germany's large Turkish community is probably the biggest reason for the widespread sale of döner kebap sales there:[citation needed] from the late 60s on, large numbers of Turks were invited to come to Germany as guest workers, to fill a then acute labour shortage caused by the Wirtschaftswunder after the war. Many of these Turkish workers eventually stayed in Germany, some opening small food shops and takeaways which was an excellent option in terms of progressing from some of the more menial jobs.


In Greece, Doner Kebab is called gyros. The most common form of gyros is prepared with pork, due to its broad availability and low price in Greece. The name comes from Greek γύρος ("turn"), a calque of the Turkish name döner kebap; the dish was formerly called ντονέρ [doˈner] in Greece as well. Today, ντονέρ refers to gyros prepared with lamb or beef.[41]


Doner kebabs are very popular in Hungary since the 1990s but are usually referred to as gyros- even some Turkish restaurants use the Greek term.[citation needed] It is served in two main forms: in a sandwich or on a plate. French fries or pasta are only part of the plate version. The meat is beef, chicken or lamb (the latter is a rarity), and the more popular sandwich version is usually served with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onion and with some kind of a yoghurt sauce and a mildly hot sauce made of red paprika.


In Dublin, increasing numbers of Turkish immigrants have led to growth in the number of late-night kebab eateries, popular with party-goers and evening revellers in the city centre. Doner and other kebabs are often eaten as take-away food after a night out. Owing to demand for late night food in the city centre, large businesses, such as Abrakebabra, remain open very late. Some businesses apply a surcharge to food purchased later at night.


Doner is very popular in Italy, especially among Moroccan immigrants and young people, including students and bargoers in many major cities. The most common toppings are cabbage, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot pepper relish, spiced yogurt, tzatziki, and harissa sauce; a kebab with all the said toppings is referred to as a kebab completo. Other common toppings include mayonnaise, ketchup, and French fries. It is also possible to get the kebabs without bread in a small foil bowl with all of the toppings over rice. It is referred to as "kebab".


Turkebab Restaurant in Riga, Latvia.

Doner kebabs have started to gain popularity in Latvia as well. Turkebab restaurant chain, owned by Turkish immigrants, successfully opened their second restaurant in Riga. Other private kebab restaurants are run by locals, Egyptians, and Turks.


Introduced by Muslim immigrants in the 2000s, doner kebabs exploded in popularity. They are usually sold from small kiosks and carts. Most popular are ones served in lavash bread (Dürüm), though pita bread is also used. The cabbage is the most often used vegetable, along with salad, tomato, bell pepper and cucumber, with a variety of sauces.


Doner kebab is very popular and widely available in the Netherlands. As a snack, it is usually served in or with a pita as a "broodje döner" (doner sandwich) with lettuce, onion, tomato slices and sauces, mainly garlic and sambal.

In the last few years[when?] a new form of serving is increasing in popularity. The 'kapsalon', from Rotterdam, is a metal tray filled with French fries with a layer of doner (sometimes a layer of sauce) over them, topped by a layer of young cheese. This goes into the oven until the cheese melts. Then a freshly sliced salad is put on top of that. The kapsalon is finished with a large amount of garlic sauce and a bit of sambal. The name kapsalon is the Dutch word for a hairdresser's salon. A hairdresser from Rotterdam working next to a doner stand snack bar wanted to combine the best of both worlds and came up with the idea of the kapsalon. Kapsalon is typically a food mostly served in the Randstad metropolitan area.

The Dutch television programme, Keuringsdienst van Waarde, analyzed doner kebab sandwiches and found out that only one of the analyzed kebabs contained 100% lamb meat, while most consisted of mixes of lamb and beef. Others consisted of 100% beef, chicken, turkey or pork.[42]


In Poland the kebab bars are spread mostly in major cities, but it is still considered one of the most, if not the most popular fast foods for young people. A very Polish specialty is a fresh cabbage salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables, added to the meat in a sandwich. A basic version costs 7–8 (€2–€2.5) and includes pita or thick bread, meat with onion, the aforementioned salad and a choice of sauces. It can be super-sized and/or served with extra cheese. Sandwiches are available with hot, medium or mild sauces made of house special ingredients. Kebab shops also serve complete meals, vegetarian dishes and ayran. Undoubtedly[citation needed] Warsaw is the capital of Polish kebab, with shops run by Turkish emigrants, and serving Arab specialties and hookah pipes apart from the sandwiches. As they run 23 hours a day, every day of the week, they are often visited by partying youth and policemen.

