We taste-tested the holy trinity of York kebab vans

Yes, all in one night

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You’ve smelt it, they dealt it: the wondrous odour of greasy meat and cheesy chips from kebab vans you stumble upon after having consumed a load of gruesome £1 shots.

You know the only thing that can save you after you have dirtied yourself in Kuda is a nice, big fat juicy burger, and the gracious presence of these vans means you can go to your favourite burger-man. Although you’re probably too smashed to care.

But if uni has taught us anything, it’s that a little rivalry never did anyone any harm. So here’s a comprehensive guide to York’s three best kebab vans. I gave up being vegetarian and I was on my third day, so you’re welcome.


Get in ma bod

Not bad, but slightly claustrophobic – if you care about not being surrounded by a load of students crying about the fact that their fresher relationships didn’t last until second term.

When asked about what he thinks about his van, the man seemed to be so engrossed in his cooking that it took him a while to respond. Elusive would definitely be one way to describe him. He eventually said: “You tell me why. You are customer. We cook fresh.”

I wanted more, Oki. I wanted horrible, demeaning words about the other vans – but instead he continued to ignore me.

He does address all of his customers as “brother”, though, so we’ve got to give him 9/10 for customer service there.

The food was alright. Lacking a bit of salad and sauce, which meant I couldn’t get rid of my body’s content of 90 per cent watered down £1 Parish jagerbombs with some food my mother would approve of. Never mind.

Taste: 3rd

Hospitality: 2nd


When bae brings home a Denzil’s classic

Cheesy chips, solid ’00s rap music and good enough space to continue dancing away. You’ll be ending your night observing the decent view of Parliament Street, and can remind yourself that everything isn’t a total mess.

Ducks also roam around this van all the time, so you can get your banterous “selfie with a duck” for Instagram. Don’t forget to caption it “#onlyinyork”.

When asked, Mr Chef tells me: “I’m the best chef in town. Better than the rest. Best in York.”

It’s clear from the way he’s speaking that this is not a subjective view but a cold, hard fact of York life.

His quick dismissiveness also shows that he’s a man of business, a man not to be disturbed while distributing perhaps the nicest and least stingily-filled kebab in town. Despite this, it took a while to be served – but they say if it’s worth it, then it’s worth the wait.

In all due respect, I was too drunk to care. I also like Denzil’s purely because it’s replaced by a lemonade stand during the day. Who doesn’t like lemonade.

Taste: 1st

Hospitality: 3rd

Midnight Kebab

They’ve covered all the major food groups

After a big night, you need the sort of holy kebab which will wash all your internal dirtiness away. As you can see, this guy is up for a bit of Friday night banter.

I ask him why he’s come to Midnight Kebab, at which he intensely strokes his face and replies: “The meat is really juicy, but also really healthy.” Sure. I had a feeling that he didn’t realise he was talking to a Tab reporter, not The Observer Food Monthly.

Another customer proceeds to tell me with whole-hearted Yorkshire spirit that he’s been here for 10 years. Pure dedication, and I can see why. The one man band which is the kebab van owner is the friendliest guy I’ve been to, and he also overfilled my kebab burger (that’s a thing apparently, and it’s cheap too) with meat. I’ve never been so content.

Overall, it’s pretty clear that York’s offering of Kebab vans is TripAdvisor quality. None of this huddling into a chicken and chip shop with 100 people in London – York vans are the real deal.

Taste: 2nd

Hospitality: 1st