“A city with a whopping 120 donair shops and restaurants, the five we tried are only a fraction of what Edmonton has to offer.”
Photos and Article by Chaylene Ribbonleg
I’m living in Northern Alberta right now, and I took a weekend trip to Edmonton. My sister, my friends, and I decided to try out five different donair places while we were there. We took a drive and tried out some familiar and some new places. I’m not a person to try new things, especially when I have already found something I enjoy. Regardless, driving around and finding the restaurants was an entertaining adventure. We were all determined to try some delicious donairs.
We did a weekend tour of donairs. I kept it consistent at each restaurant – I ordered regular donairs with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. I don’t like sweet sauces or any other dressings except, tzatziki, so I stayed with that. I didn’t get to experience a dining room, nor did I add a combo or drink to any of the donairs. We limited our adventure to drive-ins and quick restaurant stops.
Here is a review of our donair weekend!
PrimeTime Donair & Poutine
11343 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1S2
We had just gotten into the city when we decided to stop at a familiar donair place, Primetime Donair & Poutine. My sister used to live in Oliver Square, so we were already familiar with the donair shop. I hadn’t had a chance to dine here since last summer, but it was still delicious. I wanted to kick off our review with a tried and true favorite.
We ordered and picked it up in 15 minutes, I went in and out. Primetime has a casual and quaint atmosphere and there is a small sitting area for waiting.
I ordered a large classic donair with tzatziki sauce. It was so good that I remembered exactly why I wanted to start with this place. The donair had a decent amount of beef and a nice balance of lettuce, tomato, and onions. It was hot and tangy. The tzatziki sauce was creamy, and the meat was chunky and firm.
I had mentioned to my sister how tangy it was and asked what she thought about it. My sister replied, with a full mouth, “tangy ?” She wasn’t really in a mood to review. She wasn’t as smart as I was, and got a lot of donair debris all over her side of the car. She liked it. I loved it.
We decided to eat our meal in the car, so we made sure to get a ton of napkins (we ended up using them all). The whole donair was wrapped in parchment paper, and it was very juicy. I didn’t even trust the bag to hold it all. It was a mess but, in a good way!
8308 144 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5E 2H4
We were then hanging out with my cousin Roxy. I suggested that we try an old favourite of mine, Swiss Donair. I used to live on the Northside of Edmonton (where Swiss donair is located). And, when I came home from class, I would always stop by Swiss Donair and grab a bite to eat.
I preordered, and we were given a wait time of 20 minutes, and we just took the time to drive there. This time we ate our meal in my cousin’s truck, we had a great time. The restaurant’s parking lot was packed with vehicles. As delivery couriers arrived and left; I walked into the restaurant. I counted 20 people waiting/arriving/leaving. The restaurant used to have a small dining area, but the tables were gone, and it was just some chairs for the waiting customers.
I’m just going to say it…I love Swiss Donair.
It’s the best donair I ever had, and I had to take my cousin there if we were going to review some places. The best part about Swiss Donair is the high-quality ingredients they use combined with carefully prepared donair meat. After they prepare it, they top it off with a signature tzatziki sauce. It’s a great donair. The donair meat is so soft and tender, and it’s always fresh and ready. The tzatziki sauce is the best part of the donair and it takes it to another level. The lettuce, tomatoes, and onions balance each other out.
When we finished our donairs. But my cousin said, was wondering why it was so busy. I think that the flavours speak for themselves. It was her first time there, and I think she’ll make a trip back for a second round. I, still love it but I just wish I didn’t wear a white shirt.
15043 Stony Plain Rd, Edmonton, AB T5P 3Y3
My sister Khianna and I were driving around Edmonton’s westside, we spotted Best Donair and decided to try it out. We called ahead, and I went and picked it up. The donairs were freshly prepared. It was a small diner-style restaurant. There was one table to sit at, and two friends sat in the front and enjoyed their meal.