Kebabs were rarely seen in Poland before the downfall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. A similar Greek-fashioned dish gyros could have been occasionally encountered in that era. One possible origin of the recent popularity of kebab in Poland is post-communist Berlin, with local Turkish immigrants inspired by their fellow natives in the other country.[citation needed]


In Portugal kebabs are fairly recent. The most common kebab in Portugal is served in thick pita bread. Common ingredients are salad, onion, tomato, fresh cheese and sauce.


In Romania, doner kebab and its locally widespread variant, the shaworma, have gained much popularity over the past decade. So much so that shaworma has become a staple food of the young generation.[citation needed]


In Russia doner kebab is usually called shaurma (Central Russia) or shawerma (North-West). It is widespread and is usually made in booths or small cafes. There are two basic types: in pitah (a type of bun) or in lavash (thin round cake, in which it is packed). Types of meat from which it is usually made are chicken and pork. Other meat is seldom used for doner. Typical recipe includes meat, cabbage and/or carrot salad, cucumbers and/or tomatoes and two types of sauces: ketchup and a type of spicy youghurt. Doner production in Russia is usually subject of a small business, which is most usual owned by Caucasus or Middle Asia migrants. There is especially large number of such booths near railway stations and markets. Shaurma is a very popular meal for students and people who have to eat "on the go" due to its relatively low price. It depends on the region, in big cities it is usually a little higher, but in average one portion costs 2-3 Euro in booths and some higher in cafes. Shaurma can be served also in a plate apart from the bun and can be accompanied with French fries and vegetable salad. Most often it is consumed with light beer.


In Slovenian cities you can find many doner kebab stands that were spread across the country by immigrants from Kosovo and Bosnia. Some places also serve so called jufka kebab (dürüm). Common ingredients are: Beef or chicken meat (and mixed), salad, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, yogurt sauce.


In Spain, doner kebab is common, especially in Andalucía.[citation needed] It is often called chawarma,[citation needed] and one can find a kebab restaurant in Granada every 100 meters, as well as one very famous one in Cordoba near the old Mosque.[citation needed] The kebabs are served with chicken or veal and with salad, tomatoes, onions, olives, peppers, white sauce, ketchup, or salsa picante (hot sauce). Falafel, French fries, and fried eggs are typical additions to a kebab. The average price in Andalucía for a kebab is 3.40 to 4 euros.

In Spain the kebab was entered in the mid 2000s. From those years to now the kebap restaurans have become very normal in the whole country. Its very comon to eat as a dinner in the week ends as people are spenidg their leisure time in bar areas.


In Sweden, Kebab med bröd (Kebab with bread) can be found in the local pizzeria or specialised kebab/falafel shop. The word "kebab" is normally associated with doner kebab made from pork or beef, more uncommonly chicken. It is a popular fast-food alternative to the more traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, and is a common late-night post-drinking meal, with kebab/falafel restaurants often being open late into the night. Other commonly occurring kebab variants are kebabrulle ("kebab roll", a roll of flat bread filled with kebab meat, salad, tomatoes, kebab sauce and sometimes pepperoni or sliced pickles), and kebabtallrik ("kebab platter", a plate of doner meat and salad with either French fries, rice, or mashed potatoes). The most common sauce options are "hot", "mild", "garlic" or "mixed", the latter being a mixture of all three. Most pizzerias sell Kebab Pizza, a pizza with doner meat and the aforementioned sauces as a topping, now the most popular pizza in Sweden.


Doner can be found in cities across Switzerland. The doner vendors have popularised the grammatically incorrect way of asking if the customer wants the doner "mit scharf" (i.e. "with hot"). This ubiquitous error originates from a literal translation of the Turkish expression "acılı" and has entered the general usage of German in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.[citation needed]

United Kingdom

Döner kebab served in a partitioned tray.

Introduced by Turkish immigrants,[citation needed] the doner kebab with salad and sauce is a very popular dish in the United Kingdom, especially after a night out. The typical kebab shop in the UK will offer hot chilli sauce and garlic yoghurt-style sauce, and in different regions may also offer lemon juice, mayonnaise, or a mint sauce similar to raita. Doner kebabs are most commonly served in a pitta bread in the UK, but are sometimes also wrapped in other types of bread - naan bread or roti, for example. Doner meat is also sometimes served as a pizza topping. The UK doner kebab often uses a different mixture of spices. More UK influenced variation of the dish exist like eating the doner kebab meat with a side of chips.[citation needed]

The kebab has become an icon of urban food culture in the United Kingdom, with doner kebabs often purchased and consumed following a night of heavy drinking, and rarely eaten earlier in the day.

