Difference Between Kebab and Souvlaki

Kebab vs Souvlaki

Whether it is time for a quick brunch or a late night roadside dinner, kebabs or Souvlaki can be great as appetizers or snacks. There are many lovers of these food items who can eat lots of kebabs and Souvlaki treating them as the main course of a meal. There are many similarities in these two meat dishes thus confusing many when served either of the two. However, there are many variations of kebabs and also their distinct features that separate them from Souvlaki. This article takes a closer look at the two delicacies.


Small boneless pieces of tender meat are threaded over a skewer and then grilled or roasted over flame. There are many different varieties of kebabs to stick to a particular recipe, but in general, kebabs are made with tender chunks of meat or pounded meat that is fried over a large pan. Legend has it that the origins of kebabs are traced back to the times of Chenghiz Khan and his soldiers who used their swords or daggers to roast wild animal after threading small pieces on them over direct flame. Today’s kebabs are so delicious that they melt into one’s mouth. They are liked by one and all. Kebabs have been a part of the culture of the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and even some parts of Europe. It is today common for some restaurants in US and UK to be serving kebabs as snacks or appetizers to their customers. While lamb meat has traditionally been used to prepare kebabs, today beef, goat, chicken or any other meat can be used to make kebabs.


Souvlaki is a traditional Greek dish made of meat that is grilled over skewers. It is also referred to as Greek kebabs. It is mostly chunks of meat but sometimes even vegetables are served in this manner. It is common for people to eat it straight out of skewers in roadside restaurants though these kebabs are also served inside pita as a sandwich or in a plate to be eaten directly. In Greece, Souvlakia (plural of Souvlaki) is a very popular fast food, and it is also very cheap. It can be prepared very quickly which is why it is preferred by people as a snack. The word Souvlaki comes from Greek Souvla that means a skewer. Greeks prefer to use pork for making Souvlaki though it is common for restaurants to use lamb and chicken to suit the palate of the tourists.

What is the difference between Kebab and Souvlaki?

• Both kebabs and Souvlaki are dishes made of meat that is grilled on skewers, but whereas kebabs are believed to have originated in the Near East, Souvlaki is considered of Greek origin.

• Souvlaki is marinated differently than kebabs.

• Souvlaki was traditionally made of pork in Greece whereas lamb meat was used to prepare kebabs in old times.

• Souvlaki is also served as pita sandwich, whereas kebabs are served in plates, to be eaten with Roti or on their own.

• Seasoning used for Souvlaki is different and Garlic is an integral part of Souvlaki.