Seattle boasts a surprisingly long list of restaurants serving gyros. Natives of the eastern Mediterranean region where this food originates are grateful for these reminders of home. Gyros are typically made with shawarma (seasoned meats roasted on a vertical spit) or vegetarian falafel (fried chickpea “meatballs”). Greek fries (dressed with feta cheese and garlic sauce) are a favorite accompaniment at all gyros hangouts.
Lake City Gyros
12336 Lake City Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98125
This north Seattle hole-in-the-wall is appreciated in the neighborhood for authenticity and well-priced portions, although the divey atmosphere isn’t for everyone. There are a couple small parks to the west (along 28th Ave NE) where you can enjoy your meal if the weather is good and, of course, many diners prefer takeout. Regulars have a lot of favorites, but among them are any of the well-seasoned meats (but especially the lamb shawarma), baba ghanoush (eggplant spread) and baklava (walnut pastry).
8411 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Seattle natives, Husky alums and brothers Sammy and Joni Arsheed have owned and operated Mr. Gyro’s since 2002. Their tiny eatery is well known for great food and great service from the always personable service staff. Of course, since the shop is very small, it can get crowded during lunch. Those in the know (and in a hurry) phone in a takeout order ahead of time. If you do choose to dine-in, enjoy complimentary mint tea while you wait for your food. The award-winning Mr. Gyro’s also has a shop in Ballard, as well as a food truck that circulates throughout the city—check the website for locations and updates.
Aladdin Falafel Corner
4541 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
The extra bonus here, besides great gyros, is that the Aladdin is open until 2 a.m. every night of the week. The bad news is that finding parking on the “Ave” in the U-District can be a challenge. Aladdin serves up a very generous order of Greek fries (with garlic sauce and feta cheese) that is an effective nightcap after an overindulgence of liquor. Aladdin is also appreciated for its beautifully seasoned beef, lamb and chicken served in its gyros. Its falafel is rated as some of the best in Seattle—or anywhere. One final note: Aladdin is a cash-only place. So go with some green or you will go home hungry.
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Petra Mediterranean Bistro
2501 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Open for lunch and dinner (but closed in between) in downtown Seattle, Petra serves up tender shawarma gyros along with many other house-made Mediterranean dishes from Greece to North Africa, including Greek salad, fattoush (levantine bread and vegetable salad), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach and cheese pastry), labneh (Greek yogurt), baba ghanoush (eggplant spread), lemon chicken, baklava, tamarind soda, mint tea, Turkish coffee and many more delicious foods. Like many restaurants of this style, the dishes are heavy on garlic. Petra is a great place to know, especially if you work downtown and want a good lunch or dinner takeout.
Kokoras Greek Grill
6400 1/2 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98136
West Seattle is noted for friendly owner-owned ethnic eateries, so Kokoras fits right in with gracious owners, authentic food and casual atmosphere. Its legions of fans say you can’t go wrong here; any of the menu options are fantastic. But if it’s gyros you crave, you find huge portions and deliciously seasoned meat, whether you order a gyro sandwich, salad or dinner platter. If you are satisfied with the gyro and expect to return often, be sure to get a gyro punch card. You’ll enjoy great gyros at an even better value the more often you visit. If you dine in, Kokoras serves beer and wine.
5825 Airport Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
This Russo-Turkish food truck parks in a permanent spot in Georgetown in south Seattle. All of its foods are homemade (including falafel and all of the sauces). Hallava likes to point out that it is not strictly a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern eatery. Most of its recipes, as well as its style of customer service, comes from Central Asia. But if it’s gyros you crave, then you will find all of the favorite fixin’s here, including falafel and shawarma served as either a sandwich or salad. Items Hallava is especially known for include double fried fries and its incredible sauces, plus house-made Russian red relish and Armenian pickle. Your gyros are dressed with a unique mix of spinach and cabbage, tzatziki or tahini sauce, and an added kick with a squirt of Sriracha sauce. Lunch is usually under $10 and the portions are generous.
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