Ah...the humble kebab. Something about the combination of lamb AND chicken, veggies, bucket loads of sauce in a toasted wrap just makes for the perfect drunk feed after a big night. It's pure happiness. But kebabs are so so more than a drunk food! They’re a Middle Eastern cuisine and, when done right, they can be pretty damn amazing and can elevate at stay-at-home night to a whole new level.
Trade in your usual takeaway of choice and properly commit to a kebab. Here's where to find the best kebabs in Auckland.
Lil Abner’s Takeaway
Drunk or sober, Lil Abner’s Takeaway is seriously one of the best Turkish takeaway restaurants in Auckland. Their kebabs are made fresh to order and take longer than the usual takeaway joint to be served but it’s worth the extra time as these are piping hot wraps of glory. You can’t make a visit to Lil Abner’s without getting their chips—seasoned with chicken salt, they are the golden, hot and crispy. Other faves from this joint are the nachos and yokum burger!
For almost 30 years now, Ezmerelda’s Café has provided Aucklanders with Turkish soul food, earning a reputation as one of the best kebab joints in Auckland. We have to say, although all of their food tastes bomb, the lamb kebab is really something special. The lamb is pulled right off the bone, cooked until super tender and they literally melt in your mouth. Not to mention that garlic sauce they put on it, it’s creamy, strong garlic scent that really adds a punch to the palate.
Paasha Turkish Kitchen
Not only do Paasha in New Lynn cook up tasty wrap kebabs but they also serve a mighty fine shish kebab that you have to get amongst. If you aren't familiar with the shish kebab, let us give a brief explanation. They’re delicious skewers of meat that have been marinated in spices and special seasoning and are served either on a flatbread or rice. The shish kebabs at Paasha are packed with flavour and have a smokiness from the chargrill and the hummus that comes with it makes it absolute perfection. Also, make sure to get their zucchini feta fritters, you won’t regret it!
North Shore folks, you don’t have to cross bridges and motorways to get a taste of Auckland’s best kebabs as Ala Turca in Birkenhead has got the goods! Not only serving big flavour, they serve BIG portions and we would never complain about that. Their specialty is their vegetarian option—the falafel! We suggest getting these babies on rice because when you mix all the salads, falafel and creamy sauce together with the fragrant rice, it’s just pure magic. You can thank us for later,
Another North Shore gem is Angora in Takapuna! If you’re looking for more of a sit-down, dining kebab experience, Angora is the restaurant for you. This Turkish restaurant serves up authentic Middle Eastern dishes which includes the kebab, of course. What we love about Angora is that mint yoghurt sauce of theirs, so rich while the mintiness cuts the creaminess to make a beautiful harmony and it just pairs so well with their meats of premium quality. Don’t shy away from ordering other things from their menu, especially the izme kofte! (They’re meatballs on another realm, get on to it now).
Hit up Kebab Serai in Remuera for some of the best kebabs in Auckland. Everything is cooked fresh, the lamb is tender, chicken is smokey and the beef is seasoned well. What more could you ask for? The rice served is so light and fragrant and the wrap is e cooked fresh and served hot. Add a cheeky lamb burger to your order as the lamb is so juicy and marinated in a secret sauce!
The Mt. Eden locals rave about Eden Kebab and for a very good reason. Portions are huge, meats are seasoned and cooked perfectly, the staff are friendly and the kebab menu is not limited to just beef, chicken and lamb. Branch out and try their king prawn kebab in a wrap. Or, go all out and get the super kebab, a combination of basically ALL the meats! As soon as you take the aluminium foil off these babies, the golden colour of the toasted wrap just assures you that you’re about to bite in to a quality feast.
Fresh salads and flavourful meats are what you really want from a kebab shop but if you’re looking for something extra, a good baklava is necessary. Royal Kebab in Royal Oak provide all those things which makes it a favourite amongst locals. The kebabs are always fresh and the slice of baklava is the perfect dessert to finish off your Turkish feast. The baklava at Royal Kebab is more buttery rather than being overly sweet and syrupy and gets a 10/10 from us.
Little Turkish Café
Auckland CBD has their fair share of kebab chains but we think Little Turkish Café is where it’s truly at. Here, you'll find that the meats are always moist and juicy, their salads are always made fresh on the daily and they are not light on the hummus. Easily one of the best kebabs in Auckland, have your stretchy pants at the ready!
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Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White