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San Diego's Best Gyro

Has anyone found a really great gyro in San Diego? North County locations are preferred, but will gladly drive to other areas of the county.


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  1. I kind of like the ones from Daphne's Greek place. Other than that, there's a place in Hillcrest called Aladdin (next to Terra) that I've had a good falafel pita and also a gryos pita. The falafels were nice and crunchy on the outside, but not too dry in the middle.


    9 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      I know that everybody has different ideas about different foods but for me Daphne's gyros is by far the worst gyros ever eaten. I guess it has a lot to do what you are used to eat. I remember a discussion on this board with DiningDiva several years ago where she said that One the Border is the worst mexican restaurant she knows in SD. Whereas for me it is not great but also not really bad. The difference is that she grew up with Mexican food but in Germany mexican restaurants hardly exist and I ate mexican food for the first time when I came to SD several years ago. Greek food on the other side is everywhere in Germany (especially in the part I grew up) and has a very high quality. So I compare all greek food in SD to this standard and then Daphne's is just unbelievable bad. So far I haven't found any reasonable gyros in SD. The best so far (and still not good) was at Miramar Cafe.

      1. re: honkman

        I agree 100 % with you on this... I can not find Quality Greek in SoCal ?? I have to make my own :) To say Daphnes is good greek is like saying that Arco has great burgers. Nix Nix Nix Nix

        1. re: BRIANTHEFOODUDE

          There used to be a *great* spot for gyros down on India St. They made their own from scratch, instead of the prefab stuff everyone else seems to use. San Diego's Greek food scene is pretty poor, IMO, with the exception of Cafe Athena in PB. I don't get gyros there, however, so have no idea if those are any good.

          1. re: Josh

            That's it, Josh- all of the gyros meat is exactly the same- must eb from the same supplier...the sides are what makes the difference.

            Mediterranean Grill on India, right? It was wonderful.

            1. re: Cathy

              Mediterranean Grill on Washington or Garden Grill on India ? Both had/have some good items (especially Mediterranean Grill on Washington) but in both cases gyros is/was not one of them.

              1. re: honkman

                No, there's a place that used to be there on India. Don't remember the name. Just remember they made their own gyros and it was great.

                1. re: honkman

                  It was Garden Grill on India-that one was the best. But, I like Med Grill on Washington too.

          2. re: honkman

            Some of the best Greek food I've ever had was in Germany...but its been so long, its hard to remember the taste, but IMHO, Daphnes is at the bottom of the list...edible, but if in a crunch, you could eat it...

            1. re: honkman

              I have to agree with DD; On the Border makes me gag. It's just a bunch of processed food reheated and served. Yuck.

              You're right about there not being any outstanding Greek food here though there are a lot of good enough places. It would be nice if the Greek financial crisis encourages a few more Greeks to immigrate here.

              On the Border
              103 Fletcher Pkwy, El Cajon, CA 92020

          3. Funny you should Mexican and Greek food together, I don't know if you saw Rick Bayless's show on Lebenanese (sp?) and Mexican food down in the Yucatan. The show discussed how Gyro meat got incorporated into Mexican cooking. Gourmet mag also sez that one of the best taco places in the U.S. is run by a Greek Lady. Who knew! Anyway I get my gyro fix at the greek church in Encinitas but their festival comes but once a year.

            2 Replies
            1. re: littlestevie

              which is that best taco stand run by a greek lady? what's the name and where' s it located? thanks.

              1. re: kevin

                I saw it on Food Network on some show, as well. It's called Santa Fe Cafe, IIRC, and I think it's in AZ or NM. It's run by a Greek woman and her two greek kids. The portions are absolutely enormous.

            2. Thanks everyone for your inputs. Sounds like San Diego is just not the spot for Gyros (an item I learned to love on the East Coast). That's cool though; there's so many great options here. In fact, the first time I tasted a fish taco, I thought I'd never need to eat any other food item for the rest of my life. :)

              Has anyone tried Greek Village Taverna in Carlsbad or Greek Corner Cafe, also in Carlsbad?

