Shawarma Bandwagon: The Kebab Shop

Here’s the thing: I hate staying until the end of the credits after a long movie. My butt often hurts and I’m just aching to get out and stretch my legs despite Paul’s pleas to wait just a bit longer. I’m so glad I did after “The Avengers.” I was rewarded with a scene paying homage to one of my favorite foods: shawarmas!

And shawarmas are blowing up. Literally. Immediately after the release of the movie a few weeks ago, several restaurants in L.A. specializing in shawarmas has business going through the roof. For us in San Diego, there’s only one place I trust for my Middle Eastern food fix: The Kebab Shop.

The Kebab Shop

The Kebab Shop recently opened up its fourth location in Little Italy on the corner of Beech and Union. The other three locations are in Encinitas, Mira Mesa and East Village near the ballpark.

The Kebab Shop interior

All locations are essentially the same. For an outstanding meal — something that will be hard to diverge from once you have it — go for either the shawarma or doner kebabs.

Their shawarmas and doner kebab wraps ($6.79 each) are packed with your choice of filling (lamb, chicken, falafel or mixed meat), folded with a salad mix (lettuce, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and mint) and topped with their addicting sauces (I highly recommend the garlic yogurt). The difference between the shawarma and doner kebab wrap is whether you want the extra carbs or not.


Those who order the shawarma are rewarded with a thick, crusty bread with a generous filling. But the flat bread wrap is nothing to shirk at either, coming in at 10 inches. Yes, size does matter when it comes to something this good. Every bite is a harmonious combination of all the ingredients –- something that can’t be replicated with the plates.

Flatbread wrap

Both are hefty meals in itself, but if you insist on a side there’s a selection of fresh salads ($3.99-$8.99), french fries ($1.99-$2.58), saffron rice ($2.59) and falafel ($1.99-$2.59). The salads are displayed in the case and all the hot sides are freshly cooked. But for those who want more than just a salad, go for falafels— seasoned ground chick peas formed into balls and fried. Where other places overcook their falafels, The Kebab Shop’s are cooked perfectly with a tender crust that are complimented by their sauces.


Regardless of location, all four shops have online ordering for those on the go or just wanting to fulfill a craving after seeing “The Avengers.”

The Kebab Shop
630 9th Avenue (downtown)
9450 Mira Mesa Blvd. (Mira Mesa)
127 N. El Camino Real #127-E (Encinitas)
303 W. Beech Street (Little Italy)

Related: A Let Down, A Rejection and a Fourth Meal

20 thoughts on “Shawarma Bandwagon: The Kebab Shop

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  1. Their garlic yogurt sauce is awesome. I also dig their new “doner box” where you get it all stuffed in a box with either rice or fries. I get it with the fries and its sort of remind me of carne asada fries… except you know, with lamb!

    1. I’ve had the donner box! Unfortunately, I don’t think you get as much food as having the sandwich or flatbread although the fries were a big plus. I believe you can add fries to the wrap for an added price — just like a California burrito.

  2. I stumbled onto the Kebab shop during last years Comic-con and their kebab was one of my favorite eats there. Will definitely get their shawarma’s the next time I’m there.
    I found a two places where I live that sell shawarma’s. Tried one place out, Pacific Pita, and that was ok, the chicken was kind of dry. Going to try out the other place tomorrow.

  3. Oh, those falafel look so good! And now I’m intrigued by the idea of a doner box with fries. Mmm…

    I enjoyed the Avengers – even if parts of it were pretty silly. And after such a long movie, my butt was certainly sore!

  4. I’m not a huge fan of their wraps, but one of the best things I’ve ever eaten is their Iskender Kebab. It’s like Turkish spaghetti and meat balls. It easily serves two and is insanely rich.

  5. We haven’t watched the Avengers yet (hangs head in shame) but we shall rectify that tomorrow afternoon! And maybe get a shawarma afterwards! 🙂

  6. Oh no, it seems like I missed that in the movie. We watched a very late show and by 1AM I was so ready to leave! I’m craving shawarma now nevertheless..

  7. I love the kebab shop! The wraps are so good. Once in awhile, I’ll be “that” girl that brings food to class and everyone around me always asks, “Where did you get that!?”

  8. I was just having the shawarma conversation with my coworkers after watching the Avengers! Hahah! We are kebab shop regulars! We work close by and go there just about everyday! everything on their menu is delicious! I am going through a big Doner Box phase right now with chicken and French fries! YUMMM!

    1. I’m sure that if the Kebab Shop was within walking distance from my work, I would be a regular too. And I agree that everything on their menu is amazing!

  9. Darlene, I have never had a shawarma in my life but after looking at your photos, I will be getting this for lunch soon!

  10. I love getting their fries and shaking the two spice jars all over the fries. You then dip the fry in the yogurt sauce and then the hot sauce. SOOOOO GOOD. I honestly am not a fan of the chicken there. Too dry for me.

    1. I think one of the spices might be sumac which I’ve had over rice but not fries. But I’ll definitely try it next time based on your recommendations — THANKS! I haven’t tried the chicken but the lamb is so good, I’ve never diverted from it.

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