Uncle Nick’s and Poseidon Bakery Make 9th Ave the Ultimate Greek Lunch Spot

Uncle Nick's

“Why don’t you write about the places on 9th Ave.!?!” is a question I get a lot.  My reply is usually some form of “Well then I have to go to 2nd Ave., and 26th street, and 65th Street… and then it never ends.”  Essentially, you have to have boundaries or else it’s complete chaos.  And while there are people who work on the outskirts who will travel to 2nd Ave. or 9th Ave. for lunch, most Midtown Lunch’ers will not… unless there is something that is going to make everyone say “oh man… I need that now.” Like banh mi, or tacos, or thai food, or $1 fried chicken.  Or gyros (and Greek pastries!)

The age old gyro question came up again last week, when Profiled Lunch’er Harry asked if there was a real Greek gyro to be had in Midtown.  Street carts, chop their gyro up and fry it on the griddle, rather than allowing it to fully cook on the spit, Gyro II leaves a lot to be desired, and while Famous Chicken Place does a bang up job- we still don’t have a real deal Greek gyro in the ML boundaries.  Unless you are willing to travel to 9th Avenue. Uncle Nick’s and Posiedon Bakery were (enthusiastically) recommended in the comments… and when commenters speak, I listen. And boy am I glad I did.

I live in Hell’s Kitchen, so I’ve been to Uncle Nick’s many times- and yet I’ve never had their lunchtime gyro sandwich. I’m guessing it is already a favorite of anyone who works in the area.  Uncle Nick’s is a sit down restaurant, so technically it doesn’t fit into the traditional Midtown Lunch mold, but it’s an easy thing to forget when you discover that the gyro sandwich is only $4.95.  (I honestly thought it was going to be at least $7.)  I ordered it to go and took it over to the outdoor seating area behind Worldwide Plaza (on 50th btw. 8+9th.)

Uncle Nick's

The gyro was as perfect as can be.  The meat was dark and crispy on one side (from where they allowed it to cook for the proper amount of time) and light on the other side (from where they cut it off the spit.)  Lettuce, tomato, onions, and a proper tasting tzatziki (yogurt) sauce topped the thing, which was held together by a nicely grilled piece of fluffy pita bread.  I’ve never been to Greece for the real thing, but in the states Midtown this is about as good as a standard gyro gets. They also have a pork souvlaki sandwich (which I will definitely be trying on a return visit.)  (Update: I just re-read this and maybe I was being a little over zealous.  It’s not the greatest gyro you will ever eat in your life… but in gyro deprived Midtown, if you’re looking for a real greek Gyro, this is as good as it is going to get.)

Uncle Nick's

It didn’t come with fries, so I got an order of fries ($4.50) which turned out to be fried sliced potatoes.  They were just fine (lack of salt being the main issue), so I would save your five bucks and head down the street to the Poseidon Bakery (on 9th Ave. btw. 44+45th.)

Poseidon Bakery

To call this place “old school” would be an understatement. If you are a fan of phyllo dough, and honey, and nuts, than this… uh… old school (shit, there is just no other word to describe it) Greek bakery will be your heaven on earth.

Poseidon Bakery

They make pretty much every Greek pastry imaginable, plus a few savory pies (like spanikopita.)

Poseidon Bakery

You can go with the industry standard baklava (very excellent), but my favorites are their flogera (a custard filled pastry) and their kataifi (a rolled almond pastry thing that is covered in shredded phyllo dough reminiscent of shredded wheat.)

Poseidon Bakery

This trip I went with the kataifi for $3.00 (keeping your gyro+pastry lunch under the $10 limit.) Sweet, gooey, nut filled, soaked in syrup, shredded dough topped goodness.

Poseidon Bakery

I could spend hours in this shop, which has somehow defied the onslaught of 9th Ave. gentrification (they probably own the building.) Order anything you see… you won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t. Well worth traveling the extra avenue out of bounds.

No +/- for this one… because I can’t think of any reason not to like these two places.

Uncle Nick’s, 747 Ninth Avenue (btw. 50+51st), 212-245-7992

Poseidon Greek Bakery, 629 9th Ave (btw. 44+45th), 212-757-6173


  • nearerest ‘ ive seen of a proper Doner Kebab in the US.
    And it should be pure lamb….no beef.


  • Poseidon Bakery family does own the building. They did a piece in Time Out NY and specifically stated that they wouldn’t have survived if they didn’t own.

  • Love Uncle Nicks. It’s a bit of a haul from 42nd and 8th, but the lunch specials are cheap and delicious.

  • how do people pronounce gyro?

  • I’m not greek but isn’t it properly ‘gero’ instead of ‘gy-ro’ when pronoucing it. Haha.

  • question: how do people pronounce gyro?

    answer: he row

  • When I was in greece (a long time ago), I remember it being kind of like “YEE-roh”.

    But if you pronounce it right in these parts, the people serving it tend to look at you funny and say, “What?!”

  • The odds of the person making the Gyro being Greek are about as high as finding a jewish food blogger that doesn’t eat pork..

  • Yiii uuyos.

  • It’s pronounced YEE-ro in Greek.

    The bakery building is owned by one Anthony Fable. Bought it from John Fable in 2001.

    Prior to that it was owned by a Michael Anagnostou.

    Go figure.

  • Agreed on yee-ro

  • Just call it a Doner.


  • Thanks, Zach! I heart Poseidon Bakery! And I’m thrilled to hear about Uncle Nick’s lunchtime gyro. I’ve never had one before and I might as well start with the best.

  • ‘i heart……’

    For that alone you should be neutered.

  • I was once told by a fat, drunk Greek gryo salesman on Mykonos that real greek gyro should only be pork, and that anything else is a Turkish corruption. Then he barked for his wife and daughter to scrub the windows better and offered us more of his family’s wine.

  • That looks like a fun little field trip… hmmm from the eastside, taking the E west to 50th/8th Ave stop.. could it be done within the lunch hour?? ;> Frankly, i don’t even see the challenge in this.. i’m so there!

  • Is Rudy referring by chance to the Colonial War, ie the one where the British got their asses handed to them by us?

  • Lighten up, Rudy!
    And, for the record, I’ve already spawned, and I’m teaching my kids my heathen ways.

  • Comment from Rudy McBagel
    Time: April 30, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Jill: ‘i heart……’

    For that alone you should be neutered.

    I strongly disagree with Rudy….
    Jill should be spayed.

  • The flaming saganaki at Uncle Nick’s (ouzaria) is stunning. And better yet, don’t warn your dining companions and let them be startled by the waiter setting fire so close to their faces.

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