              Btw, I've recently moved back to San Diego (Carlsbad actually) and I'm so happy to see such awesome discussions and recommendations here on CH; I think our fair city's culinary scene is improving everyday!

              1 Reply
              1. re: spaceout

                The greek corner cafe is good. Since the lagoon is so close, I wouldn't go at dusk or you will be eaten up by mosquitos. I did.

              2. Marketplace Grille in La Jolla has some really good stuff..
                I like Cafe Athena too.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Anyone had a Gyro at Canada Steak Burger? I vaguely remember them being very good several years ago.

                  1. re: naven

                    Yes, my husband & I used to live in City Hights and loved the gyros from Canada Steakburger. The tsatsiki sauce was good, fresh veges, good fries.liked the souvlaki & the salad had an unusual, yummy,creamy greek dressing.
                    It's been years since we moved back East so I don't know if they're still open.

                2. I'm no connoisseur, but one of my favorite artery-clogging workday lunches is a gyros sandwich and an order of fries from Greek Bites on Mira Mesa Bl, about 2 miles east of the 805. It's a walk-up, and while it's owned by a Greek, the kitchen is staffed by a couple of fast-working Mexican guys. The gyros is sliced fairly thick and usually has slightly crunchy bits around the edges. What I like about the place is that the tsatsiki sauce is really thick and flavorful. I generally end up using some of it as a dip for my fries instead of dumping it all on the sandwich. The fries are those cheap, lower-grade type (short pieces), but they're well cooked and tasty. Hey, it's a joint, but I like it.
                  . . . jim strain

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jim Strain

                    Does the tsatsiki have a lot of garlic ? For some reasons greek restaurants (but also italian) in SD seem to be afraid of garlic. After eating good tsatsiki no vampire should be around you within one mile.

                    1. re: honkman

                      Does anything *ever* have enough garlic? One of the few things I've ever sent back to a restaurant kitchen was a Mexican fish plate: "You call that mojo de ajo????" Greek Bites' tsatsiki has garlic, but not enough.
                      . . . jim strain

                  2. Daphne's falafel has been progressively worse (over cooked dry hockey pucks) over the last couple months, I won't go back. Someone mentioned "Never on Sunday" on El Camino in Encinitas, but we have not tried it yet. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/415411

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Pablo

                      Oddly, I had the best falafel ever from Daphne's in Santee this past Friday for lunch. I even went back and asked for another side of it. Unusually good with spices, light interior with a light crispy crust.

                      1. re: Pablo

                        I have eaten there (Never on Sunday) lots o' times but off the top of my head, I do not know if they have any gyros. I suppose they do because they are open for lunch, but I usually get the lamb there. The only restaurants that I will order lamb is at a greek or middle eastern place, They are the only ones that seem too cook lamb to my liking. Another place to go is out in Baker on the way to Vegas or Death Valley is The Mad Geek. The Gyros there were actually good. However, since it showed up on the FN, I sure it went downhill.

                        1. re: littlestevie

                          I got an e-mail a few weeks ago telling me it had a "B" Health Department rating on the window. The gyros there is great, though,

                          1. re: littlestevie

                            littlestevie, how are the falafels and Greek salads at "Never on Sunday" if you have ever had them?

                        2. I love greek food but gyros always seem to be fairly bland. I haven't been to greece or the Mediterranean, so I don't know what "authentic" ones taste like. That being said, Daphne's seems to be the most consistent and best tasting for me. I am not a fan of a lot of their food but I always like the gyros. If it means anything, the annual GreekFest uses Daphne's for their gyros.

