Londoners Are Ditching Doner Kebabs In Favour Of All-Vegan Alternatives

Whisper it quietly, but they are also a whole lot tastier too

What the Pitta! offers all-vegan kebabs
What The Pitta! Bringing doner kebabs into the 20th century Image What The Pitta!

Doner meat kebabs are increasingly being kicked to the kerb by Londoners in favour of more flavoursome and, in some cases, all-vegan alternatives.

What The Pitta, a company which owns and operates the UK’s first vegan doner kebab stall, has just announced plans to open a second branch in Boxpark, Shoreditch as demand for these delicious non-meat-led alternatives soars.

When the idea of a vegan kebab outlet was first floated late last year, some fast food lovers were sceptical. However, What The Pitta appears to have won customers round, thanks in no small part to an offering that tastes as good as it sounds.

These all-vegan kebabs combine non-GMO soya chunks with a blend of Middle Eastern spices that combine well with homemade hummus, tzatziki, fresh salad and seasoned soya to create a healthy, guilt-free alternative to the traditional Saturday night post-pub favourite.

What The Pitta!
Soya checks from What The Pitta! No meat in them, of course Image What The Pitta!

The brainchild of British-Turkish friends Cem Yildiz and Rojdan Gul, based on an idea first developed by Raj’s uncle for a similar outlet in Germany, the pair opened their first branch last August and have not looked back since.

With a second outlet soon to be open, it’s clear that the capital has embraced their meat-free philosophy.

So what gives? Surely all these capital-based folk can’t have just gone cold turkey when it comes to giving up meats? Fortunately, Cem has a pretty logical explanation.

What The Pitta!
Hummus from What The Pitta! No meat in that either Image What The Pitta!

“We found that a lot of our customers are meat reducers, rather than strict vegans, and it’s great to see more and more people becoming conscious of where their food is coming from,” he said.

With more and more people seeking out healthier, meat-free alternatives, takeaway options like the doner meat kebab could soon fall into further decline.

In fact, by 2020 these unhealthier options could be all but eradicated from the fast food market. Given the health problems associated with takeaways of this kind, that may not be a bad thing.

What The Pitta!
What The Pitta! tzatziki Still no meat Image What The Pitta!


The NHS has long warned of the noticeably high levels of fat present in the average doner kebab, with estimates also suggesting that fast food of this kind contains around 1,990 calories on average.

Research by the UK’s Food Standards Agency back in 2007 found that almost one in five doner takeaway outlets poses a “significant” threat to public health due to the massed produced meat used in kebab production.

Maybe a move over to the vegan kebabs is the best for all concerned.

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