The humble exterior

Kebab in Vladivostok

Published: February 27, 2013

Kebab/Кебаб
Ул. Фокина, д. 16
9:30 am – 9 pm daily
Meals from $3

My next February Cheap Eats is, thankfully, a much better bet for my readers than my last entry. (World’s Best) Kebab is the type of place already familiar to me from my stays in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but one which is interestingly rare in Vladivostok, despite its significant minority of Central Asian immigrants. In other words, it is a hidden gem. And not just in the figurative sense either: Kebab’s location, tucked away off to the left side of a pedestrian thoroughfare to Central Square, under a fairly prominent café and surrounded by a veritable open-air market of traders, fishmongers and fruit and candy vendors, ensures that it is probably one of the better kept “foodie” secrets in town. It’s obscurity is really the only reason that I can offer for the place not being packed 24/7, because the food is excellent!

From the preceding location description, you can probably surmise that Kebab is very tiny. In fact, inside this surprisingly artsy café-esque establishment are a total of five tables. No wait staff here: when you come in, you stop at the counter, order anything from a shawarma wrap to chicken шурпа (shurpa, a traditional spicy soup in Central Asia) and any one of the standard café libations, and then, if possible, find a seat while you wait for your order. This time, I had the aforementioned wrap (120 rubles) and a hot chocolate (90 rubles). The wrap was unbelievably flavorful, filled with a hearty quantity of meat and a nicely complementary balance of cucumber, tomato, and other vegetables, all delightfully mixed in with Kebab’s piquant homemade sauce. Their hot chocolate is simply to die for – thick, gooey, and amazing (this is hot chocolate in the real sense of the word, not the hot cocoa to which Americans are used). The meal was altogether satisfying – to my wallet, palate, and stomach. If I had one complaint, it would be the size of the place, as by the time I had wandered around, taken a few pictures, and formulated an order, several couples came in at once, and, just like that, every table was occupied! Thus, I had to take my meal to go this time, but be assured that I will be staying with this small slice of Central Asian heaven as long as I’m in town!

For groups and faculty-led tours, though the food and drink are top-notch, I would not recommend Kebab due to the aforementioned space issue.

About authors

Jordan Bryant

Jordan Bryant is a recent graduate of Harvard University (Go Crimson!), who specialized in both Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Classics. In order to deepen her knowledge of the Russian language and study the culture from a perspective different than the ones she had already experienced in the "two capitals", she has journeyed to Vladivostok, which is on the other side of the country! After she returns from Russia, she hopes to matriculate into law school and work in the field of international corporate law in Eastern Europe.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar: $10,000 to Study Abroad

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