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Shawarma Guys Set to Open in Mira Mesa

The #1-rated Middle Eastern eatery has eyes on multiple new locations, including South Park planned for end of year
Shawarma Guys San Diego mediterranean restaurant and food truck opening a new brick-and-mortar location in Mira Mesa
Courtesy of Shawarma Guys

Shawarma Guys wants to take over San Diego. 

They started with one food truck in South Park. Then, they opened the first brick-and-mortar store in La Mesa earlier this year, followed by the second one coming to Mira Mesa by mid-August. Next, owner Bryan Zeto says he plans to open astore in South Park and at least one more in San Diego by the end of the year. Then, he’s looking to launch a national franchise.

“I’ve been in talks with people in Michigan, Arizona, [etc.],” says Zeto. We want to get these first couple of brick-and-mortars open, have a good game plan for them, and then expand.” 

Shawarma Guys San Diego mediterranean food truck in South Park which is opening a new Mira Mesa location
Photo Credit: Kimberly Motos

Shawarma Guys launched the food truck in 2018, which Yelp named the #1 place to eat in the U.S. in 2020, made an appearance on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in 2022, and has been a regular fixture in this magazine for years. Restaurants may be notoriously hard businesses, but Zeto’s career move from cell phones to the kitchen seems to work out nicely for him and guests with a taste for his Middle Eastern fusion. (I’m very partial to the California shawarma wrap.) 

Known for its Wagyu and chicken shawarma, Zeto says Mira Mesa’s menu will mirror La Mesa’s, but with a few additions. Along with its brick-and-mortar-only shawarma cheesesteak with white American cheese on an Amoroso roll, he’s playing with adding chicken tikka skewers, beef kebabs, and maybe even a tahini Caesar salad with falafel croutons. He doesn’t want the menu to get too big, but a few new things might keep things interesting. 

The location in Mira Mesa is sandwiched between Bafang Dumpling and Crumbl Cookies and can seat around 30 people at a time, including a common outside area they share with Bafang, Crumbl, and nearby Sunmerry Bakery. Zeto estimates the space clocks in at around 1,650 square feet, but he’s thinking bigger for future locations. “Going forward, we’re going to look for 2,000-plus square feet,” he explains. That sounds like a smart move based on how hot things have been for them over the past few years.

The 16th annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival event happening on September 28, 2024 featuring a wine vendor pouring a glass
Courtesy of La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

New San Diego Restaurant News & Local Food Events

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival Returns September 28-29

Art? Wine? Music? Proceeds going to San Diego Unified? Sounds like a winning event to me. The 16th annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival kicks off Saturday, September 28, and runs through Sunday, September 29. More than 160 artists will be on hand, as will wineries, breweries, distilleries, and plenty of food vendors. Pets and children are welcome to the free event, but tickets are required for the wine and beer garden. Prices are currently $45 for five tasting tickets and $65 for 10. Prices go up on and after September 1. 

Chicken sandwich from new San Diego restaurant Ace Porter and Tortuga coming to the Omni San Diego Hotel
Courtesy of Omni Hotels

Beth’s Bites

  • I’m totally late to the game, but Kin Len—Thai Street Eats on 30th Street is my new jam. The Hat Yai chicken and curry were a totally unexpected flavor fusion that paired beautifully with a Japanese yuzu and sea salt ale. I’ll return whenever I’m in North Park (and might crank up the spice level, just for fun). 
  • The Omni San Diego Hotel has two new on-site restaurants. Ace Porter partnered with the Padres and features baseball-appropriate fare like draft beer and smoked brisket slides, while Tortuga is a sixth-floor pool bar with Baja California fare like seafood and spritzes
  • Does anyone else remember the monthly food truck gatherings that used to be at the venue at Hancock and Washington in Middletown? They ended at least 10 years ago, and food truck culture has changed a lot since then, so I’m always glad to see a successful food truck leap into a brick-and-mortar space. Taqueria by El Prieto is now open in the former Tacos el Gordo space at 689 H Street in Chula Vista, bringing its tacos, tostadas, and more to the masses.

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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