The Chronicles of Shawarma


Over a two year period, from the end of 2008 until the end of 2010, I searched out the best and worst (I wasn’t really searching for the worst) of shawarma in this city. The results of that sampling were the subject of a six entry series I called The Chronicles of Shawarma, with apologies to and quotes from C.S. Lewis. Additional shawarma added individually on occasion. And then in 2013 I picked it up again. But what to do after Book 7? There were more shawarma to taste – I kept going.

Always taking suggestions for more spots!

Shawarma in Argentina definitely has its own adapted style, often using local sauces like criolla or chimichurri in place of the more traditional Middle Eastern sauces. Most often made from beef rather than the traditional lamb, and, with different seasoning. Alphabetical within each rating level. [And the map: Excellent – dark green; Good – light green; Okay – yellow; Bad – pink; Terrible – red]

5 Rotating Spitswhat more could you ask for from a sizzling, charred, cone of meat?
Casa Armenia, Honduras 5867, Palermo – excellent shawarma, and quite large, pretty much takeout only
Eretz, Malabia 1583, Palermo – plated style excellent shawarma (wrap style available on a to-go only menu), a little pricey, but lots of extras
Falafel One, Araóz 587, Villa Crespo – great shawarma, huge portion, the nicest people
Kon Kon, Ramirez de Velasco 942, Villa Crespo – amazingly good shawarma, slightly smaller than the norm, but packed with flavor
Medio Oriente, Cabrera & Malabia, Palermo – great shawarma, crowds line up for it, only available Friday and Saturday from noon until they run out
La Puerta de Damasco, Parque Tierra Santa – great shawarma, nice atmosphere
Shawarmania, Saavedra 1235, San Cristobál – huge shawarma and absolutely delicious, one of my favorites, takeout only
Tarabish, Charcas 4309, Palermo – delicious shawarma, good sized, their own craft beer
Teamim, Diaz Velez 4431, Parque Centenario – great shawarma, huge, array of condiments available, hole-in-the-wall, really nice folk

4 Rotating Spitsthat’s a damned fine wrap o’meat
Arabian’s King, Abasto Shopping Mall – good shawarma, choices of beef, lamb, chicken, and pork, array of sauces, decent seasoning, in a shopping mall food court
Arabisk, Billinghurst 2107, Palermo – quite good shawarma, excellent hot sauce
Ararat, Ecuador 1113, Recoleta – good shawarma, great hot sauce, takeout only
Ararat, Av. del Barco Centenaro 274, Caballito – good shawarma, great hot sauce
Arek, Monroe 3411, Coghlan – really good shawarma, take out only
Los Armenios, Av. Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 328, Villa Crespo – quite good shawarma, take out only
El Banco Rojo, Bolívar 866, San Telmo – quite good shawarma (okay, they call it a döner kebab) – lamb and chicken versions – moved to a new location in 2016, full restaurant style versus the previous barstools and takeout only spot
Demashk, Charcas 3816, Palermo – great shawarma, hole-in-the wall
Doner-Shawarma-Kebab, Gorriti 5001, Palermo – really good shawarma, takeaway counter attached to a carwash
hola Jacoba, Thames 1801, Palermo – good, well seasoned shawarma, cute place, no hot sauce was only negative
Hola! Siniór, Honduras 5328, Palermo – good shawarma, an array of non-traditional condiments, takeout spot, only place I’ve ever seen pork shawarma
Maktub, San Benito de Palermo 1683, Las Cañitas – great, spicy shawarma, hole-in-the-wall
Oasis: La Cocina de Amira, Montevideo 559, Centro – really good shawarma, hole-in-the-wall
One Way, Niceto Vega 5601, Palermo – really good shawarma – hole in the wall
Shawarma Party – caterer – good shawarma, they’ll cater a party for you or you can find them at street festivals
El Timón, Niceto Vega 4989, Palermo – very good shawarma, outside takeout only with nowhere to sit, but worth standing in line for
Yafo, Paso 747, Once – good shawarma, kosher spot, chicken only, wide array of condiments and additions available, hole-in-the-wall

