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  1. Karavas. Two locations: 4th Street, just west of 6th Avenue and Christoper Street, just west of 7th Avenue. Ambrosia!

    6 Replies
      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        Native: Just curious -- Is the gyro @ KARAVAS lamb, beef, or a mixture of both?

        1. re: Liquid Sky

          I believe a beef/lamb mixture-typical NYC gyro, not to be confused with shawarma, doner kabab or souvlaki.

        2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

          Karavas gyros are too salty and not spicy enough.

        3. Did not know if you were looking for indoor or outdoor, Raffiqi's carts are outstanding. jfood likes the one at 52nd and Park. Sit out on park ave on a glorious day like today and it's a wonderful thing.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Second Raffiqui's, though I usually get their gyro meat over rice.

            Avoid Gyro II across form Penn Station. Too much mayo in the sauce. And nothing is fresh. (They're set up for speed service, not quality, IMHO.)

              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                I'm sorry but I have to disagree with this -- I LOVE Gyro II. Maybe it just depends on what you're used to in terms of the sauce proportions, but I'm usually very opposed to thick creamy sauces in general, but I think their sauce is amazing. And they are definitely the right price. That's one of my favorites and I think it's worth trying.

                1. re: Adrienne

                  I actually like the chicken gyro at Gyro II, which is better than chicken gyros I've tried elsewhere. The problem, as other posters have noted, is that the sauce isn't tzatziki -- more like a mayo-based salad dressing. There's also no discernible garlic taste, which is my main complaint.

                  1. re: Adrienne

                    I love Gyro II, for gyros and for their souvlaki. The platters are about $8, but they are enormous. The sandwiches get kind of messy, but that's not necessariliy a bad thing in a gyro. I do understand, though, why people don't like the sauce. I happen to love the fairly sweet mayo based sauce they use, but if you are looking for traditional tzatziki you would be sorely disappointed.

              2. Is it me, or is anybody else disgusted by the quality of meat that comes off the gyro carts? Over the summer I had the privilege of going to Greece ... wow, what a difference. Over there, their gyros are actually stacked, thinly sliced pieces of meat, either lamb, chicken or pork ... on the same vertical spit. Then sliced off, like it would appear it is here in NYC. I know it seems that most of the cart owners are from the middle east and probably don't do pork, and real lamb might be too expensive ... but what I see here, is the equivalent of a big processed hot-dog type of thing, like a big meatloaf on a stick. It tastes ok, but appears to be a big processed gyro loaf thing. Don't mean to hijack the thread ... but do any of these carts make one like they do in Greece? OR close to it?

                1 Reply
                1. re: jimnorton

                  It's the opposite for me. I always find the street meat in Greece too dry. (It's like eating pebbles inside a delicious sauce.) I like the processed gyro meat here, especially when it's been chopped up a lot and cooked to a slightly crusty consistency.

                  (But I also like Hostess Sno-Balls, so YMMV.)

                2. I am taking notes... keep coming your opinios...
                  I apreciate it... :)

                  1. Greek Corner on 7th Ave at 28th does excellent gyros.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: a_and_w

                      i completely agree with you, jimnorton. having spent 3 weeks in greece several years back, there is no comparison with regard to the meat. nothing comes close, of course, and the meat off the cart typically makes me shudder. since i've never tried the one at 52nd and park, i can't state an opinion about that particular one. i've only tried a few carts many yrs ago and just stopped. try ouzaria (sp) or uncle nick's on 9th avenue. the meat is decent quality. not sure if this would be considered cheap.

                      1. re: nativeNYer


                      2. re: a_and_w

                        I agree with a_and_w, Greek Corner, makes some good Gyro's (sandwiches & platters). I go there once a week for lunch. Greek Corner is MUCH better than Gyro II across from The Garden.

                      3. try uncle nick's on 9th between 50th and 51st (i think). their greek food is pretty good!

                        1. I would recommend Greek Kitchen on 10th and 55th (i think). They have really good food at a relatively cheap price. An gyro platter can serve as two meals and is somewhere between $11-$13. They also give you a side and pita bread with that.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ginsbera

                            Second Greek Kitchen, which I much preferred to Uncle Nick's for gyros, souvlaki, etc. Great Greek fries, too.

                          2. the halal carts aren't really making gyros - i like them (i usually get mixed lamb and chicken with french fries and hot sauce), but that's its own thing. for one thing, "white sauce" is NOT tzatziki sauce, tzatziki is not mayonnaise, or even mayo-based. karavas is good although i wouldn't call it especially cheap. on the whole, astoria really is where you've got to go. ditmars gyros is a favorite, all the ingredients are fresh and fantastic. it's affordable too.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: joeyz

                              Astoria is a long way to go for a slight discount and no discernible change in taste. The day cart on 44th and 6th Ave makes great gyros...small but cheap.

                              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                                What about Tony Dragonas' street cart around 62nd St & Madison? I remember all his sandwiches being great...

                                1. re: Liquid Sky

                                  I find his chicken dry. Never seen a gyro there.

                                  1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                                    Don't think he has gyros but to call his chicken "dry" is blasphemy. Like calling DiFara's pizza "oily".

                                    1. re: guttergourmet

                                      Everything I've eaten from Tony's cart I have loved!

                            2. Not a gyro exactly but amazing schwarma - off the spit usually a few varieties - the turkey is great at a place I can't recall the name of. It's Turkish and at 40th and 7th - sw corner of the street. They also do gyro I believe but I always got the schwarma - yogurt sauce was fresh as was the meat. I used to pass in the am and there was always a fresh, raw loaded up spit just starting to turn. By lunch ready to go. Always a line, worth the wait.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: laylag

                                Are you sure this isn't at 40th and 9th Ave? There's a Turkish place there that matches this description exactly. SW corner too. And both kinds of meat cylinders-ground and stacked.

                              2. Sounds very good Thank you for sharing your experience.

                                1. I had a quite salty but flavorful Gyro plate with rice for $5 from a cart way down in the Financial District on Broadway (200? 222?) in front of what I thought was Leona Helmsley's building as I saw her name on it. There was a tall red metal sculpture in front of the building. The cart is on the same side that the building was on. All the rest of the carts (which I didn't try) were across the street by the little area with benches, and where the very small green market seemed to have found as new camp.

                                  1. Gyros are good with the cucumber sauce, but I also like them with the pita toasted and with hummus instead! Whatever happened to the gyro place by W 42nd near Nathan's? Haven't been to my native nyc in ages!

                                    1. During the 3 years that I lived in Manhattan, there was no better place to get a good gryo than the food cart at the corner of 53rd and 6th (right next to the Hilton). This gyro food cart is legendary (people from Connecticut and New Jersey drive to eat here). Expect long lines (even during snow in winter).

                                      The gyro is open-style. A round container filled with your choice of meat (chicken, beef, mixed) with salad (recommend that you pass on this) and saffron rice. Sauce is a must, get some of the hot sauce and white sauce (recipe of which is a secret).

                                      In the later years, I had been frequenting the food cart on 52rd and 6th on the same side as the other cart. His chicken is much more tender and he adds green onions for a slightly better taste.

                                      Both cost $5 and are great for dinner or a late after-clubbing stopover. They are open from 7:30pm till 6am.

                                      1. Gyro II across from the Garden is my favorite.