Walk to Granville & Robson during the day and take a sniff of the air. You should* smell something good. That scent is coming from Babylon Cafe.

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Babylon Cafe is known for their shawarmas. Shawarmas are middle-eastern wraps containing sliced meat and other goodies. The marinated meat is slow-cooked on a rotating vertical spit and then sliced off right before serving.

2009-02-13 at 12-59-02I’m by no means a shawarma/döner/gyro expert so I’ll keep this short: Babylon Cafe’s shawarmas are TASTY and a lunch spot favorite around the office. Judging by their long lines around lunchtime, usually 5 – 10 deep, I’d bet that they’re a lunch spot favorite for many.

Despite the long lines, the efficient and sometimes friendly staff ensure you don’t have to wait long to get a nicely wrapped shawarma in your hand. They have the assembly line process down to a science. There’s no where to sit at the Robson-Granville location, but that’s okay. Lots of places to sit at the nearby Vancouver Art Gallery & Vancouver Law Courts. Or just multitask: walk & eat.

You can choose between chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. The meat is moist and flavorful, and they don’t skimp on the fresh veggies. Ask for some hot sauce to give your schawarma an extra kick.

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Pictured above is a half-eaten** Chicken and Falafel Schawarma ($8.00 with tax) – my fave. As good as their signature chicken schawarma but with a few tasty falafel balls thrown in for good measure. It’s certainly not pretty, but it’s good. My only complaint is that, unless you’re super careful, the wrap’s last few bites do tend to get a little messy. But it’s worth it.

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*do not attempt to sniff the air if you are in close proximity to a dumpster, automobile, or suspicious looking vagrant.
**to be honest, it feels a bit strange posting pictures of my half-eaten meals…