Sep 28, 2022 - Food and Drink

Shawarma pizza at Shawarma Bistro


Shawarma pizza at Shawarma Bistro. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

I recently came across Shawarma Bistro’s Instagram account, which is filled with tantalizing towers of meat, glistening as they slowly rotate on a spit.

Why it matters: I am quite impressionable, and for a few days afterward, pretty much all I could think about was shawarma and whether it was worth driving 30 minutes into Henrico to get it.

  • Reader, I made the trip.

What’s happening: Shawarma Bistro is run by two brothers from Iraq who got their start with a firetruck-themed food cart, per Richmond Magazine.

  • It’s located in Gayton in an otherwise deserted strip mall, which, while raising questions about the economic health of the area, made parking a snap.
  • The restaurant’s scratch-made Middle Eastern menu centers around the spit-roasted lamb, beef and chicken I’d seen in the videos.

Be smart: Middle Eastern shawarma is a lot like Greek gyro, but spiced instead of herbed.

I ended up ordering a shawarma pizza (I’ve never said no to a novelty food) and, just to be safe, a standard shawarma platter.

  • Both were worth the drive, but I’d probably stick with the platter or a wrap next time.
  • The lamb and beef were tender, and the sides, including fresh-out-of-the-oven pita, tasted great.

The bottom line: Not only was it worth the drive, but I’m going to do it again because now I want to try basically everything on their menu.


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