Often when I am approached in person by fans of the blog (they are a small but select group of discerning individuals) I am asked which kebab shops in particular I would recommend. And so here it is! Dr Döner’s kebab recommendations, broken down by city and district. A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled, Döner Fans! Hasten to these fine establishments, and share your experiences in the comments section. Enjoy!
I will state freely, and stand by my conviction, that some of the best döner in the world is to be found in Berlin. The following are some of my personal favourites.
Ah, Wedding. Why would one live anywhere else? This feisty district in the north of the city is full of delightful culinary treats, and I feel privileged to say that I was able to call it home for over two years. Try some of these places if you are ever in the area:
- Kaplan – If you are looking for a cheap and reliable meal, try the dürüm at Kaplan on Leopoldplatz. This was my go-to kebab establishment while living in the area.
- Dedecan – Situated on Luxembourger Straße, Dedecan does some of the finest Gemüsekebab in the area. I would also highly recommend the Linsensuppe, which comes with a huge pile of bread and a fresh salad, all for 3 Euros, which was my favoured hangover cure on a Saturday morning.
Berlin’s party district. Here you can find a multitude of kebab houses and restaurants, thanks to Xberg’s multikulti vibe and industrious residents.
- Mercan – In all decency, I cannot praise this restaurant highly enough. Mercan on Wienerstraße is a must for anyone looking for good, hearty and above all cheap Turkish cuisine. Mercan offers a set menu comprising hot food, rice or bulgur, and a salad or cacik. I recommend the karnıyarık (aubergine and mince).
- Mısır Çarşısı – This establishment, situated near Kottbusser Tor station, makes very good lahmacun. It is always fresh, and I am yet to be disappointed.
- Bilakis – I had the pleasure of working in Prenzlauerberg, just off Schönhauser Allee, for over a year. And in that time, Bilakis was my go-to lunchtime kebab. They make a delicious Gemüsekebab, and I would recommend the dürüm with feta and a squeeze of lemon.
(Please note that these are only personal favourites and the list is not exhaustive.)
In the summer of 2014 I upped sticks and left Berlin for Amsterdam. From a culinary perspective, this was not a wise move. Quality kebabs are few and far between in the Dutch capital, however there are a few gems if one knows where to look.
- Ali Ocakbaşı – This authentic Turkish restaurant on the corner of Herengracht and Utrechtsestraat offers delicious (but expensive) Turkish cuisine. Weighing in at around 22 Euros for a main course, this is not for the faint-hearted. But their kuzu şiş and Ali Nazik kebab are out of this world.
- Bakkerij Kara Fırın – While masquerading merely as a local bakery Bakkerij Kara Fırın in the east of Amsterdam does an excellent kebab. Rarely busy and always tasty.
Well that’s it for the moment, Döner Fans! A list like this is never complete, however. I will add to it as new gems reveal themselves. In the meantime, I hope these recommendations help you to dodge the meaty bullets of slapdash kebab joints and navigate your way to the true masters of the art of meat-paste rotisserie. Guten Appetit!
Photographs by Dr Döner.