top of page
Anchor 1
  • Writer's pictureChristopher Gomez

“Chris-Kebab” - The Best Kebab Joints in Rome

By Christopher Gomez

*Note: Chris heavily protested the name of this article but the editorial team determined that it was too perfect to cut.

Kebab joints are, in my opinion, what keep Europe together. They sell a beautiful handheld amalgamation of meat, veggies, spice, and sauce. You like wraps? There's a kebab for that. You like sandwiches? There's a kebab for that. You like poke bowls? Yes, there is even a kebab for that. But the food is only part of it. The gentlemen who run these places are often the most friendly and inviting people on the continent, serving kindness as early as an 11 AM lunch or as late as a 2 AM power meal. For these reasons I have decided to kick off this semester's Around Town with Local Guide Chris section with the “Chris-Kebab” special.

Ask anyone and they will tell you that I am the foremost expert in all things kebab. Take me anywhere in Rome at any time and I likely will know a guy selling this divine food within a few kilometers radius. I am also very critical in my judgment of kebabs as many people know (much to their annoyance). With this knowledge I will attempt to grade the following 5 establishments based on price, goodness, and ambiance (staff, location, style). Each of these locations I have hand picked and have eaten at personally.

5. Flaminio Istanbul Kebab

Via Flaminia 17

Price: 4,50

Flavor: 5/10

Ambiance: 5/10

Overall rating 5/10

Our number five entry, in my opinion, represents your average kebab joint in Rome. It’s cheap, fast, and pretty good. The kebab panino falls into the standard price range of 4.50 alone. The kebab itself is good with a very standard selection of additives such as lettuce, tomato, “yogurt”, spicy, and peppers. The ambiance is again very standard as it is a simple restaurant with a standard staff. This is not to say this kebab joint is in any way bad, It simply represents almost all the other standard run of the mill kebab joints I have been to in Rome. But if you are near the Piazza Del Popolo and want something quick and cheap, this is your spot.

4. Ottaviano Istanbul Kebab

Viale Giulio Cesare 126

Price: 5,00

Flavor: 5/10

Ambiance: 8/10

Overall Rating 7/10

Our number four entry is another Istanbul Kebab shop located right off the Ottaviano train station. This location is of similar quality to the Flaminio shop, however what separates this location from others is the delightful staff. The two older men who run this shop are some of the friendliest individuals I’ve met in Rome. Even when I first went in there with a few friends they were very talkative and mused us with stories of their homelands and families. If you reciprocate this kindness, they will not forget you, often offering me and those they know free Baklava whenever you stop in. So next time you’re waiting two and a half hours for the 990 in front of Ottaviano, be sure to pay these guys a visit.

3. “Unnamed Kebab Joint”

Via di S. Francesco a Ripa 165

Price: 4,00

Flavor: 8/10

Ambiance: 6/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

Everyone loves mystery! This kebab joint is located in the heart of Trastevere and is so tasty it doesn't even need a name. I have brought it up in conversation as “That Kebab Joint in Trastevere” and am almost always understood. This place offers the cheapest and most tasty kebab in Trastevere and is open until 2 AM (get a kebab for the cold long walk to the bus stop). The staff is nice enough but if you stumble into any shop at 2 AM they're likely gonna try to get you in and out as fast as possible. The real highlight of this place is their selection of fine toppings for your shameful 2 AM sandwich. They are one of the few places in all of Rome that can make something truly spicy. I’m not talking about the Roman “put some paprika on it”... I mean some of the hottest sauce and peppers this side of the Atlantic. So if you need a spicy pick me up at any time of day, give this place a try.

2. Turkish Kebap

Via Cipro 79

Price: 4,50

Flavor: 8/10

Ambiance: 10/10

Overall: 9/10

Imagine everything good about the last place, and then some. This spot has some of the best tasting kebabs in Rome, and was a hot contender for first place. They check off on everything but location. They have a huge selection of toppings, amazing meat, good prices, and a great staff. I have gotten to know the two guys who run this place very well. They are some of the funniest people I have come across in Rome outside of Professor Giacchetti’s philosophy class. Every time I visit them there is a pleasant interaction along with great food. What more could you ask for? So next time you're over by the Vatican go pay these guys a visit.

1.Shawarma Express

Vicolo del Gallo 11

Price: 5,50

Flavor: 10/10

Ambiance: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

This kebab shop is located behind the Drunken Ship in Campo Dei Fiori and is the best Kebab in Rome. Their selection of ingredients is great. Everything is freshly prepared for the day in back, then served up front. Their spicy kebab has more kick than an AS Roma player. And the fries are so good they'd put Ronald McDonald to shame. The location is ideal (enough said). And the guys who run this place are great. They remember me and my order every time I go in there, and always have stories to tell. While the price is a little higher than your average kebab I can assure you it is absolutely worth it. This kebab joint is open all day and late into the night. So anytime you're in Campo make sure to pay this place a visit for the best kebabs in Rome.

Overall, whether you are looking for lunch after an early onsite, or taking a calming walk at 2 AM, kebab shops can be found on every corner in Rome. They're a much welcomed break from the typical massive American fast food chains and are always open to serve up a fresh wrap of delicious stick roasted meat. They are certainly something that adds a spice to the city, and I deeply encourage you to check out not only these, but the dozens of others across the city. Sooner or later you’ll find a shop that will become your new go to for that tasty topping loaded guilt ridden meal.

30 views0 comments


bottom of page