If you’re strolling through the vibrant streets of Taksim and Istiklal in Istanbul, your culinary adventure is incomplete without savoring the best doner kebabs and wraps the city has to offer. From classic establishments with decades of history to hidden gems that cater to diverse tastes, this guide will take you on a journey through the best durums, kebabs and doner kebabs in Taksim in Istanbul.
Turkish Wraps (Durums) and Doner Kebabs: What Are They Like?
It’s not a type of meat but rather a style of preparation. A dürüm involves wrapping seasoned meat, often kebab or doner, with vegetables in a thin wheat lavash or pita bread encasing a delightful medley of ingredients. The key to a perfect wrap lies not just in the choice of ingredients but also in the meticulous preparation that transforms it into a handheld delight.
What is the Difference between Kebab and Doner?
“Kebab” is a broad term that encompasses various grilled or roasted meat dishes. It can include a variety of meats like lamb, beef, chicken, or even fish, and the cooking method may involve grilling, roasting, or skewering. Kebabs can be seasoned with different spices, herbs, and marinades, depending on the cultural or regional influence.
“Doner” specifically refers to a method of cooking and serving meat. Originating from Turkey, doner involves stacking seasoned meat—commonly lamb or beef—on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is then slowly roasted as it turns, allowing for even cooking. The cooked outer layers are shaved off as needed, creating thin slices of flavorful meat. Doner can be served in various ways, such as in a sandwich, wrap (durum), or on a plate with accompaniments.
In essence, all doner is kebab, but not all kebabs are doner. Kebab is a broader term encompassing a range of grilled or roasted meat dishes, while doner specifically refers to meat prepared using the rotating spit method, often enjoyed in wraps or sandwiches.
Best Turkish Wraps & Doner Kebabs in Taksim & on Istiklal Street
When the craving for a traditional Turkish kebab hits, Bilice Kebap on Istiklal Street should be your first stop. This classic establishment has stood the test of time, serving quick and delicious Turkish meals to both locals and tourists. With a menu featuring a variety of appetizers, kebabs, meats, and shish kebabs, Bilice Kebap offers a symphony of flavors cooked right before your eyes.
- Address: Asmalı Mescit, Asmalı Mescit Cd. No:8, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: 0532 172 12 07
- Opening Hours: 09:00-02:00
For a taste of the culinary heritage of Antakya, Antakya Kebab in Asmalı Mescit is a must-visit. The unique blend of local spices, including cumin, sumac, mint, and Aleppo pepper, sets their kebabs apart. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Turkish flavors with their delectable durum options.
- Address: Asmalı Mescit, Asmalı Mescit Cd. No:17/C, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: (0212) 292 18 43
- Opening Hours: 11:00-01:30
Embark on a culinary adventure at City Döner, where tradition and flavor converge. Indulge in meticulously crafted doner portions, each accompanied by a harmonious medley of rice, French fries, tomatoes, and pickles. The menu boasts a variety of options, from robust Meat Doner to delectable Chicken Doner, and wraps that redefine the doner experience.
- Address: Kuloğlu, İstiklal Cd. No: 131/A, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: +90 532 379 96 53
- Opening Hours: 11:00-04:00
Nestled in the heart of the bustling city, Dürümce is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of Istanbul’s best durums. From mouthwatering Adana Wrap to flavorful Urfa Wrap, each wrap is a masterpiece with a perfect balance of spices, pickles, and fresh seasonal salads.
- Address: Kuloğlu, Sadri Alışık Sk. 16/a, 34340 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: (0212) 249 41 42
- Opening Hours: 09:00-05:00
For a quintessential Turkish durum experience, Taksim Doner in Taksim Square is the go-to spot. With a culinary legacy dating back to 1934, this eatery has perfected the art of crafting mouthwatering durums. The Taksim Cheese Wrap, a magical blend of kashar cheese and succulent doner, is a must-try.
- Address: Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Sıraselviler Cd. No:2/B, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Website: taksimdoner.com.tr
- Phone: (0212) 292 01 51
- Open: 24 hours.