3 Rotating Spitslook, it’s spit roasted meat, you’re hungry, you’re just not picky
Ali Baba Kebab, Ayacucho 931, Recoleta – good shawarma, not enough to rush back to, get the hot spice mix to sprinkle on it
Al Basha, Tucumán 938, Monserrat – okay shawarma, watery yogurt sauce
Al Fares, Aráoz 1047, Villa Crespo – good shawarma though a little chewy, really good sauces
Al Kamal, Uriarte 2306, Palermo – good enough shawarma, but nothing special, and supermarket hot sauce
Al Rayan Palermo, Honduras 5638, Palermo – decent enough shawarma, available in wrap or plated form, just nothing that stands out
Al Sanabel, Gorriti 4098 (corner of Gascón), Palermo – okay shawarma, only yogurt sauce available, poor service
Arabian Food, Lavalle 697, Centro – okay shawarma, counter-service – one of very few that offer lamb shawarma
Arca de Noe, Parque Tierra Santa – okay shawarma, a little skimpy
Burmana, Balcarce 668, San Telmo – good shawarma, only available as a “wrap” during summer months at their takeout window, otherwise, plated
Cartago Comida Arabe, Av. Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz 1603, Palermo – good shawarma, though nothing special
Caucasia, Av. Maipú 3111, Olivos – okay shawarma, lacking any oomph, neighborhood takeout spot
Chef Iusef, Malabia 1378, Palermo – really a regular restaurant, though you can get takeout – okay shawarma, a bit “plain jane”
Doner Kebab, Pasteur 618, Once – okay shawarma, a bit skimpy, no hot sauce available, nice atmosphere
El Mercado de Medio Oriente, Mercado Belgrano – okay shawarma though no sauces available, so just meat and veg
El Pato, Florida 23, Centro – okay shawarma, a bit underseasoned, kiosk
Garbis, Monroe 1799, Belgrano – decent shawarma, just a weird sort of fancy take on it with odd flavors
Hanan, Julian Alvarez 1272, Chacarita – okay shawarma, no sauces, platter style, huge portion
Hola Luis, Conde 802, Colegiales – weird shawarma, more Chinese pepper steak stir fry in a wrap than anything else, tasty, just not very shawarma-like, cute place
Moena, Junín 1487, Recoleta – okay shawarma, a little gristly and underseasoned, meh
Shawarma Dubai, Tucumán 969, Retiro – decent flavor, but very skimpy and basically nothing in it but some meat
Shawarma – Kebabs – Gyros, Chile 354, San Telmo – okay shawarma, just kind of blah, decent hot sauce available
Los Siete Mares, caterer – okay shawarma, a little chewy but nice seasoning, you’ll find them at street festivals
Souriana, Paraguay 3435, Palermo – okay shawarma, a little strange on the texture, and almost all meat with nothing added
Union Cultural Argentino Lebanesa, social organization – okay shawarma, a bit skimpy, you’ll find them at Lebanese community festivals
Al Zain, Arce 488, Las Cañitas – okay shawarma, fresh and decent quality if lacking in seasoning

2 Rotating SpitsPersonally, I recommend rotating yourself right out of the place
al Rawshe, Santa Fé 3870, Palermo – mediocre shawarma, underseasoned and a bit skimpy
Estambul, Pasteur 750, Once – mediocre, gristly shawarma, hole-in-the-wall, nice folk
Al Rayan, Blanca Encalada 4902, Villa Urquiza – very overseasoned shawarma, unpleasant atmosphere
Shami, Gurruchaga 691, Villa Crespo – burnt tasting, watery condiments, fast food style
Shawarma Express, Suipacha 772, Centro – gristly, fatty, meat with almost no vegetables, decent hot sauce, very fast food

1 Rotating SpitSame as above, but spit to ward off the curse before rotating your way out the door
Beirut Lebanese Fusion, Viamonte 347, Retiro – fast food shawarma, mostly packed with french fries and little flavor and dried out meat
Benaim, Gorriti 4015, Palermo – chicken shawarma only, nice patio “gastropub”, but stale, oily, tasteless food
Dody Döner Kebab, Rodriguez Peña 1136, Recoleta – the only place I encountered with ground, pressed meat style shawarma, poorly seasoned, rude service, and pricey
Habibi, Humberto Primo 527, San Telmo – blandest, worst shawarma I’ve ever eaten, a shame, because the place is a cute restaurant and other food is good
Malakeh, Charcas 5002, Palermo – bland, uninteresting shawarma, not at all middle eastern in style – check out the commentary at the end of the post
Tiberio, Parque Tierra Santa – skimpy, terrible shawarma

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Miles October 29, 2013 at 10:14

Have you tried the Club Sirio Libanese in Ayacucho not far from Santa Fe? Not only very good middle eastern food, but housed in an amazing building and excellent value.

dan October 29, 2013 at 10:22

Yes, many times – it’s only two blocks from home, but I don’t think they have shawarma sandwiches on the menu.

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