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Street Food Friday: If You Don't Eat This in Athens, Let Athena Strike You Down

Where: Athens, Greece
March 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM | by | ()

In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was the surprising taco trunk scene in Columbus. This week, we head to Athens, Greece, to see what's cooking.

This one might be as obvious as deep dish in Chicago or cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, but you absolutely must try a gyro in Greece. We say that not because you've never heard of one before, rather because, like the cheesesteak in Philly, you've never had one this good.

The traditional, basic gyro is made with pork or chicken, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, which, to us, is the key to the whole thing. Great tzatziki equals a great gyro, and good tzatziki equals a good gyro. In Athens (and much of Greece), local vendors add french fries into the mix, ensuring added texture and that you will be full after just one. Since they cost only a couple dollars and are literally everywhere you turn in Athens, the gyro is the budget traveler's best friend.

Some shops will offer variations of the traditional recipe, mostly in terms of the accompanying sauce, substituting mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, cheese, pepper, or some combination of them as a dip.

You can get a gyro in the States pretty much anywhere, and we suggest you continue to enjoy your local spot while you can. Once you have one in Greece, you will have officially ruined your appetite back home.

[Photo: Will McGough]

Archived Comments:


Prolly the best food ever eaten all my life! I see this video http://www.myathens.tv/en/thesouvlaki and I want to go back there..Long live The Souvlaki!