Antepli Hasan Usta Wrap House
Antepli Hasan Usta Wrap House, a haven for a satisfying feast, emanates delicious aromas of chicken and meatballs. Hasan Usta’s portions are satisfying, and his wraps are a testament to the most delicious meat experiences. From classic wraps to adventurous Garbage Shish Wrap, Antepli Hasan Usta is a stop worth making.
- Address: Katip Mustafa Çelebi, İpek Sokak No: 3, 34433 Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Contact: 0212 252 25 88
- Opening Hours: 09:00-23:30
Asmalımescit Dürümcüüsü, with its motto “eat, drink, get up,” is the perfect spot for lunch breaks and pre/post-concert meals. From classic options like Adana, Urfa, and chicken shish to unique wraps with bedili, this place captures the hearts of all who visit.
- Address: Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Nergiz Sokak, No 2/A, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Phone: (0212) 244 08 02
- Opening Hours: 12:00-23:30, closed on Sundays
Melekler Dürüm Evi
Melekler Dürüm Evi, a student-friendly spot in Beyoğlu, offers not only paste and pickles but also an affordable price performance. From Adana and Urfa to the noteworthy sucuk kashar wrap, this place is a well-organized haven for wrap enthusiasts.
- Address: Katip Mustafa Çelebi Mahallesi, İpek Sokak, No 13, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Phone: (0212) 243 05 85
- Opening Hours: 11:30-02:00
MK Mangal Keyfi
Another student-friendly establishment in Beyoğlu, MK Mangal Keyfi, speaks the language of students. With classic wraps, heart wraps, and even options for vegan and vegetarian friends, this venue offers a unique dining experience amid the tunes of Tame Impala and Nirvana.
- Address: Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Öğüt Sokak, No 8, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Phone: (0212) 245 15 34
- Opening Hours: 10:30-00:00
Keyf-ci Ciger & Kebab Restaurant
Step into the culinary haven of Keyf-ci Ciger & Kebab Restaurant, where the art of wraps takes center stage. Nestled in the city’s heart, this gem boasts mouthwatering options, from classic lamb doner to zesty chicken shawarma and a delightful vegetarian delight.
- Address: Şehit Muhtar, Mis Sk. No:26/1, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Opening Hours: 24 hours
- Phone: (0212) 293 42 42
Zubeyir Taksim: Delicious Kebab
For an enjoyable experience at a classic with unchanging quality, visit Zübeyir Ocakbaşı. Located in the Beyoğlu region, Zübeyir Ocakbaşı has been a favorite since its inception, offering a warm and friendly atmosphere.
- Address: Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi Bekar Sokak No::28, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: (0212) 293 39 51
- Hours: 12:00-00:00, Saturday and Sunday 11:00-00:00
Istanbul’s Beyoğlu area is home to many street food restaurants, and Dürümzade Taksim stands out as a unique destination for chicken wraps. This small buffet is popular among both locals and tourists, offering various dürüm options like Adana and chicken shish dürüm.
- Address: Hüseyinağa, Kamer Hatun Cd. 26/A, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: (0212) 249 01 47
- Opening Hours: 11:30-09:30, closed on Sunday
Kızılkayalar Taksim, a popular snack bar in Taksim Square, has been satisfying cravings for a long time. Known for its quick, easy meals, and street cuisine at its best, Kızılkayalar is a favorite among both locals and tourists.
- Address: Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Sıraselviler Cd. No:2/C, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
- Phone: (0212) 243 63 53
- Opening Hours: 08:00-05:00, Friday and Saturday 08:00-06:30
Don’t Miss The Best Tours and Cruises in Istanbul
As you explore Taksim and Istiklal Street, let your taste buds lead the way to these culinary gems. From the historic to the contemporary, each spot offers a unique twist to the classic doner kebab, making your Istanbul experience truly unforgettable. So, embark on this flavorful journey, savoring the best doner kebabs and wraps Istanbul has to offer in 2023.