Schwarma... mmmm Schwarma. Eaten at Sparrow Hills, near MGU, Moscow.

Schwarma... mmmm Schwarma. Eaten at Sparrow Hills, near MGU, Moscow.

Schwarma: Street Food in Moscow

Published: January 27, 2012

Донер в лаваше, Куры Гриль, Свежая Выпечка /
Donners in Lavash, Chicken Grill, Fresh Baked Goods
Университетская площадь

Meals for 100 Rubles+ / ~$3.30+

Getting to Universitetskaya Ploshchad isn’t hard at all, but some basic directions are probably in order seeing as how there are so many food kiosks there: If you come out of the main entrance of the dormitory (the one with the three awesome sets of double doors setting out toward Sparrow Hills), you simply walk straight through the park with all the busts of the various Russian intellectuals, cross a street or two, and keep going until you hit the kiosks near the overlook surveying the city.

The Food/ Service

If there’s one Californian culinary delight that I miss terribly, it’s the wrap of veggies and well-seasoned meat abundantly available at the Mexican places spread throughout the state. Fortunately, I think I’ve found its equivalent (dare I say its match/superior?) in the schwarma kiosk, of which there are many throughout the city. This particular kiosk in Universitetskaya Ploshchad offers wraps starting at 100 rubles, but others towards the entrance of the university sell them for perhaps 5-10 rubles less. However, this kiosk is worth it for its homely, family-oriented character. Mom takes your order at the left window and her son prepares your wrap with his quick and deliberate hands near the roaster on the right.

A “mom-and-pop” establishment selling cheap, good food.

My wrap had a considerable base layer of veggies, then a layer of glorious, steaming, seasoned meat, and, once he rolled it all up, he topped it with a thick cream sauce…It was a thing of beauty. I enjoyed it at the overlook of the Central Moscow, enjoying every bite to the last. On my way home, I quickly decided when my next visit would be: as soon as possible, probably on Monday after class.


I fear I may have found my weakness as far as food kiosks go. On the way down Vernadskovo Prospect, I passed more than a few such kiosks and, though I was really full, I had to fight the urge to buy another. I highly recommend trying this treat, you won’t regret it. Anything in wrap form has a certain appeal to it, and the schwarma in Moscow seems to be no exception. The only thing I wish I had done is washed it down with a cold beer…but that’s why there’s next time.

For Groups and Faculty Led Tours, this kiosk could be a possibility. It’s location next to two popular points – Sparrow Hills and MGU – may well put you in the area and the food is quick and cheap and a Moscow staple. However, if you’ve got a large group, keep in mind that there are only two people working the kiosk and it might take a bit to process you all.

View Moscow Guide from The School of Russian and Asian Studies in a larger map

About the author

Kyle Mendes

Kyle Mendes has a degree in European and 20th Century Russian History from UC Santa Cruz. He is studying on SRAS's Russian as a Second Language Program in Moscow. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2012 to further his study of Russian history.

Program attended: Challenge Grants: Funding for Study Abroad

View all posts by: Kyle Mendes

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