12 restaurants offering a great shawarma in Joburg

The shawarma is a much-loved Middle Eastern delight, the world over. Essentially a wrap filled with pulled beef, lamb or chicken, salad, pickles and sauces like hummus and tahini, shawarmas make for a quick, filling and reasonably priced meal. For the vegetarians and vegans, falafel or deep-fried chickpea balls are a firm favourite. Take your pick from these popular spots in Joburg offering the best-tasting shawarmas that money can buy.

The Schwarma Company (Norwood)

This 22-year-old eatery was one of the first to start serving shawarmas in Joburg, with quality and taste that has stood the test of time. Regulars are familiar with the faces of owners Marwan and Wafi who are hands-on, often serving customers themselves. While the best-selling shawarmas at The Schwarma Company are the chicken, lamb and beef shawarmas in laffa wraps, the restaurant also serves a gluten-free laffa option and falafel shawarmas as a vegetarian option. A regular shawarma in pita would cost approximately R110, with a platter priced at R180. The Schwarma Company offers a 10% discount on all online orders on their website. Take-away or delivery through Uber Eats and Mr D Food is also available. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 07am to 9pm.


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Ba-Pita (Norwood)

Promising Middle Eastern food with a touch of Mediterranean flavour, Ba-Pita is famous for its pita, laffa and other flatbreads made with stone-ground flour and baked in a wood-fired oven. This extends to the popular shawarmas featuring beef ribeye, chicken breast, slow-cooked lamb shoulder or falafel, which are served in your choice of flatbread. Apart from falafel, Ba-Pita also offers halloumi and pitriot (crumbed mushroom) as vegetarian shawarma options. While ingredients are locally sourced, all fillings and sauces are prepared fresh on a daily basis. Ba-Pita also uses its in-house beef jus in the beef shawarmas, instead of bottled BBQ sauce. Shawarmas are priced at upwards of R80, with an add-on of hand-cut fries or a side salad for R110 onwards. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday from 09am to 9pm and on Sundays from 9am to 6pm. Takeaways are also available.

Istanbul Kebab (Melrose Arch and Sunninghill)

This well-loved eatery is as popular for its Turkish grills as its shawarmas. While the beef doner kebab shawarma wrap and platter is a hot favourite, all other kebabs such as the adana kebab, iskender kebab, boti kebab, fillet or kofta kebab are also available in shawarma-style wraps. As a vegetarian option, the falafel wrap is quite a hit. Freshly prepared items with spices imported from Turkey are key to Istanbul Kebab’s fame. A beef shawarma wrap costs R90, while the platter is priced at R160. Reservations are highly recommended for the Melrose Arch outlet. Both the Melrose Arch and Sunninghill branches are open from Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 10pm and on weekends from 11:30am to 9:30pm. Takeaway or delivery through Uber Eats or Mr D Food are also available.


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Schwarma Syrian Rose (Fordsburg)

Possibly one of Joburg’s best-kept secrets and a true hidden gem, Schwarma Syrian Rose shot to fame for its Syrian laffa bread, prepared fresh in front of customers, that later becomes a wrap for their ever-popular chicken or beef shawarmas. Besides these two choices, the restaurant also offers a spicy Mexican shawarma wrap, as well as lamb kebab, kofta kebab, beef cubes, chicken tikka and falafel shawarma-style wraps. Shawarmas are priced at R55 onwards, while a shawarma meal costs upwards of R105. The restaurant is open from Monday to Thursday as well as Saturday from 9:30am to 10pm, and on Friday and Sunday until 9:30pm. Take-away options are available and delivery can be arrange for large orders in the range of R400–500, with extra delivery charges applicable in keeping with the distance.

Anat (multiple locations)

Anat is an extremely popular Middle Eastern quick-service restaurant chain offering value-for-money shawarmas with a wide selection of fillings for patrons to choose from. The lamb, chicken and beef shawarmas are best-sellers, as is the falafel shawarma for a vegetarian choice. On Mondays, a full falafel shawarma is available for R49.90 – a discount of R10 off on the original price. Full shawarmas are priced between R59.90 and R109.90, while combo meals with a shawarma, regular chips and 300ml soft drink are priced between R92.90 and R142.90. Take-away options are available, as is delivery through Uber Eats and Mr D Food.

