The story behind our food

Since the very beginning, at the very first Zankou Chicken in Beirut, Lebanon, we have been committed to excellence, never straying from our pledge to tradition and quality. We don’t take any shortcuts, relying exclusively on the highest quality product, precision, thorough training, and a meticulous attention to detail. We carry only the most superior products; foods like premium chicken and high-grade slices of beef, carved individually at each location before being marinated or seasoned.

It is our undying passion for quality and desire to make food cooked simply and deliciously that make us a restaurant unlike any other. Learn more about what makes our food special…

Whole Roasted Chicken

Famous Rotisserie Chicken

History: The precise origins of rotisserie chicken are shrouded in mystery, although it’s clear from food historians’ accounts that the mechanical, vertical rotisserie was invented sometime in the early 19th century. Zankou’s famous chicken is an invention dating back to 1962 and rooted in the East-West crossroads city of the restaurant’s birth, Lebanon.

Ingredients: Only the freshest, highest quality chicken.

Preparation: Our famous rotisserie chicken is roasted for over an hour in a vertical oven, creating a super crispy skin and savory juicy meat.

Tri-Tip Shawerma

History: The roots of shawerma can be traced back to Egypt around the 1830s, not long after the invention of the rotisserie, which paved the way for this vertically roasted dish to become one of the favorite Middle Eastern foods.

Ingredients: The key ingredient in our food is quality, which is why we use high-grade slices of beef.

Preparation: Our tri tip is marinated and seasoned in Mediterranean spices before being placed on the vertical broiler, where it roasts and caramelizes, becoming both sweet and spicy, awaiting your order.

Tri-Tip Shawerma close-up
Chicken tarna on a spinning grill

Chicken Tarna®

History: Chicken Tarna is an original, trademarked item exclusively available at Zankou Chicken, inspired by the history of Shawerma. While the shawerma dates back to the 1830s with the invention of the spit, invention of the Tarna dates to 1992 in Glendale, CA. The Word “Tarna” in Armenian means to turn.

Ingredients: The key ingredient in the Chicken Tarna is no secret; it is our fresh whole chickens, which are marinated in exotic spices from around the world, creating amazing flavor.

Preparation: Our Chicken Tarna is marinated in an assortment of Mediterranean spices, and placed by hand on your wrap or plate.


History: Often referred to as the shish kebab, it is a form of Middle Eastern grilled or broiled meat that originated in medieval Persia. In fact, shish is a term that means “sword” or “skewer.” The Farsi name for kebab is kabab, which is said to have derived from the Aramaic word kabbaba, meaning, “burning” and “charring”.

Ingredients: Our Kabobs are available in Tri-Tip, Chicken, and Lule, and are marinated for a long time in spices from Syria and Lebanon, as well as fresh onion, garlic, olive oil, and wine vinegar.

Preparation: The secret to good Kabob is the smoke. Smoking the kabob gives it that rich flavor reminiscent of barbeque. Each piece is smoked on the grill only after you order it, making it super fresh and tasty.

Kabobs on a flaming grill
Falafel in the oven


History: In Egypt, falafel is made from dried fava beans, whereas in Lebanon, Israel and Syria they are usually made with chickpeas, which is where our Falafel originates.

Ingredients: Try our newest taste sensation! Our hand crafted new recipe is filled with fresh herbs and spices and cooked to order.

Preparation: The hand-made falafel patties are only cooked after you order, making them super hot and crispy, straight from the fryer.


Hummus: Garbanzo beans, fresh garlic and sesame tahini blended together and topped with olive oil and paprika.


Mutabbal: Grilled eggplants, fresh garlic and tahini blended together and topped with olive oil and paprika.


Basmati Rice: Steamed, fresh and fluffy aromatic basmati rice.

Basmati Rice

Pita Bread: Flatbread baked fresh everyday.

Pita Bread fresh from the oven


Tahini Salad

Tahini Salad: Romaine lettuce and tomatoes topped with tahini.

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad: Minced parsley, tomatoes, bulgur and green onions mixed with lemon and dill.

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad: Sliced red and green cabbage, fresh mint, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.

Garden Salad

Garden Salad: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and pickles topped with oil and vinegar dressing.

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“You can't go wrong
  with the combo kabob
  plate. The best of both
  worlds. Seriously.”

– Kevin, Los Angeles, CA