Metro Detroit has one of the largest Middle Eastern populations not only in Michigan but also in the Midwest. That is one reason why it is so easy to find excellent shawarma. The other reason this delicious dish is so popular is due to the high-quality preparation of this meaty comfort food by area restaurants.
That could be why asking about the best shawarma places in Metro Detroit stirs up huge conversations. The options are many to find this beloved dish, which centers around tender cuts of meat – typically lamb, chicken, beef or goat – that are rolled into a soft, warm pita. What’s equally important is that the meat is prepared on a rotating cone, slowly heated and thinly sliced to include in the sandwich.
What you put inside the pita is then up to the individual chef or home cook. Some possibilities include hummus, tahini, garlic sauce, pickles, vegetables and even French fries. Each person has their own recipe for what makes a shawarma special, so it is essential to try a variety of places until you find the one that you covet the most.
Here are five Metro Detroit restaurants and bakeries that make traditional shawarma and come highly recommended from locals and have been vetted by food-forward Instagrammers. Shout out to Twitter’s Andy Isaac – also known as @WorldofIsaac and founder of #Faturday – for curating a high-end list of shawarma places over a year’s time and for sharing his food knowledge.
When even the pictures a restaurant like Al Chabab posts on social media make you drool and your stomach rumble, you know the food has to be amazing. Food experts are huge fans of this Dearborn restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and Syrian food. The shawarma features shish kabob, chicken and other varieties so you can try something new each time you visit.
This Dearborn Heights restaurant serves 100% Halal food and has a Mediterranean gourmet grill style. Its shawarma is served with marinated shredded meat cooked with a secret mix of special spices and tahini. There is a traditional lamb, chicken and a mix that is served with tahini as well as a garlic sauce.
Some people may pass this Dearborn restaurant by because of its name – which is a throwback to its previous iterations – but this is a must-try shawarma spot. The meat shawarma has shaved or mixed meat (mixed is with chicken) and comes with tomatoes, onions and tahini sauce. The chicken is served with garlic sauce.
Dearborn residents and visitors alike know they can go to Golden Bakery and get three sizes of its lauded shawarma – small, medium or large. Be prepared: Some say the large has about two pounds of meat so you better arrive hungry. The fresh, hearty portion of food are beloved by regulars, who say you should get the bread as well as the cheese-topped version when you visit.
This Dearborn bakery specializes in Mediterranean gourmet flat breads, sandwiches and something called the Mano-wiches, or cheese-bread sandwiches. Its shawarmas can be made with plain pita but some say the best of the best is a Meat Shawarma made on the cheese bread for a mouth-watering result.