Perhaps the most crucial food for the average backpacker, the Turkish-inspired Doner Kebab is cheap, warm, filling, and delicious. It can be essential to the traveler on a budget, the party tourist, or the street food aficionado. For those who do not know what a doner kebab is: A kebab is an oft-found street food found in nearly every large city throughout Europe and the Middle-East. It's very similar to the Greek gyros or the Middle-Eastern Shawarma. While its exact origin is unknown, the modern Kebab is commonly regarded as a Turkish creation.
Every Kebab starts with meat on a skewer rotating around a heat source. Traditionally the meat is lamb, but several kebab stands use chicken. Slices of meat are shaved off the skewer and placed into bread—either pita (doner kebab) or tortilla (durum kebab). A wide variation of veggies (onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, red cabbage, and corn are most common) are placed on top of the meat. Then the whole concoction is topped off with a white, yogurt-based sauce. For those who like to spice things up, cracked red pepper or chili oil is usually available upon request.The recipe varies significantly from stand to stand and city to city. While a good kebab can be considered heaven on earth, a bad kebab can be a hellish experience that lasts much longer than you'd like. Because Kebab consumption can be a game of Russian Roulette, I've taken it upon myself to eat several Kebabs in each city I visit so you don't have to! Without further ado, I present the best Kebabs in Prague, Czech Republic.
3) Pizza Roma, IP Pavlova Metro Stop. Pizza Roma offers mediocre pizza and a damn good Kebab. For 70CZK (about €2.50) you'll get a straightforward durum kebab: tortilla, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. The high volume of customers assures fresh ingredients. The hot sauce next to the register is really, really hot, so proceed with caution. Perhaps the best part of Pizza Roma's kebab is the fact that the stand never closes. So whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a late night snack to combat tomorrow's hangover, Pizza Roma's got you covered.
2) Pepito's, Milady Horákové 30, Prague 7. Not far from Vlatavska Metro stop, Pepito's is a true Mom and Pop operation. It's only open until 10pm, so don't count on it for a late night stop, but if you make it for lunch you're in for a meaty treat. 'Mom' and 'Pop' are both very friendly and will happily whip up top-notch Kebab. They warm the tortilla on the stove and load it up with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce. Ask for the garlic and chili oils, which will make your breath terrible but your stomach very happy. It's generally not an overly filling kebab and a good power-lunch for the sightseeing backpacker. 82CZK (about €3) will get you a kebab and a coke.
1) Manni Kebabish, Odboru 2, Prague 1. Manni Kebabish is tucked away on a side street near the Karlovo Namesti Park across from the Mosaic Hostel. It is subjectively and objectively one of the best Kebab's in Europe. The interior isn't the most aesthetically pleasing—florecent lights shine down on the mosly empty food display and customers sit at generic wooden tables that weren't exactly sparkling clean. The menu is extensive but you need only order one thing: the doner kebab. The soft spoken Pakistani owner and operator will slice open a pita and fill it with what appears to be uninspiring ingredients: lettuce, cucumber, red cabbage and corn before topping it off with a glob of white sauce. Many people I recommend this kebab to think they're at the wrong place until they take their first bite. The last skeptic I dragged there paused in the middle of his meal just long enough to deem it a 'heavenly experience'. I can't promise it'll be heavenly, but it certainly is an experience. Don't forget to add the chili-oil which sits in a whiskey tumbler. 65CZK(about €2.50) will fill you up but leave you wanting more.