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Nov 18, 2008 12:01 PM

ISO good gyros in northwest suburbs

I live in Algonquin and have had a horrible and disappointing time finding decent gyros in this area. Can anyone recommend a place? My family's favorite places in the city are Hubs (on Lincoln) and Papa Chris' (on Touhy). Thanks in advance!

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  1. I hear you! I also used to love Papa Chris place too, Nick (and the whole family) is awesome and the guy I singularly attribute to my re-discovering gyros.

    Niles: Now that's a tough neighborhood to try to equal, for great Greek fast food, with standout places like Papa Chris, U-Dawg, Booby's and Nicks all close-by.

    I personally have always been a big fan of Nicks Drive in on Touhy & Harlem when it come to gyros, in fact, IMO I still think they are the best in the city. I bring them up here for good reason...

    Located in downtown McHenry (20-25 mins north of you) is a place called Alex's, he supposedly is a family relation to Nick's, I drive there from Gurnee to get my Gyro fixes. They get the grade "A" gyro's meat and have the right Tzatziki sauce to go with it. The place looks, feels and tastes allot like Nick's.

    There might end up being a place that's a bit closer to you, but I guarantee, there wont be any better or more authentic.

    Alex's Restaurant
    3709 W Elm St, McHenry, IL 60050

    10 Replies
    1. re: abf005

      Thanks, abf005! I will definitely have to check out Alex's Restaurant. I grew up in Skokie and have been to Nick's (Lincolnwood AND Niles) many times and it is very good. My whole family would be thrilled if we could find something comparable to Nick's out in our area!

      1. re: Scylla

        Nick's is fine, but the absolute best gyro in the chicagoland area is called "The Works" it is in Glenview on Golf Road (Cross street is Washington). I think it is Glenview there, it may be Niles.

        1. re: Doogie Houndser M.D.

          Thanks, Doogie! I will definitely have to investigate when I'm in the area.

          1. re: Doogie Houndser M.D.

            I've been to both Nick's & the Work's.

            And while the Works is quite excellent in its own right, with good gyros, dawgs and burgers, I would consider them more of an “everything’s pretty darn good” kinda place rather than just a gyros specialist.

            To me, Nicks is a gyros specialist, so they do better on many levels; better meat, sauce, and fries. Specifically, I love that gyros plate; it’s a generous bed of thick cut fries, with fresh sliced gyro meat heaped high on the plate, and topped with couple of rounds of onion and tomato slices under a nice toasty pita for a rooftop. Yeah! No one does gyros better… And since they do such a high volume on this one product it's always really fresh. I also think that the baklava and those great Boston milkshakes also make it a great food stop and deserve a mention.

            All good options, for Niles! Anyway out here, its Alex’s for gyros, Big Jacks for Italian beefs/sausages, polishes & hot dogs and Tony’s Subs for well ..subs!

            Scylla, I hope you make it out to Alex's soon and let us know how the food is.

            BTW: the service at Alex's is not the high point, they can be somewhat "indifferent" at times, so just try to focus on the great food!

            1. re: abf005

              I have to disagree about the Works. They have virtually the same menu as Nick's, so to call one a gyros specialist is not accurate. I have lived or worked in Niles for almost 40 years. Nick's is not even in the discussion when debating where to get the best gyros. The battle is between the Works and Wally's in Park Ridge. Wall'y is head and shoulders above the rest.

              If you are happy with the service at Nick's which is ALWAYS "indifferent" then I am sure you will not have a problem at this place, Alex's.

              1. re: scootster

                I also lived & worked in Skokie/Niles area for many years (over 10), and Wally's was never even in the same conversation as Nicks! In fact my last visit there was a horrible experience The Works and that old "Island" place on Golf on the other hand, were always touted by all my Maine pals.

                On my side of the tracks, the debate was always around Nick's, Papa Chris, Hubs, and Dengeos.

                This would be a much more stimulating debate if we weren't discussing Niles & other near North burb joints on a thread about finding far good Northwestern suburban gyros... Which is still a strong rec from me for Alex's in McHenry

                1. re: abf005

                  That was my side of the tracks, too, abf005, and those were THE places for gyros in Skokie and Niles. I will definitely be checking out Alex's in McHenry.

                  The food at Nick's has been good and consistent, but I can definitely relate to those who have said the service is "indifferent." Maybe that's why I like Papa Chris' Place so much better--excellent, consistent food with genuinely friendly, efficient service.

                  1. re: Scylla

                    Wondering if you still out there and ever made it to Alex's.

                    BTW: Totally agree about Papa Chris, best fast food hosts I think I've ever met, Nick is the coolest, after just one or two visits he knew your name for life, what a great place!

                    1. re: abf005

                      Yes, we did! It was very good, but the service was a little brusque. I can't blame them, as they were busy when we visited. But you just can't beat Papa Chris' friendly service!

                      1. re: Scylla

                        The truth is nobody can!! Closest I've come to that "warm & welcome" feeling is a place in Round Lake Park called Big Jacks, if you start craving a real Chicago hot dog, fresh cut fries or an Italian beef & sausage this is the place to go. Bunch of great guys there, they remind allot of Papa Chris's

                        Glad you enjoyed it, I was trying to get you to a "quality" on the plate vs. just anyone else that just serves gyro's, so I'm glad I warned you on the service, but glad they delivered on the quality as always. If they ever got seriously friendly counter service, that place might see business go through the roof!

      2. Since you're out in Algonquin, I love this place. I think their gyros are wonderful, and pretty close!

        554 S Randall Rd, Elgin
        (224) 629-4976

        1 Reply
        1. re: jan

          Thanks, jan. I will have to check out Skippy's, too!

        2. Cross Rhodes on Chicago Ave in Evanston has really good gyros