The best places in Abu Dhabi to get a shawarma by the roadside

The budget dish is an institution

The best places in Abu Dhabi to get a shawarma by the roadside

Whether it’s a meal on the go, cosy comfort food, or the perfect end to a night out, a shawarma is the ideal food choice in any situation.

Who doesn’t love the succulent meat accompanied by garlic sauce, all wrapped up in Arabic bread with a side of fries?

One of the many, many fantastic things about living in this part of the world must be having the humble shawarma in all its splendour readily available and cooked to perfection close by at almost any time.

For the super keen, or hungry, most of these spots are open early enough for breakfast and are super for a contemplative meal alone, a quiet dinner for two, or for catch ups with groups of friends and colleagues.

Al Afiya Turkish Restaurant
A hidden gem behind Shining Towers in Al Khalidiya, budget-friendly Al Afiya Turkish Restaurant offers a wide range of Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, and everyone is welcome. The staff is really accommodating, and guests have the option of indoor or outdoor seating or to have their food delivered to be enjoyed in private. With its generous serving sizes, meat and myriad sides with every meal, each dish is flavoured with perfectly balanced spices. If you prefer to skip the meat options, the kitchen does wonderful things with halloumi. A tea at the end of the meal rounds it off nicely, or if you want something a bit more decadent there’s always baklava and ice cream.
Daily 8am-2am. Behind Shining Towers, Near ADIB, Al Khalidiya (02 666 0012).

Al Akkawi Star Cafeteria
Located opposite the Hamdan Centre, Al Markaziya, Al Akkawi Star is easy on the wallet, but not on the stomach since each portion packs a punch in size and flavor. Kick back at one of the outside tables while watching the world go by or envelope yourself in the frenetic energy indoors. Come hungry because the shawarma and the falafel are equally delicious, and it may just be impossible to choose between the two.
Daily 7am-midnight. Hamdan Street, Al Markaziya (02 622 2367).

Al Ibrahimi Restaurant
For the past few decades, Al Ibrahimi has steadily remained a favourite go-to spot for a delicious, well-made shawarma (complete with fries and pickles). The restaurant also offers a variety of Middle Eastern, Pakistani and Chinese dishes if you really want something a bit different, but the shawarma will keep pulling you back. Open for takeaway, deliver, or a buffet lunch and dinner Al Ibrahimi will definitely cater to any need. Kids are welcome, table bookings are recommended and the venues are wheelchair accessible.
Takeaway: daily 11.30am-midnight. Buffet lunch: daily noon-4pm. Buffet dinner: daily 9pm-midnight. Various locations including Al jazeera Royal Hotel, near Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre (02 634 4244).

Lebanese Mill
Whether you opt for the beef or the chicken shawarma, both can be described as ‘juicy’ and are perfectly flavoured with garlic paste. With indoor seating, customers have a chance to experience warm hospitality (and the occasional complementary falafel) with their meal wrapped up in the tantalising aromas from the kitchen.
Daily noon-midnight. Opposite Al Wathba National Insurance Co, Street 9, Najda (02 677 7714).

Shawarma Street
With several locations around the emirate, Shawarma Street is open for sit down or delivery and offers a wide range of generous fillings in a choice of a pita, saj, or samoun wrap, along with a few unique offerings (chippy hotdog, anyone?) and refreshing beverages.
Daily 8am-1am. Various locations including Al Ain Street, Al Danah (02 666 8085).

Shish Shawerma
Whether you need a quick appetiser or a full combo meal, Shish Shawerma has several outlets, is budget-friendly and offers delivery. Fairly popular, it’s always busy so be prepared to wait a bit for your order. If you’re close enough it’s worth going through for pick up rather than waiting on delivery. It’s also worth coming in to see how your shawarma is prepared from start to finish and wrapped in home-made bread. For something a bit different try one of the milkshakes with your meal.
Sat-Wed 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am. Various locations including off the Corniche (02 650 5576).

Zahrat Lebnan
Dotted throughout the city at multiple locations, it’s really no surprise why this place is so popular. Specialising in Lebanese cuisine and boasting service that leaves you feeling like family, Zahrat Lebnan (or Lebanese Flower) offers relaxing indoor and outdoor seating, breakfast for the early birds, and delivery if you’re in a rush. The interior has been designed to give an authentic feel of a restaurant in Lebanon. It is family friendly and offers a kids’ menu with toys to keep the little ones entertained. If you have space, give their falafel a try as well though their menu is impressively large, accommodating almost any preference.
Daily 8am-3am. Various locations including Hazza Bin Zayed The First Street (02 448 8130).

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