During my travels I have enjoyed many a delicious meal. Cuisine throughout the world is incredible, and eating is one of my favorite parts of traveling. It is such an incredible way to experience another country and culture.
One of my favorite dishes is the döner kebab. Originally from Turkey, the döner kebab has become a hit throughout much of the world. But it is most prevalent in Europe, the Middle East, Canada and Australia. It can also be found in parts of Asia, the USA and Mexico, but it is not as popular.
A döner kebab is seasoned meat-usually lamb, beef or chicken-shaped into an inverted cone and cooked on a rotisserie; the meat is shaved off as it cooks and then wrapped in a flatbread, namely pita. It is typically topped with tomato, lettuce, onions and a creamy sauce. It is similar to Arab shawarma and Greek gyros.
Döner kebabs are delicious, cheap and fast. And each country and restaurant makes every döner kebab with its own variation. I have sampled döner kebabs from many different countries, so I’ve put together a ranking of my most to least favorite döner kebabs from around the world.
Germany definitely has the best döner kebabs that I have eaten. They are absolutely scrumptious. Germany does food really well overall, especially meat and bread. So it really is a great place to eat consistently yummy döner kebabs. You’ll also often get the treat of a few french fries stuffed into the wrap.
(Update Nov. 13, 2015) While this may come as a surprise, my next favorite döner kebabs can be found in South Korea. But this is likely because the treat is crafted by Turkish immigrants, so you are able to get the authentic taste. And the döner kebabs available in South Korea are also consistently done well. My favorite spot to satisfy my döner kebab cravings is Nazar Kebab in Daegu. The staff there is friendly, the bread is freshly made, and the food is good every single time.
Next on the list is Belgium. The dish is served on more of a tortilla-like bread than pita, but the meat is delectable. Restaurants in Belgium offer tasty döner kebabs and plentiful helpings of fries on the side.
I only tried one döner kebab in Albania, so it is a bit hard to give it a top spot on the list. It was tasty, but unremarkable. It was more like I enjoyed the döner kebab because it satisfied my hunger, rather than enjoying it for its succulent flavors.
And at the bottom of the list is Portugal. The döner kebabs just did not compare to any others than I have eaten. The meat was bland and the whole thing just fell apart. It was rather disappointing.
Bonus- The Gyro
While I love me a döner kebab, I am even more enamored with Greece’s gyro. It is quite similar to the döner kebab, but a few subtle differences make it that much more delicious. The traditional gyro is assembled in the same basic form as the döner kebab, but the meat is usually pork. And the meat is wrapped in a fluffy pocket of pita bread along with vegetables and the mouth-watering tzatziki sauce. The delicate combination of those three elements really make the gyro surpass the wonderful döner kebab. But I would happily eat either one any day.
So, moral of the story is: one of the best parts of traveling is the food you’re introduced to. So get out there and eat!