London's best restaurants for kebabs
Discover where to eat the best kebabs in London
We've tried and tested the very best kebabs that London has to offer, and here are the results - London's top ten kebab restaurants.
Compiled by Tania Ballantine
19 Numara Bos Cirrik I
34 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ
Recommended dish: Adana lamb kebab £8.50
Trendy Dalstonites now join the Turkish families that have been dining at this restaurant for years, and prices have of course crept up, but 19 Numara remains good value. Boasting a large menu of traditional Turkish dishes, it’s particularly strong on kebabs, from a classic ‘sis’ (shish) kebab of marinated lamb cubes to the ‘full mixed kebab’, a huge platter of grilled meats (including quail) to feed two or three.
46 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, N4 1AG
Recommended dish: Lamb shish kebab £8
On a street known for its casual Turkish cafés, Antepliler (which also has a younger, even smarter sibling on Islington’s Upper Street) is a sit-down restaurant serving adventurous cooking from the Silk Route. The sogon kebab is a case in point: these meatballs come served with a pomegranate sauce and sweet grilled shallots, with a crisp salad and traditional Turkish pide bread.
287 Kentish Town Rd, NW5 2JS
Meal for two with drinks, around £10
Huge portions make this Kentish town kebab joint rather popular. We liked the tender chunks of char-grilled meat in the lamb shish kebabs best (the chicken shawarma can lack seasoning); salad fillings are varied and well-dressed. There’s an equally good range of sauces, including a fiery chilli – but if you like the heat factor at less than volcanic, ask them to go easy.
Lahore Kebab House, E1
2 Umberston St, E1 1PY
Recommended dish: Single kebab skewer (chicken or lamb) £1
Another consistently reliable Whitechapel canteen, Lahore Kebab House, which opened in 1974, deals in full-flavoured Punjabi street food, from snacks and curries to the eponymous meat-on-a-stick. In spite of this joint’s moniker, there are only two kebabs on offer – one seekh (a ‘sausage’ of seasoned, finely minced lamb on a skewer), and a classic chicken kebab: both are excellent.
10 Arcola St, E8 2DJ
Recommended dish: Lamb köfte kebab £9.50
The original branch of this Turkish charcoal grill may have basic décor, but it still scores big for its generous portions of good quality meat, sold at low prices. The exceptional beyti (spicy minced lamb) and shish (marinated lamb chunks) are skewered, char-grilled, and served with an oversized salad and warm leavened bread. Perfect with a dollop of cacik (thick, garlicky yoghurt).
8 Crawford Place, W1H 5NE
Recommended dish: Lamb kebab £6
On a small side street off the Edgware Road, this tiny Persian hole-in-the-wall specialises in the char-grilled koobideh style of kebabs, where minced and seasoned lamb or chicken is moulded like a long sausage down the length of the skewer. Factor in the terrific just-cooked flatbreads and verdant salads packed with herbs, and you’ll forgive the cramped, basic surroundings.
167 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PG
Dinner set menu: £22.95, pre-theatre set menu: £14.50
Colourful and camp, Bollywood-themed Sitaaray is a restaurant proper, where kebabs form a major part of their set menus. Highlights include two kinds of shami kebabs, the first seeing the pan-fried ground lamb patties scented with fenugreek and studded with sweetcorn, while the second had a more traditional flavouring, of chillies, coriander and sweet onion.
70 Askew Rd, W12 9BJ
Recommended dish: Lamb koobideh kebab £7.20
Though there are plenty of rich, homely stews at this Persian restaurant, the tender kebabs are no means poor cousins. Head for the likes of lamb koobideh kebabs (minced, seasoned meat, fashioned around a skewer) or the chello joojeh kebab – a small whole marinated chicken (the joojeh in the name), all with grilled tomatoes and fluffy rice.
261 Mare St, E8 3NS
Recommended dish: Chicken shish kebab £7.50
It may not have especially good looks or charming service, but no matter: it’s the high standards and reasonable prices here that keep the regulars happy. Chicken shish kebabs come perfectly chargrilled, but we’d especially recommend the large iskender kebab: Tad’s take on this traditional dish is to use slices of lamb döner meat, which are topped with cold yoghurt and hot tomato sauce.
83 Fieldgate St, E1 1JU
Recommended dish: Starter lamb kebab 95p
With queues often snaking past the tables and onto the street, the cult following behind this iconic Pakistani canteen shows no sign of abating, and with good reason: dishes are often as exceptional as they are easy on the wallet. Although only a tiny part of the menu, the seekh kebabs (seasoned ground lamb, moulded onto skewers like sausages) and shami kebabs (small mixed beef and onion patties, currently only available once a week, on Wednesdays) are worth the visit alone. Unlicensed: BYO, no corkage charge.