                          1. The European Market on Park next to the Henry's is actually a Greek market/restaurant owned by one of the oldest Greek families in San Diego and their gyros (and everything else) is very good/authentic! It was the only place my great-grandmother (from the old country) would eat when she would visit San Diego. I also like the stand that sells them at the Hillcrest Farmers market.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jturtle

                              I eat here regularly. The lamb kebab with its great garlic white sauce are to die for (heavy on the garlic....stays with you) . Price is $4.95 and it will fill you up. Having lived in Germany (Berlin) for three years, this place most closely resembles those kebabs you find in the Turkish takeouts there. Worth a try IMO. You can get lamb, chicken, or vegetarian (falafel) kebabs.

                            2. Has anyone been to the Kebab Shop on 9th?http://www.thekebabshop.com/index.htm
                              I haven't been yet, and I know it's not technically Greek gyro, but the Turkish version is likely similar, right?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: amyzan

                                That is the one shop I want to try but everytime I end up at Cafe Chloe

                                1. re: amyzan

                                  I eat here regularly. The lamb kebab with its great garlic white sauce are to die for (heavy on the garlic....stays with you) . Price is $4.95 and it will fill you up. Having lived in Germany (Berlin) for three years, this place most closely resembles those kebabs you find in the Turkish takeouts there. Worth a try IMO. You can get lamb, chicken, or vegetarian (falafel) kebabs.

                                  1. re: mlutken

                                    Okay, I'm confused--the same post as a reply on different resties? Which one are you referring to, The European Market on Park or The Kebab Shop on 9th?

                                    1. re: amyzan

                                      My Bad....the Kebab Shop on 9th.

                                2. i've always liked Olympic Cafe for gyros...although i definitely haven't tried many places. as anyone triend Santorini on Scripps Poway Pkwy?

                                  1. I like the gyros at Angelos (there are several locations). The Thursday farmers market in O'side has a vendor that does gyros w' a red pepper sauce to die for. $5

                                    1. Not gyros but doner kebab


                                      I wonder if they also have Lahmacun

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: honkman

                                        The guy uses tortillas, which he says are exactly the same as turkish flatbread, but I completely disagree. I've had my share of doner kebab in Europe (they really are on every street corner), and the bread is nothing like a tortilla. That makes me question whether I should actually try this place.

                                        Also, how do they get around the San Diego Health department requirements of meat holding temperatures? If you've been to a european doner place, you know that the meat is usually spinning (and heated) for hours, which is often a bacteria factory.

                                        1. re: ekomega

                                          I agree that the turkish flatbread has nothing to do with tortillas. The taste is completely different.

                                      2. I personally like Pegasus Cafe in Rancho Bernardo ... with the caveat that I am not Greek, nor have I been to Greece, so my standards are not necessarily super-high. I haven't seen anyone else mention it, so ....


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Jishin

                                          I second the recommendation for the Pegasus Cafe. It was on our heavy rotation list, back when my user name actually made sense (before we moved). I was a little bit hesitant to recommend it in a gyros thread, as I wasn't sure just how authentic their gyros were (and it really goes beyond being a gyro joint), but I guess it certainly is worth a try.

                                        2. I second the nomination for "Olympic Cafe" on Texas & University in North Park. I've been eating their gyros since the 80's; lots of meet, good tsatsiki. Probably not garlicky enough, but a good meal,

                                          1. Kojack's ~ accross the street from the rollercoaster in Mission Beach
                                            Mediterranean Cafe ~ on W.Washington & 1st ave next to El Cuervo (which happens to be an awesome Mexican restaurant)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: maryelisa

                                              What do you recommend at Mediterranean Cafe?

                                            2. We liked the gyros at the Kabob Shop downtown and they also have a new location in Mira Mesa. Had some great fries at MM and they are on www.restaurant.com now. This weekend Flag is the code for the 80% off discount when purchasing the certificates. Pegasus Cafe is also on Restaurant.com. I haven't tried it, but since some have mentioned it here, I think I will. We also like the Greek Corner Cafe in Carmel Mt Ranch. Small place, family run, nice people.

                                              Greek Corner Cafe
                                              11885 Carmel Mountain Rd Ste 901, San Diego, CA 92128