What’s in a name? Gyro, gyros, souvlaki, pita, yeeros, yiro—whatever you want to call them, the famous Greek street food is like a plate-smashing, Zorba-the-Greek dancing party for your mouth. Long revered as Sydney’s ultimate late night early morning fix, gyros is now something to be enjoyed sober thanks to a bunch of local establishments serving up pita-wrapped meaty goodness. Here are some of our favourites from Sydney's best Greek restaurants.
Zeus Street Greek
First located in Drummoyne and now also in Rosebery, Dulwich Hill and Cronulla, Zeus is a tasty collaboration between the teams behind Pony Dining Group and Crust Pizza. The Zeus team delivers on their philosophy: to make real food with integrity, taste and freshness. At Zeus, they’re called pitas and they come filled with your choice of pork, chicken, lamb, soft shell crab or haloumi.
The Phoenix Hotel
Fancy a gin with your gyro? A semillon with your souvlaki? Well, The Phoenix Hotel has your dual interests covered. Most recently trading as short-lived champagne bar One Moncur, the Woollahra space has re-emerged from a 2015 refurbishment with its old name and an entirely fresh position. Greek shared food dominates the menu and the gyros—choose from lamb or chicken—are a hit.
I don’t mean to sound like a douche but I’ve eaten gyros in Greece. Actually, I’ve eaten many gyros in Greece because 1. they were delicious and 2. they were cheap. I mean, I’m talking 1 EURO apiece. So, for mine, if you’re going to label your gyros “traditional”, the price point must comply. By Sydney standards (sigh), Traditional Gyradiko in Bexley is truly traditional, delivering mouth-watering gyros and change from a tenner. Sold.
It’s not quite Mykonos but the sunny courtyard at EAT GRK will transport you from busy King Georges Road in Beverly Hills to Greek foodie heaven. The gyros are delicious with mouth-watering meat fillings and seriously soft pita, and the haloumi chips are hard to go past. Also, I know I am supposed to be talking all-things-gyro but EAT GRK has a Nutella pita on the dessert menu. I just thought you’d like to know.
The Yeeros Shop
The Yeeros Shop in Marrickville has been serving Sydney since 1976 and still hand cut their chips, adding clout to the site’s authenticity. Fill your pita with beef, chicken, lamb or falafel and enjoy in the no-frills setting or to-go. There are plenty of sauces to choose from but word on the street—and Marrickville’s Illawarra Road is one knowledgeable street when it comes to eats—is that you can’t go past a tzatziki/chilli combo.
Yiro Yiro Greek Street Food
I’m peckish. Is anyone else peckish? This article is hungry work and reminiscing about Yiro Yiro Greek Street Food is not helping. In Belmore, the locals certainly know good Greek and since Yiro Yiro is always abuzz, you know you’re onto something. Founder Con Boucas’ passion for yiro sparked while he was working as a comedian on the Greek island of Kos. His funny bone is still evident and adds a fun vibe to the space.
Plateia in Potts Point is, so they say, where friends meet. But when I meet my friends over a Plateia gyros, things get a little anti-social. “Sorry, can’t talk, eating my GIANT chicken gyro.” Plateia is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Kings Cross Station so your gyros also comes with a side of premium people-watching.
Fresh, tasty and carb-loaded, Gyros Fix in Five Dock deliver everything you want from your gyros. The Gyros Fix menu also features the skepasti, which is basically a giant gyros sambo so kudos is due. At the other end of the scale, Gyros Fix can also accommodate a mini hunger with baby gyro available for just $6.
Kefi Souvlaki Bar
Chef David Tsirekas, formerly at the helm at Perama and Xanthi, heads up the Kefi Greek Tavern next door but his influence on Kefi Souvlaki Bar in Kingsgrove is clear. A favourite at Xanthi, Tsirekas’s pork belly baklava—complete with crackling, flaky pastry, date and pistachio paste, and apple mayo—has been reinvented and works deliciously well in gyros form. Traditional fillings feature on the menu too.
Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant
Kerasma is the gesture of offering or treating a guest with handmade delights. It is fair to say then that Newtown’s Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant is aptly named. As well as the usual delights (think chicken, pork, lamb and haloumi) there are a few outside-the-box options such as octopus, prawn, liver, tongue, quail and Greek sausage. Are you game?
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Image credit: Federica Portentoso at Zeus Street Greek