Greek Vs Turkish Street Food

May 3, 2013

Some of my absolute favorite flavors and dishes were in Greece and Turkey, and that’s the reason I almost feel like I owe them this entry! The difficulty within comes from the fact that there are countless versions of kebabs and its Greek version gyro, and just like most of us, I get totally confused about which is which…(so please forgive me for any mistaken version)!

Street döner kebap @ Istanbul vs Pita Gyros from the grill @ Athens
Although we got our döner kebab or gyro often from a street stall, we also tasted kebab (skewers of meat) in different forms in restaurants where it’s commonly served on a plate and not necessarily with any bread. In Greece the similar dish is called souvlaki and after it has been grilled on the skewers, it can be served in a pita bread or just plain on the plate.

Let’s take a look at some common forms of döner kebabs:

Iskender: meat, tomato sauce and some pepper on top of thin pita slides, served on a plate.
Dürüm: meat is wrapped inside a thin lavash (flat bread), wrap is rolled over the grill before serving.
Tombik / Gobit: filling (meat, tomatoes, fresh salad etc.) is inside of a bun-shaped pita (like in the photo above).
Ekmekarasi: filling is inside of traditional Turkish bread (entire round one, or half of it).

What have we learned? What first seemed just like a simple sandwich of kebab and gyro, now has a multiple shapes and forms, and definitely isn't only a street food! Turns out this type of food culture is a whole lot more complex than we know up north! 

Here are some of our top picks along the way:

Turkish kebabs
Street food in Istanbul
Greek versions (most of the time with fries)

Last but not least, we had the most special kebab experience in Cappadocia (Göreme, Turkey) namely the traditional pottery kebab. This probably needs a small explanation as you might wonder what's with all hitting and smacking with a stick! So, as you will see in the photo below, the food is cooked slowly inside of the clay pot in a traditional oven. Then, the waitress will bring it over and shows you how to crack the pot open in order to get the food out. It becomes very interesting when you actually have to try to hit it till it splashes out! It's most definitely an experience, alright. The food is now poured on your plate and ready to be eaten, yum yum...

Pottery kebab is actually a meat stew made of either beef, lamb or chicken and mixed with vegetables-
Tasty and fun!

Eating the pottery kebab in Cappadocia - note my concentration! 
So, who wins this battle of kebabs and gyros- type foods? There isn't really any clear winner for this round, but let's just say that although I absolutely love Greek food, and given all the fun we had with the pottery, this one might just go for Turkey!

Share your own favourites with us! Which one you think should win?


Check out some Turkish recipes:


  • Anna said...

    Thank you for your post Emma! The food looks very tasty and the Greece post was so beautiful that you make me choose Greece as my summer holydays destination!

  • Emma said...

    Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you're going to Greece- you're gonna love it :) Let us know how it was...

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