The Basics of Gyros – What You Need to Know About This Dish

Gyros Sandwich

If you’re a foodie, you’re usually down for trying out new meals whenever you can. One thing you shouldn’t miss is Gyro. Pronounced ‘yee-roh,’ it packs a lot of flavor in a small bite. This dish is a staple in Greek cuisine and is often sold on street corners as a meal to go, like shawarma and tacos. Let’s take a closer look at what this dish is all about!

What are the ingredients for gyros?

Since it is a wrap, it is usually made of a blend of meats like pork, lamb, or beef cut into paper-thin slices and piled on pita bread. Sometimes, a gyro spot would make a dish from fish or chicken, though this is uncommon.

These are topped with onions and roasted potatoes and seasoned with spices. The most common ones are herbs and spices used in Mediterranean meals like oregano, onion, dill, parsley, marjoram, and thyme. Cayenne pepper is also used liberally.

All of this is then drizzled with a sauce called tzatziki, which is a creamy white sauce strained from yogurt. It is infused with cucumber, pepper, dill, and garlic. It can also have other add-ons like lemon juice, mint, or parsley.

How do you prepare this dish?

To make a great serving of gyros, you have to marinate the meat for at least a couple of hours in a mixture of spices and herbs. For the best results, the best gyro spots would let it sit in the marinade overnight. After this, the meat is sliced into paper-thin slices which are placed on a rotisserie. This will keep turning in front of a burner. If you’ve seen a shawarma rotisserie, it looks much like the one for gyros.

With gyro meat, the fat trimmings are sandwiched between cuts. These are seasoned with spice mixes like paprika, dried parsley, fennel, coriander, and pepper. The meat is roasted slowly, to ensure that the moisture gets retained. This process results in a tender, moist, meat which is then sliced into thin cuts and rolled into grilled pita bread.

How is it different from shawarma?

These two dishes are both from the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean area. They are both roasted at a high temperature, on a rotating spit. Both are even wrapped in pita bread and served in thin strips! You could say that they come from a common food ancestor, the doner kebab, which originated in the Ottoman Empire of Turkey.

The difference is in how the meat is prepared. Gyros are often a combination of beef and lamb pressed into a loaf before being roasted. Meanwhile, shawarmas are more frequently made from other meats like chicken and fish.

Another difference between the two lies in the marinade used. Gyros can be marinated in two hours and be ready to roast; shawarma needs nearly 24 hours before it is ready. Furthermore, gyros are often just served with tzatziki, onions, and potatoes, while shawarma has more toppings. Shawarma can be served with hummus, a mashed chickpea blend; fattoush, a mixed greens salad with fried bread; tabbouleh, a tangy salad, and others.


Whether you’re new to Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine or have been a fan for a while, having some gyros is always a good idea.

If you’re looking for restaurants where you can try gyros in Chesterton, visit us at George’s Gyros Spot today. You’ll be pleased with every bite – Visit us today!

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