6 shawarma spots in Durban

A shawarma is like the Middle Eastern version of a taco (sometimes called a “doner kebab”) that consists of juicy, marinated slices of meat wrapped in a pita or flatbread with veggies and sauce. They are super delicious and filling, and even good for eating on the go. Here are the best places to find shawarmas in Durban.

Café Turka (Salt Rock)

A true hidden gem on the North Coast. Murat Öncel (owner and chef) trained as a chef in Turkey and ran a small restaurant in Marmaris before moving to Ballito. Café Turka gives you a real taste of authentic Turkish cuisine. They have three meat options – lamb, chicken and beef – all marinated, seasoned and slow-cooked on a rotisserie. The slow-cooked meat is sliced and served with fresh salad and dips (hummus and Turkish garlic sauce) in a shawarma. A falafel option is available too. Grab one of their baklava desserts for a sweet treat after your meal. They are situated in the Salt Rock Shopping Centre. You can eat in, take away or order for catering. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm.


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Sofra Istanbul (Florida Road, Umhlanga and Westville)

From the moment you walk in, you can smell the authentic Turkish flavours coming from the grill. The menu comes straight from the owner’s mother-in-law’s village kitchen in Turkey and reflects the authentic dishes she learnt to prepare by her side. The meals are close to what the locals would eat at home, using fresh ingredients and special imported spices from Turkey. They are known for their succulent shawarmas and strong Turkish coffees. Choose between a chicken, lamb, beef or falafel shawarma. Often adding new items to their menu, the latest addition is a Turkish pastry called acma (soft-style bagel). They have three stores – you can find them in Florida Road, Palm Boulevard in Umhlanga and Dawncliffe Road in Westville.

Sparx Shawarma (Bluff)

Everything is made in-house every day by the owner, Basheer Azzize. The portions are huge and the affordable menu includes a choice between chicken or steak shawarma and hot chips. They are usually very busy so it’s best to call in with your order beforehand. They have been around for the last seven years. You can find them at Shop 206 on Marine Drive in the Bluff. Open seven days a week until 8pm.

Istanbul Shawarma Flame Grilled Chicken (Overport)

As their name suggests, Istanbul Shawarma Flame Grilled Chicken is popular for their chicken shawarma. Simplicity without any sophistication, the old-fashioned way. They’ve even added a twist to their menu with a shawarma burger. They are generous with their meat, so portions are good! Dine in or takeaway are available. They are situated at Shop 24, West Street in Durban. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10.30am to 9pm.

Durban Bites – Shawarmas and Grill (North Beach)

This humble takeaway shop in North Beach has welcoming staff and delicious shawarmas. The perfect treat after that midday stroll along the beach. You can eat in, take away or hang about. The vibe is easy. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a high quality, fresh and delicious shawarma that is made fast. Find them at Shop 1B Mangrove Beach Centre, 91 Somtseu road, North Beach. Open daily from 9am to 8pm.


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