It’s been nearly four years since Kingstonist last took a look at this important issue. At the time, author Danielle Lennon highlighted four shawarma restaurants, but hoped for more options in Kingston in the near future. We’re delighted to have 11 restaurants in this updated poll, but with the caveat emptor that a few may not pass the authenticity test of discerning shawarma enthusiasts.
Shawarma, for the uninitiated, is a Middle Eastern food that is considered one of the world’s most popular street foods. It’s essentially a big stack of thinly-sliced seasoned meat (chicken, beef, lamb, veal, etc.) that is roasted on a vertical spit. As the spit rotates, the cooked portion of the meat is sliced off with a huge knife and served in a sandwich or wrap, often on a pita.
Dr. Shawarma and Shawarma Damascus are two of the newest players in Kingston, along with Osmow’s, which is hugely popular in the GTA and has recently opened a Kingston location. Places like Famous King and House of Donair are well-established favourites, and even the Kingston-based Pita Pit franchise has a shawarma item or two on their menu these days.
So, Kingston, what makes the shawarma experience for you? Do you need to see the meat actually turning on the spit before you’ll even consider ordering? Will you walk out if it’s not carved from the stack as soon as you order it? Some people say it’s the sides or toppings that can make or break a good shawarma wrap.