It was my first time going to this donair place, and I don’t think it was worth it. located in Jasper Gates (just of Stoney Plain road & 149 st.), and the location was busy. But in compairison to the other businesses in the area, it felt vacant at the restaurant. The atmosphere was a little uncomfortable because there wasn’t any space- it felt like a convenience store. It’s not a place to go have a good meal with some of your friends. It’s not the “best” vibe.
The donair was palatable but, it wasn’t the “best”, it was okay. The beef was there, but it was tough and thin. The tzatziki sauce was the stand-out part of the donair. The lettuce had too much moisture, and the onions were cut up into big pieces, and I didn’t really get a perfect bite. My sister said that there were too much lettuce and tomato, and the onion was overpowering. But, the pita bread was her favourite part because it was toasted. She still finished it, but I think it was because she was starving. I did not finish it.
10068 156 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 2P8
While we were driving around the westside, we stopped into Queen Donair. I called ahead and preordered, and they had it ready for us. It was still lunchtime, but it was empty so we were able to go in and out. I requested them to cut it in half, and they reluctantly did it. I still managed to get that crosssection picture.
I tried Queen Donair a few years ago, but I don’t remember the experience. This donair is average, but it is filling. I got a feeling that it wasn’t fresh, and it made the donair firm and hard. The tzatziki sauce was a good feature, and I enjoyed it.
It’s one of those generic donairs that you get on a night out. I thought the lettuce, tomatoes, onions were a good balance. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not memorable.
My friend Darren tried it with me, and he liked it. He enjoyed the whole donair, and he didn’t have anything bad to say about it. He was really excited about the entire experience, and as we were leaving the restaurant, Darren had said, “WE’RE JOURNALISTS!” to the owner. I appreciated his enthusiasm.
Basha Donair & Shawarma
5328 75 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 6S4
Sunday was my last day in Edmonton, so we decided to get some breakfast donairs. My cousin picked a donair place on the southside, and we took a drive there. It was our first time going to any of the Basha restaurants. It was a good choice.
We really enjoyed the whole meal, it was very tasty. We usually go to a new place together and it was a really good experience. I didn’t expect to find a new favourite spot. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere, and it wasn’t busy, so we were able to make a seamless stop and pick up our order.
I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone on the Southside. It isn’t dry, and the whole donair is high quality. I liked the atmosphere, and the workers were really friendly and accommodating. The shop had fresh ingredients and ready to serve beef for the customers. It had a quality bite to it. The lettuce, tomato, and onions were crispy and fresh. We enjoyed the drive and the meal- it was a good breakfast.
I had a fun weekend, and it was exciting driving around with my friends. We all really enjoyed our time together. We drove all around Edmonton.
Primetime Donair & Poutine was the first, and it’s downtown. The drive is always busy, and parking is sparse, but I think it’s worth it. It’s a quality donair. The second place was Swiss Donair, and it’s close to Northgate centre. It’s also hectic but it’s worth it, I loved it. The third place was Best Donair, and it’s on the Westside, and it wasn’t as good as we thought it was going to be. It was the biggest disappointment, but it was cheap.Queen Donair was a step up from the last one, but it was still a mediocre donair. It was filling, but I wouldn’t go there as a first choice. Basha Donair was a surprising hit. It was delicious. I enjoyed trying it out, and I’m positive that I’ll go again for another round.
We all had some good food, but I don’t recommend a full tour on one weekend. When we were going back up North, I caught a whiff of some food wrappers on the driver’s side door, and I immediately had to stop at the next garbage can and get it out of there. I was kind of sick of them at that point.
I also hadn’t had the chance to hang out with a few of my friends, I hadn’t seen them in a long time. And we all had such a marvelous experience. Luckily, my cousin Roxy and Darren had a place for us to spend the weekend, and we all spent a majority of our time exploring Edmonton.
A city with a whopping 120 donair shops and restaurants, the five we tried are only a fraction of what Edmonton has to offer. If you were looking to go to any of these places, I have a final ranking:
- Swiss Donair
- Primetime Donair & Poutine
- Basha Donair & Shawarma
- Queen Donair
- Best Donair
Have fun but don’t wear a white shirt.