döner kebab

‘Döner’ word means the action of ‘rolling‘ in English. When you see a Döner kebab restaurant, you can easily notice that the cone shape stacked meat is slowly rolling by the roaster itself or the chef manually. This slow rolling action lets to cook the out layers of the stacked meet evenly and help to keep meat juice inside the meat as much as it can.

It is one of the most famous kebab variety of Turkish cuisine that made from seasoned veal leg meat slices, stacked and cooked on a rolling vertical rotisserie. It is the ancestor of Greeks’ gyro and Arabs’ shawarma.


In Turkey, we call Döner Kebab restaurants as ‘Dönerci’. These restaurants are generally very small restaurants that only have 6 to 8 people working inside. You can also eat Döner Kebab at normal size restaurants too. However, as we consider it as a fast food, we like to eat it at these small Döner shops. It is more practical and time saving.

The history of the Döner Kebab


There is no specific evidence exist about by whom and when it first made; however, some old photos show that it has been in our culture since early 1900's. You can easily notice that the roasting format is still same today. Vertical rotisserie with a rolling pin and stacked meat on it and a chef waiting right beside of the rotisserie to cut the roasted layers with a special long knife.

how it's served

Once the outer layers of the stacked meat cooks, the Döner chef cuts off the cooked layers with a special Döner Knife and serves it either in a bread or in a durum roll with salad and sliced tomato and onions inside. This is how it serves at small Döner shops. However, if you prefer to eat it at a restaurant, you need to tell the waiter whether you want on a plate or in a durum roll. Personally, I always prefer to eat Döner Kebab in a durum roll. In Turkey, we use lavash bread for durum roll.

In addition to these, Döner Kebab also serve with Ayran beverage. It is the wingman of this delicious food. As Ayran is considered as our national beverage, we love to drink it when we are eating Döner Kebab. So if you are going to eat this mouth juicing kebab, we strongly recommend you to drink Ayran with it.