Is Gyro II The Best Gyro Midtown Has to Offer?

Since I started this site, I’ve been on a quest to find a *real* gyro sandwich in Midtown. And when I say ji-roh or yee-roh or however the hell you want to pronounce it, I mean the Greek inspired sandwich, featuring slices taken from those giant hunks of rotating meat you see on every street meat cart in Midtown, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce (the white yogurt sauce with shredded or sliced cucumbers). Not shawarma (which has a distinctly Middle Eastern flavor), not the pre-made gyro ovals they serve at diners, and not that chopped up stuff you see served off of every street meat cart in Midtown. I want a real Greek style gyro. (I say Greek style because I don’t actually know what an authentic gyro sandwich in Greece is all about… I just know what I ate at Greek festivals growing up as a kid, and I love it.)

I understand the economics of the situation. While most street meat carts have the generic lamb slab used by most Greek restaurants that serve gyro sandwiches, they don’t have the time to allow it to fully cook up on the spit. So what do they do? They cut it off before it has a chance to brown, chop it up into pieces, mix it with onions, peppers, and whatever else, and cook it on the flat top. Tasty… but not a gyro. I just want a simple sandwich, with gyro meat that has been given the chance to get crispy on the spit, sliced and put directly into a piece of soft pita, topped with onion, lettuce, tomato and Greek yogurt (not the street meat “white sauce”).

Last time I mentioned this on the site, the only in bounds recommendation I got was for Gyro II on 7th Ave. btw. 33+34th. I checked it out last week…

Gyro II is typical of most “Greek” take out in Manhattan, in that it also serves pizza. The gyro spit was probably the biggest I’ve ever seen, which was both exciting and scary all rolled into one. It also had this reddish tint, which I was not too excited about. They get busy during lunch, just like the carts, so they make your sandwich from meat that has already been sliced, and then stored below the oven, but that’s ok, because at least they allow it to fully cook on the spit before slicing. This sign was also slightly reassuring:

I should have been skeptical though because the gyro I’m looking for shouldn’t have a special “white sauce” worth mentioning, it should just have plain tzatziki, a simple yogurt sauce that matches perfectly with the gyro meat. Cool, and creamy it’s the perfect topping for a Greek style gyro. What you get at Gyro II is nothing like that. Incredibly watery, it had a overly sweet flavor that was more like cole slaw than tzatziki- and to make things worse, they cover the whole sandwich in it, rendering it the biggest mess of all time.

If the gyro meat had been standard, it may have cut the sweetness of the “special sauce”, but it wasn’t. It also was more sweet than salty, making the whole sandwich a sickly sweet mess of dashed hopes and dreams. I’m not saying it’s a terrible sandwich, and I know a lot of people are big fans, it’s just not the type of gyro I’m looking for. Growing up in Miami, if I could get a decent gyro at Miami Subs (back in the day, before they became an all out chain with the bologna of gyro meat,) then how hard can this really be?!?!

I’m guessing you could go to a cart, and ask them to make you a gyro the way you want it, but I’m thinking it still won’t be right, because it’s not what they do. Has anybody had the sandwich I’m describing? Cart or walk in… doesn’t matter to me. Got the perfect rec? Put it in the comments below…

Gyro II, 427 7th Ave (btw. 33+34th), 212-239-0646


  • Owning one’s own clinic should not be a barrier, should the present Mrs. McBagel be excessively hirsute and wish to “remedy” that situation.

    My wife and I would be pleased to provide her services free of charge.

  • Chucky, thanks for the offer but I’d rather be forcibly taken from behind by Angela with a strap on whilst having to watch Mario Comic book store guy Batali on Iron Chef than patronise your pube plucking empire.

  • Marina – Uncle George’s on B’way/34th St also has great, reasonable Greek food. I actually have yet to try a Gyro in Astoria and I’ve lived there for almost 3 years. Weird, huh?

  • I second the Uncle Nick’s pick – its a great deal. Surely if you can devote weeks of posts to Hallo Berlin Express, you can cross directly across the avenue for a gyro!

  • mmm…lemon potatoes. where can you get tasty ones in midtown?

  • Sandra, it’s not that weird. I lived there for 2 years and anytime I craved a gyro, I’d go to Fontana’s.

  • Funny, I spent time in Greece and ate numerous gyros in Corfu, Athens, and places in between. An “authentic” gyro to me (since all of them were prepared this way) consists of only 4 ingredients: pita, meat, tzatiki, and…french fries.

  • Famous Chicken place- they do make a pretty good gyro, though I personally prefer their chicken gyro.

  • I would just like to direct everyone’s attention to the fact that, according to his blogger profile, Doc Chuck does adamantly NOT eat in restaurants. This explains his a lot to me for some reason.

  • Unless he is traveling, should that tidbit of information interest you.

  • This is because he only takes his head out of his ass whilst traveling; whilst at home he obtains meals from a tube held by his wife (who must be both patient and tolerant)

  • Fortunately his favorite TV ‘chef’ is Sandra Lee, who specializes in recipes that are virtually pre-digested!

  • He cannot have his head in there, that’s where I live!

    Don’t make me bite your nuts off!

  • I have to say, that although it’s not close to the “best” gyro around, anyone who is a big time Knicks fan, who grew up coming to games with their father like I did holds a special place in our heart for Gyro II, just as we hold a special place in our hearts for the Knicks…when they used to be good.

  • I sense somehow that you are attempting humor at my expense.

    So be it.

    A man of my credentials, breeding and financial stature is not disturbed, as I understand that lesser individuals will always be jealous of what I have. Jealousy is very unattractive, don’t you think?

    And I must once again state that I do NOT own a hamster. Now that my anoles are deceased, I own only one pet: a lovely housecat who is very dear to me, Mr. Wiggles.

  • Mr Wiggles: Chosen for his size, named for his superior ability to navigate the rectal passage.

  • Don’t tell DocChuck I told you all this, but his credentials consist of a certificate from a cooking class he once took on making mac n cheese in the blue box; his breeding is classic west virginian if you know what I mean, and his wealth consists of some old bus tokens he found in a couch someone left by the curb for the garbage collectors. I’m only with him because of how he enjoys receiving the dirty sanchez.

  • LOL @ all you fools starting “e” beef on a food blog.
    Friggin internet warriors. I say we all settle this over meatloaf sandwiches at Whichcraft in the park!!!! AT HIGH NOON!!!!!

    I’ll bring the bud :P hahaha.

    Has anyone tried the fairly new “greek gyro” spot in the concourse level of Penn Station? It’s on the level where the LIRR train platforms are between the stairs for the subway and Au Bon Pain. Might be the only Greek gyro in Midtown ( if you consider Penn Station’s food within the boundaries).
    They share a store front with the burger and fresh fries place.

  • Sorry to do this to you… Olympia’s Kabob House and Taverna in St. Louis, MO was rated the best greek restaurant in town and they have an awesome Gyro that sounds exactly like what you are looking for. Just had one for lunch and I’m stuffed! I’ve been craving that for awhile now. Good luck in your search. Thankfully, I’ve found mine.

  • There’s a place called “Intermission Deli” on 8th Ave. b/t 35th and 36th that actually has a pretty good gyro. It used to be friggin huge, the portion is smaller now but still very filling, and worth a shot if you’re looking for something with a bit omre of a traditional style than street meat.

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