The Americas


Doner kebab is one of the most popular fast-food dishes on São Paulo streets. It is usually served as a sandwich, and it is called "Churrasco Grego", which means "Greek Barbecue", or much less frequently Churrasco Turco (Turkish Steak). It is not associated with the kebab/gyro in fashion districts. It is served in Porto Alegre, Foz do Iguaçu where it is sold as Arabic fast-food.


A variation known as "donair" was introduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in the early 1970s. Peter Gamoulakos immigrated to Canada in 1959.[43] When he failed in his attempt to sell traditional döner, Gamoulakos adapted the dish to local tastes. He substituted beef for lamb and created a sweet sauce. He claimed to invent the donair in 1972 and it debuted at King of Donair's Quinpool Road location in 1973, however this can not be confirmed.[44]

A King of Donair outlet in Halifax at Pizza Corner.

Donair has gained popularity throughout the Atlantic provinces of Canada, and is also available in some other areas of the country. Halifax donair meat is sliced from a loaf cooked on a vertical spit, made from a combination of ground beef, flour or bread crumbs, and various spices. The sauce is distinctively sweet compared to doner kebabs, being made from evaporated milk, sugar, vinegar, and garlic. The meat and sauce are served rolled in a flatbread with diced tomato and diced onion. While not included on "original" donairs, some restaurants add lettuce and/or cheese as well.

Many Atlantic Canadian restaurants offer a donair pizza featuring all of the donair ingredients served on a pizza crust. In Atlantic Canada one can also find donair meat used in offerings such as donair sausage, donair egg rolls (an egg roll casing stuffed with donair meat), donair pogos (donair meat on a stick, battered and deep-fried, similar to a corn dog), donair calzones/panzerottis, and in donair poutine.

In the summer of 2008, after numerous cases of E. coli related food poisoning due to the consumption of undercooked donair meat in Alberta, the federal government came out with a set of guidelines for the preparation of donairs.[45] The principal guideline is that the meat should be cooked at least twice: once on the spit, and then grilled as the donair is being prepared.

Cayman Islands

Doner kebab is available in Georgetown, Grand Cayman with a Caribbean flair. The meat is cooked on the traditional vertical spit, and the kebab is served on flat bread with a variety of sauces, including garlic and mango pepper sauce.


Tacos al pastor being cut from the spit

A similar dish is served in Mexico known as tacos al pastor or "tacos de trompo". The cooking is different from that of the kebab. The meat is cooked and then sliced into a corn tortilla. They can be found all over Mexico, especially in street corners. In Puebla, this was introduced by the numerous Middle-Eastern immigrants, mostly from Lebanon and Syria, but also Turkey and Iraq, in the early 1920s.[46]

A similar dish is called Tacos Árabes, which originated in Puebla in the 1930s from Lebanese-Mexican cuisine. Tacos Árabes use shawarma-style meat carved from a spit, but are served in a pita bread called pan arabe.

United States

In the United States, doner kebab is not widely known, except in some larger cities with a strong Mideastern immigrant community, e.g., Boston, Detroit, New York,[47] Chicago,[48] Seattle,[49] San Diego,[50] and Los Angeles.[51] In contrast, gyros, considered Greek food, are popular across the U.S., and frequently are found at mobile stands as fair food as well as at Greek- and Italian-style pizza and sandwich shops.



In Australia, doner and other kebabs are very popular due to immigration from Greece, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Lebanon. Many consider them to be a healthier alternative to traditional fast food. In Australian shops or stalls, beef, lamb and chicken doners can be found in all major cities where many suburbs have take-away shops that offer them. They are optionally served with cheese and a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, onion, and tabouli on either pita (also known in some areas as Lebanese bread) or using thicker but still quite flat Turkish breads. These are sliced in half with the filling placed in between the slices, rather than wrapped, as is common with pita/pide breads.

The most commonly used sauces are tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, hummus (made with chickpeas), yoghurt and garlic sauce, and chili or sweet chilli sauce. Doner kebabs in Sydney and Melbourne can be served with all the ingredients placed onto or next to the pita bread on a plate, or more commonly, with the ingredients rolled into the pita bread in the form of a "wrap". The wrapped version can be toasted in a sandwich press, which has the effect of melting any cheese, heating the meat and baking the bread so that it becomes crisp.

