Kebabs themselves have seen a big resurgence back into the public consciousness too – as high-quality meats, bread and vegetables are replacing the dreaded grey ‘elephant leg’ that people associate with a doner at 3am on a Saturday night.
The trend has permeated the city from many sources, but mainly Berlin, as we’ve seen the age-old reaction of people visiting the German city and wanting to re-create their intoxicating kebab scene over here. A product of the city’s diverse immigrant communities, we’re seeing the same thing happen here in Manchester, as our eyes become open to a range of kebabs from Turkey to Afghanistan, Iran to the Kurdish region of Western Asia.
So, to celebrate World Kebab Day this Friday 8th July we embarked on a ‘Kebab Tour’ of Manchester, taking in some of the very best spots to grab a cracking kebab…
This place is legendary, and if you’ve ever tried it you’ll know why. We went for the mixed Shawarma on Samoon bread, which is baked fresh in-house every day, and it really makes all the difference. It’s run by three fellas each of Kurdish heritage, Alonso, AJ and Zheko, and they can be found grafting and baking away 7 days a week, cooking super-fresh breads ready to open at 10am. They recently opened up a new branch further into Stockport in Edgeley – which is just as good as the one in Levenshulme.
Levenshulme Bakery, 842 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3AW
A Star Shawarma
Also in Levenshulme, A Star has become a firm favourite on the Facebook page “Manchester Donner Connoisseurs” recently and after trying it we can see why. This was probably the juiciest shawarma we tried on the day, and the house sauces were very special too.
A Star Shawarma, 920 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3AB
0161 257 3613
This is a Mediterranean restaurant on Cheetham Hill Road serving up some incredible grilled meat and fish dishes. Here we opted for the Lamb Shish Kebab on Garlic Naan with all the trimmings. This is definitely one of the more flavourful kebabs we had, with spices blended in with the lamb perfectly.
Alif Grill, 105 Cheetham Hill Rd, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8PY
The Post Box Café & Shawarma
A fairly new opening in Chorlton that has been making waves since opening up in the old Post Office. We had the Mixed Chicken & Lamb Shawarma Samoon. The meat is all marinated in-house in their own secret blend of herbs and spices – “None of that doner you buy in ready-made” the man behind the counter told us.
The Post Box Café & Shawarma, 543 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9PP
Venus Foods Supermarket
A supermarket that specialises in Turkish and Mediterranean food and drinks, and they’ve got a kebab shop too – all under the same roof. We had the Mixed Doner topped with garlic and chilli sauce that came with chips, salad and fresh Turkish bread. The huge portion cost only £6.90 and could easily have fed 2 people.
Venus Foods Supermarket, 45-49 Anson Rd, Longsight, Manchester M14 5DE
0161 256 1110
The Bull & Bear
We ended our tour with a bit more of an upmarket kebab, in a much more fancy setting. This is possibly the poshest kebab in town – a Spiced Lamb Ragu is placed in a chapati, before being topped with “Doner” salad and a basil yoghurt sauce.
The Bull & Bear, Stock Exchange Hotel, 4 Norfolk St, Manchester M2 1DW
There are, of course, loads of other great places around Manchester to get a banging kebab, and we should mention Cafe Marhaba in the Northern Quarter, also Kabana, Rusholme Chippy, Persian Tasty Grill, Turkish Delight, Shamnah in Swinton, Arndale Shawarma, BAB, One Star Doner in Escape to Freight Island as well as vegan offerings from What The Pitta.
We didn’t have time to visit all of these places, but you can still get out this weekend and support your local doner shop.