301 B Street, Davis, CA
Sam's offers arguably the best falafel in Davis, and really friendly employees. It seems to be an authentic family-owned and -run restaurant. On Mondays, if you order the falafel you get a free soft drink! This is an incredible thing and should not be missed. On the walls inside Sam's is a painting of a Mediterranean countryside. They also serve very good cheeseburgers, hummus, dolma, baklava, and shawarma. They play Arabic music as well, which as we all know is the best music in the entire world.
Everything on the menu is halal food. They might be the best halal serving restaurant in Davis and also might be the best restaurant in Davis Halal or not.
Sam's is a block away from Ali Baba, which is also on 3rd Street — offering similar but different food(they have one halal food which is made of lamb also). Some swear by Sam's, some by Ali Baba. Some people perversely insist on liking both. For years it was located 247 at 3rd Street , between Davis Copy Shop and Ciocolat (whose location it now occupies, since 2015).
Sam is also known to give frequent customers some leeway if they find themselves short on cash, giving a free meal or taking an IOU.
In Fall 2014, Sam's will be relocating to the building next door on the corner of 3rd & B, the space previously occupied by Ciocolat.
Menu and Specials
|Chicken or Beef Shawarma|
Comments from before 2009 are viewable in the comments archive.
2009-02-28 14:25:19 sam is the man, SAM's is the shit, his shawarma's are AMAZING, if you want near perfectness everything, PLEASE GO HERE! —alismoghaddam
2009-02-28 14:51:04 That is a HUGE complement for Sam's! Ali owns Sam's direct competitor, Ali Baba. —IDoNotExist
- Lucky for us they are both great places to eat! —CovertProfessor
2009-02-28 19:25:38 I completely agree. Both are great. :-) —IDoNotExist
2009-02-28 19:48:03 I LOVE the shawarma. I eat here almost once a week. —MattBlair
2009-03-05 13:21:57 This place is great. I just recently discovered it and I've already had the chicken shawarma, chicken kabob, and falafels - they were all delicious. I just left the place and I'm already trying to plan out my next visit to Sam's. Way to go! —j0liefllle
2009-03-08 16:09:03 I love it here! The food is great and the workers are so polite. I'd choose Sam's over Ali Baba any day. —strawberry
2009-04-05 17:02:30 The cheeseburger here is to die for. The food is relatively inexpensive. The staff is also nice. Beef schawarma is my number 2 favorite. —JanethN.
2009-04-09 19:39:44 I really like it here, the food is great but I wish they would not close earlier than the stated time :/ —melah
2009-08-15 22:19:53 Beef Shawarma with spicy tahini sauce is always my choice —lajolla4joya
2009-08-22 17:14:24 Menu is small and limited. I had the beef shawarma. It was delicious. It was a little more expensive than I had hoped for, but it was still pretty tasty. Will be returning. —BenLee
2009-10-13 12:31:41 Best PALESTINIAN food in Davis!!!!!!! chicken shawarma with yogurt is my favorite. the shawarma over rice is really good and really filling also.
2009-10-31 18:11:20 The chicken shwarma, fries and hummus are all really great at this place. That being said, I think I'd go twice as often if Sam's introduced some sort of sampler platter that had a combination of smaller portions. As the menu is now, you have to order hummus or dolmas or falafel, etc. Each is a meal by itself. —DavisCritics
2010-01-04 15:32:11 I had the Falafel today and it was really good and comes in a HUGE pita. For $5.43, it kept me going for the rest of the day. It was really moist and from just coming back from New York over winter break, it is comparable to the east coast. Seems like everyone ordered the chicken schwarma though while I was waiting for my food, probably will give it a try next time. :) —MissAmyQ
2010-01-21 15:33:20 Sams is one of my favorite restaurants (not just in Davis) and I think that they have the best hamburger in town. I know for a fact that they have the best french fries in all of yolo county.