In Canberra, the bread with filling is passed underneath a grill for a minute. The sandwich is then wrapped in paper to stop the filling from falling out and usually placed in a foil/paper sleeve. This variety is also available in New Zealand. In Brisbane, kebabs are influenced by the Turkish variation. They are invariably served in a pita wrap and toasted in a sandwich press for about a minute before being inserted into a foil or paper sleeve. The main meats available are chicken or lamb. Shops or vans selling kebabs are colloquially referred to as "Kebaberies" and "Kebabavans" in some parts of Australia. Kebab meat can also be found as a pizza topping in the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, as a "beef pizza" or "Turkish pizza".

The "late night kebab" has become an icon of urban food culture in Australia, with kebabs often purchased and consumed following a night of drinking. Kebabs are considered suitable following consumption of alcohol due their high content of lipids (fats) which aids in metabolism of alcohol. Another variation found commonly in the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne is the "snack pack" or "meat box". This is a take-away box with a layer of chips, kebab meat and sauce on top. It is also common to add lettuce, onion, tomato or cheese on top.

The "dodgy kebab", often blamed for food poisoning has become more rare. Since NSW food safety best practice recommended a second cooking of kebab meat. Most stores have adopted this measure and it is now common practice in Australia. Second cooking requires that meat sliced from the doner is cooked on the hotplate/grill to 60 °C just before serving.[52] Previously, "Dodgy kebab" meat was often sliced from the doner, including some not yet fully heated/cooked meat, at the time of ordering or meat that had been sliced and sat waiting at the bottom of the doner for indiscernible length of time.

Health concerns

Doner kebab is popular in many countries in the form of fast food, often as an end to a night out when preceded by the consumption of an excess of alcohol.[53] Health concerns surrounding doner kebab in the UK and Western Europe, including the hygiene involved in overnight storage and re-heating of partially cooked meat, unacceptable salt and fat levels, and improper labeling of meat used (e.g., illicit addition of pork), are repeatedly reported in the European media.[53][54][55][56] However, Simon Langley-Evans, a professor of human nutrition at Nottingham University states that doner could be a healthier choice of fast food, as it brings together meat, wholemeal bread and vegetables.[57]

See also


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  2. ^ "Döner Hakkında – Dönerin Tarihçesi" (in Turkish). Dönercibaşı- Özbilir Grup. Retrieved 3 March 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b İskenderoğlu, Yavuz (2008). "Yavuz İskenderoğlu-Kebapçı İskender Tarihçesi" (in Turkish). Kebapçı İskender. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  4. ^ Kenneth F. Kiple, Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas, eds., Cambridge World History of Food, Cambridge, 2000. ISBN 0-521-40216-6. Vol. 2, p. 1147.
  5. ^ İskenderoğlu, Yavuz (2008) (in Turkish). Yavuz İskenderoğlu-Kebapçı İskender Tarihçesi. "Yüzyıllardır yerdeki ateşe paralel olarak pişirilen kuzuyu, dik mangalda ayağa kaldırma!": Kebapçı İskender. Retrieved 3 March 2009
  6. ^ Kenneth F. Kiple, Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas, eds., Cambridge World History of Food, Cambridge, 2000. ISBN 0-521-40216-6. Vol. 2, p. 1147
  7. ^ Peter Heine (2004). Food culture in the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-313-32956-2. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  8. ^ Babiniotis, Λεξικό της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας
  9. ^ Aglaia Kremezi and Colombia, "What's in a Dish's Name", "Food and Language", Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 2009, ISBN 1-903018-79-X
  10. ^ "Jack in the Box rolls Greek gyro in 600 units", Nation's Restaurant News, 21 December 1992. article
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  33. ^ Banh Mi- the kebab of the Far East November 2012
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  47. ^ Doner kebab houses in New York. Retrieved on 21 March 2009.
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  49. ^ The Berliner Doner Kebab Seattle, Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  50. ^ The Kebab Shop. Retrieved on 9 September 2009.
  51. ^ Spitz in Eagle Rock, CA. Retrieved on 21 March 2009.
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  53. ^ a b "How unhealthy is a doner kebab?". BBC News Magazine. 21 January 2009.
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  55. ^ "UK study reveals 'shocking' kebab". BBC News. 27 January 2009.
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  57. ^