New York's 7 Best Gyros

The gyro is a staple of New York food cart fare: fast, filling, and affordable. Also found on Mediterranean restaurant menus and at Greek spots around town, gyro consists of thin slices of savory, herb-y meat that often comes on pita bread or rice platter. But not all gyros are created equal. Here are the seven best in the city! Grab some extra sauce for us, will you?

The Halal Guys

Halal Guys

This iconic halal cart sits just down the block from the Museum of Modern Art. You can find the red and yellow-clad Halal Guys serving world-class gyros day and night, often to lines that snake down West 53rd. Your high-quality gyro meat will come hot off the grill and into a fluffy pita, along with Halal Guys’ signature white and red sauces. You can also order gyro over rice, as well as chicken or falafel, for $10 or under (just remember to bring cash!). The Halal Guys have expanded to several spinoff locations in New York and abroad—just make sure not to fall for one of the lookalikes near the original Midtown cart. Southeast corner of W 53rd St. and 6th Ave.,

The Greek Kitchen

Looking for an affordable sit-down lunch near Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center? Find hearty home cooking at The Greek Kitchen, operating for over twenty years. Gyro is all over the menu here: have it on a fresh Greek salad with cucumbers, feta, and dolmades; as a wrap; on rice; or as a mixed grill plate. Other than gyro, there’s a robust menu of seafood, vegetarian dishes, and mezes. No matter what you eat, you’ll think of the Mediterranean when you see the deep blue walls of the restaurant and the large model boat on the bar counter at this friendly, crowded spot. 889 10th Ave., 212-581-4300,

BZ Grill

BZ Grill

Not far from LaGuardia Airport is Astoria, Queens, a neighborhood with a vibrant Greek community. For a casual Mediterranean cafe with an incredible mastery of the art of the gyro, head to BZ Grill. Behind the counter, you’ll see two rotating spits—one for the marinated pork gyro, the other for chicken gyro. Staffers will shave off pieces of meat to fill in a hot pita for you, or serve it as a platter with their incredible tzatziki yogurt sauce. If you’re super-hungry, grab some Greek fries with feta while you’re at it! 2702 Astoria Blvd., 718-932-7858,

Dafni Greek Taverna

Conveniently located near Times Square and Port Authority, Dafni Greek Taverna is a pre-theater spot with an affordable wine list and flavorful Greek fare. The gyro platter in particular gets high marks, with delicious lamb meat, rice, sauce, and pita triangles. The Pikilia plate comes with gyro, bifteki (ground beef), and chicken souvlaki if you’d like a sampler of Dafni’s best proteins. 325 W 42nd St., 212-315-1010,

GRK Fresh Greek

Fast-casual Greek is the name of the game at GRK Fresh Greek, with locations in Midtown East, the Financial District, and Greenwich Village. GRK sources quality meat from local distributors, so you’ll have impeccable protein from the gyro spit on every plate. Perfect for the workday, this menu offers customizable pitas and plates, complete with choice of sauces and sides so you’re full and ready for the afternoon. Financial District: 111 Fulton St., 212-385-2010; Midtown East: 451 Lexington Ave., 212-204-8598; Greenwich Village: 51 E 8th St.;

Uncle Gussy’s

Uncle Gussy's

Like Halal Guys, Uncle Gussy’s kitchen can be found on the streets of Midtown. Workers flock to this blue food truck for Greek goodness, including great gyro on rice, inside pita, or atop seasoned french fries. Or go epic with The Hercules, which comes with gyro and all of the above. Find Uncle Gussy’s during lunch hours in Midtown East next to St. Bartholomew’s Church, or in the Financial District on Wall Street. Uncle Gussy’s also has a brick and mortar location in Long Island City, Queens, that is open during dinner hours. Midtown truck: 345 Park Ave., 929-600-1111; FiDi Truck: 48 Wall St., LIC Restaurant: 42-02 Northern Blvd., 718-392-2229,

Fournos Theophilos

Fournos Theophilos

With locations near Rockefeller Center and Herald Square, Fournos Theophilos is a charming all-day Greek cafe. At this all-day bakery and restaurant, order a gyro under the alternate spelling “Yeero,” which Fournos offers in chicken or lamb. Your Yeero will come on pita along with a side, a spread, and potato chips. Vegetarians will also find plenty of wholesome options for lunch and dinner, like large salads and Greek lima beans. Regardless of your entree (or time of day), we think everyone should enjoy a portokalopita, or orange pie, from the pastry counter. Midtown: 45 W 45th St., 212-278-0015; Herald Square: 469 7th Ave., 212-489-6959;




About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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