Tei Avon Schwarma Bistro (Greenside)

With a name that is the Hebrew equivalent of the phrase “Bon Appetit”, Tei Avon is a Mediterranean restaurant that specialises in shawarmas. While the beef, lamb and chicken shawarmas are all popular, Tei Avon also offers pumpkin and cauliflower banting laffa shawarmas, halloumi shawarma and falafel shawarma as vegetarian and vegan options. But that’s not all. A quick look at the restaurant’s menu will throw up a choice of fusion shawarma offerings such as Indian, Argentinian, Italian, Mexican, Portuguese, American and Austrian shawarmas with a range of different fillings. This is apart from the traditional Turkish, Lebanese, Israeli, Moroccan and Greek shawarmas on offer. Diners also have the option of building their own shawarma with a choice of pita or laffa wrap and a selection of fillings and sauces to choose from. A small beef shawarma is priced at R82, a regular beef shawarma costs R129 and a platter costs R164. Tei Avon offers a 25% weekday special discount on all shawarmas for dine-in. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 9:00am to 9pm. Take-away and delivery options are available.

Mezepoli (Melrose Arch)

Serving Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian food, Mezepoli is known for its mezze and shawarma offerings. The best-selling shawarma is the traditional beef yiro, followed by the chicken and falafel shawarmas. Among the vegetarian options, besides falafel, Mezepoli also offers a grilled or deep-fried halloumi shawarma or a combo falafel and halloumi shawarma. All shawarmas contain tzatziki, but can be swapped for vegan-friendly options such as hummus, olive tapenade, or peppers and aubergine. Mezepoli’s selling point is its freshness and quality ingredients with great-tasting flavour. Shawarmas are priced between R92 and R115 and can be ordered with a choice of sides or mezze for a full meal. Mezepoli is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 10pm and on Sunday and Monday till 9pm. Take-away orders can be placed on WhatsApp on 066 386 4053 and delivery is also available via Uber Eats.


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Harissa Grill & Shisha Bar (Melville)

With a Lebanese chef at the helm using traditional recipes, you can be sure of authentic Lebanese cuisine at Harissa Grill & Shisha Bar. Hot-sellers from the menu include the beef, chicken and lamb shawarmas served in Lebanese-style pita bread, with the meat being marinated with a traditional Lebanese spice mix. Falafel is also served as a vegetarian shawarma option or as a side on its own. All shawarmas are served with chips and cost between R60 and R65. Meat platters are priced at R90 and include a mezze of spiced and grilled beef, lamb or chicken served with onion and parsley salad, tomato, pickled radish, tahini sauce and Lebanese pita. The falafel platter is priced at R70 and includes five falafel balls, served with tahini sauce, tomato, onion and parsley mix, pickles, and Lebanese pita. Harissa is open from Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 11pm and on Friday and Saturday till 2am. Take-away is also an option.

Yalla (Morningside and Fairland)

The Arabic term “yalla” means “hurry up” and, true to its name, this Middle Eastern restaurant specialises in quick-service cuisine, with no better example being its shawarmas. The beef and chilli chicken laffas are the most popular shawarmas, while falafel is a popular vegan choice. All ingredients are freshly prepared in store daily and the laffa bread making is a fascinating experience for diners to watch, while awaiting their shawarmas. All shawarmas are priced between R55 and R69. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm and till 6pm on Sundays and public holidays. Take-away and delivery options are available through Uber Eats, Mr D Food and Bolt.

Liban Café & Restaurant (Parkhurst)

Liban Café is known for its extensive Lebanese cold and hot mezze offerings, as well as its grill platters, shawarmas and wraps. While the beef shawarma – priced at R100 for the wrap or R200 with a side of salad, chips and tahini sauce – is the most popular choice, other wraps include the chicken taouk, beef, lamb, kafta, orfali and falafel. All shawarmas are prepared using traditional Lebanese spices. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm. Take-aways are available, as is delivery through Uber Eats.


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Amman Restaurant (Fordsburg)

Specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine from Jordan, Amman is known for its charcoal-grilled shawarmas made from scratch and secret marinades that give its shawarmas a unique flavour. The best-selling shawarmas are the flame-grilled beef, lamb and chicken shawarmas, priced between R45 and R50 for the shawarma only or R65 and R70 for the shawarma meal comprising salad, chips and a soft drink. Besides these shawarma options, Amman is popular for the sheesh kebab, lamb kebab, lamb cubes, chicken cubes, beef cubes and steak, all of which can be served in shawarma-style wraps. The restaurant is open from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 9pm.

Shaam Arabian Restaurant & Butchery (Rivonia)

Popular for shawarmas and Middle Eastern mezze, Shaam is also known for its reasonably priced menu, generous portions and uniquely spiced wraps. The beef, chicken and falafel shawarmas in a choice of pita or laffa bread are popular, while all kebabs can also be served as shawarmas on request. The falafel shawarma is priced at R60, while the chicken and beef shawarmas are priced at R80. All shawarmas are served with a side of chips and sauces and can also be served with rice for R85. Shaam is open from Monday to Sunday from 11:00am to 10pm. Diners can dine-in and enjoy their meal at an unhurried pace or request a take-away. Delivery is also available through Mr D Food.

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