That said, everyone who works at Sams (especially Sam himself) is extremely nice. One of the happiest places in Davis. —Mr.Mateo
2010-01-22 23:29:54 I went here once in December and a friend suggested the Chicken Sub, DELICIOUS! I went again today and had the Chicken Shawarma with yogurt and spicy. The young lady taking my order was very friendly and nice (assuming Sam's daughter because she said something about "Dad" to him), when she asked if I wanted tahini or yogurt, I said spicy and she said, "okay but do you want more sesame or yogurt has cucumber" or something to that effect. Anyways, being that I don't know much about the food, she was super at explaining it. The Chicken Shawarma was also AWESOME!! I'd highly reccomend this place, and prices aren't outrageous. —redbike
2010-03-07 19:39:02 i am addicted to this place! i could eat a chicken shawarma w tahini all day every day! love goin there cuz everyone is so friendly & makes me feel so welcome! —cparnell
2010-03-23 10:22:17 Thanks for filling the holes in the back!! —Missy415
2010-04-14 14:37:41 I frikkin' love their falafels! —thisisht
2010-04-25 11:26:11 SAM'S has the best pita sandwiches within a 50 mile radius. They are enormous and absolutely fresh and delicious, priced at around $5.50. The girl that runs the counter is super cute and also very sweet. Honestly, I am a huge food snob and their swharma pitas are one of my favorite foods ever, ask for both sauces! It's amazing! —mollyringwald
2010-04-30 15:01:38 I went here for the first time and the food was very delicious.Chicken shawarma made my day,will go back and try more on the menu and not to forget awesome service with a smile. —jasen
2010-05-21 15:54:11 Great place. I had their chicken shawarma today and for a small price, it was a good portion. —psychstudent
2010-07-30 18:39:16 Mmmm, this is good. I came here yesterday for lunch and had the beef shawarma and it was so good I stayed longer with my laptop and had a falafel also. I <3 Sam's!!!! —NickSchmalenberger
2010-10-31 12:13:43 This is definitely my favorite place to go in Davis. It's a shame they're closed on Sundays and only take cash though. I recently tried their turkey burger and it was very good. I also prefer their burgers over Burgers and Brew. Their shwarmas are delicious as well but their beef shwarmas taste nothing like beef. Is it fake or lamb? It is still good though! —Kenny0427
2010-12-15 01:18:14 Friendly, and quick. I had the chicken shawarma over rice, and it wasn't as good as I hoped for, but my bf absolutely loved it. Next time I go I'll probably just get the shawarma sandwich because it seems like the most popular item, for good reason I'm sure. —jwieland1989
2011-01-06 18:43:52 Absolutely love the chicken shawarma and chicken sub!!! Tried the cheeseburger recently as I have seen many positive comments here on the wiki, it was good. I do prefer the chicken shawarma or sub, but the cheeseburger was good. Fries, of course, are yummy! —redbike
2011-01-13 13:24:08 Love this place. I usually get falafel with the spicy sauce and have never had a bad experience. The owners/workers are always patient and kind. The chicken kabob & beef shawarma are also great. While I still love Ali Baba's Aggie Kabob, Sam's falafels are much moister and tastier.Still cash only. —Sar58
2011-02-13 23:04:57 chicken shawarma on a pita is soo delicious... wish they accepted credit cards... —tneeley
2011-03-02 00:15:23 Tasty food and good people. Can't go wrong!!! —thelonepiper555
2011-04-16 17:58:22 I didn't even know about this place until today! I'm really loving the chicken shawarma! The fries are good too! I'm surely coming back here! p.s. The portion to me was pretty big! Ate half for lunch and the rest for dinner and was satisfied ;) —LuuKyu
2011-04-23 11:46:25 The best shwarma around. When my brother visits from San Francisco he always insists on going to Sam's, as he says it's even better than any shwarma in the city—get both tahini and tzatziki on your shwarma. Great customer service here as well. —BrentKago
2011-04-26 18:57:36 Sam's restaurant has the best food in town bar none. They are very generous with their portions, and use only the freshest ingredients. The service is always very quick; and, the staff is very friendly and personable. They have plenty of tables outdoors under the shade. Mark H. —MarkHaffer
2011-05-29 17:03:55 If I ever leave Davis, I'll miss Sam's beef shawarma the most. —ChristyMarsden
2011-06-17 13:33:01 F#ck I like this place! We get the Shawarmas with both sauces and are never disappointed. It totals out to around $14 for two people and is a lot of deliciousness. My vegetarian friends (bleh) swear by the falafel. They put hot sauce on it if you ask. —MikeyCrews
2011-08-22 07:26:06 Love the Shwarmas, the fries, and the friendly service. Sam's has become a sort of comfort food for me as I seem to return here right before a big midterm or final. —KurtG
2011-09-01 11:07:27 Their hours have changed and they now close at 7:30pm. I was sold on Sam's but because I went there at 7:35pm yesterday they were closed so I went across the street to Ali Baba's for the first time. That was very good too. We often eat a little later, especially when it's hot so I'll be at Ali Baba's more often now. Also... it's confusing that they have decreased their hours just as the students are starting to come back for the academic year. —BorgilVino
2011-09-23 10:51:22 @ BorgilVino - It does seem odd that Sam's would cut their hours as the students come back but it could be because they simply don't get much business in the evening. When students want to eat in downtown at night, they usually go to the center of it (Woodstocks, Burgers N' Brew, etc). I'd be willing to bet that a lot of Sam's business comes from students going from campus to downtown during the day.
