It’s no secret that New York’s greatest Greek cuisine can be found right here in our own backyard and one of my all time favorite things to eat is the humble yet delicious gyro. While Astoria’s gyros come in all shapes and sizes, with myriad fillings and sauces, I tend to prefer the ones that are quickly prepared, haphazardly assembled, and generously apportioned. Below are my favorite gyros in Astoria, I hope you’ll give them a try!
Sure I am always singing the praises of BZ Grill, but their pork gyro is easily one of the tastiest gyros in town. For six dollars and change, you’ll receive an enormous pile of juicy pork heaped into a warm, toasted pita and topped with always fresh lettuce, tomato. An ample serving of red onion provides a healthy kick to this gyro, and you can’t go wrong ordering it with either the tzatziki sauce or the mayonnaise-based BZ sauce. BZ also has a generally quick delivery time, so their gyro is nearly as good when you have it delivered as it is when you eat it in-house.
Lying in wait like a siren as I walk home from Planet Fitness is the chicken gyro at Pita Pan. Pita Pan serves fresh, lean chicken on a pita with the traditional lettuce, tomato and red onion, all in perfect proportion. What makes this gyro stand out, however, is that it’s topped with a smattering of thin, delicious french fries. I always order mine with the tzatziki sauce, but they offer a variety of other toppings including a mustard and mayonnaise sauce. At Pita Pan you can get two chicken gyros for $6.70, and the service is always fast and friendly.
Beneath the clamorous N/Q stop at 30th Avenue, my favorite lamb gyro can be found at Opa Souvlaki (Opa!), a cozy spot that is often overlooked amidst Astoria’s numerous Greek restaurants. Thick slabs of wonderfully seasoned lamb are carved from the spit in front of you and piled into a pita with lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki that has been mixed with a little bit of feta cheese for an extra kick. This gyro is not for the faint of heart: it has the gamey flavor of lamb, and can be a bit fatty at times, all of which I thoroughly enjoy. At a mere $5.00 for a sandwich that is bursting at the seams with meat and flavor, Opa’s lamb gyro is one of the best deals in Astoria.
My all time favorite gyro in Astoria, however, is available only four days a year at the Saint Demetrios Greek Street Festival on 30th Drive. This year the festival will be held from May 17th to May 20th, and if you ever take me up on one of my suggestions, please let it be this one. The food at the Saint Demetrios Festival is all first-rate, and homemade right before your eyes by long-time church members and festival volunteers. The lamb gyro is extraordinary: the lamb is spiced and to perfection and served in a vast quantity with chunks of ripe tomato and white onion on a fresh pita. The tzatziki sauce is delicious, but it takes a backseat to the lamb itself, which is truly the best gyro meat I have tasted. So mark your calendars for the Saint Demetrios Greek Street Festival this year and I hope to see you there!
BZ Grill, 2702 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria
Pita Pan, 3717 30th Avenue, Astoria
Opa Souvlaki, 2844 31st Street, Astoria
Saint Demetrios Greek Street Festival, Thursday, May 17th through Sunday, May 20th
30th Drive, Astoria