As for my review, I used to go only to Ali Baba for their falafel but over the last few months, I've noticed that the falafel there has become mushy in the center, whereas I like the more cooked, dry falafel that can be found at Sam's. I ALWAYS get the spicy falafel, you just can't go wrong. I'll be trying the Shawarma today!
2012-02-07 23:00:39 This comment is long over due, but I just created my daviswiki account. I've been picking up lunch for myself and co-workers(uhm...and dinner) from Sam's a couple times per week for the past few months. I cannot comment on the other food because I am addicted to the shawarma. It is unbelievably good- I got my wife hooked to. The owner and staff are very friendly and run a great business.
Quick Tip: Opening time is listed as 11:00 AM...but, if you're looking to get a jump on your lunch break, give them until about 11:15 or 11:20 to open the doors. Don't panic- they are not out of shawarma's. —gmca642
2012-05-05 02:35:19 This place is delicious! I miss this when I'm on summer vacation.. —AndreaA
2012-05-16 21:33:44 I had never had a shawarma before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I ordered the beef shawarma and my girlfriend had the chicken shawarma. The cashier was very nice and friendly and when he asked what sauce we wanted, we told him we had never had a shawarma before and asked for his recommendation. We had tahini with the beef and cucumber yogurt with the chicken. It was delicious. Both shawarmas were amazing combinations of savory meat, crisp vegetables, and tasty sauce in a warm pita. I have to say the beef shawarma pulled slightly ahead of the chicken because it was seasoned so well, but I would recommend both. The service is really fast and we had our shawarma within 5 minutes of ordering. They also have baklava and my girlfriend said it was great.
Given the amount and quality of the food for the price, this was an amazing deal. I'll definitely be back soon for another shawarma. —AlexHirsch
- Yep. I think if I had to choose one food item in Davis, it would be Sam's Chicken Shawarma, both sauces, extra spicy. — mikeycrews
2012-06-09 09:36:19 I love their prices! And the people there are so damn wonderful and friendly! <3 —AnnaF
2013-02-23 09:16:18 The food here is awesome, Sam is the nicest guy in the world too. Support this place! —bunsey
2013-07-11 10:13:55 The best food and restaurant in Davis. The food is cheap and consistently excellent. The fries are sub-par about 50% of the time but the meats are perfect. The cash only option is annoying but something I get used to for Farmers etc. I wish they would accept foursquare or another non-invasive payment option. Does Sams do catering? —shraken
- Yes, Sam's will do catering. —CovertProfessor
2013-08-01 18:20:01 This is a place serving very very delicious foods with very good prices. The prices in the April 15 2011 menu are still the same. Also why andbody didn't mention I don't know but all foods of this place are halal. I think the best place for the halal food in Davis as I have seen so far. —BatuhanBahadır
2014-02-09 21:55:10 I've been here a few times, and the service is great. I LOVED the beef shawarma, but the chicken one was okay. Would love to come back! :)
2014-06-15 16:00:39 Awesome family owned place, which is reflected in the personal service! The shawarma is amazing and the falafel is pretty tasty too! If only they were open on weekends... —IdaFischer
2014-07-30 11:06:33 The food here is amazing. I've been coming for YEARS, and it has always been consistent in flavor, in size, and in price. They do not skimp at Sam's! My favorite is their beef shawarma with both tahini+yogurt+spicy sauces. —j0liefllle
2014-09-20 15:43:34 Best. Restaurant. In. Davis. I've come here at least once a week for lunch the last 4 years (including today). I'm still not tired of Sam's chicken. —KevinWilliams
2014-10-23 10:02:56 I'm excited about their new location!!!! —jenb
2015-12-22 20:53:21 I sure hope they'll fix the apostrophe mistakes on their newly painted wooden sign at the new location. —sthrasher
2016-10-15 02:51:19 Sam's has provided my family and I many years of great meals. Countless kabobs and schwarmas! I highly recommend the lamb kabob and dolmas, and don't forget to get your kabob spicy! Trust me, it's super tasty! —thelonepiper555